How to Easily Create the Most Gorgeous Festive Christmas Mantel Decor

Welcome to the Holiday season! It’s an exciting time of year, especially for those of us who love to decorate. Jodie and I like to call this “The Big Show” for all us decorators, whether we are professional or not. It’s time to let all our creative juices flow. We’re so excited to focus here on what is for many homes the natural centerpiece: your fireplace mantel. Besides the Christmas tree, your Christmas mantel decor is the most important focal point of your Christmas home. This post is for you if:

  • you love to decorate
  • you get super excited about Christmas (like us!)
  • maybe you struggle with decorating
  • you want some fresh inspiration and ideas to help you create your Christmas decor
  • even if you don’t have a mantel!

In this post we showcase not one, not two, but three mantel displays all created this year by Jodie and me. We hope that among the different styles you’ll find plenty of ideas to stimulate your own creativity. Or simply feel free to take any of our ideas and make them your own. We firmly believe that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Vintage bottlebrush tree collection for simple Christmas mantel decorWhat If I Don’t Have a Mantel?

No worries at all if you don’t have a mantel per se. These Christmas mantel decor ideas can easily be applied to any table display. Pieces of our mantel displays can be used just about anywhere. So be sure to think broadly as you read and view this post.

Also, be sure to choose a color scheme that will blend beautifully with any decor that is permanent in the room(s).

natural trees and neutral Christmas mantel decor with farmhouse painting

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Choose Color Scheme for Christmas Mantel Decor

Step one for any decorating project is to begin with your color scheme. Your Christmas mantel decor should blend beautifully and seamlessly with the rest of your Christmas decor. This is key to creating a cohesive holiday home.

We’re not saying that your entire home needs to be matching (although that is one beautiful approach). We are saying that your colors and style should match throughout each individual space.

For example, this year my colors are neutral, with accents of gold, silver and black. White and green are mixed throughout as well. This is the color scheme in every room except the kitchen and laundry where I decided to use red and green, with a focus on traditional holiday plaid. Because the kitchen area is quite separate it works well.

Red and green festive Christmas tree and mantel decor with tarten fireplace surround

What to Think About as You Create Your Christmas Mantel Decor

Each mantel is unique. And each mantel comes with its own limitations and quirks. So here is a guide of what to consider as you plan your special mantel display:

  • the width of your mantel: how much can you fit on there
  • how strong is your mantel: how much weight can you add
  • the overall style of the room. You want it to match. If your regular decor is country, you’re not going to want to create a glam mantel display obviously. We can’t ignore what’s happening in the room.
  • the color scheme of the room
  • the color scheme of your Christmas decor

Christmas Mantel Decor Number 1

Here is my Christmas mantel display in my family room. This is the center of our home and the center of attention. This room gets more action than any other room besides the kitchen, so it makes sense that I spend a lot of time and effort creating the perfect Christmas setting in here.

I chose my color scheme first. I wanted to use a color combination that I’d never used before. It was way back in early October that I brainstormed what to choose. I spent a full week thinking about my colors before beginning. I finally settled on:

  • black
  • gold
  • white
  • green

My goal was to create a somewhat neutral Christmas while still adding contrast and a little “punch” with the black.

In past years my vision has often been to create a rustic, farmhouse cozy Christmas mood.

My goal this year was to create a more elegant, sophisticated look. I love both styles, but I felt the desire to evolve to something new this year.

neutral and elegant mantel decor with evergreen and gold decorations

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Elements of This Mantel Display

A large mantel is a blessing and a curse, but mostly a blessing, since I have a lot of fun creating it. But it does demand a lot of attention and a lot of decor.

Here are the elements I used:

  • 2 faux small evergreens. I use faux trees in all my vignettes year after year all over my home. They are great at Christmas of course, but also for winter decor.

Here are similar trees I love:

  • A mirror (great backdrop for Christmas and all year long)

Here is my exact mirror which I absolutely love.

  • A gorgeous and unique handmade Christmas sign

Black gold and white Christmas mantel decor with evergreen trees and wool pompom garland

  • Gold Candle holders (useful all year long)

These are my exact ones which I use everywhere and love!

  • Faux or real garland. I used all faux here.

Here are some similar garlands I recommend.

  • Twinkle Lights: all purpose and essential

I literally use these everywhere!

  • I made my garland fuller and more interesting in this Christmas mantel decor by adding eucalyptus stems
  • Handmade Ivory Knit Stockings
  • Wool Ball Garland
  • Wooden Bead Garland
  • Black velvet ribbon
  • Command Hooks

Another all-purpose essential tool


Christmas tree decorated with red and tarten fireplace

Jodie’s Beautiful Christmas Mantel Decor and Fireplace Display

Jodie’s Christmas mantel decor is rustic and old-fashioned. It goes with the rest of her home beautifully. The mood is carried through all the details like the antique crock, the nostalgic “Merry Christmas” ribbon, and more. The bottlebrush trees continue the theme. We love how a collection of similar items creates a calm vs. cluttered display.

simple Christmas mantel decorated with vintage Christmas bottlebrush trees

Jodie recovered her tile fireplace surround with peel and stick wallpaper. This transformed the look of her fireplace quickly and easily. You can do this for a temporary look (like she did). Or you can leave it. Peel and stick wallpaper will last until you decide to take it down. We’re big fans.


