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Christmas decorations

  • 11 Creative Ways to Hang Christmas Stockings When You Don’t Have a Fireplace

    The tradition of hanging Christmas stockings from the fireplace mantel has been around for centuries. After all, when old St. Nick shimmies down the chimney on Christmas Eve, we must ensure it’s easy for him to leave us our well-deserved treats and presents. However, for those without a fireplace, this tradition is impossible to carry out — or is it?

    At MerryStockings, we believe in putting our own personal stamp on Christmas traditions. So, if you don’t have a fireplace in you home, all you need is a little creativity to design the perfect Christmas stocking display.

    To fuel your creativity, below you’ll find some of our favorite ways and places to hang Christmas stockings in your home or apartment.

    1. Invest in a Classic Christmas Stocking Floor Stand

    Christmas Stocking Floor StandIf you’re looking for a quick and simple solution for hanging your Christmas stockings, investing in a floor stand is definitely it.

    Floor stands, like this one found on LTD Commodities, are fantastic options because they’re light and mobile, giving you freedom to hang your stockings wherever you like.

    They’re also very affordable. You can find a Christmas stocking floor stand for as little as $20.

    (Image Credit: LTD Commodities)

    2. DIY a Rustic Christmas Stocking Holder

    For those of you who love rustic decor and crafting, this DIY stocking holder project courtesy of Imperfectly Polished is for you.

    The good news? This easy Christmas craft requires just a handful of materials and supplies: pine boards, paint color of your choice, nails, nail gun, hangers, saw, and a drill.

    The better news? Jessie at Imperfectly Polished walks you through how to get it done in about 30 minutes.

    In addition, the finished product can be rested against a wall like shown or hung.

    (Image Credit: Imperfectly Polished)

    3. Transform Your Staircase Railing into a Stocking Showstopper

    If you want to create a showstopping focal point in your home and find a practical resting place for your Christmas stockings, utilize your staircase railing or banister.

    This beautifully decorated staircase comes from home improvement chain Lowe’s. We love it because It combines classic decor with pops of more contemporary blue and turquoise colors.

    In addition, the surrounding gifts and other seasonal knick knacks add more elegance and creativity to the scene.

    (Image Credit: Lowe’s via Pinterest)

    4. Upcycle a Wooden Ladder for a Farmhouse-Traditional Look

    Perhaps one of the most popular alternatives for hanging Christmas stockings is the stocking ladder.

    Upcycling an old or vintage ladder can provide the perfect mix of function and style, allowing you to create a simple or ornate stocking display anywhere in your home.

    Our featured example comes from Kelly Elko’s eclectic French country cottage-inspired Christmas post.

    What we love most about this example is its sweet simplicity, and the incorporation of the wreath topper and sprigs of evergreen over the stockings.

    (Image Credit: Kelly Elko, Love Where You Live)

    5. Welcome Guests with an Entryway Stocking Display

    If you live in a small home or apartment unit, make the most of your space by utilizing the entryway as your Christmas stocking headquarters.

    In this gorgeous example from Paint Me Pink, the Christmas stockings are accompanied by traditional Christmas decorations with a twist, including: a small Christmas tree, a chalkboard sign reading “Let It Snow,” a basket of ornaments, and a candy-cane striped scarf.

    (Image Credit: Paint Me Pink)

    6. Put the Christmas Stockings to Bed

    Your headboard, footboards, and bed posts all present easy and cute options for hanging your Christmas stockings.

    If you have kids, this is an especially excellent idea. Let’s face it. When they wake up on Christmas morning, the first place they’re heading is your bedroom to rouse you from a deep slumber. So, why not start the Christmas Day festivities watching your kiddos open their Santa goodies from the comfort of your bed?

    As for how to pull off the look, you can go bold or neutral. While we love bright and traditional colors in holiday decor, we can’t help but admire this bedroom Christmas stocking display example from Country Living featuring a mix of calming neutral colors.

    (Image Credit: Country Living)

    7. Leverage an Existing Shelf at the Center of Your Home

    We’re willing to bet that your walls are already home to a shelf or two. So, why not take advantage of what you already have to hang your Christmas stockings?

    This Christmas stocking shelf display courtesy of Tidbits is creative, rustic, and relatively easy to pull off.

    What we really love about this idea is that it’s set over the family room couch — one of the most important areas in the house for sitting back and enjoying the holiday season.

    (Image Credit: Tidbits)

    8. Use a Branch to Create a Rustic Wall Display

    If you’re looking for a simple, minimalistic, and rustic look for your Christmas stocking hanging display, this branch holder may be the best idea for you.

    As you can see from this example from POPSUGAR — in a post sponsored by everyone’s favorite retailer Target — it’s pretty darn easy to achieve this look.

    Scavenge the outdoors for the perfect branch, use a couple nails or hooks to hang, and then hang your stockings. Easy peasy.

