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Festive Christmas Mantel Decorating Idea

Layla and Kevin over at The Lettered Cottage are having a Christmas Link Party for mantels.  I linked up my festive Christmas mantel 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.

Festive Christmas Mantel Decorating Ideas

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 festive Christmas mantel

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

Festive 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 festive Christmas mantel when a TV is mounted on the wall?  I hang the stockings and that is about it.

For more creative and affordable festive Christmas mantel decorating ideas, click over to my —-> Holiday Project Gallery

Christmas mantel decorating idea that has twinkling lights.

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79 Comments

  1. What is the greenery on the mantel and where looks like garland but is the garland that has the metal in it. Those seem so heavy and it hard to keep on mantle

    1. Hi Tenisha – Yes, it is garland with a metal strand in the middle. It is a little bit heavier, but I like using it since you can mold and shape it to go exactly where you want it to go. If yours won’t stay put because it is too heavy, consider cutting it into pieces so you can arrange it exactly as you want.

      1. This is very pretty and the purple and lime look amazing together. I too have a mantle with no fireplace. we will have it in by next Christmas, I can’t wait! Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Love your mantle decoration and was wondering what the dimensions of the mirrors and the wreath are. Also, where did you find the wonderful smaller mirror? Please keep posting! Love your work!

    1. I am in the process of moving and the mantel and mirrors are in a moving truck so I won’t be able to get the measurements. I bought the smaller mirror at few years ago at a store called The Bon Ton. Since the Christmas post that you saw the mirror in, I moved it a few times. You can see how it looked in my powder room in these two posts: https://inmyownstyle.com/2014/03/powder-room-accessorizing-ideas.html and https://inmyownstyle.com/2014/03/powder-room-makeover-ideas.html

      Thanks for reading my blog XO

  3. This is just beautiful but I am wondering how you attach the ribbon holding the wreath to the wall and how does the wreath not scratch the mirror. Thanks so much, really want to try something like this and have no idea…….

    1. Hi Karen – I attached the ribbon holding up the wreath with a thumbtack. I loop the ribbon around the wreath and bring the two ends of the ribbon up and over the top of the mirror. The thumbtack gets pushed in right over the ribbon and into the top edge of the mirror frame. It makes a small hole, but not one that anyone will see. You can hot glue pieces of green felt to the back of the wreath to protect the mirror from scratches.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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

    1. 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.

  7. 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

    1. 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.

  8. 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?

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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,
    Chris

  12. Diane,
    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.

    1. 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

    1. 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.

  13. 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!

    1. Hi Yoli

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

  14. 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!

  15. Wonderful story and beautiful mantel. I thought my mantel was finished, but after seeing your lights I think I need to add some to mine.

    1. Hi Madina-

      One of the girls I work wiht saw this post and said exactly the same thing. The lights bring the greenery to life.

  16. I love the mantel and I love the story that goes with it. . . but I really love the white dishes I see in the reflection! Thanks for visiting my blog as well!

    Jenni

  17. I stopped over to thank you for becoming a follower and have had the best time poking around your blog. The DIY slipcovers are bookmarked! Love your blog, I’m your newest follower.

    1. Hi Stephanie-
      Thanks. There are so many mantels and so much inspiration in color usage as well as objects and placement. I have only gotten through a third of the list so far.

  18. Your mantle is gorgeous. I love the non-traditional color scheme and the glass candleholders – simply beautiful!
    xoxo,
    Kim

    1. Hi Liliannna-

      If you lived near me, I would. I do decorate homes for people. I have a few of the same people every year. I have even been asked to do ouside decorations, but that requires a whole different mind set. I am lucky just getting my outside lights and wreaths up.

    1. Hi Bonnie-

      That is what I love to hear! You are looking for inspiration and then doing it in your own style. The best way to do eveything.

