One of the best things about gift-giving is finding the perfect gift for that special someone. You probably have people in your life like my niece, Samantha. She starts counting off the days before her birthday a good two months out – and we all receive an itemized Christmas wish list well ahead of Black Friday. Then there are others, like my dad, who was one of the most difficult people on the planet to find gifts for. I was going to say “shop for,” but I usually wound up making his gifts, all of which he appreciated much more than he ever would have most store-bought gifts.

Customized gifts are probably the best way to show someone you really care, and a Christmas stocking is a great thing to customize. They make delightful gifts, even for the person who has “everything.”

What’s the best way to customize a Christmas stocking? The better you know the recipient, the easier this will be. Start by making a list of his/her favorite things:

  • hobbies
  • movies
  • food
  • music
  • sports teams

Then think of the other details you know about them:

  • career
  • family
  • hometown
  • ethnic origin
  • politics
  • religion
  • school/alma mater

Something should shake out from this list to give you an idea or a place to start.

A few examples of personalized stockings I’ve made include:

A stocking for a friend’s world-traveler mom. I found stencils of various modes of transportation and cut fabric which I then appliqued to a denim stocking.

transportation stencilsA stocking for an actor friend. I created appliques of the masks of comedy and tragedy out of red courderoy, which I laid over a white faux fur stocking.


That same actor friend had me customize a stocking for a Frank Sinatra fan, which was great fun to make. We found pictures of LP records, blue eyes, a hat and cane, and some of Sinatra’s  most famous song titles, which we then made into iron-on transfers and affixed to tea-stained muslin.


Some of the most fun stockings I’ve created have been for dog lovers…and sometimes even the dogs themselves.


Of course, I’ve also done stockings for all kinds of sports fans, from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Indianapolis Colts. Creating a customized Christmas stocking for that someone special should be a fun experience that gets your creative juices flooding. If you’re stuck and you need help with ideas, or you’d like me to customize and personalize a stocking for you, please e-mail me at I’ll help you brainstorm or I’ll craft the perfect stocking that will have your loved one oohing and ahing till New Year’s. Why give another boring box of chocolate or Best Buy gift certificate, when you can give a gift that will be cherished as an heirloom for years to come?