"Handmade (Not Homemade)" describes the way this Denver blogger approaches her many projects in life: creating, inspiring, loving and exploring. Living life to it's fullest requires more than a rag-tag assortment of homemade theories and thrown-together decisions. But the goal is not perfection, for handmade items and actions have a slightly imperfect organic charm.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ode to Bucilla Stocking Kits

Little by little, I've been working on two stockings that I hope to complete by Christmas, one for the Bambino, and one for my favorite Cowboy. It sure would be nice to have all three of us with the same style stockings, but I'm not pushing my luck as far as getting one done for myself this year.

Cowboy's family all has personalized stockings that were hand-sewn by his mom and mostly from Bucilla-style kits. The whole family. Cowboy, his 4 siblings, and all their spouses. That means that she has made a total of 12 of these stockings (including the one for herself and my father-in-law)! She even made a custom one for her husband when he was in the Army. She turned Santa riding a truck(?) into Santa riding a tank! She's so creative!

So when it came time for me to think about the family traditions I would like to create for us, I knew that personalized stockings were going to be included in the mix. I think it is so special for the Bambino and all future bambinos/as to be able to say "I've had that stocking ever since I can remember. My mom lovingly sewed it for me." Awwww....

When I was pregnant, I picked out the stockings ahead of time on the JoAnn.com website. I am pretty sure they sell all of the available stocking styles from Bucilla (which I've learned is a division of Plaid, who makes a lot of craft supplies). We didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, so I chose a stocking for Cowboy (Hello? one titled "Cowboy Santa")...

a boy stocking (Santa riding a carosel horse-like a Jr. version of "Cowboy Santa")...

and a girl stocking: the Sugar Plum Fairy!

I figured I'd order them after the baby was born.

When the little Bambino got here I got back on the site to place my order. I hadn't created a wish list or saved a shopping cart, so I was going by memory. Problem was, I had had a C-Section. Which required pain meds in recovery. Which effected my brain.

When I got back on the site, I saw "Cowboy Santa," ordered it and got to work. Shortly after I had embroidered Bambino's name on it, I had some clarity.

"Oh no," I told Cowboy. "This one was meant for YOU!"

Back to the JoAnn website. The carousel one was missing. And I suspect it was missing when I ordered the first one in a Percoset daze.

Well, guess where I finally found the carousel one? On E-Bay. As a "discontinued, rare Bucilla stocking kit." The new price? $99

Not gonna happen. So Cowboy and I scoured the Interweb to find the new, most perfect design for the Bambino. We finally setteled on "In the Workshop." I think it is great for a child and it doesn't push him into any interest that he may not grab on to later like a football or cowboy-themed one would.

I'm working on these kits now. I am almost done with Cowboy's--I still have to rip out Bambino's name and put Cowboy's name on--at least they start with the same letter! I am about 2/3 of the way done with Bambino's final choice. Cowboy was soooo concerned about "taking" Bambino's stocking, but I think it turned out all for the best.

Here is my progress so far:

As I took these out to photograph them, I realized that I have misplaced the instructions for "Cowboy Santa." Good thing I'm almost done! I haven't sewn the back on to either one yet. When I do, I will post and share with you a trick I learned from my sister-in-law (who sewed one for her little man last year) that is not in the instructions, but protects your stocking from getting the threads pulled when Santa places gifts in it.

And if you would like to order your own kit, here is the link on JoAnn's site. Which kit do you think I should I get for myself for next year?

I promise you they are pretty easy. They look intimidating because they are visually intricate and they DO have a lot of parts. "Cowboy Santa" has about 82 parts and I almost fainted when I opened "In the Workshop" to find that there are 160 parts. But the directions are clear, and if you can sew a button on a shirt, you can figure them out.

And so what if they turn out a little "off" and the stitches are a little crooked? One day, your bambino will say, "My mom made that with her very own hands..."

Because it's handmade.


  1. Looks awesome! I'm working on "In the Workshop" for my niece currently and it's interesting to read about another crafter's experiences. :-)

  2. What's the tip for the threads?!