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