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.