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How To Decorate Your Mantel For The Holiday Season

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How To Decorate Your Mantel For The Holiday Season

After several hours of planning, untangling holiday lights and unearthing ornaments for their annual ascent out of their boxes and back onto the holiday tree, you realize that you’re only a conservative 3/4 of the way to decoration nirvana.

The mantel – it's looking shockingly bare in contrast with your towering holiday tree of yuletide bliss. While the idea of mustering up enough creative energy to adorn even one more square inch of your home may feel overwhelming, you’re in luck. Simply choose from a variety of inspired holiday mantel ideas, and your home will become as seasonally picturesque as a freshly frosted gingerbread house. Just try not to eat any of the decorations.

Do You Open Presents Near The Mantel?

If the mantel is a major part of your holiday present opening experience, make sure to personalize it to make the experience that much more special:

  • Stockings: The classic location for your stockings and their abundance of gifts for the adults and the kids? The mantel of course. Display personalized stockings for an easy-to-remember dispersal of those little presents.
  • Initial Décor: Just you and your honey? You, your honey, your four children and your spoiled dog? Make your mantel more family-oriented with your initials. Large decorative letters make an adorable accent for every member of the family.
  • Greeting Cards: If you’ve got greeting cards coming in and wish some of those senders could be celebrating with you on Christmas morning, add a padded memory board or two with a ribbon lattice to your mantel. Slip each card into place to keep the words of loved ones nearby.
  • Photos: Make use of those family photos you keep meaning to frame. Opt for black-and-white photos for a more artsy take on decorating. Gold or silver frames will offer a glitzy glow, and you can continue to use the photos long after holiday time.

Do You Decorate To Match A Particular Design Aesthetic?

Go ahead and match your home’s décor so your mantel truly reflects your sense of style.

  • Country: A pine garland, plaid bows and bright red apples.
  • Modern/Contemporary: Several wide, clear glass cylinder vases filled with silver ornaments is a chic start. Hang an edgy wreath above the ornaments for a finishing touch.
  • Shabby Chic: Lay a lace runner along the mantel, topped with a collection of various milk and Vaseline glass items, such as cups and vases. Fill them with dried white roses for a soft touch.

Do You Sit Around The Fireplace During Holiday Time?

When your mantel-topped fireplace is the centerpiece for holiday hang outs, making this space as cozy as possible is essential.

  • Go For Snow: Mimic the crisp visual of freshly fallen snow on your mantel with white pine branches and white pine cones.
  • Add Flameless Candles: Real candles? Fire hazard. Go with white or holiday-colored flameless candles for extra light when your fire burns out.
  • A Mirrored Backdrop: Those flickering flameless candles turn into a glittery display when backed by a mirror.
  • Inspirational Banner/Block Words: Letters that spell out JOY. A “Peace On Earth” banner hung across the mirror. These words remind you of the holiday spirit.  
  • Candy: Fill cylinder glass vases with peppermint candies for a visual and mouth-watering treat that’s within arm’s reach.

Are You A Huge Fan of Traditional Holiday Décor?

If you love everything as traditional as it comes, cover your mantel with classic décor, such as a pine garland wound holiday lights, pinecones and boughs of holly! Flank the mantel with poinsettias and hang a wreath on the wall above (wrapped with a golden ribbon, of course). Also consider:

  • Balls of moss
  • Strands of decorative silver stars
  • Bowls of orange-cinnamon-scented potpourri
  • Jewel-tone ornaments

Do You Prefer An Unconventional Take On Holiday Décor?

Pop a chalkboard above the mantel where friends and loved ones can write out holiday wishes and add a team of modern white or silver reindeer figurines.

Decorate the mantel with items personal to you, such as starfish if you’re a beach fanatic, antique model cars or even dried flowers and leaves – whatever the collectible or inspiration, place single items under several bell jars for a powerful display.

Or, consider a wreath made of fake antlers in place of a traditional one (decked out with holiday lights, if you feel the urge) – cover the mantel with DIY ornaments, and you’re ready to celebrate.

The mantel often rivals the holiday tree as the most precious place in your home when friends and family gather around a crackling fire to indulge in a cup of eggnog or to reminisce about holidays past. Decorate your mantel with those items that remind you of what’s so special about holiday time, and it is sure to knock your stockings off.

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