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An old barn door makes a unique focal point for Laura's (findinghomeonline.com) country-theme Christmas mantel. She achieved a simple and rustic look by spray-painting wooden letters silver and hot-gluing them to the door. She hung two sets of sleigh bells on the door, one old and one new, pairing the older set with greenery and a pretty Christmas bow. To finish her mantel, she placed greenery, snowflakes, ornaments, and a small tree around the barn door.
Kate's (centsationalgirl.com) wintry Christmas mantel boasts a clean and minimalist feel. A multi-panel mirror steals the show and is accompanied by white pillar candles elevated on white candlesticks, a white ceramic Christmas tree, a gold-and-silver ornament, and white reindeer figurines. In the corner, a moss-covered branch she brought in from the backyard adds a pop of color with the addition of faux berries and red cardinals.
Traditional red and green decorations are offset by a warm yellow wall on Jessica's (plum-patchwork.com) pretty Christmas mantel. She hung a fresh garland as a wreath from a wooden window -- which sits on her mantel year-round -- and shopped around her house for the other decorations. A pitcher of holiday poinsettias anchors one end of the mantel, and a glass Christmas tree sits at the other. Pillar candles, red and gold ornament balls, and a shadow box filled with tiny ornaments make up the rest of the decor. Jessica recommends taking a picture of your display once you feel nearly finished with the design to help you see things from a different perspective.
Dana (circadee.com) framed a vintage-style Santa print for the focal point of her Christmas mantel, using yellowed book pages behind the picture instead of traditional matting. To coordinate with the matting, she made a vintage sheet music sunburst by cutting sheet music pages in quarters, rolling them into cones, and hot-gluing them together. She hot-glued the cones side by side and added a second layer. For the rest of her mantel, she drew from the Santa print to create a fun color palette. An old soda crate turned on its side houses pink, green, and blue ornament balls, and a reclaimed shutter sits to the left of the print. To finish the mantel, Dana added natural touches with live princess pine roping and birch branches from her yard.
Hanging snowflakes add depth and a whimsical feel to Sarah's (www.theyellowcapecod.com) Christmas mantel. Silhouettes of her children -- and the family dog -- frame a simple black mirror. Large deer antlers (a garage sale find) add a punch of the unexpected. She added a combination of faux berries, leaf sprigs, and fresh greenery clippings from her yard to the mantel's ledge as a garland and dangled glittery snowflakes from the ceiling using fishing line. Sarah advises to go big with large scale items -- like the antlers -- and layer different greens and berries for holiday scent and texture.
A poinsettia wreath stars on Michelle's (tenjuneblog.com) Christmas mantel, which she made by sticking faux poinsettia bracts into a plain evergreen wreath. The sparkly red sign was a budget purchase along with the silver reindeer figurine. A classic green garland covers the length of the mantel, completing the traditionally colored vignette. Michelle recommends layering your items in different heights -- she used books, hidden by the garland, to boost certain pieces -- and combining old and new pieces to create an eclectic look.
Purchased felt snowflakes, scissors, and double-stick tape was all Holly (sisterssuitcaseblog.com) needed to transform the blue wall above her mantel into a stunning, snowy winterscape. She adhered the felt snowflakes to the wall end to end, trimming where they hung over the ends and matching each edge to create a consistent pattern. Glittery Christmas tree cones anchor the sides of the mantel, and colorful ornament balls hang from the top with clear wire to finish the pretty vignette.
Terry (foreverdecorating.blogspot.com) used spray-painted picture frames -- gathered at a thrift store -- to add depth and dimension to her colorful Christmas mantel. She tied large ornaments onto each frame with decorative ribbon and added bits of greenery to the center and top of her mantel to complete the look.
Handmade wooden blocks in nontraditional colors inspired the items on Kelsey's (tatteredandinked.blogspot.com) aqua and red Christmas mantel. She created most of the projects on the mantel herself, making various signs by painting and stenciling medium-density fiberboard and by covering plastic-foam cones with fabric triangles to form trees. A small wooden door with jingle bells tied onto hooks with twine is centered on the mantel. A branch brought in from the yard displays painted wooden letters, and a garland with a string of lights completes the scene.
Incorporating fun colors and textures is what makes mantel decorating so much fun! Layla's (theletteredcottage.net) long, skinny stockings add whimsy. To create depth and illusion, she hung a variety of ornaments from her ceiling with white, flat-head thumbtacks and 8-lb. fishing line. Instead of traditional greenery, she used red hydrangeas and placed them in classic white pitchers.
Create your own winter wonderland by rolling out thin snow batting onto a flat surface. Nita (modvintagelife.com) placed a candleholder along the edge of the material, traced half-circles, and cut along the lines to make the scalloped edge. She used branches from a white Christmas tree and miniature vintage elves and houses to fill out the mantel. For the final touch, she created faux snowflakes by draping fishing line strung with cotton balls.
Since faux garland tends to be rather skimpy, beef up your display by purchasing two strands and weaving them together. Wendy (shabbynest.blogspot.com) created her bountiful garland by twisting the branches of two strands together every foot or so. She then fluffed it up to make sure the twisting wasn't visible. Then she added faux berry garland and a string of lights for extra sparkle and shine. White stockings give the display a clean and classic finish.
Arminda (allthatriffraff.blogspot.com) filled out her mantel by doubling up the garland. For filler, she added red berries, a string of 100 white lights, and hand-picked pinecones. Different shapes and sizes of pinecones create a natural feel. Arminda created her ornament wreath by hot-gluing shatterproof ornaments to an untwisted wire hanger. She topped it with a bow and another ornament.
Arminda's Tip: Hot-glue the tops to the ornaments to prevent them from popping off under the pressure.
Choosing your palette is incredibly important when it comes to creating a mantel that reflects your family. Linda (restyledhome.blogspot.com) suggests using several larger pieces that make a statement. Her fabric sign, purchased from an online crafts designer, features pretty white words on a soft blue background. Find similar cardboard deer heads, hurricane vases, and decorative white trees at your local crafts store.
Let your imagination soar when it comes to your holiday mantel. Heidi (homebyheidi.blogspot.com) received a lot of compliments on her colorful, leopard-lined stockings and weeping cedar garland. Heidi used oversize ornaments to convey strength and cohesion. A glass doorknob adds height and provides a place to hang a pretty wreath.
To create a mantel like Beth's (unskinnyboppy.com), choose an eclectic variety of traditional decorative pieces. Add height by using a tall wrought-iron scrollwork that also holds your wreath and other elements. A shaved wood wreath, like Beth's, is the perfect decoration to use in any season.
Alysha (howdoesshe.com) blends warmth and sophistication on her mantel. Fresh greenery from her yard, oversize elf-toe stockings, and classic silver votives make her mantel look simple and chic. She created her mini wreath by wrapping garland around a foam wreath and attached the ornaments with hot glue. At the center of it all is her black-and-white wedding photo.
Fresh greenery is a great way to add fragrance to your home. Beth (thestoriesofatoz.com) used fresh juniper branches with silvery blue berries to fill out her mantel and accent her mirror. To create the sparkle and shine, Beth wrapped costume jewelry around pillar candles and filled an apothecary jar with silver ornaments.
Touches of metal instantly give any mantel a festive touch. Shauna (perfectlyimperfectblog.com) used a variety of simple silver pieces and filled in the spaces with fresh rosemary and evergreen clippings from her backyard to create her holiday display. Since the mantel is often the focal point of the room, Shauna suggests using items on your mantel that mean something to you, such as a vase or picture, to bring a personal touch to holiday tradition.