Bucilla Christmas Stocking Felt Kits

  • Making My First Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit – Cording

    A Bucilla kit construction question I often get is how to make and tack cording on to a kit. There are quite a few Bucilla kits that require cording either in the design or as hangers for ornaments.

    You make cording by twisting up the floss provided in the kit.  To do this well, you will need

    • Scotch tape
    • An ink pen with an arm on it
    • A full, 36” length of floss (all six strands)
    • A table, or other hard surface

     

    Step 1:  Knot the end of one 36” length of floss.  Tape the end with the knot to the edge of a table.

    Bucilla Stocking kits cording tutorial step 1

    Step 2:  Twist the floss tightly by turning it. I twisted it many, many, many times to make it tight.

    Bucilla Stocking kits cording tutorial step 2

    Step 3:  Holding the twisted floss taught in one hand, I hooked the arm of the pen on the floss and slid it to the middle, folding the floss in half and hold both ends of the floss together on the table.

    Bucilla Stocking kits cording tutorial step 3

    Step 4:  Keep hold of the ends and let the pen go.  The weight of the pen should twist the two halves of the floss together.

    Bucilla Stocking kits cording tutorial step 4

    Step 5:  Once the pen stops twirling, pull it out (Keep holding the two ends together).

    Step 6:  Knot the two ends of the floss together.

    Bucilla Stocking kits cording tutorial step 5

     

    Here is a video:

    [video width="960" height="540" mp4="http://www.merrystockings.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Cording.mp4"][/video]

     

    Finished cording:

    Bucilla Stocking kits cording tutorial finished photo

     

     

     

    Most kits will tell you the lengths of cording you will need.  For instance, the Over the Rooftops kit requires a 2", a 7", and a 9" length of cording. Make sure you make TWO KNOTS before cutting a length of floss or it will unravel!

    Bucilla Stocking kits cording tutorial finished photo 2

     

    Now, how do you attach this cording to your stocking?  If you want to hide the knots, I have heard of folks using a large-eyed needle (like a chenille needle) and actually threading the cording (like you would any floss) through the back of the felt and back down like you might any straight stitch. Be cautious! This large needle will make a bigger hole in your felt, so it is important to go slowly and get it right the first time. You might also be able to hide the knots between two layers of felt before stitching them down. (For instance, you could hide the knot for the beginning of the reigns on the Over the Rooftops Bucilla Christmas stocking kit kit underneath Santa's mittens).

    Once you have the cording in the place you want, use one strand of the same color floss as the cording to make some small tack stitches along the cording to hold it in place. These stitches should blend right in with the cording.

    Please add comments if you have tricks or tips on making and attaching cording. We’d love to hear from you.

    Kirsten

     

     

  • Making My First Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit – Adding a Name

    I am happy to report that I’ve finished the front of my Jolly St. Nick Bucilla felt stocking kit!  I’m so happy with the way it turned out.  

    finished-front

    I did deviate from the instructions slightly.  The instructions say to only sew the top edge of each beard layer.  I decided to sew the layers of Santa’s beard down at the bottom as well and fill them with a bit of fiber fill. That’s the great thing about these kits . . . you can alter them and make them your own if you’d like.

    The next step is to personalize my stocking by adding a name at the top.  Included in the instructions for the kit is an alphabet. The instructions say:

    “Resize the alphabet on copier if needed. Place tracing paper on enclosed alphabet and trace name, pin paper to indicated area and sew through the paper, carefully tearing paper away.”

