Holiday & Seasonal Projects, Holidays, Small-Space Solution

No mantel for stockings? Branch out!

Ryan is currently composing several “what-the-hell” entries in his head, apparently – and all because of holiday decorating!

One reason – one BIG reason – is the fact that there is now a branch on our living room wall.  A branch from which stockings are hanging.

I wanted to hang a pair of my handmade Christmas stockings, but had no mantle from which to do so.  And I wanted to hang them on that back wall of the living room, as it was horribly blank.  (In January I really need to make some artwork for that wall.)

Hanging stockings straight on the wall (using Command Adhesive hooks to keep the walls clean) would have been too easy, right?   I wanted a creative solution – and a branch was the first thing that popped into my mind.  I love the organic and rustic look of branches, and wish I could incorporate them into my home more often.  But Ryan likes them outside, where they “belong.”

Sidenote:  We entered into living together with an agreement:  either we both agree on a decorating idea, or it doesn’t happen.  I think it’s a good approach, even though it means I can’t upholster the living room couch in blue velvet, the whole point was to create a home that we both love.  But when it came to the Christmas branch, I begged him to let me  try it – and he agreed, but only because it’s temporary, like the rest of the holiday decor.  (Thank you, Ryan!)

Back to the branch.  I adhered it to the wall using two Command Cord Bundlers –  they’re made for cord wrangling, but worked perfectly for branch hanging.

I tried a few different branches, some of which had gorgeous shapes and lots of tinier branches, but I had to settle on the octopus tentatcle one.  The less curvy and more branch-y branches stuck out every which way, threatening to poke our eyes out as we stumbled blindly by in the dark of night.

Once our stockings were hung it still looked a bit bare, so I added a bit of bling in the form of small silver Christmas balls suspended from fresh green ribbon.

And as we receive our Christmas cards (if we get any!) I think I’ll find a way to clip them to the branches to finish off the look.

So there you have it -my rental-friendly solution to hanging stockings without a fireplace.  I suppose a shelf could’ve accomplished the same thing, but that would have required much more work, not to mention drilling holes in the wall.

Now it’s your turn:  tell me what you think! Are you with Ryan, preferring to keep branches outside the home?  Or do you dig the natural look?

Tomorrow we’ll continue the fun Christmas decorating-themed-week when I return and tell you why we had to use a hair dryer to set up our Christmas Tree.  Fingers crossed that Ryan will be inspired to chime in with his side of the story.  Anyone want to guess on what this is all about? 🙂

PS:  Iif you’d like some free help with a decorating challenge in your rented home, (with our without the use of branches), drop me a line!

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  • Reply Aurora at 2:46 pm

    Personally, I’ve done stuff like this at home before and we do it at work in the gift shop to display ornaments and trinkets year-round. I love creating and decorating with genuine artifacts of nature (and actually find faux foliage offensive :x), even down to collecting bits that most would squirm at… such as my perfectly preserved sun-baked frog, plucked from the pavement one sweltering summer day!

  • Reply KCatGU at 2:50 pm

    I love it! Sorry Ryan, this branch inside just plain rocks! We don’t have a fireplace either and so right now our stockings hang off the TV Console, but I am mentally filing this idea away, because it just so great.

  • Reply Mikalah at 3:12 pm

    I too am one of the mantel-less people out there, and i love this creative solution! It looks awesome. Also, your stockings are so darn cute!

  • Reply Sarah at 3:35 pm

    Uh, our stockings are currently tied to a 60-lb piece of Puerto Rican driftwood that my husband graciously allows to reside permanently on our hearth. (We have a mantel, but no stocking holders.) So obviously I’m on your team!

  • Reply Sunny's Life in Rehab at 3:55 pm

    Well how weird, we both dragged branches in the house today! Personally, I like your REPURPOSED branch with the CRISP white stockings- it gives that wall a nice little pick me up, and I love the shot with your coffee table vignette in the foreground. It really illustrates how nicely they work together.

    Bring it, Ryan.

