Personalised Christmas stockings are a great way to add a touch of uniqueness and charm to your festive decorations. Whether you want to surprise your family, friends – or even your pets! – you can find a variety of designs and styles to suit your preferences.
You can also customise them with names, messages, or dates to make them extra special.
Here, the Christmas.co.uk team explore some of the benefits of personalised Christmas stockings, as well as some of the best places to buy them online in the UK.
Why do we hang stockings at Christmas?
The story of Father Christmas began hundreds of years ago in Greece with a kind-hearted Christian bishop who constantly sought ways to help his community. He often left gifts of money and goods for those in need.
The bishop was much loved, and he became famous for his kindness and generosity. Upon his death, he was canonised as Saint Nicholas.
One of the most popular stories was that he was inspired to support a widower who was struggling to pay for the dowries of his three daughters. To stop these women from ending up destitute, the bishop left three bags of gold in the family’s home and one of them fell into a stocking that was drying by the fire.
This heart-warming story was the origin of the tradition of children leaving stockings hanging by the fireplace on the 19th December, St Nicholas’ Saints Day, in the hope of receiving gifts. In the 1800’s as Christmas began to be celebrated in earnest, the custom moved to Christmas Eve.
How to choose personalised Christmas stockings
There are many options available when it comes to personalised Christmas stockings. You can find them in different colours, sizes, shapes, materials and designs. Some of the most popular themes are:
You can also opt for more traditional or elegant styles, and fabrics such as tartan, hessian, knitted, or velvet.
The most important thing is to choose a stocking that suits your personal taste and matches your Christmas decor. You can also consider the preferences of the person who will receive the stocking as a gift. For example, if they love animals, you can choose a stocking with their favourite animal on it.
It’s also worth noting the size of your stocking. While many of us will want an enormous stocking packed with goodies, the decorative types – which are around 45cm in length – won’t hold a lot but look great hanging from a mantlepiece. If you want to impress, then a stocking length of at least one metre will hold plenty of presents – though you may struggle to get it to hang from a mantelpiece!
Once you have chosen your stocking, you can personalise it with any name or message you want. You can either embroider it yourself or order it from a website that offers customisation services. Some websites even allow you to add photos or logos to your stocking.
Personalising your stocking will make it more unique and meaningful for you and your loved ones.
How to sew a simple Christmas stocking by Debbie Shore
Along with buying a Christmas stocking, or ordering a personalised version, it’s also easy to make an impressive stocking.
Here, Debbie Shore uses odds and ends of fabrics to create some eye-catching stockings!
As Debbie says, this is a great way to save money over Christmas and for many families, it’s also an opportunity to start a wonderful tradition.
That’s because the stocking you make now and personalise can be used for years afterwards.
The design here is straightforward and even if you aren’t a dab hand at crafts, it is worth considering.
Where can I buy personalised Christmas stockings?
Personalised Christmas stockings are a great way to make sure Santa doesn’t get the gifts mixed up, after all, he has a lot to organise on Christmas Eve!
For a fantastic range of festive decorating ideas, including personalised Christmas stockings, head to homeware retailer Dibor.
There’s one for every member of the family and designs to will fit all decorating themes. Personalisation is free too – we love the personalised stocking from Dibor.
They have super cute baby pink and baby blue velvet stockings that would be perfect for little ones, traditional tartan stockings bedecked with embroidered holly and brightly coloured stockings with snowmen and reindeer designs.
Alternatively, look at these gorgeous needlepoint Christmas stockings from online retailer Land’s End, there are lots of traditional designs, from the toy soldier in the Nutcracker to dogs basking in front of a festive fireplace. They are great value, and you can add an initial or name for just £3.50.
How do you personalise a Christmas stocking?
To make a Christmas stocking unique, you can personalise the outside with initials or a name, or you can fill it with thoughtful gifts that how well you know them and how much you care.
For us, the easiest way to offer a personalised Christmas stocking is to buy one with the recipient’s first letter of their name. That might restrict the number of styles you can opt for, but it does simplify the process for everyone to engage with a lovely festive tradition.
