Handmade needlepoint Christmas stockings have a lovely Old World charm. They evoke images of Victorian Christmas trees, old wooden toys and warm family celebrations. A well-crafted needlepoint stocking is sure to become a treasured keepsake; the stocking you make for a loved one today could very well become a treasured family heirloom.
Creating personalized needlepoint Christmas stockings is no easy feat; it is a labor-intensive project, but one that will surely be a labor of love. You need not be an expert to complete a beautiful handmade stocking, as kits make it easy for even a beginner. However, it's definitely not something you can finish overnight. Some needlepoint stockings take many months to finish, but if you enjoy the fine art of needlepoint, then the beautiful results will be well worth the effort.
Working with Kits or from Scratch
If you are new to needlepoint, or if you want to make the project a little easier, then purchasing a needlepoint stocking kit is probably your best bet. There are many designs to choose from, and you'll even be able to find kits for personalized needlepoint stockings. Most kits come with everything you will need to complete the project. Most often the design is pre-printed on the stocking, so that you can start right in stitching. The other advantage to using a kit is that sometimes they are less expensive than buying all of your materials separately.
If you prefer to make your stocking from scratch, you will have to do a little more preparation, but you will have the advantage of having a stocking that is unique and original. If you choose to use a pattern, there are hundreds of free patterns online. If you prefer to design your own, sketch it out on graph paper, plotting out your design.
Now you're ready to begin stitching. Depending on the size of your stocking, the intricacy of your pattern and whether you use yarn or floss, this part of the project will likely take a while, so if you plan of giving your stocking as a Christmas gift, be sure to start well ahead of the holidays. It can take anywhere from three weeks to three months to complete a design; kits and patterns often include information about the time needed to finish a particular design.
Completing the Stocking
Once you've finished the needlepoint front of the stocking, it is time to put it all together. You will need fabric for the backing, as well as a complimentary fabric for the lining. Using your finished stocking front as a guide, cut out one piece from your backing fabric, and then cut out two pieces of the lining fabric, one for both the front and back of the stocking.
Start by stitching the two lining pieces to the stocking pieces, leaving the tops unstitched. You'll be finishing that at the end. Next, pin the two stocking halves together, outside facing in. Stitch it together, and turn it right side out. Finish your stocking by attaching a hanging loop, and neatly hand-stitching the lining to the stocking at the top.
Nothing says "Traditional Christmas" like a needlepoint stocking handcrafted with love. Your stocking will surely become a treasured keepsake for its lucky recipient.
Stamped cross stitch lets you get started stitching right away, while counted cross stitch requires you to use some math skills to transfer your pattern to the material.
A cross stitch Christmas stocking will become a treasured family heirloom. Learn the pros and cons of kits versus designs from scratch, and get tips for creating a stocking with a professional finish.