DIY – Upcycled no-sew Christmas stocking

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you’ll notice we’re up to our eyeballs with clothing for Dress Them In Hope in support of Marillac Place. I’ve also been dabbling in some upcycled Christmas crafts…particularly ones that are extremely simple, using very little material, time and effort. It was only a matter of time before a hybrid project would take shape. It seems that’s how my brain is operating these days….mashing ideas together and seeing how they turn out. Not a bad thing…some days, things turn out well. Other days, we chalk our efforts up to “gaining experience.” Today, I’m happy to report that we have another DIY success story – a Christmas stocking that I’m not ashamed to hang up.

The idea came about as I was considering what to do with a couple of old shirts – one that was too worn out to donate or sell through the store, and another that was missing buttons. I was also trying to figure out when I’d have time to get my 11 month-old son his first Christmas stocking. With a whirr and a click, a couple of mental gears clicked into place and before I knew it I was Googling no-sew stockings. I can sew by hand, but it’s a painstaking process, and I wanted to see if I could get by without picking up a needle and thread.

I was thrilled to find a no-sew stocking idea that involved cutting out a stocking outline from material, cutting a fringe and then tying knots around the edge using the fringe pieces. This craft is an excellent way to upcycle an old, favourite sweater or shirt (yours or your kid’s) that has sentimental value, but little shelf life left as a functioning garment.

Here are some rough instructions to create the stocking base which you can then decorate however you would like or leave-as, depending on the fabric you use.

A couple of things to note:

  • Use a heavier weight fabric so the stocking will hang properly (ie. sweatshirts, heavier cotton dress shirts, denim, duck cotton)
  • Leave a really wide border (2 inches or more) around the actual stocking shape so that you can cut a long enough fringe for the knot tying.


  1. Fold or layer your material so there are two layers to make the front and back of the stocking.
  2. Decide how large you want your stocking to be. On the back side of your fabric, roughly sketch the shape of a stocking onto your material, and then sketch a border two inches (or more) out from the inner outline. For the top of the stocking, there will only be one outline on this side since you won’t be tying the top of the stocking closed. The double outline will be your guide for clipping the fringe around the edge.
  3. Next, cut around the outside outline, cutting through both layers of the fabric at once.
  4. When you’re done cutting out the stocking shape, start cutting the fringe. Each piece should be roughly one centimetre wide.
  5. When you have your fringe cut, start tying knots. You’ll tie together the fringe pieces that line up with each other.
  6. For the top part of the stocking, I recommend folding the fabric over, into the stocking, and then tying the knots for the last two knots on each side of the stocking. This gives the top a more finished look.
  7. I cut an extra length of shirt material to use as a “ribbon” of sorts to hang the stocking. I simply pushed the ribbon between two fringe knots at the top of each side of the stocking, and then knotted the ribbon in place.

And, that’s it for the stocking shape. Like I said, if you can add decorations to this to personalise the design. If you try this craft, let me know and I’d love to see pics!

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