Holiday & Seasonal Projects, House / Living Room, Rental Remedies

No Mantel? No Problem! {Faux Holiday Mantel Wall for Renters}

Christmas decorating can pose a problem for apartment renters and even home renters like me, because we often don’t have a fireplace and mantel to decorate!

Ok, so maybe it’s not a huge problem, but because I love to hang stockings it bugs me.  My solution?  A rustic branch, hung on the wall and draped with a pine garland, creating the feel of a fireplace mantel and a safe place from which to hang our Christmas stockings.

Christmas Stocking Branch on Wall for No Mantel | The Borrowed Abode

Think of this as a not new, but improved project.

During 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 pinned all over the place – and it bugs me because every time I look at it the branch looks like a massive centipede crawling on our wall:

So here’s how I did it this year.  Not only did I find a sweet, weathered piece of wood at a river, I also used a different hanging system.

I used two small Ook Hooks because they use small nails but create a strong hanging system.  I installed them about 1 foot higher than I wanted the branch to hang.  Then I created two long loops of fishing line to hang the branch from, since fishing line is clear.  You can also find clear, strong line in the bead section of the craft store.

Hang Christmas Stocking Branch on Wall With Fishing Line | The Borrowed Abode In real life you really don’t notice the clear string that the branch hangs from.  But what you would notice are the hooks – so I created a small “Let it Snow” sign to hang over them.  I simply used a board, some craft paint, and glitter.

Holiday Stocking Branch No Greenery | The Borrowed Abode
Charlie and I thought the wall still looked a little sad with the stockings hanging on a naked branch, so I added a fresh pine garland.  I wound it around and held it in place with by tying it with a few more pieces of the clear fishing line.


Holiday Stocking Branch for Mantel with Garland | The Borrowed Abode

Faux Mantel Stocking Branch Details | The Borrowed Abode

The fishing line is strong enough that we can put some small treats in the stockings.  The key is to get twine that is rated at 10 pounds or more.

No Mantel Stocking Branch & Winter Sign | The Borrowed Abode

I was so excited to finally, finally get this project completed.  We’re still working on setting up the rest of our decor, like the Christmas Yarn Trees and our actual Christmas Tree.  Let’s hope it’s not an insane saga like it was two years ago. 🙂

Christmas Stocking Branch Wall Faux Mantel | The Borrowed Abode

If you rent, how do you deal with your lack of a mantel when it’s time for Christmas (or winter) decorating? Or are you one of those lucky people who actually has a fireplace to hang stockings from in your rental home?

Faux Mantel for Christmas Stockings for Renters by The Borrowed Abode

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  • Reply Ryan (the husband) at 11:04 pm

    Wonderful job, darling! This looks 98% less centipede-like than the previous effort! And the branches of the slaughtered Christmas tree do create a nice effect. I’m sure there is a nicer way to refer to them, but I don’t know the blog terms. Arboreal sacrificial embellishments?

    Anyway, to any blog readers I just wanted to clarify that the sign is in English. I thought it was French and quite rude but Jane clarified it for me.
    Merry Xmas to all!

  • Reply Kiri at 3:48 am

    I’m a renter and this year is going to be the same as last year given that I am the proud owner of Blanche the Destructor Cat. That is, nothing will go up that is breakable.

    I have swedish hearts made out of paper that I have tied on string like a mobile, and have them hanging from the curtain rods. I use plain paper, and mixed the colors and sizes.

    • Reply Jane at 12:52 pm

      I had to LOL at Blanche the Destructor Cat. I have had family members like that in my past, too 🙂 Alas. I love those Swedish Paper Hearts! I was hoping to have time to make tons of crafts like that this year. . . where has the time gone, though?!

  • Reply Meg at 9:22 am

    Hi Jane! I am a new subscriber and this post caught my eye. I absolutely love how you hung your stockings! Very creative. As a renter who feels the need to minimize the holes in our walls I usually just take down pictures for the season and hang the stockings where the pictures were…your idea is much more attractive! lol.

    • Reply Jane at 12:50 pm

      Hey Meg! First, welcome and thanks so much for saying hello! I totally understand wanting to minimize holes in walls. In the past I went crazy drilling everywhere but then it was such a pain to fill them and repaint. I actually love the idea of just hanging stockings where pictures were hung – what a good way to do double-duty. The Ook hooks I used for the branch hangers were really not too destructive…they probably deserve their own post! Happy Holidays and thanks for saying hello!

  • Reply tara at 7:02 pm

    Love the mantle!

  • Reply 6 Favorite Christmas DIY ProjectsThe Borrowed Abode | The Borrowed Abode at 8:16 am

    […] 1.  Rental-Friendly Faux Mantel for Stockings […]

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