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christmas design ideas

  • 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.

  • Beautiful Christmas Wreaths

    wreath topFor the last couple of days I've been talking with you about Christmas wreaths....their history and just exactly how you put one of 'em together so it looks great. I was thinking last night about my first wreath and how I really had no idea on how it was supposed to look or what theme I wanted.

    If this is your first time making your own Christmas wreath, I thought maybe offering some ideas of what others have done might help to get the ol' creative ball rolling. So without further ado, settle in for some viewing pleasure. :)\

    wreath 1



    wreath 2



    wreath 8


    wreath 3



    wreath 5


    wreath 4 rosemary


    wreath 6


    wreath 7


    wreath 9


    wreath 10


    See, I told you you couldn't do it wrong. :)

    Next time we'll take a look at some creative wreaths that are made out of materials other than greens. It's going to be very fun, so don't miss it!

    Until then,


    Photo Credit: Title Wreath, Gallery

  • An Old Fashioned Christmas | Free Activities!

    old fashionedBeginning in April, I started a series of posts around the idea of re-creating an old fashioned Christmas. We decorated vintage style, we spent more time with the ones we love, and we resurrected some very old fashioned Christmas treats.

    This week, I'm wrapping up the series talking about spending less money. I know, not very sexy is it? But, we're learning some really neat stuff about setting a budget and making our own gifts. Those are both becoming very chic these days!

    Today it's all about free activities. Not everything needs to cost money even though sometimes it feels like it just does. And, we accept it often without even questioning, and reason "Well, it's Christmas, not the time to skimp." Let's talk about that for a minute.

    Remember those camping trips you took when the kids were little? Remember the rain? The mud? The close quarters? The fire that wouldn't start? The noises in the night? Haha, me too. And, when we get back home we're so happy for our warm, dry beds, for the hot shower, and all the comforts that home brings. But, I venture to say you still talk about those camping trips just like I do, often with lots of now-hilarious stories and laughter as if it were the best. vacation. ever.  Lotsa stuff went wrong and yet here we are, still talking about it. Funny, huh?


    Truth is, spending time doing the simple things often produces some of our best ever memories. We can pack our Christmas holiday with so much busyness that we end up irritated OR we can back off of the merry-go-round and plan some simple free things to do together.  We have a cupboard full of table games that gets added to every year. We can spends hours and hours together playing the latest and greatest game that just came out or the oldest one in the drawer, doesn't much matter.

    Or, how about puzzles? Jigsaw puzzles are great because you can really talk!

    Snuggle up on the couch and watch a favorite movie, pop some popcorn, or go for a walk.

    The list is as long as all the stuff your family loves to do on ordinary days. Do you like music? How about renting a karaoke machine and hamming it up? Like being on stage? A good ol' game of charades will do the trick.

    What other free things to do around the holidays can you think of?


    Photo courtesy:  Holly, Family

  • Paper Snowflakes

    I don't think making paper snowflakes ever gets old. Nor are we ever too old to make them, they are fun, creative and EASY! It's a great activity for a Saturday afternoon or a school day that's been called off due to weather. Gather 'round the table, have some hot cocoa and a cookie, and make snowflakes.

    I was looking around the internet for different designs and I actually saw a paper snowflake that was 3D, it was gorgeous. This simple little paper crafting project has come a long way baby! You can make them simple as ever or get very elaborate.

    Below are several pictures of what you can do with some paper, a pen and some scissors along with links at the bottom for instructions. Have fun!


    snowflake 1


    3d snowflake


    snowflake 2


    snowflake 3


    snowflake 4


    snowflake 5


    Photo courtesy: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six


  • Snowman Ornaments

    snowman ornamentsWe are continuing with our SNOW theme in honor of the first measurable snowfall that is due in the next few days here in Minneapolis. I don't think there's a single Minnesotan that really expects the snow to hold off for much longer. These cute li'l snowman head ornaments turned-diy-garland will make you smile even if the weather outside doesn't. Promise.

