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.
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Swap In a Holiday Painting
Blogger Michael Wurm, Jr of Inspired by Charm hung a holiday-themed painting above the fireplace to set the tone for his Christmas mantel display. Then he decorated it with a generous green garland layered with strings of gold beads and stars and oversize pine cones. On the mantel surface, he placed a family of vintage woodland ornaments, tree-shaped figurines in a mix of metals and woods, and hung cozy knit stockings in a bundle to one side. A golden Christmas gnome at the base of the fireplace adds a little extra sparkle.Continue to 2 of 52 below.
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Blogger Monika Hibbs decked her mantel in classic greens and pale pink satin ribbons in honor of a recently born daughter's first Christmas, adding fluffy white filled stockings and a sheepskin throw in front of the fireplace for a soft, feminine twist on holiday decor with a personal touch. Using long, quality ribbon in satin or velvet adds a retro touch, and you could easily swap out the pink for any other color you like with similar effect.Continue to 3 of 52 below.
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DIY Some Cardboard Christmas Trees
Blogger Lucy Akins from Craftberry Bush crafted DIY cardboard Christmas tree ornaments that create a charming mantel-top mini forest. She embellished the mantel with brass candlesticks, small white ornaments, and simple greens that add dimension and volume and meld with the neutral color scheme and natural materials.
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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.Continue to 5 of 52 below.
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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.Continue to 6 of 52 below.
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Add French Country Flair
Blogger Sheila Irwin from Maison de Cinq created a French country-inspired mantel with a simple wreath hung over an antique mirror, a pair of decorative urns, and neutral-toned stockings hung in a neat row.Continue to 7 of 52 below.
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Supersize Your Garland
Interior designer Mel Bean of Mel Bean Interiors created a maximalist holiday mantel in this contemporary formal living room. The supersized garland spills down the top and both sides of the fireplace mantel, complementing the existing color palette and decor while creating a holiday-themed focal point. Delicate gold animal and tree figurines and golden Christmas lighting on the garland add warmth.Continue to 8 of 52 below.
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Make It Homey
This homey Christmas mantel design from Emily Henderson Design leans more on the side of wintry, making it appropriate for those who prefer a secular spin on the holiday. Layered mantel lighting in the form of an oversize star, and a mix of candlesticks and votive candles add warm light. Simple greens add a note of freshness and faux fur-trimmed stockings hung from the chunky wood mantel help create a cozy vibe.Continue to 9 of 52 below.
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Accent with Rose Gold
Blogger Ashley Luengo from Modern Glam created a maximalist Christmas living room decor scheme that was inspired by a shiny rose gold Merry Christmas garland tied together with black and white twine. She went all out with the color palette, carrying it onto the two trees that flank the mantel and are decorated in rose gold ornaments and black-and-white striped ribbons. The lyrics to Silent Night written in white on a black background creates a focal point.Continue to 10 of 52 below.
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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.
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Add a Mini Tree
Blogger Sheila Irwin from Maison de Cinq created a casual French country-inspired mantel display with a Merry Christmas garland, cozy cream-colored knit stockings, and a jumble of votive candles. Simple white Christmas lights on the garland and mini tree placed next to the hearth provides extra light and charm without stealing the show from the main tree elsewhere in the room.
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Interior designer Emily Henderson of Emily Henderson Design created a fun, modern Christmas mantel that matches the contemporary aesthetic of the marble and white wood fireplace and overall design of the room. Black-and-white stockings hung to one side, and bright red letters spelling out the word JOY sets the tone, and a simple cascading green garland adds a note of greenery next to the blingy modern gold tree.Continue to 13 of 52 below.
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Blogger Leslie Saeta of My 100 Year Old Home chose to use simple mantel decorations for her all-white primary bedroom. The simple Christmas bedroom comes together with a row of white house-shaped votives lined up on the mantel, and a bunch of greens tied with a red ribbon hung casually off of a thrift store floor lamp on one side of the mantel add some color and a nod to the season without going over the top. A red pillow on an armchair and a red-and-green quilt at the foot of the bed tie it all together.Continue to 14 of 52 below.
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Create a Focal Point
There is no mantel on the floor-to-ceiling fireplace in this spacious Spanish-style living room from Emily Henderson Design. Instead, a simple lighted wreath encircling a faux trophy head above the fireplace fills in the empty space, and stockings hang from a built-in bookshelf just off to one side. The granny chic minty green velvet tasseled vintage chaise longue works anytime but looks more intentional during the holiday season.Continue to 15 of 52 below.
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Keep It Merry and Bright
This bright and shiny DIY marquee light Christmas mantel decoration from Laura Gummerman at A Beautiful Mess has enough bling to light up the whole room. She kept the rest of the mantel decoration simple with pompom and gold ball garlands filling the negative space between the firebox and the mantel, and adding some mini Christmas tree and pine cone table ornaments on either side of the marquee sign to tie it all together.Continue to 16 of 52 below.
