We use advertising and affiliate links from Amazon and other retailers as a means of generating revenue on this website. We do not recommend services or products we do not personally resonate with.
Friday, November 26, 2021

How to decorate Christmas mantel

Searching for how to decorate Christmas mantel?  We are pretty excited to share with you how we decorated our Christmas mantel this year.   

How to decorate Christmas mantel

And... we are off to the races...

Since Thanksgiving is past us now, are you thinking about decorating your home?  I know many who have already decorated, some who said after Thanksgiving, and then those of you who said no way, I will in December, or when I get around to it.

For me, one month of decorations up is just not enough!  If it were appropriate, I would have Christmas 24/7, 12 months a year here!  YES, really!  

I am not sure why Christmas decorations just make everything look new and sparkly, but it does!  Hey, I know, maybe it is ALL of the sparkles on Christmas decorations!  

Oh, someone here in our home hates sparkles... no names mentioned, but uh hum... he says they get everywhere!  My reply?  I know, isn't it the most WONDERFUL thing in the world?  I declare sparkles everywhere at all times!  

What do you think?  I am all about it.

Blue mercury glass candlestick on mantel for Christmas

Here is where I am going to get WAY off track, and I will apologize in advance, but I was distracted by Mr. VS... you know I have complained about the telly being on 24/7 when he is home, but do you know there is now adult tag? 

I looked up and said what is going on?  Is this tag?  He said why yes, it is.  Are you kidding me?  Adult tag?  They will make a sport out of anything!  Yes, this household is one that has to have sports on all of the time.  Remember how much I enjoy sports?  Yeah, not that much...   

Okay, I am finished with my rant, I will step down from my soapbox.  Now back to your regularly scheduled program... decorating and sparkles!  You know, the important stuff!

Our mantel changed quite a bit this year.  While I love our large urn picture above our mantel, I decided it was time for something new and different.

Framed wreath over mantel

I looked high and low for a lovely Christmas picture to put above our mantel.  I wanted something poster size... you know, everything bigger is better at Christmas.  While I found some very lovely items, I did not find that one thing that spoke to me, that made my heart sing, and think it would be the most wonderful piece in the world above our mantel. 

A few weeks ago, I was doing my online searching thing and came across wrapping paper.  I am actually one of those weirdos who enjoys wrapping.  I know so many of you have shared it is not a favorite pass time, but there is something about it that is calming to me.  Have you ever noticed it is the mundane tasks in life that I enjoy most?  Wonder what that says about me?  Well, let's not psychoanalyze Cara today, let's just focus on decorating.    

I found some really cool wrapping paper on Target's site and decided to order some for a project I had in mind.  

Christmas mantel with candlesticks and wreath

Of course, in Cara fashion, there was no measuring or even looking at the dimensions of the wrapping paper.  When it came, I was a bit too short for what I had in mind.

Back to the drawing board I went, or the attic anyway, my own personal field of dreams just a staircase away...

As I was scavenging around in the attic seeing what other treasures I could find, I found a tall roll of wrapping paper.  I thought yeah for me!  I found something that will work perfectly for the project I have in mind.

Cedar wreath with pinecones

Mr. VS removed the picture for me from our mantel and we removed the picture from inside the frame.  I used it as a template to cut my wrapping paper to fit inside the frame.

The wrapping paper I found is a gold foil paper with Merry Christmas and reindeers on it.  I actually thought it was a classic.  After the paper was in place and our frame was all cleaned up Mr. VS looked at me and said now what?  I know you are not putting just this above the mantel... and I said no, of course not, that would never do!

I ran back upstairs and found a wreath I purchased from an online shop last year on clearance for $12.00!  Have you looked at the price of wreathes these days? WOW, are they expensive!  I always look at Amazon and I shop online after holiday sales when stores are desperate to rid their warehouses of holiday decor.  It really is the best time to search for decorations.

Candlesticks with cedar and pine on mantel

I pulled out some gold ribbon I have had for years and could never quite decide what to do with.  I placed it through the wreath and taped it to the back of the frame.  Viola, a lovely FREE piece of art for our mantel.  We already had everything in the attic, how awesome is that?  

