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Lara Neel | The Journal Gazette
Crafty living

Stockings a family tradition

I’m excited to share this stocking pattern, which my grandma used, starting in the 1950s.

My mom made them for our family, and two of my sisters have also made them for their families. When I have a family of my own, I plan to continue the tradition. I should give a disclaimer, though: These are more for decoration than heavy-duty use. If you want to make them really functional, double up your felt and stitches to make them stronger.

What you need:

•Red, green and white felt (or your favorite colors)

•Red and green embroidery floss (or colors that coordinate to your felt)

•Felt glue (it needs to be felt glue or the items might fall off)


•Needle (I used a sharp-ended chenille needle)

•Straight pins


What you’ll do:

1. Cut out one white and one red or green stocking shape; white for the front and red or green for the back.

2. Cut out the scalloped “cuff” of the stocking in the same color as the stocking back. Pin your two layers together with your “cuff” so that they don’t move while you’re sewing.

3. Cut out a 1-inch-by-6-inch strip of the stocking back color and pin it, folded in half, in the top-left corner of the stocking.

4. Take a good length of embroidery floss in the same color as your backing and, starting in one corner, use a blanket stitch to sew up the sides of the stocking. To start a blanket stitch, tie a knot in the end of your floss and put it in between the two layers of your stocking. Then, poke your needle through the back layer of the stocking, up through the front layer, about 1/4 inch from the edge. Then, go about 1/4 to a 1/2 inch down the side of the stocking and poke through the back layer to the front layer again, but before you pull the thread taut, put your needle through the loop and pull it closed, but not too tight. Continue that same method all the way around the stocking.

5. When you get to the opposite corner, don’t sew the top closed if you intend to put items in the stocking. You need to use the same blanket stitch and sew down the top of the stocking, sewing the “cuff” to the white layer of felt. When you get to the opposite side, continue the blanket stitch down the back side and then tie off, tucking your end in the middle with a dab of glue to keep it in. At the top-left corner of the stocking, make sure to sew the 1-inch-by-6-inch strip folded in half to make the hanger for your stocking.

6. Glue down the unsewn side of the “cuff.”

7. Cut out whatever shapes you choose to put on your stockings and glue them down. For our patterns, about four is what fits best, but you could do an Internet search and come up with your own items for the stockings. Use outlines or get creative and add detail.

8. Cut out your letters and glue them down. The letters have always been cut freehand because of the varying lengths of names.

Alicia Tharp is a crafter and copy editor for The Journal Gazette. Regular Crafty Living columnist Joyce McCartney can be reached at 461-8364 or email Also, visit Joyce’s blog at There, you will also find the weekly knitting podcast Math4Knitters.