    What is so great about this idea is that you can get the kiddos involved. Picture it ~ they are happy, no, ecstatic that school was cancelled today and they've been out playing in it ever since . . . sliding down hills, throwing snowballs and building their first snowman of the season. They come in from the cold, and you've got tomato soup and grilled cheese ready to warm them up just like the quintessential soup commercial, right?!  With lunch over in a flash, now what? Thankfully you saw this post and picked up the supplies one day after work in preparation for this day. No wonder your kids think you're a are!

    • 10 small foam balls
    • air dry clay (5# tub is less than $10 at Target)
    • black beads
    • black paint
    • cosmetic blush
    • 1/4" ribbon
    • Florists wire
    1.  Cover the foam balls with the air dry clay, adding extra to form the nose.
    2. The clay will dry quickly, so go ahead and wet the areas where you want the eyes, then attach black beads.
    3. Using your imagination and a toothpick dipped in black paint, draw the mouth and other facial features.
    4. Apply rouge to the cheeks. Awww!
    5. Cut 10 2" pieces from the florist wire, bend each one at the center and push into ball
    6. String your ribbon through and hang wherever you want.....the tree, over a door, in the window, etc.


    Photo and Design courtesy:


  • Alternative Christmas Tree

    2009 Christmas TreeIt is true that I love my big and wide and real Christmas trees for the holidays. In fact I kind of love bringing the outdoors in all year long, and I bet many of you are like that too. If I could find a way to live outside all year long and stay warm, dry and comfortable, I'd be all over that. Okay, maybe not, but we are one of those families that does leave the window cracked open in the winter for the fresh air, so there's that. :)

    Today's post highlights just that...bringing the outdoors in and using a bit of creativity to do it. We just spent the afternoon putting our vegetable garden to bed for the winter, so now the garage is full of gardening paraphernalia. The tomato cages caught my eye as we were stacking them in the corner, and my imagination began twirling . . . hmm,  what could I do to transform those wiry things into something useful, pretty, festive. And, apparently I'm not the only one to have those thoughts.

    I love love LOVE this idea for decorating the deck and even the big window flower boxes we've got outside our living room window.  We had a stray cat last winter that decided to use those window boxes as her litter box, ugh! So we've got plans to put something in there this year, and this is just perfect! Simply invert those tomato cages, wrap with some weather-proof garland and lights, and wow, what a fabulous view both from the inside and out!

    But, that's not all! Bring 'em inside, put one in the corner of the bathroom, another in the kitchen, scatter them around the easy and so creative! And, honestly, what could be better than a tree in every single room? Nothing, I dare say, absolutely nothing.


    Photo credit:


  • DIY Snowy Ball Ornaments

    snowy ballNobody here in the upper Midwest has spoken the "S" word yet, but we all know that these beautiful autumn days are numbered. Despite our best attempts to bribe the gods, winter will come, the snow "S" will fly and we will do what we hearty Minnesotans do in these situations: embrace it complain. I moved here from Washington state 10 years ago, and have never stopped being amazed at how long a Minnesotan can discuss the weather when they don't like it, lol. So it is with great hesitation that I show you this very doable, fun DIY project today. But, never mind the naysayers, here we go!

    This project has been posted on Pinterest from several different people, but I think the idea may have originated with the ever lovely Martha Stewart. I love the look of these, they look so lacey and sparkly, and the fact that it uses common crafting supplies is a big bonus in my book.

    So, let's get started. The gist of this project is that the snowy ball is made out of string that is wrapped around a small water balloon and then dipped in watered down glue. A wise suggestion would be to make just a couple of these to see how it goes before delving into the 100 that you will undoubtedly want once you see them. Okay, slight exaggeration, but maybe not. I love the idea of giving these as gifts to coworkers, extended family, girlfriends, etc. It is a small, thoughtful and very creative gift that anyone would love to receive. That said, there's also nothing wrong with  making these for ourselves, right?


    • small package of water balloons
    • tacky glue
    • plain white string
    • glitter
    • ornament hooks
    • water
    1. Blow up your balloons so they're about 2" in diameter and tie a knot.
    2. Without cutting a piece of string off the roll, attach the end to the knot on the balloon.
    3. Then randomly wrap the string around your colorful little sphere. Isn't this fun?!
    4. Squeeze some tacky glue into a 4" bowl and add some water so it's pretty runny.
    5. Roll your string-wrapped balloons around in the glue until all the string has been coated.
    6. Sprinkle on glitter to your hearts content.
    7. Attach a twist tie to the end of the balloon and twist the end closed to form a small loop.
    8. Using a small piece of string, hang the twist tie loop on your shower curtain rod.
    9. After 48 hours, pop the balloon using a pair of tweezers, and remove the balloon.
    10. Wrap it up in a pretty box or hang on the tree!