I know, I know, I purchased wrapping paper that I did not use, but if you know me, then you know I will figure something else out to do with it... waste not, want not.    

Large frame with wreath

When the holidays are over, we can put the wrapping paper to the back of the frame so it will stay nice and flat, and I do not need to find a place to store it.  I especially love items that I can store inside of each other.  It is the reason I love pillow covers so much, you can store them inside whatever pillow you are displaying.

Did you know you can also save money by not buying as large of pillow inserts when you store your covers in the back of the pillows?  I did this in our bedroom when we changed things out.  I filled the back of our shams with the previous shams I had on our bed.  Maximize your storage and it saves time too.  No more wondering... now, where did I put that?  Everything is right there.       

Stick around here and I will eventually spill all of my secrets...  I have to maximize storage being a cozy cottage and all.  Plus... I just enjoy a challenge.  I never tire of working at making this the best version this cottage has been.  

Cedar and pine on mantel with candlesticks

I have so many fond memories of this day after Thanksgiving growing up.  We always put our Christmas tree up in our home on that particular day year after year.  So many trips up and down the stairs, hunting in the attic through all of our decorations... seeing my favorite ornaments... 

Our family room was always adorned with traditional Christmas colors and d├ęcor.  Maybe that is why I have recently decided to go back to more traditional decor.  Funny as we age, we want to remember those childhood days.

As we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, I shared with hubby how I used to call my grandparents in the morning and we would watch the parade over the phone with each other and comment on the floats and balloons.

Large Christmas art over mantel

When you are young, you tend to take those conversations for granted... you never think those loves ones will never be there some day.  I was an old soul even as a kid, but I have to say, I wasn't any different than other kids when it came to that.  To have one more conversation with my grandfather would be so cherished.  To hear one more story... or hear how my grandmother thought she had a halo over her head.  

We all used to laugh about that statement... my grandfather would say, don't you see it?  I would reply, see what?  He'd respond, don't you see the halo over her head?  We would all laugh about it and continue with whatever we were discussing.  He would make me laugh, and would brush and braid my hair, we would play checkers together, and I loved to listen to him talk.

Unique candlesticks

It never really mattered what he was talking about, I'd just listen to his stories, and let me tell you, he was a wonderful story teller.  He spoke of the war very little, but when he did, I was all ears.    

You realize as you get older the stories stay with you, and then they become memories.... ones you want to share with loved ones... any traditions you had as a family, you decide to do with your own family.  I love how we have adopted traditions from both of our families and made them our own.  

As I tend to do, we took the long way around about how we decorated our Christmas mantel, but you know how I love to share stories with you all and then also talk about the decorating too.  Our huge mantel picture was budget decorating at it's best.  I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.  

We hope you enjoyed your holiday, and we look forward to continuing to share stories, and Christmas decorating galore throughout our cottage with you this holiday season.  

2021 Christmas mantel

Would you like to comment?

  1. Such a beautiful Christmas mantel, Cara! Are those gold feathers mixed in with the greenery? Beautiful! And that teal glass just makes my heart sigh! What a clever tip for storing your extra pillow shams! I love finding ways to save space and make the most of what I have. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much Becky! It is a gold feather like garland I have nestled in with the pine. I am in love with all things teal and keep picking it up along the way, glass pieces are my favorite. I have all sorts of tricks up my sleeves when it comes to hiding things in plain sight. I need to write another post about it. Thank you for visiting!

  2. I love how you styled this Christmas mantel. It looks fabulous!

    1. Thank you Charity. Christmas is my most favorite time of year to decorate.

  3. Lots of clever and pretty ideas here Cara! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you Kristin! I enjoy sharing ideas that will help others too.

  4. This fireplace mantel turned our beautiful! I gotta know where you come up with your ideas, Cara! Thanks for sharing with the world!

    1. Thank you so much Meredith! I really do not begin with a plan, I just pull the things out that I love, and get right to it. I like to play and figure it out slowly. Sometimes it will take me a few days, I add, subtract, walk away, add some more, leave the room, everything with me seems to be a process.