    Tracing paper is not included in the kit, so I purchased some at a craft store. I put the tracing paper over the provided alphabet and, without resizing the alphabet, I traced the letter R.

    tracing-alphabet-1

     

     

    Then I placed this tracing paper on top of my stocking front to see how it will look.

    tracing-alphabet-2

     

    I decided that I like the size of the provide alphabet, so I’m not going to resize it on a copier.  I also decided I wanted the letters to curve a bit to mimic the edge of Santa’s hat. So, I drew a curved line to follow when I traced the rest of the letters.

    tracing-alphabet-3

     

     

    I finished tracing the letters off of the alphabet in the instructions, making sure each letter touched the ones around it, so it looked like cursive writing.

    tracing-alphabet-4

     

     

    Next I pinned the tracing paper right on to the stocking.

    tracing-alphabet-5

     

     

    The instructions provided by Bucilla do not say what type of stitch to use to embroider a name.  I’ve heard of people using the outline stitch or a stem stitch, and I think this is probably the stitch used to make the name look like the photo on the front of the kits. But I wanted something a bit thicker looking. I opted for the chain stitch using all 6 strands of embroidery floss. This gives a braided appearance.  Follow this link to my tutorial on the chain stitch (or just keep scrolling down):

    http://www.merrystockings.com/blog/making-my-first-bucilla-felt-stocking-kit-embroidery-stitches-102/2016/08/12/

    I started stitching right on top of my tracing paper.

    sewing-name-1

     

    And when I was finished, I started to carefully pull away the tracing paper.  I used a tweezers to carefully pull at some of the tiny pieces of paper stuck between stitches.

    sewing-name-2

     

    Here's the final product:

    sewing-name-3

     

    I also chose to add some more light green sequins around the name.

    finished-name

     

     

    Here is a list of some other ways I have heard our customers use to add names to their Bucilla stocking kits:

    • Take the stocking front into an embroidery shop and have it machine embroidered
    • Use cut-out felt letters and sew them on
    • Use sequins to create the name
    • My grandmother used gold cording that she tacked on to create my name

    If you know of others, please leave a comment!  I’d love to hear how you personalize your Bucilla stocking kit.

    Kirsten

     

    P.S.  I've received some requests for a tutorial on making cording and tacking it down.  Although my Jolly St. Nick kit doesn't require cording, I will tackle this in my next blog. Feel free to send me any tips (kirsten@merrystockings.com)!

  • Making My First Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit – French Knots

    Perhaps one of the embroidery stitches that I hear gives Bucilla kit makers the most trouble is French knots. I’ve now tried my hand at this knot, and they are tricky to keep consistent. But after some online research and a lot of practice, I think I’ve got it.

    The key, I think, is that a French knot is a two-hand job. I found setting the felt I’m embroidering on a table worked best for me, so I could have two free hands. Of course practice makes perfect, and I practiced many, many French knots on scraps of felt. Here are step-by-step instructions with illustrations.

     

    STEP 1: Tie a few knots at the end of the floss and pull it up through the felt at the spot you want a French knot.

    fk-step-1

     

     

    STEP 2: Hold the floss a few inches from the felt with your left hand (if you are right handed), and the needle with your right hand.

    fk-step-2

     

     

    STEP 3: Wrap the floss around the needle a couple of times (using your left hand). If you want a bigger knot, you can wrap the floss around the needle three times.

    fk-step-3

     

     

    STEP 4:  Still holding the floss with your left hand, point the needle down near the same spot you came up.

    fk-step-4

     

     

    STEP 5: While pulling the needle through the felt, keep some tension on the floss with your left hand. This helps keep the knot tight. But, if you pull too hard with your left hand, it will be difficult to get the needle through the knot. (I found keeping the right amount of tension to hold the floss is probably the hardest part of making consistent French knots.)

    fk-step-5

     

     

    STEP 6:  Keep pulling the thread down, until . . . .

    fk-step-6

     

     

    STEP 7: You have a French knot!

    fk-step-7

     

    Here’s a quick video that might be helpful as well.

    [video width="1280" height="720" mp4="http://www.merrystockings.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/French-Knot.mp4"][/video]

     

    If all else fails, some customers choose to use a bead in lieu of a French knot on a Bucilla kit.  But, if you use two hands and hold a little tension on the floss as you pull, I think you’ll get the hang of a French knot in no time.

    I am still working away on my Jolly St. Nick kit. It’s been fun watching Santa come to life!

    jolly-kit-10-13-16

     

    And, as always, if you have any tips about making French knots, please leave a comment! My next blog will tackle fringe . . . so I’d love any tips/photos you might have about sewing fringe as well.

