Make your home merrier this holiday with inspiration from these pretty, real-home Christmas mantels. We reached out to bloggers for tips on how to create a gorgeous Christmas mantel -- use their expertise to re-create these pretty displays or to inspire a display that's uniquely yours.
With ball ornaments packing the shelves of our favorite stores this season, it seems only natural to start thinking beyond the Christmas tree. Jennifer (thechroniclesofhome.com) took matters into her own hands by crafting a glittery garland using dollar store ornaments that she strung one by one onto satin ribbon. After tying each one off as she went, the ornaments naturally bunched up along the way, ultimately creating a festive garland that Jennifer hung across her mantel using removable hooks.
Heather (thedecorfix.com) proves that an armful of crafts supplies and a quiet weekend afternoon are all you need to create a unique mantel display. Start by purchasing miniature cardboard houses from the crafts store and paint them white. Then let your creativity take over with decorative touches, such as gold ribbon and pom-pom trimmed rooflines, black painted house number details, and a forest of faux tabletop trees.
Improve any mantel with these three secrets. You'll love the results!
No time of year is more joyful than the holidays, and Trish (uncommondesignsonline.com) came up with a bright way to celebrate. She started by painting purchasing papier-mache letters from the crafts store white. Next, she flipped over the letters and carefully sliced along the edges to access the hollow areas inside. On the front of the letters, Trish cut small X-shapes for bulbs to sit in. She removed the bulbs from a string of lights and carefully pushed the bulbs individually through the X-shapes. Once finished, she screwed the bulbs back into the string. When all three letters were outfitted with lights, she attached the letters to a piece of wood and leaned it on her mantel.
Jennifer (tatertotsandjello.com) incorporated her own forest of gold cone trees atop her Christmas mantel. To make, create a few cone templates in large and small sizes. Cut tree shapes from plain cardstock. Reuse your templates to cut matching shapes from fabric, and glue those on top of the poster board cones. Wrap the shapes and glue in place to form the 3-D shape. Complete this simple craft by adding trim embellishments and bows to a few of the trees, and cluster them on your mantel.
To curb holiday clutter, Bettina (oheverythinghandmade.com) went the simple route to decorate her holiday mantel. She gave an antique window frame new life by scraping off the old paint and gluing the broken joints and cracks. Next, she painted the frame using white chalk paint, let it dry, and finished by wrapping it with Christmas lights and propping it on the mantel along with some greenery and pinecones.
A mix of decorating aesthetics keeps Myra's (myblessedlife.net) Christmas mantel display engaging and interesting. By using glam accessories, such as the sunburst mirror and silver candlesticks, alongside rustic greenery, burlap stockings, and vintage shutters, Myra maintained a balance between traditional and sophisticated. A store-bought "believe" sign becomes the focal point of the display when mirrored by symmetrical decorations.
Christmas Mantel Tip:
Myra recommends using items you have on hand at your house for decorating your Christmas mantel. Empty frames, simple candlesticks, and other everyday accessories get a festive face-lift when nestled between holiday decorations.
A simple display in traditional red and green instantly adds Christmas spirit to Emily's (decorchick.com) mantel. Color-coordinated ornaments sit in large glass cloches and a mix of fresh and faux foliage, such as her store-bought floral wreath and her cedar garland, help pull the look together. To add extra glam, Emily hung glittery ornaments with her stockings on metallic stocking holders.
Take inspiration from the season's landscape while decorating this year's Christmas mantel. Megan (meganbrookehandmadeblog.com) reused several natural elements from her fall mantel to create a rustic winterscape, adding a red "Christmas" sign and burlap stockings for holiday feel. White-painted pinecones, Birchwood candlesticks, and faux greenery mimic the snowy-white outdoors.
Christmas Mantel Tip:
Cut decorating time in half by simply adding Christmas-theme decorations to your usual mantel display. Reusing regular decor helps save money, too.
Traditional glass ornament balls take the stage in Courtney's (adiamondinthestuff.com) Christmas mantel design. Using red, green, and silver as a color scheme, she chose coordinating ornaments and hung them in a repainted old window from her garage. Festive matching Christmas trees, a "Noel" sign, and striped stockings hung on snowflake holders finish the display.
A dreamy, white color scheme plus a bit of rustic flair modernizes Aimee's (itsoverflowing.com) country Christmas mantel design. An ornament-embellished wreath, olive leaf garland, and wooden backdrop are balanced by crisp, white adornments and a bright red framed family picture. Aimee's cream knit stockings finish off her display.
Brighten your holiday home with a simple Christmas mantel display that pairs metallics with pops of color. Courtney (athoughtfulplaceblog.com) used a cheerful color scheme that stemmed from her "Merry" sign (a store-bought addition) that easily lent itself to DIY projects, such as her fun ornament topiaries.
Mark off the days to Christmas with an easy DIY advent calendar for your mantelpiece. Using a 24-pane window, vintage sheet music, and a few scrapbooking supplies, Laura (findinghomeonline.com) made her own oversize countdown. Clear vintage doorknobs add sparkle to her mantel display -- Laura nestled them amongst lush greenery and neutral-color candles.
Don't have a fireplace mantel? Update a mantel shelf with Christmas decorations as a fun way to get ready for the holiday season. Tonya (loveoffamilyandhome.net) used a simple and chic neutral color palette to decorate her home for Christmas. A DIY "Joy" sign is highlighted using a simple frame and a bit of greenery to make a backdrop for Tonya's book page trees and Santa figurines. To make her festive holiday greeting, Tonya traced chipboard letters on a painted board and attached faux pearls with hot-glue for added glamour.
Hanging snowflakes add depth and a whimsical feel to Sarah's (theyellowcapecod.com) Christmas mantel. Silhouettes of her children (and the family dog) frame a simple black mirror. Large deer antlers found at a garage sale add a punch of the unexpected. A combination of faux berries, leaf sprigs, and fresh greenery clippings from her yard make the mantel's garland. Glittery snowflakes dangle from the ceiling with fishing line.
Christmas Mantel Tip:
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 poinsettias 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.
Christmas Mantel Tip:
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.
Incorporating fun colors and textures is what makes mantel decorating fun! Layla's (theletteredcottage.net) long, skinny stockings add whimsy to her Christmas mantel. 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.
Get the step-by-step for creating this cheap garland that makes a statement on your mantel.
Alysha (www.howdoesshe.com) uses a blend of warmth and sophistication to decorate her Christmas 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 attaching ornaments with hot glue. At the center of it all is her black-and-white wedding photo.
Simple, classic decorations in stunning white and silver keep Wendy's (shabbynest.blogspot.com) Christmas mantel display looking festive and chic. First she amped up her bountiful greenery by adding a white faux-berry garland, sparkly snowflakes, and a string of lights for extra sparkle and shine. White stockings and a Christmas ball ornament wreath give the display a clean and classic finish.
Christmas Mantel Tip:
Since faux garland tends to be rather skimpy, beef up your display by purchasing two strands and weaving them together. Wendy created hers 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.
Choosing your color palette is incredibly important when it comes to creating a mantel that reflects your decorating style. 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 as the focal point of her display. 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.
Terry (foreverdecorating.blogspot.com) used spray-painted picture frames gathered from 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.