A Christmas mantel (+ a new Christmas craft)

Can’t wait to share my Christmas mantel with you!! Smile  I thought it would be hard to improve on last years, but I think I am loving this years even more! 🙂  Here’s a sneak peek…


But first lets go back and look at past years Christmas mantels.  I also want to show you how your decorating can improve and change as you find  inspiration online on blogs and Pinterest  and copy some of those ideas.

This was my mantel in 2009.  And I had done it something like this in the years past.  Not bad, and I loved displaying my snowman collection during Christmas and then leaving it up through January and February too.


During that Christmas, Renee over at Living, Laughing, and Loving introduced me to Thrifty Décor Chick and the world of décor blogs.  My life and home has changed tremendously since then! Winking smile  I am a very visual person, so give me tons of ideas online in decorating (and FRUGAL ideas too!)  and I am in hog-heaven! Smile

So after reading décor blogs for a year, I had tons of ideas when it came time for Christmas.  I was loving the more natural look with pinecones and berries… so I completely changed my mantel up adding boughs of greenery (bought at Michaels’ on Black Friday on deep discount!) instead of garland.  I also made the “JOY” letters (just painted some wood letters I bought at Hobby Lobby in red, distressed the edges and glued the ribbon on the back).  Also added were a pinecone topiary tree I bought for $1.00 at a yard sale on top of an urn that I spray painted (also found at a yard sale – are you sensing a theme here?)  and my tall candlesticks that I also transformed with spray paint a few years ago too.

What a difference!   (Yes, I got a new camera for Christmas that year too, that didn’t hurt either.)


So now this year. Smile  I am always trying to change things up a little using things I already have or creating something new.  I saw an idea in a store window on the way home from church the week of Thanksgiving and knew that was what I was going to try.   I was still loving the boughs of greenery vs. garland, but I wanted it to “drape” instead of sit right on the mantel.

collage of mantels

So this is what I came up with….


I loved the white mirror that I spray painted and used on my fall mantel so I knew that would stay.    The two topiary trees are back from last year along with a white feather one that I got on after Christmas-clearance last year at Michael’s.  The candlesticks are back along with the “JOY” letters although they have moved below the mantel instead of on the mirror.  I added a white vase filled with faux poinsettias borrowed from my tree stash and a wreath that I made last year over the mirror.


And my new addition this year was the red sign with the verse on it.  Smile  It was what I was working on last night when I mentioned on facebook that I was Christmas crafting :).

Here’s how I did that:

I bought a piece of craft wood from Michaels (4” x 36” for $2.99) and a bottle of red and white craft paint for $0.50.


I painted one side red.  While that was drying, I used a friends Cricut that she let me borrow (thanks, Judy!) and cut out my words on cardstock to use for a stencil.  Then I painted inside the stencil with my white craft paint.


I should have another picture here but let’s say some of my paint bled through and I was more worried about fixing that instead of taking a picture.  I did a little touch up with a small brush and some red paint and it was done!    DSC_0106

It is very light craft wood so I just stuck some command squares on the back and stuck it to the wall above the mirror.

The mantel is so pretty all lit up at night as we watch Christmas movies from the couch! 🙂


And here’s a sneak peak of my tree – coming up later this week!


How do you decorate your mantel?  Greenery, lights, stockings, candles . . . ?  If you have a picture posted on your blog feel free to post it in the comments and I will come check it out!

How about your decorating style?  Has it changed as you found inspiration and learned how to do new things?

Linking up to:

beforeAndAfterButton   Holiday


  1. Loving everything about your Christmas mantel this year…beautiful!

  2. Looks beautiful!! Your lush lighted greenery adds SO much! Love it! Definitely true that decor blogs can tweak your decorating style… I would say the same was true for me. TDC inspired a whole new level of Christmas decorating than I had ever done.
    Wishing I had a real mantle to decorate, but I know I should be thankful for my fantle!!! 🙂
    Don’t forget Rhoda’s mantle party tomorrow too!

    • I didn’t forget! Posted it – just late as I wasn’t at the computer all day.

      I love greenery! 🙂 and lights. 🙂

  3. Loooooooove it! Beautiful! And I just think your header is fabulous – so festive!!!!

    • Thanks, Christa!

      I had fun changing up my header 🙂 don’t know what I will do in January but I have some cute ideas for February for my header 😉

  4. Beautiful and festive – love the red vase in the middle!

  5. Very beautiful! Is the one tree made of feathers? And did you make it? It’s adorable! And I second what Christa said, your header is gorgeous!

    • Yes, the white tree is made of feathers! They have little sparkly things on random ones too. I got in on clearance at Michael’s last year after Christmas (can’t remember how much $3-4?) I remember thinking to buy the cone or posterboard and feathers and the time to make it – the cost was worth it. 🙂 Would love to have a series of 3 white ones though. 🙂

      I use it for winter too. 🙂 So look for it on my winter mantel next month.

  6. It’s so beautiful! I love it!! 🙂

    (stopping by from Home Stories A to Z)

  7. Beautiful Mantel! I am looking forward to seeing your tree!

  8. Christina says:

    Love it……..great job. Where do you get your garland….or is it real? I love how fluffy it is…but I have no idea how to do it. Also…….how do you hide your christmas light plugs?/ or is it that you have an outlet up on your mantel?

    • no it is not real. although I would love to find some real cuttings and add in it.

      I got it at Michael’s on Black Friday last year. It is actually individual “sprays” of greenery that I wired together this year.

      No plug on my mantel although I told hubby the other day that if we ever build a house we will have a plug on the mantel. The cord is just hidden down the side. 🙂 I am thinking of doing a “secrets of decor” post so look for that there. 🙂

  9. It’s lovely! I like seeing the changes from year to year. Merry Christmas! Lisa~

    • I do too! Fun to go back and see how our style changes over the years. Wish I had pictures of our home from the day we moved in till now. Will definitely remember that if we move again.

  10. Wow! You are a Christmas crafting genius! So glad I found your project via Centsational Girl.

    Please stop by for a visit to my blog. I am currently in the midst of a Gifts to Make series.

    Be Merry and Bright!

  11. Lovely! I found you from Tracey at Girls to Grow’s Saturday Salutes. Gorgeous mantle displays! I used your idea to string letters up over a mirror ~ so creative!

    Blessings and Merry Christmas!

    • Christina says:

      awww – yay! so glad you found inspiration here!

      just went over and found your mantel on your blog. Love how you did the letters “Christ” over your mirror. Keeps the meaning in the season.

  12. Love love love your mantels! They all look so lush and festive!

    Are your candelabra candles in the fireplace battery operated? They’re so pretty and bright. Most that I find that are battery operated are much dimmer. Gorgeous!!!

    • Christina says:

      No, they are actual real candles. 🙂 I don’t light them all the time. But I do enjoy them in the winter.


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