Ask Design Mom: Stocking Display

December 10, 2008

Ask Design Mom Question:

Dear Designmom, I was wondering if you had any fun ideas of where and how to hang up stockings. I have no fireplace or cute mantel. (sigh.) Do you have any suggestions? — Allison

Design Mom Answer:
I feel your pain, Allison. I too have a fireplace-less home. In fact, over the last decade, I’ve lived in a series of 3 fireplace-less homes, and I’ve solved the where-to-hang-the-stockings-question a few different ways.

1) Right now, our stocking are hung in a row over the piano — using very small nails. They look great! And if you don’t have a piano, this would work just as well over an entry table.

2) In years past, I’ve used the banister on the stairs for a stocking display. If you have an open stair case, this is a wonderful solution. Just use pretty ribbon to tie the stockings along the length of the hand rail. Bonus: it’s easy to the the spacing nice and even by using every other opening in the banister.

3) My friend uses the side of a tall bookcase to hang her stockings in a vertical row and it looks fantastic.

4) I think Christmas Stockings hung from the footboard of a bed are just about the most charming things ever.

5) Last idea: when I was about 5 years old, my family was living in a small apartment while we built a home. I remember watching my mom hang our stockings from the ceiling. And thought is was wonderful.

What about you Design Mom Readers? Where do you hang your stockings?

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vanessa December 10, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I needed this post! My stockings are sitting under the tree right now bc it is my first year in an un fireplace home. Great great idea!!


2 Stephanie December 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm

As a military family, we are always moving so my decorating is always evolving.

I’ve hung them off the top of a bookcase. Last year, they were off of our TV stand. Now I have them on the half wall that divides our stairs from our living room.

I have a friend who uses suction cups and hangs them from her glass sliding doors which looks adorable from the inside and outside.

The 3M removable hooks work fantastically if you’re in a place where you can’t nail – like a dorm room.


3 randalswife December 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm

I have really beautiful fleur-de-lis stocking hangers that are supposed to sit on the edge of a mantel to hang the stockings on, but we don’t have a mantel, so I put the hangers on our bookshelves and hang the stockings there. I really love the way it looks


4 rookie cookie December 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm

I have a little wall plaque thing that has hooks on it and says in wire, “And the stockings were hung”. I found it at Home Goods and knew it had to be mine.


5 Erin December 10, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Growing up our stockings were placed at the foot of the bed, but hungon a wall before they were “stuffed”.

As an adult, this is the 1st year I’ve lived in an apartment with a fireplace during Christmas {yay} so they are hung on the mantle. However, before I’ve hung them on the wall, cascading down at an angle. I’ve also hung them on the edges of the “bartop” wall that divides the kitchen and living room.


6 P/F December 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm

I’ve actually seen an iron (maybe at Decorator’s Collection) stand for hanging stockings, and thought that it would be less cringe-inducing than the weighted hooks that I have sitting on my mantle.

Also, If you have a banister, hanging the stockings along the railing is a nice touch (on the outside of the stairs of course).


7 Amy December 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Thank you so much for posting this Q&A. I've been bummed for weeks trying to figure out how to hang my stockings in my fireplace-less home. I'm off to find some cute ribbon to hang them from our staircase right now! Merry Christmas!


8 The Ellis Family December 10, 2008 at 4:04 pm

I too live in a fireplace-less home. We recently moved in & I have been trying to decide where to hang my stockings. I have no stairs, half wall, or anything that would work. I have a shelf with pegs on it that is over my couch & there are just enough pegs for my family. It turned out pretty cute!


9 Azúcar December 10, 2008 at 4:17 pm

We hang them off of our entertainment center with stocking hangers.


10 Erin December 10, 2008 at 4:26 pm

this year, with no mantel, we hung ours from a magazine rack that basically looks like a ladder. i love it leaning against the wall next to the tree!


11 loft2dwell December 10, 2008 at 4:27 pm

I’ve used those over-the-door wreath hangers and hung them on the door to the laundry room (which is just off our living room. You can hang more than one stocking on a hook and you can add as many as you need. You could also paint/decorate the door hangers to make them more festive. I guess you could use the same ones you use for bathroom/bedroom doors. They just would hang higher.