    Kirsten

     

  • Making My First Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit – Embroidery Stitches 102

    In my last blog I talked about the embroidery stitches that are used in my Jolly St. Nick Bucilla felt applique stocking kit. They were the Straight Stitch, the Running Stitch, the Outline Stitch, and the Back Stitch.  Now, I’m going to talk about some more embroidery stitch used on Bucilla felt kits.

    In this blog, I’m going to illustrate the Satin Stitch, the Lazy Daisy Stitch, the Chain Stitch, and the Blanket Stitch.

     

    Satin Stitch

    I think of the satin stitch as sort of a “filler” stitch, because it uses many straight stitches to fill in a shape. For instance, the Melt Your Heart Bucilla felt stocking kit uses the satin stitch to create the snowman’s orange nose.

    To satin stitch, you start at one end of the shape, making straight stitches in the same direction and very close together so you do not see any felt between the stitches. You just keep creating straight stitches until the shape is filled with floss.

    Satin-Stitch

     

     

    Lazy Daisy Stitch

    The Lazy Daisy Stitch is often used to make a petal shape in Bucilla kits. It is used in the Nordic Christmas Tree Advent Calendar on the sleigh ornaments. If you search online, you can find many tutorials on making this stitch.  I am showing you only one way (which is also the beginning stitch of the chain stitch below).  I found that by making the anchor stitch that holds down the loop first, I can get a more accurate loop that covers the line printed on the felt.

    So, first create a tiny anchor stitch at the top of the petal shape. Then bring the floss up through the bottom of the petal shape, then slide your needle and floss through the anchor stitch to make a loop, bringing the stitch back down at the same point you started.

    Laisy-Daisy-Stitch

     

     

    Chain Stitch

    The Chain Stitch is making a line of Lazy Daisy Stitches that end up looking like a chain. The Sugar Plum Fairy Bucilla felt stocking kit uses a chain stitch as a white outline around the gingerbread figures. I know there are many ways to create a chain stitch, but I found this method online which works the chain stitch backwards. I think it is really easy, so I’m passing it along to you.

    Like the Lazy Daisy Stitch, begin by creating a small anchor stitch at the beginning of the line you want to embroider. Move your needle down the line and come up to start creating the petal shape stitches that make up the chain stitch. Slide your needle through your anchor stitch and bring the needle back down at the same spot you started. Next, move your needle down the line and come up to create the next petal shape stitch, trying to space the stitches evenly. For this stitch, you slide your needle through the last chain stitch you made, and bring the stitch back down where you started.

    Chain-Stitch

     

    [video width="1280" height="720" mp4="http://www.merrystockings.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Chain-Stitch.mp4"][/video]

     

     

    Blanket Stitch

    The Blanket Stitch is a decorative way to secure two pieces of felt together or to finish an edge. The stitch creates a line of floss that runs the edge of the fabric. Take a look at the Santa Bucilla Advent Calendar. This kit uses a blanket stitch along the edge of Santa’s beard and the pom-pom of Santa’s hat.

    To start a blanket stitch, bring your needle up through the top felt piece only (about a ¼ of an inch from the edge), so you can bury the knot between the two layers of felt. Loop around the edge of the felt and come up through both layers of felt (you are creating an anchor stitch). Now slide your needle through this loop, so you are starting with the floss strung through the loop. This is your anchor stitch.

    Next, bring your needle down through both layers of felt about a ¼ of an inch away and the same distance (about a ¼ of an inch) from the edge to start the next stitch.  The key to making the blanket stitch is to make sure your needle is IN FRONT of the loop you are creating when you pull the stitch tight. This creates that line of floss that runs along the edge of the felt seam. When you pull the stitch tight (but not too tight), your floss should once again be through the loop you made. Keep repeating steps 4 and 5, working to keep your stitches even. Remember to keep your needle in front of the floss loop when pulling your stitch tight.

