title image of a fresh modern white Christmas village house and a nutcracker on a Christmas tree.

3 Simple Ways to Hang Christmas Stockings With NO Hangers or Nails

Use a stocking shelf to eliminate a lineup of individual stockings hangers that dictate your mantel styling and often are not entirely safe.

Do you struggle with what should be one of the focal points of your holidays?

So many wonderful memories are made around our stockings. Not to mention the pictures!

You have visions for your mantel, but those visions never look quite right because you’re styling around a chorus line of individual stocking hangers?

And then when your family grows you have to find a matching hanger or start all over — UGH!

And sometimes those hangers are just plain NOT safe!

I’ve been right there with you.

Long before I became a Christmas stocking professional, I innovated out of desperation.

We started our family but only had our pair of gorgeous wedding gift stocking hangers.

But . . . . what if I ran a thin rod through them? Voila!

No more excuses for that long chorus line of stocking hangers dictating your mantel display.

But Now I Have Even More Innovations!

1) Very Simple Solution:
Two, just two, stocking holders suspending a standard curtain rod.

It doesn’t get much easier than this!

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. To Mr. Toler, my 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?

IMG_3095 - Version 4

IMG_3099 - Version 2

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

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 saying that 3 times real fast)


IMG_3029 - Version 4

It’s a thin shelf that sits on your mantel disappearing in all that holiday finery.

How to Make a Stocking Shelf

Materials & Supplies:

  • Piece of wood of desired size
  • Wood trim, optional
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or Stain
  • Sealer, optional
  • Pair of two-part curtain rod holders
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver or drill with driver bit

Step 1) Wood Top-

Measure your mantel.

I scored a long shelf with 3 trimmed sides at the ReStore for $2. A piece of MDF or wood of your choice cut at the home improvement store would be just as good.


We have an outlet recessed in the center of our mantel, so we cut out a space for that.

Step 2) Finish Your Shelf-

Sand down the edges. Or for bonus points, add some thin trim to finish the 3 outside edges.

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.

Step 3) Attach Hooks-


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.

pieces of curtain rod holder on the white shelf with parts marked as use or "ditch"

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.


IMG_2922 - Version 2

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.

There’s still more, but can we pause a moment to ask if you are finding this helpful? That’s my goal! Would you please consider subscribing to receive more great content, exclusives and offers. You control how much is right for you:

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

And the least expensive option:


The same stocking shelf, but this time add an IKEA Betydlig rod holder for each stocking instead of a rod.

The best part– .99 each!!! And they come in white and black. You will need to also supply the wood screws. Oh, and yes, do a little math to space the hooks.

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

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!

Want to Take the Stocking Shelf One Step Further?

In 2022, I discovered some gorgeous hardware and the light bulb went off!

I wanted — no, I needed — a stocking shelf with three sides. I needed a Mantel Slipcover!!!

Curious? Check it out here!

It’s what Christmas Stocking Hanging dreams are made of. What, you don’t have those dreams? Well, I do. And I hope it shows in my work.

Do You Want More Stocking Hanging Help?

Well, you’re in luck!

love helping with just that — hanging and styling your Christmas stockings. In your style for your home.

Closeup of laptop on a desk with the screen showing the cover of the ebook

I’ve published an ebook that shares ALL the how-tos and tricks I have developed over 25 years as a Christmas Stocking Professional (yes, there is such a thing). There’s a reason BHG Publications came to me three different times to help with their Christmas stockings.

It’s a cool flip book on a laptop. or tablet and a PDF on phones. You can see all the details right here.

Wishing you a day filled with creative problem solving and creative doings!

Remember I am always just a click away. Reach out anytime!!!

Here's to Joy-Filled Living, Diane


  1. Carissa

    I have a non-standard mantle that doesn’t allow me to use normal stocking holders. This is the first time I’ve seen ones that have the hanger ssticking out towards the front instead of down. Can you tell me where you found these? I think these might actually work with my rounded-front mantle! Thanks!

    • admin

      Hi Carissa,

      Unfortunately, I bought those stocking hangers several years ago – can’t even remember where. I’m hoping to encourage an Etsy artist or two to some up with something they can offer as I am getting more and more of the same request. For now, I’m afraid I am not much help. But if I come across something, I will keep you in mind.


