How much fabric is needed for a Christmas stocking?

October 28, 2021

Nothing screams festive season like Christmas stockings. Whatever the style, color, or size, you know that as soon as you hang up your stockings, the whole environment is going to transform. There are various types of Christmas stockings. They can either be generic, personalized, bought from a store, or handmade. 

Stockings are anywhere between 15 to 25 inches, and the average size is 20 inches or so. Stockings are traditionally meant to be socks (or sock-shaped bags) that can be filled with small gifts and trinkets that are otherwise not kept under the Christmas tree. The stocking should be large enough to fit items like:

  • Snow Globes
  • Rolled up magazines/comics
  • Ornaments or other Christmas decoration
  • Coins
  • Bundled up clothes
  • Fruits, nuts, or chocolates
  • Stationery

Alternatively, a stocking can also purely function as an item of decoration. Colorful stockings up on the mantle by the fireplace or above the chimney don’t even need to be stuffed – they’re gifts of their own. 

You can try your little DIY project by sewing your own stockings, or you can buy one from an online Christmas shop. Either way, it’s necessary to know what exactly goes into making a stocking and what kind or how much fabric is used to make them. 

How much fabric do you require for one stocking?

On average, you will need 28 to 48 inches of fabric for your stocking. This includes the outside lining on the front and back, the inner lining for the front and back, as well as seam allowance. It’s always better to buy more fabric because the extra material can be used for the heel, to decorate the borders, or used to make string to hang the stockings. 

You can start out with a large square or rectangle of fabric, trace an L shape, and then cut both ways. Use pencils and rulers when you’re not confident enough to go freehand. Round off the heel and toe area before you get to stitching. Of course, hand sewing, as well as machine sewing, works for stocking. Remember to leave 0.5 to 1 inch for seams! 

Depending on how big you want your cuff, figure out the width or circumference of your stocking and trim the edges together. 

Make sure all your measurements align with the vision you have for your stocking. If you’re keen on sticking to DIY, it’s a good idea to probably check out stockings on renowned websites to get a good idea of style and size. For example, the Red Quilted Personalized Christmas Stocking at Merry Stockings is 21.5 inches from the tip of the toe to the opposite corner of the cuff. The mouth of the stocking is 6.5 inches wide at opening. 

What kind of fabrics to use for stockings? 

There is no particular fabric to use – it all depends on your taste and style! Some options to choose from are:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Flannel
  • Velvet 


So whether it’s your own little Christmas DIY, or you’re just into fabric and design, always research to get better ideas for stockings. While making Christmas stockings at home is fun, if you want it tastefully embroidered, or want your favorite pattern, buying one might just be more feasible.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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