Repurposing Old Clothing into Stockings

  • Difficulty Rating: Intermediate
Repurposed Clothing

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the stocking.

I love shopping for lots of fun, inexpensive things to put in my kids' stockings. But it's not just the filling of the stockings that I have fun with.  I also enjoy making new stockings for my kids every couple of years. This year I decided to make them from repurposed clothing.

On one of my thrifting trips, I went with an open mind. Not stopping to look at things I normally would wear, I instead searched for articles of clothing that had interesting patterns and textures. I left with a white turtleneck sweater, a herringbone wool vest adorned with flocked leaves, a ruffled shirt with cap sleeves, a full-length striped polyester dress, a t-shirt with crocheted flowers, and a waffle-weave baby blanket.

Stocking made from clothing

Stockings are a very forgiving project to work with and very easy to construct. Embellishing them can be simple or very involved depending on your preference. I live in a house full of males who are content with simple so that's they way I keep it. There are many patterns to be purchased both online and in stores. This time I chose to just tape together 4 sheets of 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper and draw my own pattern. When using clothing, the pattern is simply placed on top of the article of clothing, pinned in place, and cut out. There is no worry about getting the layers of material facing the right direction.

Recycled clothing

Some articles of clothing may need to be altered to make them large enough or flat enough to work with. I removed the elastic gathering from the waist of the ruffled shirt.

Cutting recycled clothing

The shirt wasn't big enough for my pattern so I added some length to it with an inexpensive muslin in a color that while not a perfect match was close enough. In this photo, above the seam is the bottom of the shirt. I partially ripped out one of the side seams and stitched a section of muslin to it.  The added material is seen below the seam.

Cutting recycled clothing

After cutting out the stocking, I removed one of the eyelet cap sleeves from the shirt and used it on the toe of the stocking. It was not only a nice embellishment, but it also tied back in with the top of the stocking where the fabric was a slightly different color than the fabric I added to lengthen it.

Working with recycled clothing

When working with the vest, I used the seam ripper from the Fiskars Sew Taxi to remove the leaves.

The steps to this point are simply to choose a pattern, prepare your fabric to make it useable with your pattern, pin the pattern to the fabric and cut it out.

Next, use the pattern to cut out 2 pieces for the lining. If you are not using a purchased pattern that includes instructions, the fabric for the lining should be folded so the right sides are together.

Folding cut clothing

Pin the outside front of the stocking to one of the lining pieces, right sides together, stitch along the top edge, and press the seam open. Repeat this with the back of the stocking and other lining piece. When placed side by side with the outside panels facing up, you should have 2 stockings with toes that face in opposite directions.

Sewing stocking patterns together

Open the 2 stocking panels up and place the right sides together. Stitch around the perimeter of the stocking, starting and stopping on the lining, and leaving an opening for turning. Clip the seam allowance along the curves to reduce bulk and bunching of the materials. Turn the stocking right side out and stitch the opening closed.

Hanging stockings
completed stockings

Add a length of ribbon, fabric, or other material to the top of the stocking to use for hanging it. Embellish the stocking as desired.

Supply List

Variety of clothing


Material for lining stockings

Pattern for stocking