Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
Let these beautiful mantel arrangements turn your fireplace into an eye-catching focal point for the holidays.
Outfit your mantel with a variety of objects that feature a common denominator. Here, natural elements in classic red and green create a cohesive look -- from the unassuming green pine boughs to the red tulips and calla lilies. The grapevine star adds a textural backdrop to the mantel display.
Poinsettia bracts in shades of red and pink stand proudly in mismatched glasses standing in as vases. The different shades of pink soften the look of the crisp white mantel and surround.
Have a wide assortment of pieces to display? Arrange them in a symmetrical pattern for an organized -- not cluttered -- look. Each side of this mantel mirrors the other. A hurricane and bottle-brush tree ensemble, along with two stockings, dress each side. The symmetry extends to the surrounding built-ins, which are outfitted with more Christmas collectibles and matching wreaths.
Editor's Tip: The objects used to decorate the mantel are carefully chosen for size so they don't interfere with the television screen.
Dress your mantel in a flash with a statement-making wreath. Although unadorned, this handsome green wreath is eye-catching because of its size, which is perfectly scaled to the handsome fireplace.
Editor's Tip: Hang the wreath over a mirror for a reflective element. Mercury glass candleholders and votives add gleam to the scene.
Add a pop of citrus to your mantel with lemons, limes, kumquats, and clementines artfully arranged on trays along with miniature sparkling ornaments. Fill in the open spaces with springs of greenery and classic white pillar candles.
Editor's Tip: Highlight the trays with no-sew runners. Using a 1/2 yard of white felt from a crafts store, cut a piece for each arrangement that is slightly narrower than the tray and long enough to hang over the mantel (but not too close to the hearth for safety reasons). Snip the ends to a point.
Lush swags of mixed greens layered along the mantel add an immediate holiday feel. Silver and purple ornament balls and coordinating purple ribbons add more holiday shine.
Shiny CDs topped with inexpensive snowflake ornaments string across the front of this mantel for a sparkling display. Use clear industrial-strength glue (available at crafts stores) to attach one or more glittered snowflake ornaments to the CDs.
To form the garland, snip bead garland into short pieces. Using a double strand of thread, tie one end of the garland to the tip of a snowflake. Continue until the entire strand is formed. If the CDs tip forward when hung, tape coins (as weights) to the back along the lower edge until they stay upright.
Decorating the mantel doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. Thicken store-bought garlands by adding fresh greens from the yard, or plump a fresh garland or wreath with faux greens. Then, dress up the garland as much as you'd like with easy accents, such as apples, pinecones, wooden blocks, ornaments, or ribbon to give it still-life look.
Mercury-glass balls cupped in urns create a simple yet striking display above this homey stone mantel and fireplace surround.
A large painting with a gilded frame makes a gleaming topper for the thick crimson and evergreen garland below.
An antique gilt frame showcases a classic wreath adorned with cream and white ribbon. Tall white flower arrangements add vertical interest.
Transform your living room into a polar oasis with a black, white, and gold scheme brimming with upscale wintry accents. A flock of stoic penguins huddled in front of the hearth adds a bit of whimsy to the otherwise elegant mantel.
Massing the candles together and arranging them with an eye for their height and shape will make an attractive display.
On top of the mantel, small flowerpots have been painted gold and topped with personalized ornaments for a fun and easy project. Below, add a colorful focal point with a spectacular candle-and-ornament display within the firebox.
Create a cold-weather focal point for your mantel with this easy arrangement of items you probably have around the house.