    (Image Credit: POPSUGAR)

    9. Use the Back of a Dining Room Chair

    There may be no simpler way to create a Christmas stocking display than using your dining room chair backs as a hook.

    While hanging your stockings on chair backs needs no special instruction, we would recommend making an effort to tie your dining room table top into the decor. After all, you don’t want the stockings to look out of place.

    As you can see in our example from Remodelando la Casa, consider using an eclectic mix of decor items such as pine cones, ornament bulbs, sprigs of holly, holiday dishes, and so on to create a custom look.

    (Image Credit: Remodelando la Casa)

    10. Design a Faux Mantel in Any Room

    While you may not have a fireplace, you can recreate the look of a fireplace mantel using your existing furniture.

    This festive and unique example comes from The Faux Martha through a post that was sponsored by the one and only Pottery Barn. In the case of the author, Melissa, this display was set in her dining room and the stockings are hung from from the storage doors.

    But, from our perspective, we think something similar could find a place in your living room, family room, loft or home office.

    (Image Credit: The Faux Martha)

    11. Liven Up Your TV Stand

    Add some color, flair, and tradition to your television viewing area by using traditional Christmas stocking holders to hang stockings from the TV stand’s ledge.

    In our example from Honey We’re Home, the stockings are accompanied by some additional decor to tie everything together.

    (Image Credit: Honey We’re Home)

     

     

    No Mantel, No Problem

    As you can see from these beautiful examples, you don’t need a fireplace to create a stunning and functional Christmas stocking hanging display. You just need a little imagination.

    How do you display your Christmas stockings? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

  • Fabric Advent Calendars

    Great news! If you'll remember back a couple of weeks, I shared with you a darling advent calendar pattern. Many of our readers love these kinds of Christmas decoration projects because they are simple to make and yet add so much to the whole holiday experience.  Advent calendars in particular have become a preferred way for you and your family to count down the days until Christmas, and Merry Stockings did not want to be left out of all the hoopla. Sooo, we are now carrying fabric advent calendars on our website!

    The products that you'll see come in both non-religious and religious themes, so you are sure to find one your family will love. Take a peek at the 5 designs we're carrying brand new this year:

     

    Santas Workshop Advent Calendar

    Santa's Workshop Advent Calendar

    Holy Night Advent Calendar

    Holy Night Advent Calendar

    Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

    Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

    Nativity Advent Calendar

    Nativity Advent Calendar

    Dog Gone It Advent Calendar

    Dog Gone It Advent Calendar

    Tidings of Joy Advent Calendar

    Tidings of Joy Advent Calendar

    Every advent calendar comes with movable pieces, making these fabric decorations both utterly adorable and ingeniously interactive! No more questions about how many more days until Christmas....the little ones in your family will be telling you!

    Fabric advent Calendars are a perfect way to prepare for Christmas Day, and the best news is that each of the above designs have a reduced retail price. Click on the links below each one to be taken to the Merry Stockings website where you'll find full details!

  • Creative Use of a Button

    rustic buttonOne of the things my creative mind loves doing the most is finding multiple uses for simple, ordinary things. It is my industrious character trait coupled with creativity and, of course, frugality at work! And, what could be more basic than a button?

    I dare say few things are more rudimentary than a button. :) Think about it, we've been making buttons to clasp things closed for a very long time, way before we learned to make them in a factory. Wood sticks and loops of twine is just one example!

    I think we can take this inexpensive little thing called a button and make some really charming Christmas items. Here are just a few examples:

     

    button card

    Now isn't that just about the cutest card you've ever seen? It has that minimalist look too that is so popular, and what you see ends up being way more than the sum of its parts.

     

    button cookies

    How about button cookies? These are simple sugar or butter cookies, too! After you roll out your dough and cut your circle, take a cookie cutter just a little smaller and press lightly for the groove. Then poke 2 holes in the center with a skewer. I think these would be adorable as a table favor at a ladies Christmas party, or a very creative way to bundle up plain sugar cookies for a cookie exchange.

     

    button ornament

    I LOVE this idea. It involves a package of colored buttons in various shades, some thin wire and ribbon. These can be ornaments for the tree or even gift tags! This is a tag that your sewing friend will definitely not throw away, and will forever think of you as their most creative friend.

    While going to the spendy department store for their annual Christmas ornament is a tradition for many, I simply love the idea of crafting one of our own annual ornaments from the staples of life.