Many people’s Christmas décor has a style or colour theme, be it rustic, Nordic, traditional or glitter and bling; look for a range of stocking designs that match but are all slightly different so that each member of the family knows which stocking is theirs.
Lots of online retailers sell Christmas stockings that can be personalised with a name, either for free or for a small charge. Dunelm (Pictured, left) has a lovely affordable selection and they also sell matching Santa sacks for bigger presents.
If you have already found the perfect Christmas stocking, but want to add names, what about cute sew or iron on embroidered Christmas stocking labels from Etsy UK or heart-shaped name tags which are a snip at £3 from NotOnTheHighStreet.
How to make a personalised Christmas stocking
If you have a big family, or want everyone’s stocking to ‘match’, adding a name to a stocking is an excellent way to keep presents organised, especially when it all goes crazy on Christmas morning.
Children are especially delighted by having their names on things, it makes them feel special and seeing their stockings hanging up throughout December will add to their excitement.
Enjoying an afternoon of activities is a brilliant way to be mindful and destress, so and making a DIY personalised Christmas stocking is a wonderfully festive project. The children will also love getting involved.
A plain linen stocking – £1 from Hobbycraft – the possibilities are endless! Sew tartan ribbon to the cuff, use fabric paints to create a festive masterpiece or iron on seasonally themed patches. On its own, with a simple name in black calligraphy, this stocking will also look perfect in a rustic country kitchen.
If you already have some skill in craft and would consider selling your handiwork, for charity or as a side hustle, there are lots of videos on YouTube that will inspire and instruct.
If you’re more of a beginner but love a challenge, this Hobbycraft step-by-step guide will help you to create a Cricut Personalised Christmas Stocking. The firm makes it easy with excellent instructions – and we think this would be a great crafting exercise for children.
You can also colour your own Christmas stocking – £2 from The Works and pictured above – is made from sturdy canvas with printed characters for inspiration, you also get a set of bright felt tip pens. As it’s made from recycled plastic it is sustainable too. This is a great buy for younger children who aren’t quite ready to take on more complex craft projects. We think this is a well-priced offering and is great fun for children (of all ages!).
Great personalised Christmas stocking gifts
Choosing thoughtful gifts is one of the best ways to really personalise a Christmas stocking. You don’t have to spend lots, for most families, stocking gifts are fun little extras.
Personalised Love Heart Sweets – from £1.49 from Swizzles – pop these in each family member’s stocking and then use them as place settings for Christmas dinner. The perfect gift for loved ones who enjoy a sweet treat.
Customise your cable chargers with a Colourful Clip On Name Tag – £9.99 from Amazon – practical and fun, this is an awesome way to stop arguments over phone chargers, especially if you have lots of gadgets. Teenagers will love this quirky stocking filler.
Personalised Face Socks – from £12.49 from Keep It Personal – it’s not Christmas without the gift of socks!
Personalised Photo Drinks Coaster – £5.95 from Not Another Bunch of Flowers – create a practical gift from a precious memory with one of these sturdy coasters. They can take it to the office for morning coffee or by the bedside for chamomile tea.
Filling Childrens’ Stockings AKA Christmas Is For Children (1950)
While Christmas is a time for families and sharing great gifts, you don’t have to go too far back in time to find that children were happy to receive a stocking from Santa with anything in it.
This is a great film from British Pathé that was filmed in 1950 and shows youngsters waking up to their stockings.
At the time, Britain still struggled with rationing in the post-war years and shows some of the presents that children might have been interested in.
Along with dolls and cuddly bears, the children look pleased with their gifts.
And, after going back to sleep, their parents Christmas crackers and sweets to their children’s stockings.
There’s even a sparsely decorated Christmas tree in the children’s bedroom to reflect on the lack of goods around at the time.
Compared with today’s festive gift-giving, the film is reflective of its time – and many children will not have had as many gifts as the youngsters featured here.