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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.Continue to 18 of 52 below.
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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.Continue to 19 of 52 below.
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Make It Multicolored
Emily Henderson Design chose a bold print in primary colors on the Frame TV over her family room fireplace that echoes the multicolored decorations on the tree, and coordinates with the blues and reds on throw pillows and upholstery.Continue to 20 of 52 below.
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Drape the Garland
Blogger Sheila Irwin from Maison de Cinq created a soft, French country-inspired take on Christmas mantel decor that harmonizes with the rest of the room. Sticking to shades of green and white, she draped her garland for a nonchalant feel, added tapered candles, and hung a simple ribbon-tied wreath on a vintage mirror above the mantel.Continue to 21 of 52 below.
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Keep It Understated
Interior designer Marlaina Teich of Marlaina Teich Designs used a mix of black and white and bright gold metallic accessories to create an understated, sophisticated take on holiday mantel decor.
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Laura Gummerman from A Beautiful Mess created a DIY white and gold holiday-themed ode to typography and kitsch with this cheerful sign mantel display.Continue to 23 of 52 below.
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Use Simple Greens
Blogger Leslie Saeta from My 100 Year Old Home used simple greens to decorate her living room mantel that don't fight with the painting above the fireplace and allow the rest of the room's traditional red and green Christmas decorations to shine.
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Add Candy Cane Stripes
Kara Whitten from A Beautiful Mess hung brightly colored stockings decorated in pompoms and candy cane stripes and decked the mantel with a forest of brightly colored bottle brush trees to create a happy, fun Christmas vibe.Continue to 25 of 52 below.
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Channel Scandi Style
This streamlined mantel from Lindye Galloway Studio blends harmoniously with the rest of the room's serene, Scandi style-inspired take on Christmas decor, with its soothing palette of sage green, cream, and natural tones. Wood bead garlands draped on the mantel and adjacent tree add a natural touch.Continue to 26 of 52 below.
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Play with Scale
Not every fireplace has a traditional mantel. In this living room from Emily Henderson Design, an oversized wreath decorates the blank space above the firebox. Built-in bench seating is treated like a mantel and decorated with a tall vase full of red holiday berries, tree ornaments, and toys to delight the little ones.Continue to 27 of 52 below.
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Mix Red and White
Blogger Michael Wurm, Jr of Inspired by Charm created a red-themed rustic Christmas mantel on his brick and wood fireplace. A green garland is layered with gold beads and festooned with oversized and frosted pine cones, red-and-white ornaments, and Christmas lights. Classic Nordic knit stockings trimmed with white faux fur complete the happy, homey look.Continue to 28 of 52 below.
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Choose a Nutcracker Theme
Blogger Lucy Akins from Craftberry Bush created a Nutcracker-themed mantel in shades of red, blue, and gold to create a classic Christmas mantel display with timeless appeal.Continue to 29 of 52 below.
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Use Faux Berries
Blogger Leslie Saeta of My 100 Year Old Home dressed her cream-toned rustic modern farmhouse living room mantel in greens and bright red faux berries, hung a wreath on top of distressed vintage tin tiles, and added Scandi-style black-and-white knit stockings with DIY nametags for a personal touch.Continue to 30 of 52 below.
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Creating your own visual vocabulary to celebrate a collective holiday is one way ensure that the holiday is a meaningful expression of you and your family rather than just a riff on tradition. For Laura Gummerman at A Beautiful Mess, that meant this surprising, irreverent DIY marquee of a vintage Corvette Stingray carrying a pink tree on its roof. Make the holidays your own by following your own vision of what Christmas means to you.Continue to 31 of 52 below.
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Mix Real and Faux Greens
Blogger Lucy Akins from Craftberry Bush mixes real and faux greenery that lasts from season to season on her Christmas mantel to cut down on her holiday decorating budget.Continue to 33 of 52 below.
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Mix in Natural Elements
Blogger Michael Wurm, Jr from Inspired by Charm found a pair of elk antlers at a resale store and used them as a centerpiece for this nature-inspired Christmas mantel. He added fresh greens, copper ornaments, and large pine cones. A pair of lamps on either end add light and height, and a garland hung below the mantel adds a shot of classic Christmas red.Continue to 34 of 52 below.
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Blogger KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms created a neutral-toned Christmas mantel with natural materials, large curled ribbons, touches of gold, and greenery that blends in with her white-on-white rustic modern farmhouse style.Continue to 35 of 52 below.
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Australian travel photographer Kara Rosenlund created a focal point above the fireplace with a natural trophy head that adds dimension to the flat surround marble fireplace. Contemporary holiday signage hung on the wall adds a cheerful, modern Scandi-style vibe. The neutral palette and DIY scavenged branch tree provides a perfect foil that allows natural greenery to shine.
