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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
- Glass/Prism Trees – Love these. You can find them HERE.
- Gold Santa – He was a find from years ago. He’s no longer sold.
- Brass Lanterns – THESE are great for the holidays or every day.
- Log Holder – This is an antique magazine rack. You can buy birch sticks/branches HERE.
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.
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!
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!
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