Hi guys! I’m back again for another tutorial and this is a really fun one :-). I recently started making Christmas Stockings and I wanted to find a way personalize the cuffs with names for people. My first thought was embroidery, but I still don’t have the embroidery hoops I need for my machine :-(. My next thought was iron on transfers. Those would be good if it wasn’t for they are touch and go on fleece. A lot of people say don’t use them on fleece at all and others have used them on it with some successes and some failures. I didn’t want to ruin my stockings so I decided to skip that idea. My next thought was fabric letters that I could hot glue or sew on. I am not confident enough in my sewing ability yet to be able to pull off perfectly straight stitches on those little letters, and I was afraid the hot glue wouldn’t hold up over time. The only other option I could think of was fabric paint. Fabric paint it ok and all but I didn’t want it to look unprofessional and I wasn’t sure how to pull it off. I also didn’t want to have to go buy fabric paint and I have a ton of acrylic paint so that got me thinking. Can I use my acrylic paint on fabric? I mean, why not? I have gotten plenty of it on my clothes and it never washes out. Just to be sure I put my question to the test and googled it. What I found was just totally awesome! There was of course some people saying no you have to use fabric paint, but there were others who have been using acrylic paint on fabric with great success. My personal favorite result I found was someone using it as a fun art project for there kids and letting them design there own fleece blankets. It’s too cool not share so if you want to check it out just click here. Another cool result was someone using it to make My Little Pony stuffed animals and painting on their eyes and other details. If you want to see that one you can click here.
Anyways, the point of all that is all these cool ways to use acrylics on fleece got my inspiration juices flowing and I decided I just had to try painting something really cool on one of my handmade stockings. I had someone asking me if I could make a Nightmare Before Christmas stocking and I thought it would be the perfect project to give the acrylic paint a try. Now there is a fabric paint medium you can get to mix with the acrylic paint that is supposed to make it more thin so it doesn’t harden the fabric a lot. My acrylics are the cheap $0.50 ones so they are pretty thin anyways. I usually have to paint the same spots a few times on my canvases when I use them so I decided to skip using the medium.
Keep reading to learn how to make one of these stockings yourself. Who knows….you just might get inspired to make something even cooler than what I did and take it to the next level!
- 2 Black Fat Quarters
- If you want to make a bigger stocking then you can use 4 fat quarters or you can buy black cotton fabric off the bolt to whatever length you want.
- White Anti Pill Fleece
- I had like a yard of this lying around but you really don’t need much at all. You just need enough for the cuff of the stocking. I did mine at about 6-7 inches. If you get your fabric at Wal-Mart in store they will cut it to whatever length you want so you could tell them to just cut you off 15 inches and they will. If you want a little more leeway than that you can add a few more inches.
- I had red ribbon lying around from other stockings I made but you can use whatever color ribbon that suits you. I cut my ribbon at 6 inches long.
- I used white thread for my whole stocking. All the stitching on the black fabric is done on the inside and the stitching that is visible is done on the white cuff. If you decide to make your cuff a different color you will want to get coordinating thread to match so your stitching won’t be as visible.
- White and Red Acrylic Paint
- I used the cheap $0.50 paint bottles you can get at Wal-Mart. If you decide to use a better quality paint that is pretty thick you might want to consider adding a fabric paint medium to your acrylics. If will thin the paint and help keep it from making the fabric really hard when it dries. My stocking came out really pliable and not hard at all with the paint I used and I didn’t use a medium.
- Acrylic Paint Brushes
- You will need fine detail acrylic brushes. Wal-Mart sells a set that says for fine lettering and details on the package. Those are the brushes that I used and they worked great.
- Sewing Machine (Optional)
- If you don’t want to sew this by hand and you have a machine go ahead and use it. If you don’t have a machine this is such a simple and small project you absolutely can sew this by hand.
- Sketch Paper
- This is to make your pattern with so you need to make sure you have big enough paper to make the size stocking you want.
How To Guide
The first thing you need to do is pull out your fat quarters. Go ahead and unwrap them and lay them flat. You need take an iron and iron out the creases as good as you can. My iron is a little cheap one so it isn’t the best at getting out the creases. Just do the best you can and it will be fine. You are going to iron it a lot more later as you make the stocking so they will all come out eventually. Once you have it ironed out you need to make your pattern. One fat quarter will do the front and back of the outside and the other will do the front and back of the lining inside. You need the lining to help thicken up your stocking so it isn’t really thin. To make my pattern I pulled up the image below on my laptop and then hooked my laptop to my little TV I game on and resized the image until it fit my fabric. Then I took a piece of sketch paper and traced it out right off the TV screen. If you want to print it out you can but you will probably need to play with the size a bit until you get it right. If you want to print the pdf pattern you can visit the website I got it from by clicking here.
