I keep getting: “So what are your stockings hanging from?” “Are those hooks custom made?” “How do you hang so many stockings?”

Originally I offered up one simple solution. But NOW, behold, THREE FOUR simple solutions. No more excuses for that long chorus line of stocking hangers dictating your mantel display.

Stocking-Holder-Options

1) Very simple solution
Two, just two, stocking holders suspending a standard curtain rod.

It doesn’t get much easier (or cheaper) than that!

Keep a look out for two heavy stocking holders that have a hook or loop large enough to slip a thin curtain rod through. Two should do it and you can just keep adding stockings as your family grows without having to purchase more hangers.
 

NOTE: The hooks do not need to circle down as mine do. They CAN be the typical simple up-turned cup. The important piece is the depth the weight sits back from the edge of the mantel. It’s playground physics we all learned on the teeter totter — the further back you sit, the more weight you can lift. And to Mr. Toler, our 7th grade science teacher, who is shaking his head in despair and resignation: Yes, it’s lever and torque. But, really we all know it as teeter totter physics, right?

 
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When my stockings easily fit within the space, I just use a twist tie to attached each stocking loop to the rod.

 
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But when my grouping outgrows the allocated width, then I like to tie the stockings to the rod with ribbon staggering the length of ribbon to vary the heights.

 

2) Easy Solution
Eliminate the stocking holders altogether and DIY a stocking stealth shelf

(and try to say that 3 times real fast)

 
It’s a thin shelf that sits on your mantel disappearing in all that holiday finery.
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I scored a long shelf with 3 trimmed sides at the ReStore for $2. A piece of MDF cut at the home improvement store would be just as good. Sand down the edges. Or for bonus points, add some thin trim to finish the 3 outside edges.

We have an outlet recessed in the center of our mantel, so we cut out a space for that.
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Paint or stain to match your mantel — in our case I sprayed a white primer and then brushed a light coat of our trim paint.

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I purchased a decorative rod set at Hobby Lobby (with 40% off coupon of course, does anyone not?). Be sure to get a set with 2 part hooks.
 
Stocking-Shelf-Brackets

Final step attaching the hooks. Take the hooks apart and only use the hook part and wood screws. The vertical parts that attach to the wall and machine screws? Toss them in that junk drawer and 2 years from now they will be another head-scratching mystery.

Version 2.0, attached the hooks with the silver wood screws (use shorter ones if necessary) to the TOP of your shelf. (Version 1.0 you ask? I attached them to the underside of the shelf so they wouldn’t be seen at all. However, this created a thin sliver of black space between the white shelf and white mantel that really bothered me. Sooo distracting. Hubby didn’t see it but I’m rather persnickety that way. Down it came and off they came and back on they went and back up it went. Save yourself that whole dance. … You’re welcome.) The dark brackets on top were hidden under greenery where the dark slit was never fully hidden.

If you have a rustic mantle, such as a distressed timber, a thin rod (even a painted or stained wood dowel) suspended from two cup hooks screwed into the bottom of the mantle would do the trick.

3) Fairly Easy Solution
Hello IKEA, my friend!
Stocking Stealth Shelf with NO rod, ONLY Hooks

 
And the least expensive option: Wood shelf, w/ or w/o trim, cut, and painted or stained. This time add an IKEA Betydlig rod holder for each stocking. The best part– .49 each!!! And they come in white, black and “silver color” (not metallic). You will need to also supply the wood screws. Oh, and do a little math to space the hooks.

The down side is every time your add a stocking you’ll need to reposition all the hooks. But not too tough though.

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Such an easy solution for hanging stockings and I love the clean, uncluttered mantel ready for all its finery.

Be aware, the horizontal extension of these IKEA rod holders is very short. So with the large rounded lip on the top of my mantel and the “bonus point” trim on the stealth shelf, the shelf has to sit just a bit beyond the mantel lip causing that pesky shadow line. sigh*

4) Back to Super Simple
Corner Brackets with Ribbon

This only works if you have a tiny bit of wiggle room between your mantel and the wall — if they were not caulked.

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Tie ribbons through hole on one side of a corner bracket. Use the longest legged brackets you can find.
 

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Wedge the other “leg” of the corner bracket between the mantel and the wall. This brick wall has a lot of variation in the brick, so some places we added a bit of duct tape around that leg so that it fit snuggly.
 

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Now you have a nice unobstructed mantel waiting for your creative touches.
 

Vanilla Spice Christmas Stockings with Gold Star Name Tags

CAUTION: An adult should be ready to take the stocking down Christmas morning by reaching behind the finery and pulling up brackets and sliding out through anything in their path.

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