Use layers of holiday decorations

Fresh Pine

Layer different types of green garland to create contrast in colors and style. Then accent your mantel with pinecones, feathers, and berries.

Use your fireplace

Fireplace Ambience

If you're not using your fireplace for an actual fire, use it to enhance your holiday motif. An old chest or dresser can be used in front of the fireplace to display candles.

Fresh fruit create a high-drama mantel

Mixed Fruit

It may look traditional, but with closer examination you'll discover fresh fruit next to the roses and lilies. Pomegranates, ruby grapefruit, and blood oranges contribute to this mantel's high drama.

Display candles of varying heights
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Turn Down the Lights

Simple garland instantly becomes more polished by candlelight. Using a restricted color palette of candles (no more than two shades), light several pillars of varying heights. For safety, be sure to light the candles only when you’ll be in the room.

Display fine china

Dishing It

Take your holiday china out of the cupboard and put it on display. Mixed with greenery and figurines, these plates can dress up any mantel.

Add height to your mantel

New Heights

Fill a large mantel by hanging the wreath a bit higher and adding tall candlesticks and tapers. These easy tricks get your eye moving upward and create the illusion of higher ceilings in the room.

An elegant take on a holiday mantel

Warming Up

Elegant touches of natural garland, berried branches and pinecone-filled glass vases bring the outdoors inside with sophisticated style.

Use ceramic cups to display holiday greens

Cup of Green Tea

Take a fresh approach to your holiday decorations. For a simply classic look, fill white ceramics with small evergreens, culinary herbs, or Christmas tree trimmings.

Add some tropical elements

Christmas in the Tropics

Don't be limited by evergreens for your mantel; use what is native to your region. Palm fronds can add an exotic, tropical feel.

Decorate with silver teapots

Silver Bells

Incorporate an elegant collection into your holiday scheme. These silver serving pieces filled with poppies brighten the room. And round out the space with fresh evergreen clippings that are both fragrant and festive.

Muted colors make holiday transitions more subtle

Subtle Splendor

Even a muted palette of rust and olive, which blends well with the rest of the room's look, easily makes the transition from autumn to Christmas.

Use decorative sacks instead of stockings
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Sack Full

Rather than traditional stockings, consider hanging homemade bags from the mantel. Make these out of extra fabric or even old sweaters. Not only are they creative, but they also hold more gifts than regular stockings and coordinate with your decor.

A Christmas message
Courtesy of Southern Living

Precious Metal

Create your own personal holiday message to hang up for friends and family this season. Incorporate simple sparkly garland to make your message shine.

Make a mantel that will transition easily from Thanksgiving to Christmas

Seasonal Change

A wreath with fall harvest leaves can easily transition into the perfect Christmas focal point. Simply add garland and family stockings.

Retro holiday flair

Hit the Ice

These retro-inspired stockings with green garland bring this classic cream mantel into nostalgic holiday mode.

Decorate with an extra-long garland

Hang From the Rafters

Go ahead, get that super-long pine garland and hang it from the ceiling so it drapes all the way to the floor. Grand gestures are especialy appropriate at the holidays


Use your early bloomers

Paperwhite Display

Take advantage of fragrant spring bulbs and use them to create a unique mantel masterpiece.

Get creative with traditional holiday elements

Frosty and Fun

Turn that Santa hat upside down for a creative and playful stocking alternative. Add candy cane treats and simple plants to the mix for easy access.

Utilize fireplaces for holiday displays

Nestle In

Don't overlook the opportunity to create an unconventional mantel display in the bedroom. A simple wreath and garland made of greenery can take the space into cozy holiday mode in no time.


Make a natural garland

Hanging Around

For a unique twist this year, drape a garland made of sweet gum seedpods and pinecones from the mantel. Or, use items from your yard for cost-free decor.

Etch a greeting into glass candle votives

Warm Greetings

Enjoy the twinkling lights in the tree and the glow of your mantel. Frosted etched glass spreads the cheer this season and for years to come.


From Sunset: Learn how to make etched glass.

Make a cozy mantel display

An Intimate Affair

Even if it’s just the two of you that cozy up and enjoy the fire, embrace the holiday with a simple scheme designed for maximum festivity.

A simple garland

Simple Style

Not all decorations have to be over-the-top. This simple swag of garland adds a seasonal note without detracting from the natural charm of the rustic fireplace.

Frost your living room
Courtesy of Southern Living

White Christmas

Easily create a winter wonderland with lightly frosted garland and a wreath hung with holiday ribbon.

Tip: If you are not going to use your fireplace, fill it with candles and enjoy the flickering of flames.

Stockings for everyone

Extended Family

When you're expecting a crowd for the holidays, make everyone feel at home with his or her own personalized stocking.

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