    Blanket-Stitch

     

    [video width="1280" height="720" mp4="http://www.merrystockings.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Blanket-Stitch.mp4"][/video]

     

    I’ve been working away at my Jolly St. Nick Bucilla stocking kit. It is fun watching the design come to life. I’ve done a bit of stuffing of the pieces, and I am learning the fine art of making my applique stitches evenly spaced. The nice thing about felt applique is that the felt is very forgiving. I have made a few mistakes, but I was easily able to pull out the floss and try again.

    Blog-6-kit-progress

     

    There are still more embroidery stitches to learn! I will keep on ticking through the stitches used in Bucilla kits.

    Kirsten

     

     

  • Making My First Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit – Embroidery Stitches 101

    In my last blog I talked about attaching sequins and beads to embellish a Bucilla felt stocking kit. These kits also have you do a bit of embroidery work to create patterns, faces, outlines, and even the name you will put on the stocking to personalize it.

    In the Jolly St. Nick kit, the Color/Symbol Guide says I will use an outline stitch, a back stitch, a straight stitch, and a running stitch (as well as the applique stitch to sew felt pieces together). The Guide provides you with a symbol that tells you the stitch and color of thread you should use. It also tells you how many strands of floss to use for each stitch.

    Decoding the chart Blog 5

     

    I do not have much experience with embroidery. I imagine some of these stitches take a little patience and practice. While the Bucilla instructions do include an illustration of each stitch, I thought it might be nice to have some step-by-step instructions for creating the stitches used in Bucilla felt appliqué kits.

     

    Straight Stitch

    This is the most basic of stitches.  If you think of the line you are stitching as having lettered points, the straight stitch is just going up at point A (the beginning of the line) and down at point B (the end of the line) to create one straight stitch.

    Straight-Stitch

     

     

    Running Stitch

    A running stitch is like making a dashed line . . . leaving a space between each stitch.  In a Bucilla felt kit, the felt is actually printed with a dashed line, so you know exactly where to stop and start each stitch. Here is an illustration of the running stitch.

    Running-Stitch

     

     

    Back Stitch

    The backstitch creates a solid line using multiple stitches. If you looked closely, you would see where each stitch starts and stop. It’s called the back stitch because you work backwards, starting your first stitch a stitch’s length from the end of the line and sewing back toward the start of the line. Here’s an illustration and video of a back stitch.

    Back-Stitch

     

    [video width="1280" height="720" mp4="http://www.merrystockings.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Back-Stitch-2.mp4"][/video]

     

     

     

    Outline Stitch

    The outline stitch makes a thicker, tight line with little separation between stitches visible.

    If you think of the line you wish to outline stitch as having lettered points, you would go up at point A, down at point C, up at point B (half way between the stitch you just made), down at point D, etc. Each time you come up to start a new stitch, you push the last stitch above your needle so your working floss is always above the line you are stitching. You don’t poke your needle through the floss of your last stitch (this would be a split stitch). You start each stitch slightly below the last. Below is an illustration and a short video of the outline stitch.

    Outline-stitch

     

    [video width="1280" height="720" mp4="http://www.merrystockings.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Outline-Stitch-2.mp4"][/video]

     

    These are the four embroidery stitches used in the Jolly St. Nick Bucilla stocking kit.  If you want more examples of how to do these stitches, just search the web. There are many, many embroidery tutorials available online.

    I am slowly working on my kit (I took a bit of a break to learn embroidery stitches!).  Here’s a picture of my kit in its current state. I used the straight stitch with light green floss on the lower half of the white border, and the running stitch with darker green floss on the top half.

    Jolly-June-22

     

    In my next blog, I will illustrate more embroidery stitches that different Bucilla kits use (like the chain stitch and a French knot). As always, any tips and tricks you give me are appreciated!

    Kirsten

     

     

  • Making My First Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit – Ironing, Cutting, and Adding Sequins

    Now that I have all of my kit components organized, I can finally start putting the Bucilla Jolly St. Nick stocking kit together.

    While I know those of you who have put together many of these stocking kits have some nifty, time-saving tricks (like embellishing the felt before you cut out the pieces), I have decided to follow the instructions as they are printed. I want to see how it goes. But I am going to iron my felt (which is not talked about in the instructions).

