Handmade-Inspired Christmas Mantel Decor

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Inspired by a handmade paper chain, vintage elements, and decor from Christmases past, I’m sharing my living room Christmas mantel decor along with tips and tricks for recreating the look. 

christmas with garland and decorative trees.

Handmade Christmas Mantel Decor

I’m so excited to invite you back into my living room to share my latest Christmas mantel decor. 

I suppose this post kicks off my 2022 Christmas decorations. While I’ve already shared a couple of handmade Christmas ornament posts (embroidery hoop ornaments and clay ornaments), this is the first look at a completed area. 

Planning my Christmas Decor

The overall theme for my Christmas decor this year is “the same, but different with a touch of handmade”. Therefore, my mantel may look a bit similar to years past. 

(You can read more about how I plan my Christmas decor HERE.)

Since decorating for Christmas (and the season in general) has been feeling a bit heavy and stressful for me the past few years, I wanted to try a different approach in order to alleviate the stress and heaviness. In reality, that means buying less, making more, and focusing on what’s important to me. While I still have some tweaking to do, it’s been working well. 

close up of christmas mantel decor with garland and stockings.

One of my favorite changes is that I’ve decided to make some of the items used in my decorating this year. I’ve crafted three different ornaments, two garlands, and mini wreaths, and I have more planned. I haven’t shared all of these yet so stay tuned for lots more to come. If you don’t want to miss a thing, be sure to join the IBC Mailing List HERE. It’s the best way to stay updated.

As I was saying, my mantel may look similar to years past.  My motto being… “There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.” I have always loved my holiday mantel decor so I kept much of it the same, while still making some changes. Throughout the process, I can tell you that I didn’t feel a tinge of guilt about it. 

If you’d like to compare, you can see how this mantel looks similar HERE and HERE. Can you spot the differences? 

Michael Wurm Jr of Inspired by Charm in mirror.

I thought it would be best to walk you through my Christmas mantel decor piece by piece. This will give me a chance to share my styling tips and tricks. Sound good?  I want you to be inspired and empowered!

If I miss anything, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to address it. 

Finally, I’m joined again today by my Seasons of Home blogger friends. We’ve teamed up to share a variety of Christmas mantel decor ideas. I’ll be sure to link everyone at end of this post. If you need a little more inspiration, it’s a great place to start. 

christmas mantel decor with garland.
christmas mantel decor and garland.

The Garland:

I always get asked where I got my evergreen garland. I wish I had an easy answer for you. The base of the garland is faux Fraser fir from HERE. It’s not as full as I’d like, so I tucked in two different types of evergreen picks to give it volume and add interest. I bought these picks years ago at a local shop so I don’t have a source for them. 

close up of Christmas mantel garland.

To the foundational garland, I added THIS ball ornament garland. Last year I used the full strand, but this year I cut it up and wired on additional ornaments of different colors. I wanted the extra colors to complement some of the tones in the other elements. 

I also tucked in a few of THESE pinecones for a more natural look. 

christmas mantel decor with fireplace and candles.
christmas mantel garland with ornaments.

To hang the garland, I used THESE command hooks. I attached them to the top of my mantel and wrapped floral wire around the little hook. (I attach the hooks a day in advance to give them time to fully stick.)  I then used the floral wire to attach the base (Fraser fir) garland to the mantel and built things up from there. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and have never had any issues. (If your garland is especially heavy, you may what to use two hooks on each side so things are extra secure.)


fireplace mantel decorated for christmas with garland.

As I said, I wish I had an easy answer about the garland for you. I think the reason the look is so effective is that it’s so collected. It makes all the difference. 

With all of that in place, I added some handmade elements. 

christmas decorating bookcase and mantel.

A Handmade Holiday

As I mentioned above, I’ve been captivated by the idea of creating a handmade holiday this year. I’m making ornaments, DIY garland, and I just bought a kit to make pot holders. I’m telling you, it has been THE BEST decision ever. Highly recommended. 

With this idea in mind, I wanted to craft a couple of things to use on my Christmas mantel. As you’ve probably already noticed, I came up with this paper chain garland and these rustic star anise Christmas wreaths

Let me tell you a little more about each. 

christmas mantel garland and bookcase.

Paper Chain Garland:

You can find the full tutorial for this paper chain HERE. I get into a lot more detail, including a full tutorial so you can recreate this easy Christmas decor yourself.

I had the idea to create a paper chain using wallpaper that I had left over from my guest bedroom. I was a little hesitant about it at first, but as soon as the loops started to come together I knew I had something special on my hands. 

close up of paper chain for Christmas.
close up of mantel garland with diy paper chain and anise star wreath.

My mom and I worked on this together. I made the strips, and she glued them. We made enough paper chain to put on my mantel garland and to wrap my tree. (I’ll be sharing my tree just as soon as it’s finished, so stay tuned for that too.) 

fireplace and christmas mantel with garland and mirror.


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Needless to say, I’m beyond obsessed with the results. I know it’s a simple craft which most of us learned in kindergarten, but with a few simple and chic changes it has become a one-of-a-kind and totally festive decoration

Anise Wreaths: 

I also crafted some of these rustic anise wreaths. I had seen something similar in a magazine a few years back and saved the idea in my brain for just the right time. Well, this year was the right time. 

They are super simple to make and I love the character they add. You can find the full tutorial for these as well including a list of materials that I used HERE.

DIY Star Anise Wreath for Christmas on garland.
close up of mantel garland with diy paper chain and anise star wreath.

I made the wreaths in a variety of sizes to use here on my mantel and also on my Christmas tree as ornaments. Additionally, you can use them as a standalone decoration or even as something special to top a present. 

A Vintage Touch: 

close up of christmas mantel decor.

As with most of my Christmas decor, a vintage element is a must. Here, my plastic deer collection made a comeback as the center display of my Christmas mantel decor. 

collection of vintage plastic deer on mantel.

This collection started with a set of three deer from my grandparents. The collection has grown over the years because I pick up additional ones for my collection when I see them on my antique adventures. 

These plastic deer may be one of my favorite antique collections of all time. 

Winter Wonderland Christmas Mantel #christmas #mantel #decor #idea #holiday #winterwonderland #decorating #garland

Additional Sources:

I will wrap up with a few other elements I need to mention.

  • Arch Mirror – You can find it HERE. It’s such a great value.
  • Wood Trees – The set I used can be found HERE
  • Stockings – I’ve collected these over the years. I don’t have specific sources.
stocking on christmas mantel.
close up of decorative trees on mantel.
gold modern Santa on mantel hearth.

Built-in Cabinetry and Fireplace

Finally, I wanted to mention that I had this mantel and surrounding bookcases installed a few years ago. If you’d like more information or want to read about the process, you can find all the details HERE. My fireplace is a gas log insert that I had installed around the same time. I love how realistic it looks and that it’s virtually zero maintenance. You can learn more about that HERE

It’s Time to Decorate!

And that’s a wrap on this year’s Christmas mantel decor. 

I hope that I’ve inspired you to embrace the decor that you have and love. There’s no need to buy new every year unless that’s what brings you true joy …then do that. 

christmas decor on mantel and bookcase.
christmas mantel and fireplace decor with garland.

I also hope that you’ll consider crafting some of your Christmas decor this year. I have a great list of handmade home decor which you can find HERE. I’ll also be sharing more throughout the rest of the season, so stay tuned for those fun projects. 

Seasons of Home Mantel Decor

Before clicking away, be sure to visit my blogger friends to check out their festive holiday mantels. These ladies are SO talented. I know you’ll gain some inspiration and/or helpful Christmas decorating tips! 

Seasons of Home Christmas Mantel Decor

Wreaths and Ribbon Christmas Mantel by Ella Claire & Co. | Organic Looking Christmas Mantel by Zevy Joy | French Country Christmas Mantel by French Country Cottage 

Seasons of Home Christmas Mantel Decor

Handmade-Inspired Mantel Decor by Inspired by Charm | How to create a layered Christmas Mantel by Craftberry Bush | Bronze and Gold Christmas Mantel by Handmade Farmhouse

I have a blog post dedicated to many of the Christmas mantels I’ve decorated over the years. If you want a little more inspiration from yours truly, you can find that HERE

Thank you for joining me again. Happy holiday decorating! 

mantel decor for christmas with fireplace surround.

Want more Christmas Decorating Ideas?

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christmas mantel decor with fireplace and candles.

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  1. Greetings Michael,
    I want to honor you for including in your post that you were finding the thought of decorating heavy and stressful, and took a moment to think about what you could do to make it more fun for you again. You gave a gift to us all by revealing this truth, because we are not always going to have the energy to to “go all out”, and in a way, you gave permission to yourself and others to not have to do that. Very valuable wisdom.
    I enjoy your blog very much, and love to see all of your ideas. I appreciate your artist’s eye, and the generosity with which you share your thinking and your process. Thank you, Michael.

  2. Michael,
    Love the wallpaper chain garland! What a fun idea yet it looks so elegant. Just to let you know that Target sells smaller prism trees similar to the ones displayed on your mantel at the Target dollar bin spot. I bought quite a few last year and I saw them again this year. They come in clear, green and red colors.

    I was in a gift shop yesterday and bought some high end heavy weight Christmas wrapping paper. I told the salesperson my hack for making tablerunners out of wrapping paper and she thought that was a great idea and said she would be stealing my idea.

  3. Michael, I absolutely love that you are buying less, making more, and focusing on what is imporant! I just received my order of Star Anise to make some little wreaths and a larger one. I can’t wait to see what you use for your wreaths!
    Paper chains! I love it! So nostalgic and fun! I have a collection of old wallpaper books — you have me ready to dig them out and create!
    As always, thank you for inspiring us all!

  4. As always, your mantle is an absolute masterpiece! Love it so much! Thank you for always taking the time to share all of the details and the process! You’re the best!

  5. I love every detail. The deer are my favorite, though! I love how it all came together and how you incorporate so many meaningful elements. That’s what it’s all about, not just buy buy buy new every year.

  6. “ buying less, making more, and focusing on what’s important to me” is working for you.

    This is so great. I love how many elements you added that are individually special like the anise wreaths in various sizes or the paper chain of wall paper (gasp!!) or the variety of textures on the trees. They all come together in a master piece. Truly.

    You could do this exact mantel every year and it’s always look new and interesting with all its layers and intricacies.

    I have a much smaller space for my mantel but can’t wait to share some of these elements like the anise wreaths. I also hoarded scrapbook paper eons ago and now feel excited to do a paper chain with them!

    You give new life to the old and don’t just run out and buy new. I have a set of those same sweet deer. And I love that you’ve used a magazine rack for logs!

    My mom passed over 2 decades ago. It genuinely warms my heart to see projects you’ve done with your mom. You’re so fortunate. Cherish every moment.

    So, so fun.

    I know I brag on you to you a lot, likely to an awkward point. :-/, but in a sea of excess in home decor online, you are one of the very few blogs I read word by word like I’ve received a letter from an old friend. Thank you for sharing your gifts, your kind manner and your creativity.

    Forever a loyal fan!

    1. This is one of the nicest things I’ve read. Thank you. What a gift. You made my whole weekend.

      I SO appreciate your continued support and encouragement.

      xo Michael