  19. Beautiful! Love the color combination. Great family story. One question…how did you anchor the wreath behind the larger mirror.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Melinda-

      To hang the wreath on the mirror – I wrapped a long piece of ribbon around the wreath and then stapled the ribbon with a staple gun to the top of the mirror frame. I used two staples – one on each end of the ribbon. I let the excess ribbon hang behind the mirror so there was nothing bunched up on the top. I then took another long piece of ribbon and tied a bow around the ribbon holding the wreath up.

      Variation: If you want to take your mirror down off the wall, you can staple the ribbon to the back of the frame. My mirror is big and heavy and I didn’t want to remove it. Hope this helps.

  20. The purple and green are absolutely beautiful together. Your mantel is so very warm and inviting! I love how you layered the mirrors and the wreath … the green ribbon being the perfect touch. I’ve been a huge fan of the shatterproof ornaments from Wal-Mart this year, too (and have used those same green balls throughout my home). FUN. Take care, *Becca*

    1. Hi Becca-

      The shatterproof ornaments are great, especially if you have a cat named, Trax who thinks they are his to play with!

  21. Wow, I love that story! How nice to have something in your home with such memories. I also love the idea of the faux mantel/fireplace. I’m in need of one like that in our living room which doesn’t currently have a fireplace. Love your blog and the ideas you’ve shared! Thanks! Oh, I’m curious how you hung the ribbon over the mirror. Obviously it is a fake hang, right?

  22. What a sweet story about your mantle. I would keep it for always. It looks so pretty painted white too. I love your colors, purple and lime green. Very eye catching.

  23. I love the simplicity and elegance of your mantel. The pop of purple with the green looks amazing. Great ribbon choice and your bow is perfect, Kathysue

    1. Hi Cristin-

      I thought about doing just that, but thought it would look too autumn like. Since I am taking all the pumpkins down, I wanted to use a new color scheme. But it is a great idea – thanks

  24. Absolutely love your mantel, especially the story behind it. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. {personally I would get rid of the tv, or put it in a corner. How can you enjoy a peaceful fire with a tv over it?}

    1. Hi Lynda-

      When I am relaxing in front of the fire I don’t have the tv on. I have music playing – a fireplace adds so much ambience to a room. I love coming home from work and lighting the fire, then snuggling on the sofa until I have to make dinner. I just have to keep the decorations really simple or it looks cluttered.

  25. Oh girl I love your mantle decorations. They are so creative and so simple. Love the color combination, it’s just stunning.

    But you know, the story . . . that was the icing on the cake for me. I love that you shared that story with us. Thank you. I’m passing that on to my kids so that they can pass it on to their kidos. We all need to remember that it isn’t always easy.

    Merry Christmas.

    1. Hi Jerri Ann-

      Thanks. My daughters never met my father in law, he died before they were born. We have a picture of him that I move around the house and it has been on the mantel. They love the story and used to get behind the mantel and play with their dolls on the shelf. I am sure when each of them has a home of their own – they both are going to want it.

  26. This is just so elegant and beautiful. I love the colors and the lights. Also, I love your candleholders. Everything just glows!

  27. The color combination looks great. The entire display does however it’s the story of the mantle and how it has traveled with you that seems to make it all the more lovely.

    1. Hi Carol-

      I have been seeing it too and am really liking it. I have some old tablecloths in the color and I am thinking about cutting them up and making pillows for my sofa.

  28. Oh I am SWOONING over the lime and purple. FABULOUS combo my dear…and that bow with the dangle of purple — perfection. :)

    Cheers~
    e

  29. Love this mantel — I think it’s my favorite one, yet! You can get frames with “mirrors” in them to go over your TV. You don’t see the mirror when the TV is on. It’s a little pricey, but could be worth it? Or you could move the TV? You can actually end up with injuries to the neck and back from watching a TV that’s mounted above (seated) eye level.

  30. It is absolutely gorgeous. My daughter always has purple ornaments too..and last year she added silver and lime green. It is very pretty.

    Uh…the flat screen? How about a nice big ol’ Christmas towel? lol Diana

  31. Your mantel is just stunning. Love the purple and lime and that satin ribbon is wonderful. What a gorgeous mantel with such great history and memories. Would love for you to join the party this week which includes Christmas.