Ask Design Mom: Hanging Stockings

I was wondering if you or any of your readers have suggestions for what to do with Christmas stockings when you don’t have a fireplace or mantel to hang them on? We live in a 900 sq ft, one story home. We don’t have kids *yet* but we want to start a family soon. As I am decorating for the season, I have found no good spot to hang stockings. (Is it strange that we are two adults in the house and yet I still want to hang stockings?) Any ideas would be appreciated! — Thanks! Meaghan

Such a good question! We’ve definitely faced this dilemma. In our 2 New York homes, we didn’t have a fire place. In Colorado and France we did. And here at The Treehouse, we do have a fireplace, but there is no mantle. Here are a few ideas:

In our first house in New York, we had a stair case with a white wood railing. We hung each stocking with a piece of ribbon (there were 5 at that time), along the stair rail, oldest at the top going down to the youngest. Then we wrapped the rail with green garland. It was very cute.

In our second New York home we made a display of the stockings above our piano in the living room — we hung them from tiny nails, filled them with the pine boughs trimmed from the bottom of the tree, and accented them with a few simple ornaments. Very festive! And this sort of display would work anywhere — above a sofa, or on any stretch of blank wall.

Here at The Treehouse, we put a row of brass teacup hooks in the ceiling just in front of the fireplace, and hung the stockings from a piece of twine. I think they look great! And this solution could also work against any stretch of wall, above a hall table or couch — it doesn’t have to be a brick fireplace.

For all of these displays, when it’s time to fill the stockings, Santa simply takes them down, fills them, and sets the now heavy stockings on the floor below the display, or near the other presents.

And one last idea, you could skip the stockings and fill wellies instead!

What about you, Dear Readers? Have you ever celebrated Christmas in a space without a fireplace and mantel? Where did you hang the stockings?

P.S. — It’s been awhile since I’ve fielded an Ask Design Mom question here on the blog, but you can find the archive here.

31 thoughts on “Ask Design Mom: Hanging Stockings”

  1. We never hung our stockings when I was growing up! We simply placed them under the tree! They looked pretty circling the tree, and since they were already on the floor, they were never too heavy once they were filled! :)

  2. In our last house we had a fireplace but in it was a working wood stove, and no mantel. We instead hung our stockings by tying them to the iron railing that bordered the room from the entryway (it was a step-down living room, 70s ranch-style house). In the house we live in now, no fireplace and we don’t want to put hole in the walls since it’s a rental. We have a huge wall of windows in the living room so we have the stockings on suction hooks on the windows. With both set-ups, the stockings move to the recipient’s seating location for gift opening when they are full.

  3. Our stockings get left on the floor when filled, too.

    Aside from mantels, we have also hung stockings on stair railings, on doorjambs like mistletoe, overhead from twine like mistletoe, artfully displayed on the coffeetable, and heavily magnetized to a refrigerator (I’ve moved a lot and lived in a lot of apartments!)

  4. We don’t have a fireplace either but here’s an idea:

    The way we hang our stockings is similar, except our wooden sign has “legs” so it can stand on the floor. And ours just says “The stockings were hung…”
    And I bought mine from a Christmas craft show. Hope it helps!

  5. I just finished hand embroidering our three stockings over the weekend and they are hanging on our bookcase, since we are short a fireplace. (pictured here:

    And then the full stockings rest on the couch once full. Growing up as the 7th of 10 kids we put a lot of effort into deciding where to place our stockings the night before–this was important for 3am trips downstairs to peek at Santa presents, you knew right where your stuff was even in the dark.

  6. My husband and I are living in an even tinier place (600 sqft) and were out of space on the living room walls for any stockings. So, I hung them above our headboard and it made me think of the “visions of sugarplums danced in their heads” line.