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Keep It Minimalist
Blogger Annie Diamond of Most Lovely Things added a line of black house-shaped votives, black taper candles, and a small vase of red leaves to her painted white stone fireplace mantel for a minimalist take on holiday decor.Continue to 37 of 52 below.
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Layer It Up
Blogger Michael Wurm, Jr from Inspired by Charm used bright red and crisp white to create a layered mantel design that features interwoven garlands, twinkly lights, tapered candles, house-shaped votives, Nordic stockings, and framed Christmas song lyrics.Continue to 38 of 52 below.
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Keep It Coordinated
If you're blessed with two mantels that are visible from across an open space or adjoining rooms, they don't need to match perfectly. But be sure visually link them using similar greens or variations on the same color scheme, like the twin mantels in this spacious home from interior designer Susan Spath of Kern & Company.Continue to 39 of 52 below.
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Keep a Low Profile
Emily Henderson Design kept this holiday mantel decoration simple with low-slung greens and a low profile green garland decorated with a string of gold bells that doesn't block the TV when in use.Continue to 40 of 52 below.
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Add a Waterfall Garland
Interior designer Mel Bean of Mel Bean Interiors used a generous waterfall garland on the fireplace of this contemporary living room that spills down both sides and puddles at the base, creating a sense of abundance and celebration. She stuck to the room's gray-and-white palette down to the Christmas stockings, adding touches of gold that echo the brass-trimmed glass coffee nesting tables and add festive holiday warmth to the overall design.Continue to 41 of 52 below.
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Layer on Some Art
Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made by Carmona decorated her living room for Christmas with simple greens, a burnished gold garland, and layered framed art leaning on the mantel for a casual look.
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Keep It Light and Airy
Blogger Michael Wurm, Jr of Inspired by Charm used blue and green bottle brush trees, vintage brass deer ornaments, vintage-inspired DIY wood stockings, and simple greens surrounding a large mirror to brighten up this light and airy Christmas mantel.Continue to 43 of 52 below.
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Light Some Candles
Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made by Carmona created a simple, budget-friendly Christmas mantel display that plays off the gilded mirror above the fireplace with an assortment of candles in glass and gold vessels, simple ribbon, and reusable faux garlands with greens and white flowers.Continue to 44 of 52 below.
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Go Wall to Wall
Blogger Lucy Akins of Craftberry Bush created a wall of greenery with her maximalist living room Christmas decor. The mantel is covered in a lush garland that flows seamlessly into the twin trees flanking either side of the fireplace. The color palette of greens and blues complement the dark wall paint to create the impression that a Christmas garden has been planted in the living room.Continue to 45 of 52 below.
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Mix Red and Gold
Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made by Carmona hung red and gold stockings from a DIY hangar box filled with mini presents and greens, and added Christmas ornaments on either end for a slightly formal holiday look.Continue to 46 of 52 below.
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Decorate with Glass Cloches
Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made by Carmona created a simple mantel display by putting sparkly silver Christmas ornaments and fairy lights under decorative glass cloches. A faux fur stocking, mini pine cones, and wrapped stocking stuffer-sized gifts decorate the rest of the mantel.Continue to 47 of 52 below.
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Blow Up a Family Photo
Blogger Annie Diamond from Most Lovely Things set her Frame TV with a blown up family photo from a previous year's Christmas card that adds a personal touch to her simple stone mantel holiday display.Continue to 48 of 52 below.
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Go White on White
Interior designer Amy Leferink at Interior Impressions chose a minimalist approach to decorating the mantel in this neutral-toned formal living room. She hung a simple off-white wreath that adds a festive but minimal nod to the holidays, and complements the white flowers on the coffee table and touches of greenery scattered throughout the room.Continue to 49 of 52 below.
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Tie it with a Bow
Interior designer Mary Maloney of Hopkinton, MA.-based Bee's Knees Interior Design has a holiday decorating motto that "Less is more and fresh is best." She enjoys sourcing as much of her decor as possible from the great outdoors. "We are blessed to live in an environment where we can cut much of what we need right in our backyard," Maloney says. "Winterberry is lovely for a pop of red. Add in pine cones for texture. Evergreen clippings are long lasting and add such a lovely smell to your indoor environment. And embellish your displays with a ribbon accent."
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Make It Solid Gold
Emma Chapman from A Beautiful Mess decorated this white living room with gold accents including a pair of gold Christmas trees decorated with gold ball ornaments. She carried the theme to the mantel, which she decorated sparingly with a double-draped a gold ball ornament garland and a mini gold tree.Continue to 51 of 52 below.
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Add DIY Lighting Fixtures
Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made by Carmona decorated her Christmas living room in shades of green and gold, adding a pair of DIY tree-shaped holiday lighting fixtures lit with green LED lights to either end of the mantel to tie it all together.Continue to 52 of 52 below.