Now that you have your pattern cut out you are ready to cut out your fabric pieces. You should end up with 4 stocking pieces when you are done. to make the cutting easier you can lay your fabric out horizontally and fold it in half. Put your pattern piece on top and take a white crayon and trace your pattern. Then go ahead and cut it out. You should get 2 pieces per fat quarter. Set aside 3 of the pieces and keep the other one handy for the next step.
Here comes the fun part!!! Take your stocking piece and head on over to your computer or TV. I used the following photos and a white crayon laid on the TV to trace out my image onto the stocking. I liked having Jack and Nero in the same photo but I wanted Jack to be wearing the Santa hat so I used the Jack and Zero photo for the bulk of the tracing, and then I put my stocking over the santa hat one and lined it up and resized it until it looked right and traced it out. I also wanted Zero to have a red nose like he did when he was pulling the sleigh so I skipped tracing out the pumpkin and just made it a circle. If you want to make sure your fabric doesn’t slip around a lot you can use masking tape like I did. It won’t leave any residue to the TV screen. There are other methods to getting your image onto the fabric but I found this to be the easiest way and it doesn’t cost any extra for more materials. Since I haven’t tried any other methods myself I can’t detail those out to you, but you could look into making a stencil or trying to free hand draw your image.
As soon as you have your image all traced out and ready to go you can pull out your paint and get to work! I started with my white paint and went around the whole image. Even the parts you want to do in color you will want to do with white first then paint your color on top of it. The reason for this is it makes your color a lot brighter and richer so it will pop. If you try to do the color without doing the white first it will be really dark and won’t achieve the same results. This is a little trick I learned from back when I was a website designer and I learned out screen printing works. They use the same technique on dark colored T Shirts. When you have all of the image painted out in white you can go back and add your color to the had and Zero’s nose. Make sure you leave open spaces of black in-between areas where objects connect that are all white. This way the different parts of the image stand out and it doesn’t end up looking like a big white mess. For Zero’s nose I mixed my red with some black until I had a color similar to the original photo.
Now that you have your beautiful masterpiece complete you are ready to sew up your stocking. You need to take your piece with your artwork and lay it on top of another piece for the inside lining. Then take the other two pieces and put them together the same way. I used a ruler and a cutting mat to draw out straight lines where I wanted my white cuff to go on the front and back. Then you need to cut your white fleece to match the top of your stocking. Don’t forget you should have 2 sets of 2 pieces; your image with a lining piece and your back with a lining piece. Once you have your pieces cut you can go ahead and lay them on top of your stockings and make sure everything lines up and looks right. You can go ahead and trim off any excess fabric hanging around sides if you have any. Next I measured and marked where I wanted my top fold to go on the front and back piece. Then I made the fold and ironed it down. This keeps the raw edges turned in under the cuff. Now you can take your cuffs and fold the tops in the same way. Place the raw edges and folds together and pin them. Find your bottom mark and fold the bottom of the cuff to match up to that line and pin it. The lines help you keep the front and back pieces even.
Using a straight stitch go ahead and sew your cuff to your stocking pieces at the top and bottom. You can leave the sides open for now. To see what settings I used and where my needle and fabric was lined up look at the following photos.
Take your front and back pieces and lay them on top of each other with the right sides facing in. Pin it all the way around and then straight stitch it all the way around making sure to leave the top open.
Go ahead and flip your stocking right side out again. Now you should have a very nice looking stocking that is only missing one thing……ribbon! To make your loop with your ribbon you need to measure out how big you want your loop to be and cut it. I made my loop with 6 inches of ribbon. When you have it cut go ahead and fold it into a loop and pin it to the inside, back seam of your stocking as shown. Once you have it pinned you can stitch it to your stocking by following your seam down into a straight line. Make sure to remove your pin before you start stitching after you have it secured by the presser foot. Then to make it nice and secure you can stitch it on the sides following the stitching at the top of the cuff as shown.
Congratulations!!!! Now you have a super awesome Nightmare Before Christmas stocking you made all on your own!!!!!
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