  7. We’ve never had a fireplace but over the years we’ve just hung them from one shelf or another, usually using regular stocking holders. We’ve hung them from a shelf of our bookcase; we’ve hung them from a wall shelf in our kitchen; and this year I cleared off a ledge on our living room wall that normally holds family photos and they’re hanging from it. (It’s one of those IKEA wall shelves.) One year we also just tapped a row of tiny nails on the wall and hung them from there. The stockings are always heavy after Santa arrives, so on Christmas morning they’re always just left out on the kitchen table.

  8. We also live in a tiny place (600 sqft for almost 6 of us!) without a fireplace or much wall space. We installed tiny hooks on the underside of one of the shelves on our bookshelf and we hang our stockings from there. Once they’re filled, they get set on the floor beside the rest of the surprises Santa brings.

    1. That is a lot of people all together! Gives me hope that down the road we won’t have to ‘upgrade’ our home. I love our tiny house! And I love your idea of hanging them on the bookshelf! Wonderful!

  9. We have a half-wall in our living room, so our stocking hangers sit on top of the half wall and the stockings hang high! Works for us.

  10. Thank you so much for featuring my question! These are all such good ideas that you and the other readers have suggested!

  11. In our previous 2nd floor, no chimney, condo we used all sorts of different things. The higher counter ledge, window ledge, 3m removable hooks, dining table, laid under the tree and one year the top of the clear sensory table that had gingerbread homes and fake colored soaking salts snow.

    In our current home we a boiler room and radiant heat so no fireplace. Tis year we hung them on the tree. They are half the size of “normal” stockings and have huge red glittery tags that say the child’s name. Once Santa comes the kids will find them under the tree.

  12. We have never had a mantle so we have always hung ours from stocking hangers that sat on a shelf or just hung them from the wall. Currently I have hung our 7 stockings down our hallway from a piece of bright pink twine that is attached at either end to two command hooks so they can be removed after the holidays.

    My favorite childhood memory of Christmas morning was the way we did stockings. I actually don’t ever remember them being hung before Christmas morning but we would wake up to find our heavy stocking pinned to our bedspread and pulling it down. We wold be so excited and would sit in bed opening up all our treasures. I loved that so much!

  13. I’ve never lived in a house with a fire place to hang stockings from. Growing up our stocking were placed under the tree on Christmas Eve along with out Santa sacks for larger presents. I do the same now for my own kids. Tomorrow night they’ll put out their stockings and Santa sacks under the tree at the same time that they leave out cookies for Santa.

  14. I love this… And now feel all the more convinced that our children can have the exact same stocking too! We have 8 stockings that are the same. I looked for some new ones this year thinking I would embellish them to personalize but I think I’m just going to create sweet name tags for our stockings instead. Yay!

  15. Super fun ideas! One year, we had just moved into a new house a week before Christmas and had no mantle and almost no furniture. We hung our stockings from a coat tree in the living room next to the sofa.

  16. Pamela Balabuszko-Reay

    I picked it! I picked it! I picked it from the slideshow.

    So exciting.

    They look fantastic.

    Merry Christmas!

  17. most houses in Australia do not have a fireplace. When we were kids we actually used pillowcases! to be left at the end of our bed to be filled with gifts. There were special ‘santa sacks’ sold with Christmas patterns, santa etc. This was the norm here for many years.. and they were big enough to fit presents in! however with time and more influence from around the world a lot of people do stockings now and its seems to becoming more the norm. I actually have a fireplace and mantle so we hang stockings with a small nail hammered into the mantle ledge.

  18. I have the tree in front of the window. So we hang the stockings over the curtains. Just a little newspaper to let them look full without too much weight.

  19. Could I ask where you found those adorable red and white striped stockings?!! Those are exactly what I’m looking for. Love them!!

  20. I got a wooden block thing from I think Target–it has little faux pine trees on top and three knobs on the side. It sits on one of the bookcase shelves and I hang our stockings from that. The wood block is heavy enough that the stockings stay up even when full (not that I’ve tried putting anything particularly heavy in there!).

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