      

    Ironing

    The felt comes all folded up in the packaging, so when you unfold it, there can be some pretty deep creases in the felt.  To get rid of these, you can iron your felt very carefully.

    WARNING: the felt in the Bucilla kits can melt if heated too high.  I chose to iron my felt using a Teflon ironing sheet.  You can also iron the back side of the felt on a very low setting (do not iron on the printed side directly).

    Ironing before and after

     

    Cutting

    If you read the kit instructions, you will quickly learn that Bucilla recommends cutting out only the piece(s) you are working on.  They say “DO NOT cut out all the pieces at once.”  I imagine this is for two reasons; 1) it would be very hard to keep track of all the tiny pieces of felt, and 2) the pieces are all numbered, but the number is printed outside of the piece:

    Felt piece number

    You can see the piece above is number 39.  If I were to cut it out, I would have no idea what number this piece is . . . and the numbers will be important when using the instruction’s Design Chart to figure out where to put this piece on the stocking.

    The instructions for the Jolly St. Nick kit are surprisingly short. The first step is to sequin the stocking front (piece #1).  So, I have to cut out piece #1. I bought a brand-new, medium-sized, sharp scissors, and I took my time. I’ve cut just inside the white line because I do not want any of the white ink to show on my final stocking (you can see the white line from piece #1 on the left side of the felt picture above).

    Piece 1

     

     

    Adding Sequins

    There are a few things that are consistent with all Bucilla felt stocking kits when embellishing with sequins:

    • All sequins are secured to the felt using a bead.
    • Most sequin colors use a clear bead to secure the sequin down. The exceptions to this rule are: Red sequins use a red bead, and black sequins use a black bead.
    • Use the beading needle (the needle with the very small eye) to attach the sequin and bead.
    • To secure the sequin and bead, use one strand of floss that matches the sequin color. Knot the end of the floss with three or more knots (so it doesn’t pull all the way through the felt).
    • The spots to secure sequins are marked on the felt with a dot.

     

    sequin marker

     

    The next question is how do I know what color sequin to put on these dots?  The instructions include a Design Chart that shows you a symbol for the color of sequin you should use. The instructions say, “Only a few sequins are shown on the Design Chart. Continue to attach sequins of the same color to each applique.”

    The Design Chart shows a club symbol near the number 1 (piece 1, the front of the stocking), and when I refer to the Color/Symbol Guide, it tells me that the club symbol is for light green sequins. I also double-checked the photograph of the finished stocking that comes with every kit, just to make sure I’m reading the charts correctly.

    What sequin to use

     

    So I will use a light green sequin on all the white dots on piece #1 (the front piece of the stocking).

    To fasten a sequin to the felt, you

    1. Come up through the bottom of the felt, right at the dot marker
    2. String a sequin and then a bead through the needle
    3. Bring your needle back down through the sequin hole, but not the bead hole
    4. Voila! On to the next one!

    Beading Instructions 2

     

    I have to tell you, attaching the sequins to the felt is a bit addicting. I did run into one question that isn’t answered by the instructions in the kit. Do you tie a knot under each sequin and start again at a new spot? Or do you just go from one spot to the next without cutting the floss.  I decided on the latter if there were sequin markers near one another.  I think the felt is thick enough that my floss colors won’t show through, and I think I will line the back of my stocking front, so the extra thread won’t get snagged.

    Also, it's okay to break the rules a little! Adding different sequins and beads is an easy way to make these kits your own. I’ve talked to many Bucilla felt kit makers who add their own beads or different size sequins to their kit’s design. Check out Michelle W.’s “bead hoard” (as she calls it!).  It would be so much fun to pick a sequin or bead from this container!

    Michelle W. Bead Hoard

     

    Here is a photo that Donna Z. sent of the finished Bucilla Believe Wall Hanging Kit by Mary Engelbreit. I can see that Donna added some extra crystal beads in Santa’s coat, on the candies, on the wreath, etc. Beautiful!

