Close up of Christmas tree and fairy lights

Step-by-step: Make Your Mantel Magical

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hope that St Nicholas soon would be there…”

Christmas brings somewhat of a mini home renovation project. Once you’ve picked the perfect tree and clad it in colour-coordinated festoons, baubles, and other ornaments, it’s time to turn your attention to the mantel.

The living room has long been hailed as the heart of the home. It seems only fitting, therefore, that your mantelpiece becomes the centrepiece around which family can gather and share in festivities. Plus, for those families with young children, the fireplace is a magical portal through which Santa appears with a haul of loot. Who are we to deprive them of the full experience?

However, there are so many points to consider when planning your mantel decorations, including how to implement your design strategy without causing permanent damage to your mantel or surround.

So, here is my step-by-step guide to make your mantel magical, without causing lasting damage:

Match the mantel

If your Christmas tree is in the vicinity of your mantel piece, you have a duty to ensure they match or are – at the very least – complementary. Otherwise, feel free to deviate from the colour scheme if you so wish.

To get your creative juices flowing, I’ve compiled a list of my top five mantel and Christmas tree co-ordinations. You’ll notice these will match or coordinate with the décor styles I shared for Christmas trees:

Boho-chic Christmas mantel


If your mantel allows, a thick and bushy garland peppered with warm lights, and natural wood or macrame ornaments would suit a boho Christmas perfectly. Opt for neutral-coloured stockings, or even invest in woollen socks to hang on the mantel. Finish the look with lanterns and a basket of chopped firewood.

black stockings on mantel


Sometimes less is more. Stockings in a Mrs Hinch grey, draped with star lights are a perfect minimalist alternative. Adorn the mantel with marquee star lights, stuffed with baubles, and create your own winter wonderland with ornamental sleighs and rocking horses. 

white mantel stockings


If candy canes and sugar plums dance through your head at Christmas time, this is the mantel magic for you. Red and white stockings with geometric patterns, combined with a small village of house and tree ornaments creates a festive candy-land display. Finish the effect with red bows.

mantel with stockings and lights


Splashes of vibrant ornaments and strings of multicoloured lights will add a traditional family vibe to your mantelpiece. Brightly coloured stockings will also contribute to the look. To create an uber-cosy atmosphere, add candles; I advise against real ones due to the fire risk, but there some great faux candles available to purchase, whose “flames” flicker.

mantel with silver decorations


If stockings aren’t your style, and you prefer a little more elegance to your mantel décor, sprays of metallic foliage pulled together with baubles and pearl strings make for a glamourous alternative. This style breathes an air of the roaring 20s.

How to avoid damaging your surround

Where there are stockings, there is the potential to damage your surround while hanging them. A little sticky tape seems like a great idea at first, but it leaves a tacky residue on most surfaces. More importantly, tape does not hold up to the task once those stockings are stuffed! So how can you assure your stockings will have staying power, without causing permanent damage?

If Santa will be filling your stockings with goodies, then stocking hooks are really the only method durable enough to cope with the additional weight of presents. The good news is, they come in a variety of different styles and use the power of physics to ensure your stocking stays put, without damaging the mantel or surround.

Alternatively, if the stockings are purely for decoration, you could try:

  • Hanging the stockings from the garland
  • Sourcing a branch, which can be decorated, and the stockings attached with twine or ribbons
  • A mantel box with hooks; if you cleverly filled the box with small but weighty objects, St Nick could safely stuff your stockings

No mantel? No problem!

So, you don’t have a mantel, but you still want in on the action? I’ve got you covered. You could try:

stockings on bookcase

Turning your focus to the stairs. Give your hallway a makeover by wrapping the bannisters in pre-lit garlands, and secure your stockings with ribbons

Stocking with books

Banking on your bookcase. Stuff the foot of your stocking with something weighty and style your stocking akin to a bookend

stockings pegged to string

Securing twine or ribbon. If you can tie twine or ribbon to pre-existing hooks or nails, hang your stockings to the line with pegs

stocking under Christmas tree

Stashing your stocking beneath the tree. The easiest solution. Santa need not sneak around the kids’ bedrooms when delivering their presents. The best way to keep the secret safe and the magic alive

Bed with stockings

Hanging them on the bedframe. If all else fails, hanging your stocking on your bedframe, door or cupboard handle are all viable options


We know all the tips, tricks, and workarounds to create the desired effect for your home renovation and interior design projects. If you’d like to get in touch with the team here at Maidenhead, to discuss any upcoming ventures, please drop us a line!

Posted on December 10th 2021

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