9 stocking ideas for a meaningful Christmas mantle

Em Bronson is a Hallmark designer with endless ideas for making the world around her more beautiful, more fun and more festive. We’ve heard rumors of this amazing stocking event she organizes every holiday season, and we asked her to give us the scoop…so we can steal some sweet stocking ideas!


Every year I have a few swaps with my pals, and one of them is at Christmas. The tradition began as a stocking exchange: We got a group of friends together, swapped names, and made stockings for each other. But several years in, we’ve all got more stockings than Santa can properly stuff. So the game changed a bit this year. We all made a stocking for someone of our choice outside of our stocking-making circle. And then we got together for a little party to see everyone’s creations, hear the stories behind the stockings, and of course…stuff them! The range and talent was crazy good, and the stories were even better!

Find reasons to add pom poms!

OX Stocking by Leslie Seibert

“Oxford is the newest addition to our family. He’s the sweetest, snuggliest, and above all silliest French bulldog there ever was. I wanted to hand-stitch a stocking for him that would hang with our existing stockings while adding a notable dose of fun (kinda like Ox does for our pack). I pulled the evergreen, ivory and gold palette from the minimalistic holiday bits that adorn our mantle each year. And I added colorful pom poms and tassels, because they just seemed necessary. (And because seeking out reasons to make pom poms is what I do). Ox approves.”

Take a note from Jack Frost!

Noel Stocking by Keda McKenna

“I was inspired recently by a little piece of writing my daughter did in the frost on our car window. Her words weren’t Christmas related, but I liked the way that the negative space became the focus. So I decided to do some reverse embroidery on my stocking that was reminiscent of that. And then I topped it off with a little ‘’wreath’’ of sorts.”

Use meaningful fabric…and add pockets!

K & J Stockings by Katie Larson

“My stockings were created for me and my husband and were sewn together with fabric from our wedding. Each stocking has a little pocket in the front for leaving ‘letters to Santa’ or little gifts on Christmas.”

Don’t be afraid to get quirky!

Slug Stocking by Allyson Lassiter

“I love thinking up fun, weird characters. So for my stocking, I created the Christmas Slug. I imagine there is some strange, allegorical Christmas legend behind him, but the Slug has yet to speak up about his origins. Perhaps all will be revealed this holiday season, through a bit of Christmas magic…”

Look up for inspiration!

Constellations Stocking by Hannah Carey


“My family always stays out late with friends on Christmas Eve, and when I was very young, I would pretend to fall asleep on the ride home so my dad would pick me up and bring me inside. He always knew I was awake, but he carried me in his big tree-trunk arms anyway. The last thing I would remember before he’d drop me off in my bed was that stillness and silence of a snow-blanketed Pennsylvania landscape, and the sight of a fathomless winter sky from over his shoulder. The sky was so filled with stars you could almost reach out, and they’d land in your palm like bright summer fireflies. I wanted to create something that would remind me of the wonder and sense of belonging I always feel during the holiday season—everyone under the same sky, when all is calm, and all is bright.”

Represent the whole crew!

Family of Fun Stockings by Mirna Stubbs


“I just wanted to make some stockings that would sort of match and hang well together, but still were very specific to each person in the family. I started with some fabric paint colors that I liked, then chose fabrics based on that color palette and used waterproof markers to draw in some details. My husband had just switched careers and became a tattoo artist. I wanted his stocking to reflect that. Our teenage son is very much into brand-name clothing, so his stocking looks very sporty and a little less whimsical. My mother-in-law is a very big-hearted, kind person, so I wanted hers to look sweet and decorative to reflect her personality. Our two year old son was (well, still is…) obsessed with wearing leggings, so I made him a stocking that looks like a very happy pair of leggings. Lastly, my stocking has the spoon and fork on it because I love to cook for my family.”


Celebrate life’s transitions!

Mom & Dad Stocking by Annie Bates


“I’m cuckoo for Christmas. My husband, not so much. We recently moved into a new house…a new house with room for a ginormous Christmas tree and decorations galore (tasteful galore). As we raise a little nugget and expand our family, my husband is learning to embrace Christmas. I wanted to make us new stockings for our cozy new home that reflect us, our style and our newish family.”

Match the recipient’s personality!

Em & Blaine Stockings by Em Bronson


“We already have our ‘forever’ stockings at our parents houses, but I really wanted to make some for our place that represented our personalities…but still were similar. I love bold patterns, bright colors, dots, and anything that feels like pure happiness. My husband Blaine is my perfect opposite. A little more traditional, born and raised in Kansas (think plaids!), likes earth tones, and is definitely more mellow. So these felt like the perfect mix.”

Don’t forget the four-footed!

Paw Stocking by Susan Crilley

“This Christmas my niece and her new puppy Koda will be celebrating together. I decided Koda needed a stocking of her very own. On a very cold morning walking into Hallmark, I was thinking about what material to use for her stocking. I looked down at my scarf and the idea for Koda’s stocking began: I will make it out of a scarf!”

What are your best stocking ideas?



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