    Donna Z. Believe

     

     

    Here is my Jolly St. Nick felt kit . . . step one complete!

    End of Blog 4

     

     

    Thanks to Michelle W. and Donna Z. for your pictures. I look forward to watching my Jolly St. Nick kit come to life as I move forward. Please feel free to add comments (or e-mail me at kirsten@merrystockings.com) with your questions or advice. I’d love to hear from you.

    Kirsten

     

  • Making My First Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit – Organizing Components

    I want to thank all of the MerryStockings customers who have given me advice on organizing Bucilla felt kit materials. Many of you have been sewing Bucilla kits for years, and it is fun to hear what works for you and makes creating these beautiful stockings a bit easier.

    I will try to sum up what I have heard over the last couple of weeks below. Of course everyone works differently, but one thing is certain . . . organizing materials well can make the job go much faster.

     

    Embroidery Floss

    Each Bucilla felt appliqué kit comes with embroidery floss.

    Thread-with-watermark

     

    As you can see, it is a big ball of floss. The Jolly St. Nick kit instructions say to separate the floss by color. Some colors (like the light blue and white) are very close in hue, so it will be important to keep the floss organized. I used the Color/Symbol Guide in the instructions to know what colors are included in the kit (in my previous blog post I included an illustration of the Color/Symbol).

    It turns out, most craft stores offer many products to organize floss, from cardboard or plastic bobbins that you wind floss around and store in a plastic case, to plastic or cardboard floss separators that you thread your floss through and write the symbol or code near each color.

    But, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to organize the floss by color. Peggy C. says “Take a piece of sturdy cardboard and make slits about every ½ inch about ½ inch deep on one side and put each color in a slot. Keeps every thing from tangling.”

    Mary Lee B. recommends using a small white small paper plate. She punches holes in plate, threads the floss through and writes the color/code above it. An inexpensive way to have floss handy and easy to work with.

    For now, I’ve just loosely wound the floss by color and zipped them up in small, snack-size plastic bags.

    Floss-in-Baggies

     

    Most agree that rethreading a needle every time you need to use a new thread color takes too much time and effort. Everyone I spoke with or heard from strongly suggested that I buy some extra embroidery needles so I can have each color threaded while I work.

    Wendy R. uses a piece of extra felt maybe 6” long by 1” wide that she cuts from the kit (there is usually some extra on the piece of felt containing the back of the stocking). She uses that to hold her threaded needles while she works.

    Bonnie D. says “First I separate all the floss into colors and wrap them around 3 fingers loosely and put them on a paper plate (dinner size). As you use a color you take one of the strands and separate it out for the strands you need (1 for beading or 2 or 3 for embroidery) and wrap it around 2 fingers and place it inside the hole of the first strands. Then your colors are always together.

    I purchased extra needles with eyes for beading and embroidery. Use a pin cushion to keep them on hand. I always have one of each color threaded on the needles. You are always changing colors of thread and some of the needles are hard to thread, therefore you don't want to be taking out the thread every time you need to change colors. You may want to purchase needle threaders for this task.”

    I agree that the needles for beading have especially tiny eyes, and a needle threader will be a necessity for me. I had a couple at home, so I included one in my supplies.

    Needle_Threader

     

    I found this magnetic Needleholder Card at the craft store for around $3.00.  It holds the threaded needle on a magnet, has slits to secure the thread, and has a place to label each color. I’m going to give it a try. It seemed like a good idea for me because I will be toting this project from MerryStockings to home and back.

    Needle-Holder-Card

     

    Susan H. says it goes much quicker if you have multiple needles threaded at a time. The thread tangles easily. She reminded me to be patient and not hurry the process of unwinding to get a single strand. Susan was also kind enough to send me some pictures of her work area (near her T.V.).  I’ve heard from many MerryStockings customers that these kits are a nice project to do while watching T.V.

