Army Christmas Stockings

Thank you to those who “liked” my new etsy shop on Facebook.  With my one product.  Most of my stockings are sold because of word of mouth. 

It’s that time of year again.  People start doing searches for “Army Christmas stocking” or” ACU Christmas stocking” and my post from 2006 comes up, eventually.  And people send me emails asking if I’m still making them.

Yes.  As a matter of fact, I am

And I took some newer photos, which I will now post.

I have two sizes.  The smaller ones are about 6″ x 11.5″ and the larger ones are about 7″ x 13″.

The small ones are an old style, but the fabric was already cut out.  When it’s gone, it’s gone.  They are $15 each.  The larger ones are $23 each if you contact me via email.  They are more via etsy.  It’s the cost of business.

The loop is 550 cord.  The loop will hold 550 lbs.  My stitches will not.  I do quadruple stitch the loop in place, but I wouldn’t bet on the tensile strength.  The 550 cord is a cool touch.  You won’t find other ACU Army Christmas stockings with 550 cord loops.  Just mine.  I do think the quadruple stitching will hold most stockings stuffers, though.

I can make the stockings hang to the right or to the left, although the small ones are already stitched, so you have to accept my limited supplies.  I’m stitching the larger ones this month, and I do not think I will order more fabric this season, so if you have a strong preference, order soon or pray that I have want you want.

There are two pieces of velcro on the stockings.  One is perfect for the name tape and the other is the right size for unit patches.  I do not include name tapes and patches, unless you want REITEMEYER on your stocking.  If you are sending this to a soldier overseas and do not have access to name tapes and unit patches, don’t fret.  Soldiers usually have extras, or they go and get their name in Pashtu to decorate their Army Christmas stocking.

Leave a comment or email me if you are interested.

Camo Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 

Because the colors of Christmas are the greens and tans of camouflage…right?

My dining room table is my work space.

White fluff is…messy.

Really messy.  That fluffy haze gets everywhere.  Twice
I’ve made the mistake of wearing a black shirt while working.

I can hang ’em right or left.

And once again, I am pondering the wisdom of having a seasonal business that is busiest at the busiest time of year.  And once again, I am vowing to spend my summer sewing.

"Action" Shot

Folks, you just won’t see this everywhere. This here is a real live action shot of one of my homemade Army ACU Christmas stockings being used as decoration in Afghanistan.

No fooling. That there is a real Army issue cheap-o press board wardrobe in a real Army barracks somewhere that routinely gets mortared, but I’m not to worry about that because very rarely does anybody get hurt. Right.

(Sorry, today my husband did not give me a warm fuzzy happy safe feeling about his deployment.)

I have already sold one of these high-speed stockings and have a limited supply available for anyone with a loved one serving in the Army (sorry, other branches do not use this pattern and may take offense if you give them an Army uniform stocking).

The fabric is a rip-stop ACU pattern, just like the current Army uniform, and the loop for hanging is made from matching 550 (parachute) cord. White fluff at the top adds just the right Christmas spirit (current stock has white felt – same effect).

There are two pieces of gray Velcro on the stocking: one is large enough to hold the standard Army name tape, and the other is perfect for a unit patch. The patches shown here (not included) show “Reitemeyer” written in Dari (remember to read right to left) and the Afghani “Commando” unit patch. The Afghani Commandos are Afghani, not American, and yet “Commando” is written in English, not Dari. This is further proof that the stocking is in a real live action shot because other photos I have show official name tapes and official patches not the fun things soldiers pick up while on duty in foreign lands.

These stockings make the perfect gift for a deployed soldier. They are generously sized to fit the usual stocking stuffers. They also make a great office decoration for those soldiers on domestic duties who have offices or cubicles or lockers. I guarantee admiring and jealous comments from fellow soldiers. And if you like to give a bottle of wine/champagne as a Christmas/New Year’s gift to your favorite soldier, I just tested a stocking with a bottle of Liebfraumilch and it makes a perfect gift cover.

The stockings are $20 each plus $5 S&H for up to two stockings. Email me if you are interested. I accept Paypal. I will try my best to get them mailed quickly.

All proceeds will directly benefit the family of a deployed soldier (that would be mine).

Army ACU Stockings

It’s that time of year again. People are googling “Army Stockings” and “ACU Stockings,” and my blog comes up near the top of the search.

I actually have a stock of these (maybe 20) that I can ship out, and I do have some cut up and ready to be stitched…in my free time…

This is pretty much what they look like (patches, teddy bear and candy cane not included). I do hope to post some new pictures soon (I think the new ones are bigger), but wanted to get this post up for those women out there looking to send something to their deployed sweethearts (who else would be looking in October for Christmas stockings?).

