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Decorating Mantels: Liven Up the Holidays With Our Christmas Mantel Tutorial

It’s time to dust off the boxes of Christmas decorations you store in the attic, discover new mantel décor ideas, and give your home a festive makeover. As the holidays approach, we love taking the showcase mantels at Eldorado Stone and transforming them from rustic fall ensembles into heartwarming Christmas focal points. Follow our step-by-step tutorial to turn any mantel into a beautiful and personalized holiday display.



Step 1. Prep and Prepare 

Start each decorating session with a clean slate. Pull down existing décor, wipe down surfaces, and sit back to brainstorm mantel décor ideas.


Choose your color palette. Holiday colors extend beyond red and green. Incorporate metallic golds and silvers and matte neutral colors to bring the project together. For a snowy, wintery theme, explore blue mantel décor ideas. Bold colors work well as accent colors, while neutrals and metallic colors will carry the theme of the mantel from top to bottom.


Step 2. Start at the Top


To create a sense of balance, begin with a centered and eye-catching point above the mantel. Wreaths work well in this area, but you may need a larger display to create balance. Choose larger wreaths or consider framing an average-size wreath. We used a repurposed window turned mirror for a more structured display. A white frame ties in with our white accents and cream limestone fireplace surround, and a wreath made from metallic fern fronds creates focus.


Step 3. Create a Backdrop 


Classic fireplace mantel ideas usually include some form of garland. Add your choice of greenery or festive garlands to serve as the backdrop. Play with the thickness of the garland, the color, and length to create an eye-catching holiday look. In addition to traditional greenery, consider tinsel, pre-decorated garlands with pinecones and cranberries, and string lights. We chose a traditional evergreen garland with pops of red berries and gold fern clusters as a contrast to our light-colored decorations.


Step 4. Get Creative


Gather your decorating supplies and physically mix and match your elements until you see the right combination. Tree ornaments, candles, and spray-painted items add visual interest and color to any holiday display. Use clear or frosted apothecary jars and cloches to display lights and ornaments. Maintain your color theme with some strategically painted treasures from the discount section of the crafts store. We opted for minimalistic colors in different shades and holiday-inspired shapes. Notice the nod to classic decorations in our cloche-covered ornaments, the tree-like cones, golden stars, and stoic white reindeer.


Step 5. Incorporate Details That Make You Smile


Every year, new trends and ideas hit the decorating marketplace and create new mantel décor ideas. This year, tassels are en vogue, so we added them to our three matching stockings. The golden tassels are subtle, but create a sense of classic trendiness. Whether you incorporate the latest trends or the decorations that make you smile when you look at your Christmas mantel, remember the small details that will take your decorating to the next level.


Step 6. Add the Finishing Touches


As you work your way down the fireplace, don’t forget to bring the design down into the hearth area. We chose to add a pop of red in a basket. The pillow and blanket give the display a sense of coziness. A basket of old-fashioned Christmas toys or a stack of presents would also work here. Our finishing touches also include a traditional iron fireplace tool set. The set is both practical and decorative, bringing balance to the design.


Step 7. Admire the Overall Effect 

Step back and admire your newly decorated mantel from a distance. Decorating mantels gives you an opportunity to transform the look and feel of your entire space for the holidays.

We also recommend lighting a scented candle and sitting in front of the fireplace with a hot cup of cocoa to complete the experience.


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