    Susan-H-Work-Space

     

    Sequins and Beads

    There are also a number of ways to sort and store the kit’s beads and sequins. The instructions in the kit say to use separate paper plates to organize each sequin color. A pill organizer or empty TicTac containers work too.  My craft store had a least a dozen options for organizing beads. I wanted something mobile, so I opted for a bead organizer with separate compartments and lids (sort of looks like a pill holder, doesn’t it!)

    Bead-organizer

     

    Donna Z. and Wendy R. both told me it is easier to work with the beads and sequins on a plate or in small glass bowls when trying string a sequin or bead onto the beading needle. I see that Susan H.’s bead container allows for her to unscrew each bin, so the lids are not in the way when trying to string the sequins. Perhaps I will find that I need to put a few sequins or beads on a plate (or glass small bowl) once I start embellishing my felt pieces.

    I might also find I want to thread extra beading needles (which I found at my local craft store in the beading section) with the floss colors and store on my needle holder card as well.

     

    So, here’s my organized Bucilla kit components so far . . . ready to go.  I’m sure as I begin working I’ll find what does and does not work for me . . . I’ll let you know!

    Organized-kit

     

    Thanks again to Susan, Bonnie, Wendy, Peggy, Hillary, Donna, and Mary Lee for your advice. It has been fun to hear how others work, and I’d love to hear more tips. Feel free to post comments below to share how you organize your kit materials or ask a question.

     

    Kirsten

  • Making My First Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit – What Comes with a Kit?

    I have decided to try my hand at putting together the Jolly St. Nick Bucilla felt Christmas stocking kit. Today I am going to open up the kit and show you what a Bucilla kit looks like.

    Jolly w watermark

     

    Step 2 – Opening kit and verifying contents

    Every Bucilla felt Christmas stocking kit comes with pre-stamped felt pieces (which means that the patterns are already printed right on the felt, so it is just a matter of cutting on the lines to get the felt shapes I’ll need to finish the kit), cotton embroidery floss, sequins and beads, 2 needles, and the instruction sheets.

    Contents with watermark

     

    The first thing I’m going to do is open up the instruction sheet to make sure that the kit includes everything I need to finish it. I would hate to be chugging along and find I’m missing a sequin or floss color. I’m using the Color/Symbol Guide in the instructions as my reference to check that everything is included. (You can click on the image below to see a larger version.)

    Color Symbol Guide

     

    I can see that this kit is asking for red, pink, green, light peach, black, white, light green, and light blue cotton floss. Some of these colors are repeated because you will use them for different embroidery stitches (the symbols in the left column are the different stitches). I have all of these colors.

    Thread w watermark

     

    I also see I will need light green, red, and white sequins for this kit. It also shows I will need clear and red beads. The kit also comes with two needles, one with a smaller eye for beading and one with a larger eye for embroidery.

    Beads and sequins with watermark 2

     

    I chose this kit as my first kit to construct because it looked to have fewer pieces than some of the other Bucilla designs, and, indeed, this kit only requires six felt colors: white, pink, peach, black, green, and red.

    Felt w watermark

     

    The kits do not come with polyester fiber, which is recommended to stuff some of the pieces to create that wonderful 3-D look that Bucilla felt applique stocking kits are known for. I believe I have some of this at home, and will bring it in.

    One spectacular thing about MerryStockings.com, is that we do have some extra Bucilla kit supplies on hand here if you need clear beads, thread, sequins, etc. to finish your kit. If we have the component on hand, we are happy to send it to our customers!

    For now, I’ve zipped up everything in a plastic bag. I’ve kept the color photo of the finished kit that comes with package to use as a reference when I am constructing the kit. I know organization is going to be key for me to get this stocking kit completed . . . I don’t want to lose any pieces, and I also know well-organized materials will make the job quicker.

    Jolly in ziplock w watermark

     

    I’d like to devote the next few blog posts to how people organize their felt stocking kit supplies like beads, sequins, and floss. If you would like to share tips or photos of how you organize your kit supplies, please send them to me at kirsten@merrystockings.com.

    Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kirsten

  • Making My First Bucilla Felt Stocking Kit – Choosing a Kit

    Last year MerryStockings.com sold thousands of felt applique Christmas kits to our customers. This means there are many, many people out there who enjoy creating these wonderful, heirloom stockings for the people they love.

