It’s December—the time when people are digging deep into their attics, basements, and garages for the twinkly lights and decorations. Some of you may open a box of decorations to find that over the years, your decorations have gotten dingy, lackluster, or even broken, and in an economy like this, is it really worth it to toss money at something you’ll only have up for one month (at most) a year?
If your answer to that question was “No!” but you’d still like to update your holiday decorations, we’ve got some ideas for you: Make your own holiday decorations. It can be a wonderful family-bonding activity. You can save money around the holidays and create your very own, unique Christmas.
There are many different types of do-it-yourself decorations. We thought we would offer one craft in detail—making Christmas stockings. For this craft, you will need about a half-yard of one color of felt, and a couple of sheets of craft felt in other colors for decoration and embellishment. You will also need craft glue or a hot glue gun, scissors or pinking shears, newspaper for the pattern, some straight pins, and—for the finishing touches—sequins, beads or fabric paint.
First, take your newspaper and draw the stocking pattern on it. You can make a short, fat stocking or a long, narrow one. You could even make a giant stocking, but keep in mind that you will need more felt for that (and people may not go to the trouble of filling it up).
Cut out your pattern.
Now, take your big sheet of felt and fold it in half. This will be the body of the stocking. Pin your pattern to the felt and cut around it with your scissors or pinking shears (we prefer the shears because they’re more decorative). If you’re using a hot glue gun, plug it in now.
With your craft glue or hot glue gun, apply a thin bead just inside the edge of one of the stocking shapes, omitting the top (unless you don’t want any presents.) Carefully align the second stocking shape over the glued one, and press down. If you are using craft glue, place a sheet of cardboard over the stocking and weigh it down with heavy books.
After the glue is dry, you may want to turn the stocking inside out and iron the edges. We like the exposed seams, but you may not.
While you’re waiting for the glue to dry, plan out your decorations. You might decide to go simple, with just a name at the top and stripes on the sock. You might decorate your stocking with an idyllic winter scene, maybe a snow-covered evergreen. You could decorate it with stacks of wrapped presents or a plateful of cookies, or any number of your favorite things. It’s your stocking after all.
From the smaller sheets of felt, cut out the shapes of your decorations. Arrange them on your stocking without glue. Once you’re happy with the placement, start gluing down your felt decorations. From there, you can embellish the stocking further with beads, sequins, glitter, or fabric paint. Make it as wild or as restrained as you want.
Once your embellishments are all dry and set, you will have a wonderful, homemade stocking with a personal flair to it that cannot be matched by store-bought stockings. Get the entire family involved, and you’ll find that you’ve made family keepsakes for years to come.
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