The mantel is the centerpiece of a home's Christmas decor. It dictates the theme of your holiday decorations and is a place where family gathers. So don't slack on sprucing it up! Below you'll find 12 festive Christmas mantel decoration ideas that are anything but gaudy.
1. Don't be too literal.
Every inch of your mantel doesn't have to be decked out in Santa and reindeer. Try limiting the literal holiday decor to stockings and a garland, with green accents standing on top of the mantel. Opt for a living plant as opposed to an arrangement for a more authentic (and long-lasting) look.
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Get the look: The Sill Preserved Fern Kokedama, $75
2. Embrace minimalism.
A simple Christmas tree garland and matchy-matchy stockings are refreshingly minimalistic. It's totally possible to keep with the theme of your home while still decorating for the holidays.
Get the look: Ballard Designs Chunky Knit Stockings, $49
3. Impress with fresh greenery.
Nothing looks — and smells — quite as nice as a real garland and wreath. Go all out for a holiday party, or even just Christmas Eve with the family, with a look that transports you to the outdoors.
Get the look: The Home Depot, 24" Live Wreath, $36.88
4. Fresh flowers are gorgeous and unexpected.
Garland is expected on Christmas. So, to give the usual decor a twist, add something less traditional. While Christmas and flowers might not be something we associate with one another, the combination of the two here — a dark green contrasted with a bright pink — just works.
Get the look: Grandin Road Brentwood Garland, $129
5. Go for an eclectic look.
As long as there's some sort of color scheme, topping your mantel with all kinds of knickknacks is such a cool look. If you're starting anew, look for vase sets that come with two or more different but complementary vases.
Get the look: VivaTerra Recycled Glass Balloon Vases, $89.99
6. Light taper candles.
Christmas and candles are practically synonymous, so don't forget to light a few!
Get the look: Bolsius Long Ivory Taper Candles, $29.98
7. Try out a color theme.
A color theme allows you to decorate to your heart's content while still maintaining a cohesive look. Pine green works great for a Christmas mantel decoration, for example.
Get the look: Berry & Thread Stackable Glass Trees (set of 3), $150
8. Let frosty, winter artwork shine.
Allow a winter landscape to be your mantel's centerpiece. The right painting can work perfectly as a backdrop to your other decor.
Get the look: Minted 'Morning Fog' (40" x 30"), $168
9. Create a garland out of the holiday cards you receive.
Sentimental, stylish, and super affordable. All you'll need is twine, wooden clips, and your favorite Christmas cards.
Get the look: Lee Art Designs Twine Photo Holder, $8+
10. Hang ornaments at varying lengths.
This is another high-impact option that comes in at a low cost. To secure the ornaments, you'll want a pack of clear Command Strip Decorating Clips.
Get the look: The Holiday Aisle 48-Piece Christmas Ornament Set, $27.99
11. Go cactus crazy.
Get the look: Succulent Market Red Graft Cactus, $7.99
12. Snowball pom-pom garlands are adorable.
This is an easy and affordable Christmas mantel decoration that is both cute and seasonal. Grab a set of matching, snow-white stockings to create a winter-inspired color theme.
Get the look: The Honaker Home Maker Snowball Garland, $12.50+