Needlepoint Christmas Stockings
Few things can raise the holiday spirit better than a candy-filled stocking on Christmas day. It’s one of the few traditions that transcend age; whether you’re five or fifty, Christmas stockings are sure to bring a smile to your face. They’ve become iconic even in cultures where they’re not traditional. And if you want to give something that really touches the heart, you can’t go wrong with handmade needlepoint Christmas stockings.
Many people find needlepoint designs too complicated for a first project, or aren’t sure their work is good enough to give away. But Christmas stockings can go either way: you can find designs you can probably do on your first day of learning, and those that take years of practice to master. Most of the time, it’s really just a matter of finding the right design.
Start by looking for Christmas stocking kits at your local craft store, if you don’t have supplies yet. Most of them will include the stocking fabric, threads and needles, and a pattern with detailed instructions. Some will even include a few spares to make room for mistakes, or a variety of patterns you can choose from. If you’re a bit more advanced, you can tweak the design as you please, but you can usually get good results just sticking to the original pattern.
You can also create your own design, of course, but this will take a lot more time. One of the first steps is deciding on the size of the stocking, and after that, the fabric size—most needle point projects use 13 or more, but that can vary depending on your specifics. You can then cut out the pattern from both the cross-stitch fabric and whatever you’re using for the back, lining and trim. Once you’ve got your pieces, you can incorporate your design into it, whether by hand or using a computer program. Then you can choose your thread colors, buy the threads if you need them, and get started.
For some people, this process can take months, so you’ll need to start early if you want your stocking in time for Christmas. Most experts recommend starting at least three months in advance and working on it at least an hour a day. This will give you enough time to choose your design, create your pattern, and shop for supplies—and do things over in case you slip up or change your mind.