obama2What an absolutely and utterly amazing day. The people, the majesty, the TV and Web coverage, the history, the swearing in, the speech, the man. Tears, laughter, cheers, gratitude, hope, and pride are among my personal experiences of this day.

The only other inauguration I remember was Reagan’s. I was in 8th grade at St. Agnes School, and they actually wheeled in a TV so that we could watch not only Reagan’s inauguration, but the release of the Iranian hostages. As a lifelong Democrat, you’d think I would have memories of Clinton, but no. I don’t even remember where I was or what I did just four years ago, when Bush claimed his second term.

So in honor of this great day, I offer the Inauguration Stocking, a creative way to preserve the moment and create an heirloom gift for your favorite Obama supporter.

Steps Involved in Making Your Own Inauguration Stocking

You will create this stocking by finding a photo you like and using an iron-on transfer to place the image on a suitable cotton-based fabric. Iron-ons take some work to do well, but they’re easier than you might think. I will do my best to give you step-by-step instructions, including a materials list.

Materials List

  • An inkjet printer compatible for use with iron-on transfers
  • Regular paper for printing previews of your design
  • Iron-on transfers, which you can purchase either at the fabric/crafts store or at most office supply stores
  • Iron – on the cotton setting without steam
  • Fabric or pre-made stocking to decorate – it should be at leas5 50 percent cotton (I generally use muslin or old bedsheets for my photo transfer stockings)
  • An swatch of the same material to test the image-fastness


  1. The first thing you need to do is find the picture you want to use. Lord knows that by the end of the day, you will have loads to choose from. MSNBC always has a great photo collage of these events, as does Huffington Post.
  2. Print a preview of your design on regular paper. It should look exactly the way you want it to appear on the stocking. If you’d like words on the stocking, make sure to include those with the image. Adjust and print previews on regular paper until you are satisfied with the appearance of your design.
  3. NOTE: You will be using a MIRROR IMAGE to iron onto your fabric/stocking, so the image must be flipped when you print it. Follow your printer directions to flip or “reverse” the image. If you’re not sure whether your image needs reversing, look at it in the mirror. If it looks backwards, you should flip the design. (This is an especially important test if your iron-on includes text.)
  4. Print your design onto iron-on transfer paper. You’ll want to print two if you plan to do a test version first.
  5. Carefully cut out your design, leaving about a one-quarter-inch border.
  6. Set your iron to the “cotton” or hottest setting, and turn off the steam.
  7. Test your design by ironing it onto a sample piece of material.
  8. As an alternative to an ironing board, a low, flat surface like a workbench might allow you to press harder when you iron.
  9. Following the directions for how long to apply pressure, iron your design onto your fabric or stocking.
  10. Allow the design to cool and peel the paper backing from the iron-on transfer.

NOTE: You will likely want to clip and save the instructions for cleaning the material with your iron-on transfer.

Next Steps

If you have used a pre-made stocking, you can choose to embellish it with jewels, baubles, or fabric paint. If you are making your own stocking from scratch, you’ll next need to choose a pattern for the stocking that best suits your image. Then, you will follow Laura’s special abridged stocking creation instructions: