How I Decorate My Mantel for Christmas

 Layla and Kevin over at The Lettered Cottage are having a Christmas Link Party for mantels.  I had to link up as I have a mantel in my home that has a special story associated with it.

This mantel in my dining room is just the mantel, it is not attached to the wall, there is no fireplace behind it. It was the mantel in my hubby’s father’s boyhood home.  When the house was sold, all my father-in-law wanted was this mantel – as it carried fond Christmas memories for him.  As a child who grew up during the depression and came of age during WWII, money was scarce in his home and at Christmas there were not many presents under the tree, but there was always an orange hidden in this mantel for him to find on Christmas morning.   There is a shelf on the back under the opening.

Today we take the availability of an orange for granted, but back then it was a very special treat.   When my girls were little, we started a new tradition- the mantel  became a great place to hide Easter eggs for them to find.

Christmas Decorting Ideas Mantels

When my husband and I first got the mantel, it was dark brown with chipped veneer.  I sanded it and Spackled and sanded it more, then painted it white and it came to life for us. It has moved into five different houses with us and has been part of our home since we were married.

How to decorate a Mantel for Christmas

I like my Christmas decorating to be eye catching, yet simple. The only theme I follow is from my heart and of course purple.

Christmas Mantel Decorating Ideas

Every year I like to use a different color with the purple accents. This year it is lime. I bought  a box of classic ball ornaments in lime from Walmart for $5.00.  They have every color imaginable all lined up along the aisle in the Christmas decorations department.

Christmas Mantel Decorating Ideas

I found the wide lime ribbon at Michaels.


Decorating for Christmas Ideas

I like the classic traditional look of Christmas, tweaked.  It still says Christmas to me – warm, festive, nostalgic – plus I can create merry in minutes.  I love the touch of shine, it adds simple elegance.

Mantel Ideas for decorating for Christmas

 I found the glass candle holders at HomeGoods a few years ago.

Mantle Decorating Ideas for Christmas

The real fireplace with a mantel in my home is in my family room.  I can’t make it very pretty as there is a flat screen TV hogging all the space.  Does anybody have any good ideas on how to decorate a mantel for Christmas when a TV is mounted on the wall?  I hang the stockings and that is about it.



  1. says

    Your old mantel and its story are wonderful! I have an old one, too, but unfortunately it doesn’t have any personal connection. The purple and lime green are smashing, and I appreciate the tip about how to hang a wreath in front of the mirror. I also have one that is too heavy to move around at will. It’s so nice the way you make the comment section a dialog!

  2. says

    Luv, luv, luv how you decorated your mantel. It was the finishing touch I needed for my own fireplace. I already had the mirror over the fireplace and a wreath I purchased just yesterday. So all I needed was the inspiration to put the two together. Awesome! Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Yoli

      Thanks for connecting with me – it always makes me smile to know that a reader was inspired by something I did. :)

    • says

      Hi Carmie-

      Thanks so much. The mantel is in my dining room and I don’t spend a whole lot of time in there. I am looking forward to Christmas dinner in the room. I will turn the lights down and enjoy the glow.

  3. Chris Hanson says

    I have just begun to follow decorating blogs and you always have something fabulous to share.
    I love the idea of placing two mirrors on the mantel. Separately the mirrors would be attractive, but wouldn’t make a statement. Combined they are very significant, but still neutral enough to serve as a backdrop for other items.
    I’d love to the same thing. Do you attach the smaller mirror to the larger one? I’m worried that it might slide off of my mantel.
    Happy holidays.

    • says

      Hi Chris-

      Thanks for the nice note. I just have the second one leaning up against the larger one that is attached to the wall. It has been up for over a year and I haven’t had any problems. If you are worried about it slipping or sliding forward, you can place the mirror where you want and make a “Stop” for it. You can do this with two tiny nails – nailed into the mantel top. Let the nails stick up a bit and they will stop the mirror from sliding. You can also use double stick foam tape. Cut a piece and tack it down right under the front edge of the mirror. The foam texture and stickiness will help it from sliding. One thing you may want to do is clean up the back edge of the second mirror or paint it black and remove any hardware. If you don’t it will be reflected in the first mirror.

      Happy Holidays

  4. Chris Hanson says

    Thanks for your answer. I thought that I might get a response in a couple of days, but certainly wasn’t expecting anything so soon.
    I’m off to the thrift store to find a second mirror. The hunt is half the fun of getting the project done.
    Take care,

  5. Maria says

    You have such great and beautiful ideas, but I have one question for you. How do I decorate for the Jewish Holidays, I would love to do something like your mantel and I have tried through out the years, but I would love some ideas from you. I do decorate half and half (sometimes) but most of the time is just for our Holiday and its alwasy more or less the same colors, blue, silver, white.
    Would love some imput or pictures?

  6. Kathie says

    I love this mantle and shopped today to replicate it. One problem, I can’t find garland as full. Where did you get it?

    • says

      Hi Kathie –

      I bought the garland at a craft store in PA about 6 years ago. It was Michael’s or AC Moore. If you can’t find it, you can double up thinner garland by twisting it together and then fluffing it. We did this all the time when I worked in display.

  7. Kathy says

    I love this so much, I want to do this with my mantle that is similar to this one. Did you use regular lighted garland and glue the purple and green balls to it?

    • says

      Hi Kathy – I wove two or three strands of lights to the garland. I attached the balls to the garland with green florist wire that you can get a a crafts store.

  8. Lois Tipton says

    Love your blog and look forward to your project ideas. I wanted to know how you made the white faux brick panel inside the mantle from your husband’s homeplace? I have wanted to put a mantle in a room but didn’t want it to look toooooo fake. Wish I had your energy level and maybe I did when I was your age! Lois Tipton

    • says

      Thanks Lois – I made the faux brick screen many years ago. Here is what I did. I hinged 3 plywood boards together. The center one larger then the two side boards. When it stands on end, it is like a folding screen. When placed behind the mantel, the two side panels move forward making it look like a firebox. I used faux bricks and the mortar that came with the bricks to attach them to the front of the boards. They used to sell the faux bricks at Home Depot – 20+ years ago. They are about 1/4″ thick. I painted them white last year. Before that they were a red brick color.

  9. Beth says

    I love this idea, and went looking for wide lime green ribbon at Michaels here in Durham NC and could not find any. Even went to AC Moore. What is the width and type of ribbon? It’s soooo pretty!
    Thanks for sharing. Beth in NC

    • says

      Hi Beth – It is sold in the Floral crafts and I have even seen it in the bridal aisle – not with the ribbon. I am not sure why they put it there. I used it 2 years ago and do not have anymore of it, so I can’t measure it for you. It was wide – 4 -6 inches.

  10. De Angeles Davis says

    Absolutely simple and beautiful. Loved the mirror project too. Really awakened the dead space over the piano. Great job!

  11. Helen says

    Diane, thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I don’t have a mantel but want to decorate the top of my entertainment center differently this year. Am looking for something simple but elegant and this is just what I have in mind. Also wanting to use Advent colors: purple, pink and white so your design will adapt nicely. Thanks again.


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