    My grandmother was one such person. Over 40 years ago she made me the stocking below, which has been stuffed full of surprises from Santa for many, many years. In fact, we often traveled for Christmas when I was little, and we never worried about Santa finding us because our stockings always went with us and were hung wherever we were on Christmas Eve. So my snowman stocking has traveled a lot, too! Every time I pull it out at Christmas, it reminds me of some wonderful memories, and it reminds me of my grandma and all of the special things she did for me.

    Kirsten Stocking

    Now that I have worked at MerryStockings (perhaps I have spoken to you on the phone a time or two), I feel it is my turn to learn the craft of creating these beautiful stockings. And, so, I am going to try my hand at creating a felt stocking over the course of the next few months. With each step in the process, I will create a new blog post in the hopes of creating a place where people can share their tips and post questions about creating felt stocking kits. I’m excited to hear from you all . . . I’m sure I will learn from you and I hope you can learn something too!

     

    Step 1 – Picking a stocking kit!

    How do you ever decide which stocking kit to make! There are so many designs in our catalog and on our website that it is hard for me to choose. I know some people enjoy thinking about the person they are making the kit for, and selecting a Christmas stocking kit that fits the recipient’s personality. We have sports themed kits, and princess and fairy kits. We have cute snowman and deer families, and more traditional Christmas designs that feature Santa. There are even some more whimsical designs like the Santa Gnome and Snow Garden. I have had the chance to see the kits as they come in to MerryStockings, and I get to see many of the pictures of the completed kits that our customers send to us. There are just too many good choices!

    Since this is my first try at constructing a felt stocking kit, I think I will pick a design with fewer details. I’m not sure who might receive the finished kit, so I’d like a more traditional theme. One of our customers recommended that I try either the Jolly St. Nick (BC10-414) or the Jack Frost (BC10-412) kits because they are good beginner kits. I’ve also heard that the Snowman with Lights (BC10-301) and the Gingerbread House (BC10-302) are fun kits to start out on.

    MerryStockings also carries a line of 16” Bucilla felt stocking kits (BC10-306 through BC10-317). These kits are smaller than the traditional 18” Bucilla stocking kits, and were designed to be a bit quicker to finish.

    All that said, I think I am going to take our customer’s advice and try the Jolly St. Nick Bucilla stocking kit. I like the rosy-cheeked, friendly Santa design and it seems to have bigger pieces on it (and not too much in the way of stuffing, I think).

    Jolly St. Nick

     

    I'm excited to start!  I know that some of you have been making these kits for over 40 years . . . I would love to hear about the first kit, or a favorite kit you've made!

    Kirsten
    MerryStockings.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Christmas on the Farm

    farmlandThis past week I took a road trip to western Michigan. My husband was sent there on business, and since I had time off work I decided to join him for a few days. One thing I have always loved about road trips is riding through the country, seeing the roots of American life played out on farms everywhere. In our modern society where we think of beef wrapped in plastic from the meat counter, there is something charmingly primitive about seeing cows grazing on the hillside with the silo and barn as the backdrop.

    It is with this nostalgia that I present to you a brand new Bucilla stocking that we here at Merry Stockings designed ourselves! Bucilla is still doing the manufacturing of course, but we are so excited to offer to you this limited release, completely exclusive felt stocking kit with pure American love in our hearts.

    Christmas on the farmIn this unique and fun felt applique stocking, Santa is clearly working the family farm on his personalized tractor.  In true Christmas style, a green wreath with a cute red bow lights the way, and everyone'll know it's him by his license plate! And, we just couldn't leave out the silo, the barn and all the other adorable details! You can even modify some parts, like the license plate with the person's name. If you are a John Deere loyal fan, replace the tractor color with green, too!

    This stocking is perfect for those who love the farm life.....or anyone else (ahmmmm, me!) for that matter. You can order it, of course, from the Merry Stockings website, and this exclusive stocking kit will begin shipping September 10.

     

     

    Photo courtesy

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