Price: $20 each plus S&H. I have to see how many will fit in a box before I calculate postage. I will take Paypal from anyone or a personal check from someone I know.

Email me (link on the top right under my header) if you are interested.

Opinions, please

Apparently, I have too much free time. And I have too much remnant fabric.

I’m working on a bunch of these to go to my sister’s husband and his troop in Iraq. No, I’m not taking orders for any others. I really don’t think I can do them this year, mainly because I offered to give any extras I make to my sister’s FRG to use as a fundraiser.

I want to use the remnant fabric to make some cute little stocking ornaments. Here is my prototype. I thought I would use a glitter gel pen to write “2008” on the cuff.

So, what do you think I should sell them for? Originally, I had thought $5. Now, looking at it, I think $3. If you saw them at a little kiosk and thought, “Hey, that’s cute. I’d love to hang that on my tree. I wonder how much it is,” what price would make you consider it, and at what point do you walk away?

And, you military wives out there, any suggestions for making it fancier? I could cut out tiny little velcro patches, but that would be tedious and nothing would fit on there anyway. A soldier could always pin his rank on there. Well, up to a one-star could. Two stars would be too big.

The Stockings

The final product

Army Christmas Stocking

ACU camouflage pattern

$20 plus shipping and handling

This is what it looks like with the US ARMY tape on the top velcro and a unit patch on the bottom velcro. Those are not included.

This is what it looks like with “stuff” in it. The “stuff” is not included.

Email me (on sidebar) if you want one. Lead times depend on how well my kids behave over the next week. All proceeds will go directly to a worthy military family (mine).

Angoraknitter and Jennie can claim free ones for their hubbies because they regularly leave such nice comments on my blog (email me your address, ok?).

2009 Updated link with new photo

ACU Christmas stockings

I’m almost ready to go:

I’ve got 30 yards of ACU fabric, 30 yards of faux fur, and 25 yards each of 1″ and 4″ wide gray Velcro.

We couldn’t find our stash of 550 cord, so I need to buy some of that, and I also need more white and gray thread.

Bill took in a sample stocking today sans Velcro (it only arrived here an hour ago). I’m waiting for the green light to begin the tedious task of cutting.

I should have photos posted tomorrow and a final price. I need to time myself making them to evaluate my labor. The biggest pain is sewing through 4 layers of faux fur!

The PX is selling ACU pattern stockings for $18. I did a recon today, after my husband alerted me to this possible threat to my business. No faux fur. Big plastic pocket in the middle for a wallet sized photo of your “Most Valuable Patriot.”

I’m not knocking it.

But mine is way cooler.

2009 Updated link with pricing/photo

Updated for 2011: I’m still selling these, folks.  I can make them left or right facing.  They are $20 + $2 to cover the cost for Paypal + $5.20 S&H.  Just send me an email or leave a comment.

A Bleg

Five years ago I made about 80 Christmas stockings in a camouflage pattern, stuffed them (items donated by friends), and sent them off to some marines I knew who were in Afghanistan.

Four years ago, I sent over 100 to some National Guard soldiers in Bosnia.

Three years ago, I sent some, I’m not sure how many, but definitely less than 100, to Kosovo where my husband was.

The one I made for my husband was extra special, of course. I took a uniform shirt (BDU top for those of you in the know) and cut the stocking out of the back panel. I removed both chest pockets and his name label and the US ARMY label and stitched one pocket and label on one side and the other pocket and label on the other side. I used 550 cord (looks like an olive green round shoelace) for the loop for hanging, and the finishing touch was white fluffy trim around the top. It was (and still is) very high-speed.

A woman who worked with him in Kosovo liked it so much, she ordered some for herself. She provided the BDU tops, and I charged her $35 each.

My husband decorates his desk at work every Christmas with his stocking. It always gets tons of compliments. Soldiers don’t think it’s “nice” – they think it’s great and want one too. My husband’s boss saw it last year and decided she wants to order 33 to give to everybody in the office. They (the boss, my husband and somebody who is probably responsible for their Christmas decorating contest of which these stockings will play a central role) had a think-tank meeting yesterday morning and came up with a design. They want to use the ACU pattern (a new camouflage pattern, for those of you NOT in the know), 550 cord, white fluff, and then stitch on two pieces of velcro – one that is meant for the soldier’s name tape and one that is 4″ x 4″ and can be used for a unit patch or rank or whatever.

Not including materials (the velcro is the most expensive supply), how much should I charge for the labor end of this? Or, put another way, if you or someone you knew were interested in a camouflage patterned stocking (stretch the imagination, you civilians), what do you think would be a fair market value? And how much should I discount that for my husband’s boss who is buying them out of her own pocket? (Do you see the sticky situation my husband has caused me?)

Update: see the finished product here.