You may or may not have noticed (depending on how loyally you follow my Instagram newsfeed…) that I am utterly obsessed with all things Burlap this Christmas season. A month or so ago, I was scouring Etsy with the hope of purchasing some burlap stockings to hang this year. I was about to purchase some, when I was struck with the brilliant idea of convincing my mother – who has legitimate sewing skills, unlike myself – to “help” me make my own handmade stockings.
In the interest of full transparency, I should tell you that by ‘help’, I pretty much mean that she did ALL of the work. I supervised, which worked well for me as I quite like being in charge of things.
According to my mother, who did the sewing, this is a fairly simple sewing project – and the rustic & homey feel of burlap really takes the pressure off trying to create something “perfect”. The imperfections are the beauty of it, don’t you think?
It was also very special to me to do this little mother-daughter project. My Mommom, who passed away this past winter, made beautiful hand-knitted stockings for her children, her children’s husbands, and her grandchildren over the years as her family grew. Even though these simple little burlap stockings will probably not become permanent fixtures in my family Christmases, I know that my mother and I both felt slightly closer to her as we worked together on this project. I am so grateful that the tradition of creating handmade items for our homes and family members is one that will continue in our family – in whatever form it takes.
Our process was not super technical, but if you’d like to create your own burlap stockings, here’s how:
First, collect your supplies:
Burlap (a few yards depending on how many you’ll be making)
Cotton or Muslin for the lining
Paper for creating a pattern
Fabric Scissors, straight pins & a sewing machine (or hand sew them w/ a needle and thread!)
To create our pattern, we just traced a random red stocking we had on hand onto a paper bag.
We added a seam allowance of about 1/2 inch. The pattern for the lining material had an extra 4 inches at the top, for the cuff fold over.
Using straight pins to secure the pattern, I cut two pieces at a time (you need two lining & two burlap shapes per stocking). I was really good at the cutting part, and that was pretty much all that I contributed to this project.
Next, my mother sewed together the inner & outer pieces, including a small hem at the top of the liner that would fold over to create the cuff. Stanley, my parents’ Siamese cat, posed for a little photo shoot while my mother did the work.
I chose not to attach the liner to the burlap stocking, since the cuff held both pieces together pretty well. This way I can always change the inner or outer material (in case I make myself completely sick of burlap sometime down the road… which is not likely!)
I attached a jute twine loop with a safety pin (so it is also interchangeable), and pinned through both layers to add some extra security.
I added some unpainted wooden letters with our initials (including Emma, of course – her stocking will be stuffed with bacon flavored treats and squeaky creatures).
Then, I used my only-daughter-charm to convince my father to cut a branch off of one of the trees in my parent’s back yard. Since we do not have a mantle to hang our stockings from, I turned the donated branch into my stocking hanger!
I’m totally smitten. And the best part is that I only spent around $10 on the white muslin and wooden letters, and had everything else that we needed on hand! (That cute felt garland, by the way, was an awesome Target grab a few weeks ago).
What kind of stockings did you hang this year? If you, like me, don’t have a mantle to hang them from, what creative ways do you find to display them in your house? Filling my husband’s stocking with goofy little things is one of my favorite Christmas activities, and I can’t wait to do it again this year!