  • Reply Ashley @ at 4:56 pm

    I think it looks cool!

  • Reply jenn at 6:53 pm

    That is an awesome solution! Very creative! 🙂 And, I really like the red and white tree display on the coffee table — did you make it?

  • Reply JoDi at 8:52 pm

    I LOVE bringing the outdoors in for decorating – branches, pine cones, leaves!! Gotta love free decor items! My fall table centerpiece was a large hurricane vase filled with crape myrtle branches on a white tray with pine cones. I should have taken a picture. Us non-bloggy folks never think to do that. LOL

    Can’t wait for the next WTH post! Ryan’s response to your awesome homemade treescape on the table was exactly what my DH would say. I laughed out loud!

  • Reply Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons at 9:20 pm

    YESSS!!!!!!!! Jane you flipping rock! I love this! I was eying expensive stocking holders and literally stomped away from the store. no way. no how. I wanted to make something or deal with the mantle-less cards I was given.

    This is great… I will hunt for sticks tomorrow…. if it’s not too cold =)


  • Reply Jen on the Edge at 10:06 pm

    I think it looks terrific!

  • Reply Megan @ Megan Makes Stuff at 12:03 am

    great, great idea!

  • Reply mydesignchic at 1:23 am

    What an ingenous solution for hanging these adorable stockings…love it!!

  • Reply Crysty at 11:25 am

    Love it!

  • Reply Robin at 4:27 pm

    I love this idea! So pretty! I am glad you and Ryan have reached a nice decorating compromise! 🙂

  • Reply Bonnie Pearson at 9:51 am

    okay, so to my dear son, if everything that belongs outside can’t come in to decorate, what are you doing with that live christmas tree?duh

  • Reply Exciting News and a Giveaway! | The Borrowed Abode at 8:07 am

    […] before Christmas I entered my Christmas Stocking Branch idea in the Take Command of your Space contest held by the company that makes Command Brand […]

  • Reply Anathianab at 3:18 am

    thanks so much! i’ve been trying to find a solution to hanging our stockings too (no fireplace, no stair banisters) and i believe this one is it! great idea 😉

  • Reply A Delmer922 at 8:58 pm

    I love this!!! I have been thinking about doing this for some time and I love the way yours looks! I have a completely barren wall myself, and I think this will work magically for our stockings for our first Christmas in our new home! Great idea!! 🙂

  • Reply Emma at 5:15 am

    love it, and it seems very popular on pinterest! That’s how I found you!

  • Reply My “Christmas is only 2 weeks away?!” Holiday Decor | The Borrowed Abode at 7:30 am

    […] wall in time for Christmas, so that we’d have a place to hang stockings and Christmas cards – like we did last year – but I’ve been so busy filling regular and wholesale orders for Janery that it’s […]

  • Reply Stockings Hung By [a branch] With Care « Crystal Danae at 10:24 pm

    […] love stockings but don’t have a mantel?  Step outside and yoink a branch off the ground!  This was my […]

  • Reply Meg @ Revamp Homegoods at 6:28 pm

    Would love to feature a photo of this project for my Houzz article but need your okay first. Thanks so much!

  • Reply No Mantel? No Problem! {Faux Holiday Mantel Wall for Renters} | The Borrowed Abode at 11:25 am

    […] our first Christmas in this borrowed abode, I solved the problem by hanging a branch on the wall with some Command Hook products.  Thanks to Pinterest, I now see that Christmas Stocking Branch […]

  • Reply Lorena Romano's Hot In The Hub Blog » Holiday decorating ideas for your home at 3:01 pm

    […] as taping stockings to the wall or on hooks doesn’t usually have the same feel. Why not try this: pick up a tree branch from outside, grab yourself some command hooks, attach them all to a wall […]

  • Reply Linda L at 12:18 pm

    Have you tried the very small Command Cord “routers” (for my brain dis function right now)? They could be hidden underneath the branch and your Christmas cards could be displayed…

    • Reply Jane at 8:42 pm

      Thanks for the idea! I didn’t think they would be strong enough.

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