Decorating a fireplace mantel is a holiday tradition that can help make your house feel like a home. But there is no single way to decorate a holiday mantel. Treat it like a blank canvas and style it any way you like, making sure that it reflects your taste and existing decor, and creates the kind of mood that puts you and your loved ones in the holiday spirit. You can style a mantel to work with other decorations in the room or using the same elements you use to decorate your tree. Or if putting up a whole tree isn’t practical this year, you can choose to focus on the mantel and go all out to create a holiday centerpiece.
Whether you’re looking to create a traditional, modern, minimalist, eco-friendly, colorful, maximalist, understated, glam, whimsical, or fairy tale holiday mantel display, these 52 festive Christmas mantel ideas will help inspire your own design. And if a real or faux fireplace mantel is not part of your home’s existing architecture, you can adapt these ideas to create a virtual Christmas mantel on a bookshelf, floating shelf, sideboard, dresser, radiator cover top, or any other long, flat surface that you can style like a virtual mantel display and use to create a focal point in a room, and a celebration of the season.
1. Drape an Asymmetrical Garland
Blogger Ashley Luengo from Modern Glam created a cozy, natural Christmas mantel design using an asymmetrical garland, an assortment of candlesticks, and some Christmas-themed framed art stacked against the vintage mirror over the fireplace.
2. Keep It Simple and Serene
Fireplace mantels come in many shapes and sizes. Blogger Eden Passante from Sugar and Charm worked with the architecture of her fireplace, painting the protruding front in a minty green, hanging a large unadorned natural green wreath in the center, and adding a trio of white white tree-shaped candles on the small shelves that flank either side of the fireplace that function as a bifurcated mantel.
3. Use Odd Numbers
Blogger Monika Hibbs created a charming, cheerful, understated holiday mantel with a generous spread of fresh greens, gingerbread house ornaments, and an abundance of taper candlesticks of varying heights and styles in similar brass tones. Hibbs points out that it’s best to use odd numbers of candles, ornaments, or other elements when decorating a mantel for the most aesthetically pleasing effect. The same rule works well for flower bouquets and shelf displays as well.
4. Mix Colors and Metallics
This Christmas mantel from blogger Michael Wurm, Jr of Inspired by Charm includes an evergreen garland embellished with a string of gold beads and tied with blue ribbons on each end, a snow pine cone wreath hung from a vintage mirror above the fireplace, and a banner that reads “Merry & Bright.” The blue, green, white, and gold color scheme is carried throughout the holiday living room for a cohesive look.
5. Stick to White and Gold
Blogger Lucy Akins of Craftberry Bush decorated her white-and-gold themed Christmas mantel with a generous asymmetrical garland and a coordinating wreath. Gold bells hanging from white stockings, candlesticks, and white-and-gold decorations on the bookshelves that flank the fireplace create a fresh, natural but polished holiday ambiance throughout the room.