DIY Indigo Batik Stockings

DIY indigo batik stockings
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Bring merriment to your mantel with stylish stockings that offer a modern twist on traditional holiday decor. We can't get enough of the color indigo, a plant-based dye that gives jeans their classic look. So we set out to create a blue version of a standard Christmas stocking and combined it with an Indonesian technique called batik — a method that uses wax to create a pattern on fabric by resisting the dye. We have to say, we're pretty thrilled with the results, and we can't wait to fill these beauties with all of the best holiday trinkets and treasures.

Things You'll Need

  • Candle wax

  • Fine tip paintbrush

  • Parchment paper

  • Iron

DIY indigo batik stocking
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 1

Fill a large bin or bucket with four gallons of warm tap water. Add the indigo dye to the water.

Pouring indigo into water
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Use a paint stick to stir the dye in a clockwise motion.

Stirring indigo into water
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 2

Add the soda ash and reducing agent to the dye bath, and then stir in a clockwise motion.

Pouring reducing agent into indigo dye bath
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Switch directions and stir in a counterclockwise motion, dragging the paint stick along the outer edges of the bucket to ensure all of the powder gets mixed. You'll notice that the dye bath will have a greenish hue once mixed. This is normal.

Stirring indigo dye bath
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 3

Place a lid on the dye bath and let it sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Indigo dye bath with lid
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 4

Meanwhile, use a pencil to lightly sketch the design you'd like to create on your stocking. We stuck to a variety of basic shapes: Vs, Os, Xs, lines, and dots. Keep in mind that whatever pattern you draw is what will remain undyed on the stocking.

Sketching design onto canvas stocking
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 5

Melt half a cup of candle wax in a bowl, either in a microwave for 30 second increments, or over a double boiler.

Before after of beeswax melted
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Dip a fine tip paintbrush into the melted wax and immediately trace it over the sketched designs on the stocking.

Dipping fine tip paintbrush in melted wax
credit: Trisha Sprouse

The wax hardens quickly, so you'll need to keep re-dipping the paintbrush frequently to cover the entire pattern. Don't worry if some of the wax drips or runs outside of the lines. The little imperfections will only make your pattern more unique and interesting.

Tracing over design on stocking with melted wax
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 6

Allow the wax to cool and harden on the stocking for about ten minutes or so, and then submerge the stocking in water to thoroughly wet the fabric in preparation for the dye bath.

Pre-wetting stocking before dye bath
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 7

Remove the lid from the dye bath and use a paint stick to gently push the foamy, filmy layer to one side. For indigo aficionados, this layer is called "the flower."

Pushing indigo flower aside
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 8

Put on gloves and slowly submerge the stocking in the dye bath. Leave it submerged for one to five minutes, depending on your desired level of indigo saturation. We dipped one stocking for 30 seconds, one for two minutes, and one for five minutes. If you'd like the fabric to be dyed evenly, gently massage the fabric while it's submerged. We preferred a more uneven, somewhat "splotchy" look, so we didn't massage the fabric.

Submerging stocking in indigo dye bath
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 9

Cover your work surface with parchment paper (or a waterproof tarp). Remove the stocking from the dye bath and place it on the parchment paper to let it oxidize for about ten minutes. It'll turn from green to blue once it has fully oxidized.

Stocking before indigo dye has oxidized
credit: Trisha Sprouse
Stocking after indigo dye has oxidized
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 10

Rinse the stocking in room temperature water to remove the excess dye, and then lay it flat to dry.

Rinsing excess dye off stocking
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Step 11

Once the stocking is completely dry, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the wax design and press down with a hot iron. The heat will melt the wax, which will stick to the parchment paper when you pull it away from the fabric.

Pressing iron on top of parchment paper to remove wax from stocking
credit: Trisha Sprouse

'Tis the season for stuffing stockings, and you now have some seriously cool ones to fill.

DIY indigo batik stockings
credit: Trisha Sprouse
DIY indigo batik stockings
credit: Trisha Sprouse
DIY indigo batik stocking
credit: Trisha Sprouse

Trisha Sprouse

Trisha Sprouse

Trisha is a writer, video producer + maker with a knack for creating modern DIY content. When her hands aren't covered in paint, she's most likely hol... more