Some Sources:

  • Bottle Brush Trees

Vintage Christmas crock and lantern with Christmas botanicals

  • Ivory pompom garland

Christmas Fireplace and mantel decorated with pompom wreath and garland

  • Handmade white rustic framed blackboard

Again, this is an all-purpose year-round item.

  • Peel and Stick Wallpaper


Christmas mantel decor with wool pompoms and stockings hung

Large Living Room Christmas Mantel Decor

My mantel in my living room is huge. Again, there are pros and cons to having a large mantel. The mantel is several feet deep and extends from one end of the room to the other, all 22 feet!

Pro: Tons of possibilities and opportunity to create something special.

Con: It’s a lot of space to fill and requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention decor.

To be honest, I’m not up for the challenge every year. But this year I was motivated to create a unique display.

The idea came to me in the shower of all places! I imagined a forest of evergreens. 

My goal is to create beauty without creating a cluttered feel. 

The question is always how much is enough and how much is too much. The answer is a personal one, but still important to keep in mind as you decorate.

rustic and elegant Christmas mantel decor with evergreen trees and farmhouse painting

Large Mantel Display Sources

  • A Forest of Evergreen trees. I used two sizes of the same tree for uniformity. But I think this Christmas mantel decor can be created equally well using a variety of types of trees.

  • Back Lights (Puck lights)

One of the most important elements of this display are the puck lights I used to backlight the entire display. Without it the trees would be a dark, indistinct wall. With the lights they become beautifully silhouetted and majestic. These lights are so versatile. During the year I use them in the large cabinet in this room. I also use them in various vignettes and displays. They always add a lot of wow factor.

  • Garland. I used a combination of garland and picks to create a fuller, textured look.

  • Old Books

There may be many places you can purchase old books, but none are better than Jaysworld Books.

creative christmas fireplace and mantel decor with green tartan surround and vintage bottlebrush trees

Christmas mantel decorated with mirror and farmhouse sign and evergreen trees

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Time to Decorate Your Own Christmas Mantel

Now it’s your turn. We hope these ideas have inspired you to get creating. Take one idea here and one idea there. Combine these ideas to create your unique Christmas mantel decor. Have fun and remember that the only people you need to please are you and your family.

If you love it, that’s all that matters. So, take the pressure off yourself and enjoy the creative process.

Happy Decorating and Merry Christmas!

jodie & julie
Beautiful Christmas mantel decor with pompoms and evergreen trees
How to Easily Create the Most Gorgeous Festive Christmas Mantel Decor
Article Name
How to Easily Create the Most Gorgeous Festive Christmas Mantel Decor
Creative ideas to decorate your own Christmas mantel decor. Here are 3 different styles of mantels with plenty of inspiration and resources!
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The Design Twins
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  1. Michelle says:

    I have so enjoyed seeing your posts and I really enjoyed this tutorial on how to’s. Thank you. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for one whom has a mantle but a big tv 4 inches above mounted on the wall. How do you decorate that ? I love you to decorate but this mantle never looks right with the tv there because the height to put things is only 4 inches high except for the ends I have maybe 6-8 inches on each side of tv for some height. And then the mantle wraps up the side as well. The depth is 6 inches.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Your mantle constraints are tough. A tv is even harder than a work of art or mirror that you’re free to block. You can’t block your tv. The only thing you can do is frame it. I personally think I would stick to gorgeous garland running the top of the mantle. I would want the garland to be extra special, lots of detail and texture and lights. But you only have 4 inches to work with so that’s all I would put on the top. Then I would focus below, with fun garland, stockings, bells, etc. You can make the decor very special all below the mantle. Good luck, Julie

  2. […] 1. Elegant mantelpiece. To create this stunning mantelpiece, you'll need a man-made or actual garland (Trader Joe's has recent greens), combine eucalyptus stalks into the inexperienced and twinkle lights. Hang up some knitted stockings, a picket bead garland, a ball of yarn garland and tie a black velvet ribbon. Some pine cones add a recent contact to your mantelpiece. Put in candles, Christmas artwork, and small timber. Command hooks had been used to hold your complete garland. Get the complete tutorial on the given hyperlink. (above The design twins) […]

  3. […] 1. Elegant Mantel. To create this beautiful mantel you will need faux or real garland (Trader Joe’s has fresh greenery), mix in eucalyptus stems into the greenery and twinkle lights. Hang some knit stockings, wooden bead garland, wool ball garland and tie in some black velvet ribbon. Some pine cones will add a fresh touch to your mantel. Layer in candles, Christmas artwork and small trees. Command hooks were used to hang all of the garland. Get the full tutorial at the provided link. (via The Design Twins) […]

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