     

    Photo credit:  Wooden stick, card, cookies, ornament/gift tag

     

     

  • Wreath Kits For You

    We've been spending quite a bit of time looking at some pretty cool wreaths over the last several week, not to mention delving into the history of this quintessential Christmas decoration. We also gave some basic instructions on how to make a live wreath, and then filled your brain with pictures of lots of unique wreaths to get your creative juices flowing.  I want to wrap up this mini wreath series and show you a couple of Bucilla kits that we carry on our website, Merry Stockings. I'm not saying we won't ever talk about wreaths again (of COURSE we will!), but I am really excited to share with you these fun, do-it-yourself kits that have become immensely popular.

    cookies wreathFirst up today is the Bucilla Cookies and Candy Wreath Kit! Your eyes are not playing tricks on you, this wreath really is 3 dimensional. What could be sweeter  hanging on your door than candy canes, gingerbread cookies and hard candies? You'll get all those along with those psychedelic round suckers in this fantastic kit. I am gonna bet my bottom dollar that the kiddos might even be willing to help out with this one.

    Do you have a crafty person on your Christmas list, someone who is hard to buy for? This sweet three dimensional felt applique wreath would make a fabulous gift too. Best part? It comes complete with everything you need to complete it. No last minute running to the craft store, it's ALL included:  stamped felt, cotton floss, sequins and/or beads, needles and even instructions in three languages.

    The Cookies and Candy Wreath kit is designed by Maria Stanziani and is made in the good ol' USA. Finished size is 15" x 15". The list price on this fun kit is $34.99 but you won't pay that at Merry Stockings. Order today and receive 20% off, paying just $27.99.

     

  • Cranberry Centerpiece

    gift wrappingWhen I was little I remember my mom teaching me, painstakingly so, how to wrap presents. She would clear off our huge dining room table, get her sharpest knife out of the drawer and have that grin on her face like she was about to create something magical.

    She was patient and taught me simple ways to measure how much paper I needed so there'd be no bulky look. She used no scissors, but instead would crease the paper with her fingernail, then slide the sharp knife in between the paper and swish, swish, swish, the piece was cut.

    I thought, wow, this could be called art! She showed me how to fold the corners and to use minimal tape but at the most strategic places so as not to detract from the package. And, then came the bow.

    It was all a pretty lengthy process, and once when I asked her why we take so much time to wrap, she said that the wrapping is part of the gift, it is a sacrifice of time and a thing of beauty. I never ever forgot that.

    cranberry centerpieceNow, we aren't wrapping any presents today or learning how to do it (altho that's a great idea for a future post), but rather emphasizing that some things that may seem unnecessary or that border on obsession really make a difference. Whether it's wrapping gifts, hanging just the right curtains or choosing a striking centerpiece, it all matters. ENTER: a cranberry centerpiece!

    To make something elegant or jaw dropping beautiful or unique does not necessarily require great expense. If you have time (your most precious commodity), you have it all save a few simple craft tools: foam balls, hot glue and cranberries!

    I think you know what to do. Have fun. :)

     

    Photo credit

  • Cranberry Ornaments

    cranberry heart ornamentI've been browsing the internet, searching for more ways of using cranberries that don't involve adding a ton of sugar. There are literally dozens, maybe even hundreds of great recipes using cranberries that do add sugar, but there are just so many ways to use these precious little round and red nutrient gems that defaulting to sugar isn't even necessary. What do you think about these adorable ornaments?

    Using just a few simple craft items, you can make these homespun creations yourself. All it takes is some thin wire, jute string and your imagination. Oh, and of course cranberries. You can either dry the cranberries first (as shown) or use fresh. You can see the ones in the picture are a bit wrinkly and shrunken, but the ornaments are just so earthy and sweet and would look so cute hanging on your tree.

    The process is a simple one. Just thread your cranberries with some thin wire, twist close the loop and shape into bells, Christmas trees, stars or hearts. Or anything else your heart desires! Tie a piece of jute string to the top, and that's it. This is definitely a  project that the kids could help with, too.

    And, whose to say these have to be just for Christmas? They would also work for Valentine's Day, for Memorial Day, for the 4th of July and Thanksgiving just to name a few. We certainly don't need a holiday either! I think this heart shaped decoration is charming at absolutely any time of year.

    This whole series around alternate uses for cranberries began when I popped a couple of dried cranberries in my mouth only to be surprised at how tart and almost bitter they were. Since then I've been on a mission to find ways to use up the cranberries in my house since I won't be popping them in this mouth again anytime soon. Stay tuned for more ideas in the days to come.

  • Cranberries as Decorations

    cranberriesLast week my husband and I were at Trader Joe's getting some groceries, stocking up for a new brand of smoothies that we found. In an effort to eat less packaged food and sugar, and increase our intake of veggies, fruits and healthy fats, we found we were sorely lacking the necessary ingredients. One of the recipes I found called for frozen cranberries, and thoughts of Thanksgiving began to roll around in my head. Trader Joe's tends to just carry more seasonal items, but we did find dried cranberries and decided they would work.