12 Ambrosia Girl Jenn December 10, 2008 at 4:38 pm

We have a fireplace, but no mantle. So I made a fake mantle out of some cork board I had on hand. I cut it into a couple of wide strips, covered it with pretty fabric, and stuck it onto the fireplace using those removable 3M wall adhesives. The stockings hang off long tacks pushed into the top edge of my fake mantle. It works.


13 horsley home December 10, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I think it’s cute to hang them from your bedroom door… along with maybe a cluster of jingle bells or something? I know my little girl would be thrilled to have her stocking on her door. It could be the first thing they see Christmas morning. You could also put a cute wall hook on the door and hang it from there. You could drape some thick ribbon across a wall and hang them with clothespins too. That would be fun and whimsical!


14 Katie and Eric December 10, 2008 at 4:53 pm

I can’t take credit for the info, but here are 10 other places to hang stockings courtesy Tiny Decor Blog:


15 Nancy December 10, 2008 at 5:10 pm

We keep them in a cute Santa bag on a doorknob and then put them in our chosen chair on Christmas Eve for Santa to find.


16 Nicole Block December 10, 2008 at 6:34 pm

you can find stocking hangers/hooks in lots of places. i have metal weighted ones that i put on my bookcases, and they work great. and they're awfully cute too…

try this link to target's site. they have a number of fun options.


17 Xanz December 10, 2008 at 9:03 pm

i am spending my 5th holiday season in my first fireplaceless house and solve this problem differently, depending upon what mood i am in.

i bought a wood pegboard, the kind one would put up to hang coats on and put scarves and antique bags and a couple of other decorator items on it. It hangs in between the living and dining areas. During one Christmas, the other items came down and the stockings went up and it worked perfectly.

i have also used a piece of wrought iron scroll, a scrap that i had hung over a window, as a stocking home. i’ve hung them on bookshelves (which seems to be popular), and even tied them to the backs of the dining room chairs.

One year, the first here, we were in the process of moving and the stockings were unreachable. i scattered some wicker baskets around, trimmed with Christmas ribbons and big hand painted name tags. They were sweet and everyone loved them.

Christmas eve, i wrapped all the little goodies and they were charming on Christmas morning and far easier to stuff than a stocking.

A close friend in a very small space tacks hers to the back of the sofa and on Christmas eve, once they are full, hides them to be hunted the next morning.

A friend whose husband is a fireman uses… you guessed it, fireman’s boots. All lined up and trimmed with ribbons, they are adorable. They put them next to the front door and all who enter do a double take to find them ready for receiving little gifts and not left behind by some huge man just to be allowed entry to the house.

Another hangs them from the wainscoting in her family room with a wreath above them.

gentle thoughts…


18 Gigi December 10, 2008 at 9:39 pm

I have a fireplace and mantle, but like the idea of hanging our stockings from the back of the dining room chairs. We have an open floor plan and it’s fun to have the decorations all over the big room rather than concentrated in just a part of it.


19 Paige December 10, 2008 at 11:28 pm

We hang ours on the piano too but from stocking holder picture frames.


20 R-Eight December 11, 2008 at 6:14 am

I bought a long wood shelf, painted it Chrsitmas red and put pretty hooks on it. We used that for years. It always made me happy.


21 Erin December 11, 2008 at 2:34 pm

I just went to a Christmas show and saw a booth of primitive/folk art pieces. They had 5 ft. tall decorative wooden ladders (not designed for real climbing) leaning against the wall with stockings hung on each of the rungs. It was perfect!

We have no fireplace either, so this year we’re trying to make our own primitive ladder to hang our stockings with care. After Christmas, it’ll be a great place to hang quilts and throw blankets.


22 Erin December 11, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Oh. I forgot to mention that I’ve hung out stockings on the pegs of a coat tree in the past.
It broke, so we’re moving on to a stocking ladder now. :)


23 Allison December 12, 2008 at 8:50 pm

What fun ideas! Thanks!


24 The Yellow Door Paperie December 16, 2008 at 10:48 am
25 Sonya November 12, 2012 at 8:41 am

I live in a townhome with no fireplace & very little space so I made my closet bi-fold doors into my mantel. I bought christmas wreath door hangers in gold, personalized each one with my children’s names & hung their stockings. It decorated the entry way & got the kids excited to see their stockings fill up!There are so many decorative wreath hangers so the possibilities are endless!


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