Decorative Stocking Holder on a Rustic Christmas Mantel


Article Posted By: Liberty

DIY Decor: Decorative Stocking Holder on a Rustic Christmas Mantel

The fireplace mantel (or a prominent book shelf) is the traditional center of Christmas celebrations at home. It’s where you hang the stockings and display other Christmas decorations. We have some Christmas mantel decorating ideas with a rustic DIY stocking holder taking center stage. The stocking hanger is easy to make from an ordinary cedar planter box and some decorative coat hooks. Just follow the step-by-step instructions.

Materials for DIY Stocking Holder

Tools and Materials Needed for a DIY Decorative Stocking Holder


How to Build the Decorative Stocking Holder

Step 1: Stain the Cedar Box

Apply the Classic Gray stain in the direction of the wood grain over the entire box with a brush or a clean cloth. You will need to apply the stain quickly, as it is a thin stain.

Allow the stain to penetrate the wood for desired finish. The longer you leave the stain on the wood, the richer and darker the finish will be. We let the stain sit for 15 minutes to achieve a nice gray ash color.

DIY Decorative Stocking Holder: Staining the Box

Step 2: Remove Excess Stain

DIY Decorative Stocking Holder: Removing Excess Stain

Use a rag to remove the excess stain. Wipe in the direction of the grain. As you are removing the excess, blend in light and dark areas of stain for more uniform color.

Allow the areas of stain to fully dry before moving to the next step.

Step 3: Apply the Wax

Take a clean rag and apply the wax quickly and sporadically, hitting any areas that you know you want to reveal.

Tip: Quick and random strokes creates a truer rustic feel to your final piece. Using uneven strokes along the front, sides, tops and edges can help better achieve the desired rustic look.

DIY Decorative Stocking Holder: Applying Wax

Step 4: Paint the Box

Apply a generous first coat of paint. We used an 8 oz. sample of Behr Forbidden Red  to cover the entire 30-in. Cedar Box. When painting, try to move in the direction of the wood grain.

Apply the paint liberally over the entire box, including the areas where you applied the wax. Be sure to brush off any excess globs of paint by sweeping your brush in the direction of the wood grain. We chose not to do a second coat of paint, so that the gray stain would peek through the first coat. Allow paint to fully dry before moving on to the next step.

DIY Decorative Stocking Holder: Painting Over the Stain

Step 5: Sand the Box

Use your sanding block to lightly sand all surfaces. As you sand the paint off the waxy areas, the paint may remove easily but not fully peel off. Add moderate pressure to brush these areas with the sanding block and fully remove the peeled excess.

DIY Decorative Stocking Holder: Sanding the Paint

Step 6: Lay Out and Map Hook Placement

In preparation for your final steps, lay out and map your hooks on the front facing panel of the window box. Our window box was 30 in. to accommodate for four stockings. We denoted three inches to each side, then six inches in between each hook. Once you have a desired layout and mapped placement, mark the screw holes for easy mounting.

Tip: When laying out your hooks, check for the distance between each stocking by placing them as if they were hanging from the hooks. This will help you achieve your desired final look with minimal stocking overlay.

DIY Decorative Stocking Holder: Mapping Hook Placement

Step 7: Pre-drill

Using a 3/32-in. drill bit, pre-drill the holes for mounting the hooks.

DIY Decorative Stocking Holder: Drilling Holes for the Hooks

Step 8: Mount the Hardware

Place the hooks back on the box, and attach them with a screwdriver using the mounting hardware provided.

DIY Decorative Stocking Holder: Mounting the Hardware

Step 9: Decorate Your Stocking Hanger Box

Now that you have completed the DIY Decorative Stocking Holder, it’s time to decorate! We used a variety of holiday themed potpourri with brilliant greens, reds, and frosted pinecones to complement our paint color. Using potpourri can serve a dual purpose; it’s visually appealing but also gives off a charming holiday scent.

DIY Decor: Decorative Stocking Holder on a Rustic Christmas Mantel

Bonus Decoration Tips

To dress up the fireplace mantel even more, we added holiday lanterns with battery operated LED candles. By mounting a small decorative hook to the underside of your mantel, your lanterns can hang securely all year long, and still be easily changed with décor theme!

Lantern Hanging from Corner of Fireplace Mantel

I also came up with this creative wall hanging, using a rubber door mat from Home Depot. Painted with several coats of Metallic Champagne Mist spray paint, it makes a dramatic addition to the room and décor.

DIY Decor: Decorative Stocking Holder on a Rustic Christmas Mantel

Browse our Holiday Decorations for everything you’ll need to get your home ready for Christmas.

Follow our Holiday Crafts and Ideas board on Pinterest for more Christmas decorating ideas.