How to Decorate a Holiday Mantel

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Create the holiday scene you want to jump into

Picture this…

The Mantel: a holder of Christmas stockings, a warm fireplace setting, and a photo opp during the holiday season. We did the math…and our calculations show that it needs to be decorated up to some high social media quality standards. Time to ramp it up with some DIY decor. Let’s make sure your Christmas mantel is the best background yet for your classic matching pajama photo—whether with your S.O. or your trusty canine.

Pick items of the theme below that mesh with your seasonal decorations. Arrange them on the mantel in an orderly, yet amicably relaxed fashion. Channel your inner elf and give it a go.

What you need:

Traditional theme

  • Garland, or pine boughs from your local Christmas tree farm
  • Copper lights
  • Wire rimmed ribbon
  • Ornaments
  • Pine cones, real or faux

Winter Wonderland

  • Same as above, in the applicable color scheme to your space
  • Flocked garland
  • White twinkle lights
  • Mercury ornaments, or white or iridescent in color
  • Candles: tea light and pillar
  • Additional glassware 


  • Pink tinsel garland
  • Bottle brush trees: pink, white, and sparkly
  • Snowman, of course

Enhancements to any of these ideas: 

  • Snowmen
  • Elf on the shelf (perfect for the kiddos)
  • Gingerbread houses or Gingerbread Characters (homemade if you’re a true Christmas fanatic) 

How to arrange:

  1. Spread garland across the length of the mantel.
  2. Loop twinkle lights through the garland loosely. Secure by tucking around and looping through branches.
  3. Thread wire rimmed ribbon through the garland with an easy flow. 
  4. Arrange candles: Set pillars at different levels on the mantel by hiding books under the garland to create for height changes.
  5. Place ornament balls, trees, etc throughout the length of the garland.
  6. Disperse pine cones and final accessories along the garland.

Use the hidden book trick anywhere needed to add the element of height change. You know that family heirloom snowman wants his moment to shine. Just don’t let him melt. 

Holiday mantel: complete. Check that off your (nice) list. Now your elf has a great place to call home. Your fire can be proud to flicker here. You’ve created the picture-esque nook to read your holiday novel. So get to enjoying it. 

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