Fill Stockings Like a Pro (or Santa!)

How to Fill Stockings Like a Pro (or Santa!)


How to create photo-worthy stocking displays for the holidays.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

Increase the anticipation of Christmas all month long by creating appealing, photo-worthy Christmas stockings for the big morning. You need only two things to get started: the stockings and somewhere to hang them.

Get Ready to Deck the Hall

Dig out your stockings from storage. Make sure you have one for everyone, including visitors and family pets. Pay attention to a few rules:

  • Make sure stockings are all the same size (especially if you have children).
  • Choose stockings with a strong loop that can hold its weight securely.
  • Check to see that your stockings are clean and neat. While vintage stockings have lots of cool memories, stained or crumpled ones won’t invoke the same joyful feelings and could disrupt your desired aesthetic.
  • If you’re shopping for new stockings, choose large, roomy ones that will fit lots of presents. For an extra-special touch, get stockings with embroidered monograms or names.

Create a Focal Point

How to Fill Stockings Like a Pro (or Santa!)

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, all you need to do is figure out how to work your stockings into the scene. Arrange lights, garlands, and figurines first, then hang the stockings last to ensure they aren’t tangled in other decorations.

Weighted stocking hooks or holders are an easy way to hang stockings without damaging your mantel. Look for hooks with enough width so that stockings will hang securely and won’t be easily pulled down by curious kids. Choose your desired style — large decorative hooks make a statement, while smaller plain holders let the stockings shine. If stocking holders don’t work with your plans, try removable heavy-duty adhesive hooks.

If you don’t have a mantel, you can display your stockings in one of these locations:

  • Put stocking hooks on an entertainment center or on top of a china cabinet.
  • Use suction cups to hang them in the windows or on a sliding glass door.
  • Tie each one with a pretty bow to the back of a dining chair.
  • String some garland across the wall with removable adhesive hooks and hang the stockings beneath the garland.

Plan Stocking Stuffers Strategically

How to Fill Stockings Like a Pro (or Santa!)

As you choose stocking stuffers, consider how the final product will look from a child’s perspective. Start from the top down and shop accordingly.

Stockings tend to bend easily, causing packages at the top to tumble out. Place a large, sturdy gift at the back of the stocking to hold it upright. Some ideas include a coloring book, comic book, or magazine. Curl them into a half-circle to make the perfect cone for holding a tower of gifts.

Next, choose a cute item to poke out of the top of the stocking. For younger children, a stuffed bear, a doll, or a shiny race car does the trick. For older kids and teenagers, a charming Christmas ornament or a giant decorated cookie adds a touch of whimsy.

Don’t forget the toe! Only a couple of small items will fit in this small space. Packs of card games, candy, and age-appropriate trinkets for teens and tots are good choices, depending on who the stocking is going to.

To Wrap or Not to Wrap

How to Fill Stockings Like a Pro (or Santa!)

Everyone has an opinion about whether to wrap stocking stuffers, and much of it is based on family tradition. The best compromise is to wrap some items and leave others unwrapped. This way, the kids can see some of the goodies sticking out of the top, while other presents remain a surprise. Christmas morning also flies by incredibly fast — if you want to slow it down, have the kids take a little extra time to unwrap stocking treasures.

Finish With a Flourish

After you hang each stocking in place, take a moment to add some embellishment. Tuck in a candy cane or a piece of holly berry, tie on a beautiful red bow, or — best of all — add a note telling the recipient how much you love him or her.

As a writer for The Home Depot and a professional organizer, Lea Schneider loves to be creative about organizing and planning, especially around Christmas. She provides tips on taking ordinary objects and Christmas decorations and turning them into eye-catching holiday displays. Visit The Home Depot to see more Christmas decoration ideas.


❖ Similar Categories: Christmas Crafts, Winter Crafts, Holiday Crafts & Special Days
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