    Project credit

  • Christmas Nail Art

    We here at Merry Stockings, unashamedly, love all things Christmas. We specialize in customized Christmas stockings, tree ornaments, holiday cards, and of course Christmas tree skirts. Our festive spirits, tho, are not limited to what we sell, oh no!

    Today's post is dedicated to all the ladies who work so hard to make Christmas special for everyone else. Feast your eyes, be inspired, print this post and take immediately to your nail salon!  I love the idea of doing just one nail per hand with these fun patterns, but wow, doing all fingers makes quite a statement!

    Candy Cane Stripe

    Santa's Buckle

    nail art 1Christmas Lights

    nail art 3Santa Hat

    nail art 4All That Glitters & Shines

    nail art 5Pretty Package

    nail art 6

  • Dressing Up Your Chairs For Christmas

    take a bowI don't know what your dining room chairs look like, maybe they are really really fancy to start with. But ours, well, they are just ordinary, comfortable dining room chairs. We like them, but they aren't really anything to write home about if you know what I mean.

    The holidays are such a great time to take something ordinary, like regular ol' dining room chairs, and transform them into something eye-catching, remarkable, showy. I bring to you this simple idea of the casually linen-wrapped chair with a bow.

    What you will need:

    • Square linen tableclothes (or just fabric)
    • Wide ribbon cut in 6 foot lengths
    • Safety pins

    ribboned chairDrap the fabric over the chair so that the back is gathered and flows. Then just wrap the ribbon around, tie in a bow and secure on the underside with safety pins. So elegant looking, so easy.

    Or consider an even simpler option. Pick your favorite ribbon in your favorite color, tie it around the top of the chair securing it with tape on the underside. When you attach a pretty ornament on the back, you have essentially remade your entire dining room look, all for a very small price!

    I am sooo doing this for Christmas this year!


    Photo Courtesy

  • Building a Christmas Notebook: Ideas

    Welcome back to the blog after a long Memorial Day holiday weekend!  We’re in the middle of getting our Christmas notebooks created, and I hope you had a chance to pick up your supplies.  If you missed the last post with the list, you can find it here. Today’s post is all about the first section of our notebook, Ideas.

    I learned an old writer’s trick several years ago from a colleague. We were lunching, and right in the middle of a sentence, he stopped, pulled out a small notepad and began writing furiously. When he finished, he explained that when ideas strike he has to write them down before they are gone. Even though I’d heard of this before, this was the first time I'd actually observed someone do it!

    Ideas have a way of coming to us when we least expect them. So, like my friend, we are going to capture every last one in our small accessory-sized notepad. Throw it in your purse, tuck it in the back pocket of your jeans, keep it on your nightstand (middle of the night ideas are some of the best!), and even carry it with you when you exercise. Sounds strange? I’m an avid cyclist, and I can’t tell you the number of times an idea has struck me while out on the trails. The idea is that wherever we are, we’ll have this little notepad to record our ideas. Then, when you get back to your desk, transfer the pages from your notepad into your Christmas notebook. They can either be placed in the pocket or glued to a sheet of paper for storing in your Ideas section.

    A great place to continue gathering Christmas ideas is Pinterest. If you aren’t already following Merry Stockings on Pinterest, you can click here to be taken to our page. Pinterest is a crafter’s dream, isn’t it?! I can get lost there for hours, and come away with a treasure box full of ideas.

    Another good resource for Christmas ideas is the Merry Stocking’s catalog that will be out shortly. If you’d like to receive one in the mail, just visit here and sign up; we’ll be glad to send you one just as soon as they’re ready. If you’ve received a catalog in the past, the new copy will be sent to you automatically.

    Next time we’ll talk about the various lists we need to make, add to and congregate into our Christmas notebooks.

    Merry planning!


    Photo courtesty

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