When we got back from our Thanksgiving trip to the West Coast, my three year-old son asked me, “Mommy, when is Christmas coming to our house?” Now that the mantel is decorated and the stockings hung with proverbial care, I can safely say that Christmas has arrived (even if our tree only has the lights on it and nothing else!).
Our traditional Christmas mantel is filled with green, red, gold, silver and some woodland touches that were inspired by a little bird and hedgehog that I found at my annual visit to World Market (we don’t have any stores New England, which is tragic).
I’m so pleased with how our mantel turned out! Here are a few tips to incorporate similar decorative touches in your own home.
1. Frame festive fabric and embellish bargain finds to make them yours.
This large frame (from IKEA) usually displays a photo from our visit to Monaco, but to make it a more interesting backdrop for Christmas I cut fabric that I already had on hand and just placed it behind the photo mat (the original photo is still hiding back there). The fabric is by Premier Prints, but I purchased it at a local shop a few years ago (Fabric Place Basement in Natick, MA – an awesome store!).
“Rudolf” was found at TJ Maxx, sans red nose. I simply hot-glued a pom-pom to make the simple wood reindeer’s nose shiny and bright. If you find something you love but it’s not quite right, don’t hesitate to do a little surgery to make it your own by adding ribbon, fabric, or pom-poms! Slight modifications like that are great ways to use a-seasonal (that’s a word now) decor during the holidays.
2. Update basic candle holders in 5 minutes with fabric and ribbon.
You may recognize the hurricanes from our fall mantel, and it was so easy to give them the old switcheroo. Using pinking shears, I simply cut strips of plaid fabric to the desired width and hot glued the ends of the fabric in the back, and did the same with some shimmering ribbon. Don’t glue the fabric or ribbon to the candle holder, otherwise you won’t be able to remove it easily when you want to change the look. My plaid fabric is from JoAnn a few years ago (this fabric is similar), and the twill ribbon with gold flecks is from The Container Store (this ribbon is similar).
3. Freshen up old decor and reuse pieces from past seasons.
I’ve had the faux greenery for ages, and wrapped it with some metallic berry garland a few years ago. For this year’s mantel, I added some inexpensive wreath picks (50% off at JoAnn last week) to give it even more sparkle. The DIY Moroccan “tea glass” votive holders are from our fall mantel and I still love them!
These simple touches, along with my easy-to-make rustic ornament garland and our stockings (from Pottery Barn Kids), make this a traditional Christmas mantel that I’m proud of! It’s truly a shame that there’s a giant train table parked in front of it now to make room for our tree. Le sigh.
Do you decorate your mantel the same way each year, or change it up?
Later this week I’ll show you my parents’ mantel with a really unique feature!