    • Lynn Wallace

      I love this idea but like Tara I am having a had time finding the stocking holders with the right types of hooks. Where can I purchase the holders like you show I your picture. Please help. Thank you…Lynn

      • Michelle

        T k max is where I have just bought 4 holders from. But after seeing this realise I only needed two

    • Melinda

      Hoi Carissa,

      can you send a picture of your mantle? I might have an idea for you!



  2. Jessica

    We are about to move and have nowhere to hang stockings. What do you suggest? I was looking for some type of floor stand but I’m not sure.

    • admin

      Jessica, I’d shy away from a floor stand. I’m afraid of toppling over.

      I am working on a post full of ideas for those without a fireplace or mantel. How about a stair railings? Can you mount a picture ledge on an open wall and hang your stockings from it. Even a set of gorgeous empty frames can stand in. You just need something that they can hang from. And a nail in the wall won’t cut it. Something that gives them a reason for being there.

      • MaryB

        I don’t know if this would help any of those that do not have mantles but will give it a try. I put my stocking holders on anything of height (ie, an old secretary, a tall cd cabinet, wall shelfs, my china cabinet (really look nice there), & even on the outside of all my bedroom/bath doors; including basement door. Family loves going around & finding theirs & visitors just enjoy the creativeness. By the way I do have a mantle but choose other things for it. Love what you did!!!!

        • admin

          Love all these ideas, Mary! Thanks for sharing with all.

      • KIm Lindstrom

        I am looking for a holder that would go over a rounded wooden stair railing, (parallel to the floor), to hold 6 or more stockings. Surely someone can make something?

        • admin

          Hmmm, I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that. I’ve just used ribbons to tie around the handrail, on the parallel part (by the landing) it’s super easy; on the slanted part (by the steps section) I tie between the vertical balusters and this keeps them from all sliding down into one big heap.

  3. lisa

    i love this idea. do you fill your stockings and let them hang like this or is this just how you show them leading up to Christmas. I’m afraid the weight from filled stockings will tip the holders and everthing will topple down? or if i get heavy duty holders that sit far enough back on my stone mantle will that help?

    thanks, lisa

  4. Christa

    What a simple yet beautiful solution. I love it. I hope you don’t mind me sharing it over at my blog this Friday. I’ll be linking back to your post of course.

  5. Charlsa Schwartz

    Please also keep me in mind if you come across any stocking holders like you have. I also have the mantle that traditional holders will not work on. I have looked so many places. Right now I have taken curtain rod holder and will drill hole n brick on fireplace and screw in long holder. I much prefer yours–they r so cute!!
    Please help!

  6. Judy Daniel

    I am interested in finding the wreath curtain rod holders for Christmas stockings, would work great for the 14 stockings I have.

    • Judy Daniel

      If your vendors come up with something, please let us know!!!

      • admin

        I will Judy. Thanks!

    • admin

      14 – WOW! I’m keeping my eyes open for an alternative.

  7. KimM.

    I just found these on Amazon: Santa Sleigh Christmas Mantle Stocking Holder By Regal Art. Only 3 left now because I bought 2! Hoping these will work with a really thin curtain rod.

    • Maria

      I too saw these stocking holders. I’m from Australia and would like to purchase them. Can you please tell me if they worked with thin curtain rod. Thank you.

  8. Jennifer

    If you will search for “mantle hooks” there are several options, I looked on eBay and there are several to choose from. It’s a great idea and one I hope to try this Christmas!

  9. http://tupalo.com/

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.

    I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous
    blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  10. TaLonna Bee

    THESE – are EXACTLY the IDEAS/SOLUTIONS I was Hoping/Looking for! <3

    Thank you, South House Designs <3

  11. Ashley Guthrie

    Ok.. everyone has asked about the stocking holders… but I want to know where you got the curtain rod lol. I LOVE it

  12. Abdus Salam

    “Your blog is a haven of wisdom; thank you for sharing it.”

    • Diane

      My pleasure and honor!



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