    When we got home, I excitedly opened the package and popped a couple of those babies into my mouth. Wow. Sour. Almost bitter. I didn't expect that. Truth is, cranberries are VERY low in sugar content. When I make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, I usually add both orange juice and sugar, so I should've been more aware. We tried the cranberries in our smoothie recipe, and honestly, we didn't really care for it. So, I think we'll be finding some creative uses for these dried cranberries soon!

    cranberries and candlesHere's an idea....apparently cranberries float. Who knew? Simple enough to put together, and it has that rustic charm about it that I really love. No worries about the leaves going bad or getting soggy...it is likely this would be a table decoration for a dinner party, or perhaps just a nice low light for the family room. At any rate, because the candle inside is small, it's one of those beautiful, temporary things.

    So, if you, like me, aren't too wild about eating unsweetened cranberries, try this out.

     

    Photo credit: Cranberries, Floating candle decoration

  • A Mother's Favorite Ornament

    Have you ever seen photos from the past posted on Facebook on Thursdays with the hashtag #TBT? TBT stands for throw back Thursday, and it's quickly becoming a big trend! It is so much fun to see old pictures of friends and family, and I decided to get in on the fun recently. I pulled out some old photos when the boys were little and even some when I was little. Time slipped away quickly as I couldn't take my eyes off my incredible sons . . . and how I want to do something special with these photos. I'll put some of them up for #TBT, but was looking for a more permanent way to enjoy them.

    photo ornamentIsn't this lovely?! I think this is one Christmas ornament that any mom would have hanging up year round. I was thinking how fun it would be to have some that feature all of my sons, some that feature each son individually, and then some that feature our family together!

    I think what I'd do is make nice black and white or sepia colored copies of the photos, arranged in a collage. If you are looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift OR a Christmas gift for the mom who seems to have everything or never has any suggestions for you, I think you've just found it.

    I know of no mom who wouldn't just adore an ornament/gift like this. Just follow this tutorial, and give your mom something she will defintely, always and forever cherish.

  • An Old Fashioned Christmas | Christmas Lights

    Is there anything in the world like the rich tradition of an old fashioned Christmas? Every generation makes its contribution to history, and it's kinda weird to think that one day the things we see and do today will be viewed as old fashioned too! Still, I just love the feeling of comfort and familiarity that oozes from old fashioned themes of days gone by.

    So, I started a series of posts in April around an old fashioned Christmas. This week we've been talking about simple and time honored ways of spending more time together with the ones we love the most. We learned how to come a-wassailing and what that has meant in the past, and we decided to get a little crazy around the Christmas tree yesterday. Do you see a common thread here? Besides being together, we really are having loads of fun!

    christmas lights

    An old fashioned Christmas long ago probably would not have included the extravagant light displays that we are privileged to witness today. You'd be more likely to see a single strand of those big, fat colored bulbs neatly lining the edge of the roof. You always could tell which families had tons of fun with this because there would be lights around the windows, and maybe even some sort of creative lawn display. They'd be the hit of the neighborhood. Today there are entire companies that thrive just on decorating the outside of people's homes with light displays for Christmas!

    So, I say we go look at their handiwork. Load the kids and the grandkids up in the mini van, bring cups of hot cocoa along, and just enjoy the creativity and beauty that light up the winter Christmas sky. You'll be building memories that last a lifetime! I still remember driving the neighborhood when I was a little girl.

    Photo courtesy

     

  • An Old Fashioned Christmas ~ Popcorn Garland

    I've started a series this month all about creating an old fashioned Christmas. This week we've already covered lovely glass vintage bulbs, and, just yesterday, we used the unsuspecting pine cone and walnut to contribute to our theme. Our featured old fashioned item today, everyone must admit, is a popular and well loved practice ~ that of stringing popcorn for the tree. I've got a little twist for you, tho. Of course I do. :)

    popcorn garland

    As you can see from the picture, by including cranberries to your stringed popcorn there is color and texture differences! But that is not the twist, heehee.  This is a great activity for the family while you're all sitting together on the couch watching Christmas specials. And, if you leave off the butter (recommended), there will be less temptation to eat the popcorn instead of string it!

    popcorn treeNow, this really is lovely to hang on the tree, especially as an old fashioned Christmas accent. It sends the message that Christmas really is a family affair, and includes everyone in the family. Little and big, these very long strings of natural garland are going to produce bright eyes and big smiles and very proud little ones for having added their own touch.

    Garland for the BirdsAs great as these are for the tree inside, how about we take some outside too and feed our feathered friends? It's a great idea! For the birds you could add in sunflower seeds to your string. Use a heavier string, and these will work so well. The weather is colder and the earth is barren of food. What a wonderful Christmas gift idea for nature.

    Next week I'll continue with our old fashioned Christmas theme and will bring you some idea for spending more time together. Until then, Merry Old Fashioned Christmas!

     

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