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How To Decorate Your Christmas Mantel Like a Pro

Let’s talk mantels, garland, and ribbon. Are you decorating a mantel or two this year for Christmas? Here are my tips on how to decorate it like a pro.

Christmas mantel

Start with garland

I guess you could just decorate with Christmassy items other than garland, but if you want that traditional Christmas mantel look, garland is where you will start. There are so many kinds of garland and so many ways to drape it on a mantel. You might want to make it sag down below the mantel or you may just want to place it on top of the mantel.

This year I decorated three out the four mantels we have. (The fourth mantel is in the hub’s office and we don’t talk about that room.) I placed all my garland on top of the mantel.

PRO TIP: Teardrop garlands work great on the mantel.

On one mantel I used regular plain old green garland I’ve had for years. However, last year and this year I used teardrop garlands as my base on my two main mantels. These provide such a great base for your decor. You can pair them up with the larger ends placed in the middle of the mantel and this leaves room on either end of the mantel to place something large you might want to add for height. You can also pair them up with the skinny ends placed in the middle of the mantel and this makes the perfect base to build a design with the center as your focal point.

Symmetry or Asymmetry

Which do you prefer – a symmetrical look or an asymmetrical look? I think there is definitely room for both looks. Personally, I lean towards symmetrical when I get started, but I have always wanted to do an asymmetrical design. Maybe one day I’ll have the guts. Either way, I think you should make up your mind before you get started and then stick with it throughout the process.

Stockings on mantel

Lights, Ribbon, Action

Once your have your base built with your garland and you have an idea of where you are headed, you’ll want to add your lights. You can buy pre-lit garland, of course, and that might be right up your ally. It’s obviously more expensive, but then you don’t have to add your own lights. I add my own, but that’s just because I haven’t invested in pre-lit garland. I have invested in lights separately.

Christmas mantel

After you are lit, more than likely you will add your ribbon. I put together a video of a no-cut ribbon technique you can find in my posts on Instagram @momcandanything. There are many different ribbon techniques you could use. In this picture above, I used birch ribbon in a giant bow in the middle and strips of ribbons as tails.

Christmas mantel

This year that mantel has a whole new look and a different ribbon technique. Here I used my 4″ gray velvet wired ribbon with a silver glitter snowflake that you can find in my Etsy shop and I looped it in and out of the garland. I also used it in a zig zag pattern on the mantel Christmas trees.

Once you have your ribbon secured, you should place your picks or ornaments. If you have created pockets or holes with your ribbon, that’s a great place for a pick or ornament.

Christmas decor

Of course, you don’t have to use ribbon at all. Here is my mantel I did this year and I used zero ribbon and zero ornaments. Sometimes picks and floral pieces are all you need.

PRO TIP: Hang something under the mantel or allow something to spill over the edge of the mantel. It doesn’t have to be stockings. Above I used crystals from an old chandelier.

Check out some of my other Christmas decor below.

Red and White Christmas Tree

How To Take Your Christmas Tree Up a Notch

Green and Gold Christmas Decor

Christmas Tree Ribbons: How To Choose The Right Ones

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