10 Creative Christmas Mantle Decoration Ideas

The Christmas season is fast approaching, and before you know it, you'll be hanging mistletoe and wrapping gifts to the tune of your favorite carols. It can be challenging to reinvent your holiday decor year after year, but there are simple changes you can make to give your home a new and cozy look this holiday season.

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By changing up the way you decorate your mantle, you'll be able to create a whole new look with minimal effort. Here you'll find ten ideas for bringing holiday cheer to your home this December, like purchasing new stocking holders for mantle.

1. Advent Calendars

As adults, the joy of advent calendars doesn't have to disappear; instead, you can redefine it. Advent calendars made from wood and elaborately painted make fantastic centerpieces for your mantle and get you excited as Christmas Day approaches.

A popular idea is a house-shaped calendar with little doors to open for each day in December. If you're looking for something modern and unique, consider an art piece.

Calendars are available with a rectangular frame containing 25 farmhouse style buckets that you can fill with candy canes or notes to open and enjoy each day leading up to Christmas.

2. Modern Holiday Frames

Adding picture frames to your mantle is a modern way to decorate a minimal home for the holidays. This versatile styling option is ideal for any home from an industrial urban space to a Scandinavian cottage.

Start by selecting two or three different sized frames that have the same shape. Layering varying colors will create a focal point on your mantle. So, if the largest frame is black, choose something bolder, like gold or silver, for your medium frame.

Select a few holiday art pieces like Christmas trees, sleighs, or snowman figurines that you would typically stand on your mantle and place them behind the frame so that they appear as a 3D picture within the frame.

This is a very stylish way to modernize the artwork on your mantle and still keep your favorite classic Christmas pieces.

3. Pine Garland and Ribbon

Topping your mantle with pine garland laced with holly is a classic way to decorate for the holidays. It is also a flexible decoration option that can be customized to suit your space. Be sure to center your garland evenly and have enough length to drape some down either side of the mantle.

To take this decoration to the next level, try adding a ribbon wrapping around the garland. Twisting a thick, beautiful linen ribbon around the wreath horizontally adds a bit more color and sparkle to this statement piece. Choose a gold ribbon for an elegant, farmhouse look or burgundy for traditional or transitional home.

4. Nutcrackers

Nutcrackers are a well-known symbol of the holidays and are wonderful alternatives to Santa, reindeer, and other Christmas motifs. They are also easy to style; if you aren't an artistic decorator and prefer to pull out the ornaments quickly and decorate, this might be the right choice for you. Placing your nutcrackers takes very little time, but you can still have fun using their different shapes and colors to create a pattern that draws the eye to the holiday mantle. Position a variety of different Nutcrackers in ascending order along the mantle. Or place two oversize pieces at the ends of your mantle to stand as sentries, guarding the gifts

5. Add Some Floral Elements

Florals are not a typical design element used for the holidays, but they can add an unexpected splash of color and texture to your mantle. Poinsettias are a popular seasonal choice, or you could opt for a mantle bouquet bursting with dahlias, ranunculus, and tulips in the shade of red for a festive feminine touch.

Rather than typical pine garland on your mantle, choose lighter green foliage with hanging vines and an eye-catching floral scheme. You could go pink for an air of spring if you're celebrating Christmas somewhere warm, or play it safe with white florals to seamlessly match your other holiday decorations.

6. Decorative Stocking Holders

Finding the perfect stocking holders for mantle is an exciting task. For kids, try a fun ornamental stocking holder that reflects the toys they love. Car loving children enjoy a stocking holder that sits atop the mantle featuring their favorite vehicle. For adults, you can find stocking holders with a brass pine cone, a ceramic Christmas tree, or even an engraved candle to sit atop the mantle and give your room a cozy atmosphere.

To achieve a cohesive look across the whole mantle, select a matching set of mantle clips attached to the mantle's edge and provide a hook below, rather than taking up space on the top.

If you have a non-functional fireplace, but you still want a warm glow, install an LED lighting strip under the mantel to highlight your stockings and stocking holders.

7. Beautiful Baubles

These traditional, spherical tree ornaments are among the first things that come to mind when decorating for the holidays. While it's easy to pull the same baubles out from storage each Christmas, a quick way to give your tree and your mantle a makeover is to add pops of color with some vibrant baubles.

Using a color scheme you love, whether that's robin's egg blue with soft pink, or sparkling gold and deep burgundy, add some baubles to the foliage on your mantle to tie it into your tree decor. To make this look more whimsical, try adding varying sizes of baubles.

8. Candles and Wreaths

A simple and timeless way to decorate your mantle is with a variety of candles and pine wreaths. If it's a traditional color scheme you're interested in, purchase multiple sets of three candle sizes in white and reds. Create adorable trios along the top of the mantle with a large candle, medium, and small candle forming a triangle formation every few inches.

Hang a classic wreath on the front of your mantle and tie the whole look together by adding some rustic grey pine cones to your wreath and have them sitting amongst the candles. Festive and functional allowing you to enjoy the glow of candlelight while you gather around the tree with family and friends.

9. Fancy Stockings

Updating the decorative stockings that you hang from the mantle to something less traditional and funkier adds a little personality to your mantle in a very tasteful way.

For a country modern mantle, select neutral tones for your stockings such as a baby blue, light brown, and cream combination, but add flair with one stand out stocking. Embrace bold textures such as faux fur or pom-poms for a delightful twist in the traditional Christmas stocking. For an urban condo mantle, consider black and white stockings with bold patterns for a statement piece.

10. Christmas Printables

Ordering printable lettering in bold fonts with red or green colors to spell out "Merry Christmas" or another sentiment is fun, simple, and modern. Each printable card can have one or two letters on it depending on the font size, and to make this appear more polished, purchase frames in varying sizes to hang them in.

Wrapping Up

These ten creative ways to decorate your Christmas mantle are just the beginning. The possibilities are endless, and you can take these concepts and diversify them by applying different color schemes and exciting textures to make them stand out from traditional decorations.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.