DIY Holiday Decor for Your Mantel

Elevate Your Favorite Holiday Decor on the Mantel
A white fireplace and mantel with Christmas decor including a garland and candles.

If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace mantle in your home, why not dress it up this holiday season? It makes the perfect space to elevate your favorite holiday decor while framing the many cozy fires you're sure to enjoy. Here are eight ideas for holiday mantel decor, including lights, ornaments, signs, and greenery. The best part? You probably already have everything you need to deck it out in Christmas cheer. 

Lights and Boughs
Simple mantel display with boughs, lights, and bulbs.

One simple version of mantel decor that packs a visual punch comes from a simple combination of evergreen boughs, lights, and bulbs. For the evergreens you can use clippings from your Christmas tree or another source from outdoors. Overlap them in a row along the top of the mantel to create a thick bed. Next, weave white lights through the foliage. Finally, add some color with bulb ornaments placed throughout the display.

An assortment of white candles surrounded by greenery.

Every mantle becomes homier with candles, especially during the dark winter months. For a display that represents the holidays but can be kept out for months afterwards, use candles. Choose a variety of sizes for an enticing appeal. You can use a combination of jars and votive holders in different heights or you can create a uniform look with evenly spaced light across the mantle. Jazz up the look with some greenery or burlap to pull it all together.

A mantel decorated with figurines and candle holders with stockings hanging in the front.

The mantle is the perfect spot to bring a scene to life. For example, if you collect Christmas village buildings, use them to deliver a unified theme to the mantle. Alternately, march your nutcracker collection into a row. Weave in some twinkling lights to your preference. Or set up your nativity scene as a focal point and surround it with taper candles or metal trees.

A mantel with greenery, a large candle, and brass reindeer.

Metal decor offers warmth to a space by reflecting light. Use this to your advantage on your mantle. Cluster brass or silver trees, animals, bulbs, and candle holders together for an elegant display. Or grab a collection of copper items for a rustic effect. Top it off with an elegant ribbon snaked through the display.

Natural Elements
A mantel decorated with pinecones, red berries, and evergreen clippings.

Every season offers the opportunity to bring a bit of the outdoors in, and although the prolific blooms of summer are gone, you can still create a natural display throughout the winter. Start with dried, fresh, or artificial flowers. Mix in some pinecones, walnuts, or driftwood. Add layers of height with candle holders, or vases filled with acorns or rocks.

Word Art
A red metal light-up sign that reads Joy on the edge of a mantel.

In recent years, word art has become an increasingly popular decor item. Plug in a light-up metal sign for an instant effect. For a theme that will last past the holidays, select cozy distressed wood letters. String or rope words are another option if you prefer a more country feel. 

Stockings hanging from a mantel.

Of course the most traditional mantle decor during the holidays comes from the stockings hanging by the chimney with care. Choose your favorite collection of stocking holders and line them up near the front edge of the mantle. Then fill in the space behind it with greenery and bulbs.

A vase of pink ornaments on a mantel with a Christmas tree in the background.

Nobody ever said that ornaments have to remain on the tree. Instead, choose several to display on the mantle, many of which are suitable for the entire winter. Grab some large jars or vases and fill them with colorful bulbs.