Artful Advice

How to Tie-Dye Your Christmas Stocking

Cue the colour-crazy, festive fun!

Words & Images


The way we see it, stockings don’t have to be red. We love a strong shade of merry berry as much as Santa himself. But this year we’ll be stuffing those trusty festive socks with an assortment of technicolour surprises, which has got us dreaming about stockings that are just as lively on the outside as they are on the inside. A cosy, tie-dyed treasure trove of treats, if you will.
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How to bring one of these swirling, colour-stained yuletide accessories into your life? Follow these steps and brace yourself for the most fun pressie-unwrapping session you’ve ever had...

An easy tie-dye kit (you can find these online or in craft stores)
A plain cotton stocking (source online or locally, or if you’re handy with a needle and thread you can make your own)
Protective gloves & table cloth

1. Prep your work surface
Cover your kitchen table or a large desk with a protective tablecloth and a layer of paper towels.

2. Pre-wash your stocking
Pre-wash your stocking in water without detergent to prep the fabric and remove any stiffness. If you want to use the wet-dye method (this means colours will bleed into each other, resulting in a more ombré look), then move ahead with the next step. For the dry-dye method, (changes in colours will be more crisp), allow your stocking to completely dry out before proceeding.

Tip: Not sure which method you want? Experiment with scraps of fabric to find out which technique you prefer.

3. Mix your dyes
Put on some protective gloves and add water to your dye bottles, filling up to the line. (Add more water when you want to create a lighter shade of colour.) Secure the cap and shake until your dye is dissolved.

4. Choose a pattern & apply your dyes
Pick a pattern below then fold/scrunch your fabric accordingly before applying each dye with a squiggle motion, turning over your stocking to colour both sides.

The different patterns
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Pinch your stocking at the point where you want the centre of your bullseye to be. Then tightly wrap staggered rubber bands around the fabric to make a tube-like shape.

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Evenly fold your stocking to create a concertinaed effect and secure with rubber bands.

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Pull tufts of fabric and bind with rubber bands. Apply your first dye colour to the top of the tufts and your second colour to the rest of the stocking.

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Scrunch your stocking using both hands, then loosely tie it all together with rubber bands.

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Pinch and twirl your fabric at the point where you’d like the centre to be. Keep twirling until it gathers into spiral then wrap with rubber bands.

Wrap, set & rinse
Cover your dyed stocking with cling film to keep it damp and leave it to set for 6-8 hours. Cut away the rubber bands and rinse well with water so the excess dye is removed. Pop it in the washing machine on a hot water setting with a small amount of detergent and leave to dry. Finally, enjoy your thoroughly colourful creation to yourself or gift it to a friend!

See how our tie-dye stockings turned out in our Technicolour Christmas story...