Stocking Rods AND Shelves

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

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


Very simple solution 1)
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/hooks 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, these are the physics principles of lever and torque. But, really we all know it as teeter totter physics, right?

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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.

Simple Solution 2)
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.
IMG_2922 - Version 2
IMG_3029 - Version 4

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.
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.

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.

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 thin wood dowel) suspended from two cup hooks screwed into the bottom of the mantle would also do the trick.

Simple Solution 3)
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 a 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.


By far, the easiest for hanging stockings and I love the clean, uncluttered mantel ready for all its finery. Be aware, the horizontal extension of these rod holders is very short. So with my 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*

25 Responses to “Stocking Rods AND Shelves”

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  1. Carissa says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

      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

    • Melinda says:

      Hoi Carissa,

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



  2. Jessica says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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!!!!

      • KIm Lindstrom says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

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

  7. KimM. says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

    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. 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 says:

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

    Thank you, South House Designs <3


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