Decorating your mantel for the holidays is one of those things that just seems more special than other places in the home. (Except the tree!) I think that’s because we associate the fireplace and mantel with warmth and the gathering of family…and also, if you have a fireplace, it’s likely the focal point in a room! So this post, dear TBD readers is the ultimate in holiday inspiration… DIY Christmas mantel decorating ideas and tutorials! Oh, and on a budget!

Basic mantel decorating guidelines:

First, remember to strip your mantel of its year round decor, if possible. Start with a clean slate… If some of your regular decor fits back in, great! If not, you won’t be trying to create a holiday scheme around items that don’t work.

Second, start with greens, or whatever garland type filler you plan on using. This is your background “fill” and gives your arrangement a full and holiday feeling.

Third, choose a statement piece or two that fits with your holiday theme. Every item you use does not have to be a holiday decoration…you can add the seasonal sparkle with the glitter and glow step, next! Just make sure it fits in your theme… if your holiday theme is Snowmen and Snowflakes, then a brass sculpture of an Indian Elephant that your Aunt Jan gave you is not going to work out. ;)

Fourth, choose things that glow and sparkle. Candles, miniature lights, glittery balls…

Lastly, add stockings! What Christmas mantel is complete without stockings! Needs ideas? Then run over to our post, Stockings, Stockings Everywhere and find tutorials there!

How to make christmas stockings


Now that you have the basics, here is the fun part…inspiration! Don’t try to copy one of these mantels piece for piece, that’s not what the holidays is about. Take bits and pieces and ideas here and there, and blend them together for your own Christmas creative mantel.

Our first inspirational holiday mantel from HGTV is an idea I am using in my home this year… We just did a post on chalkboard paint over at DYSS, and I am now a little obsessed… My plan is to paint an old frame white, add a little glitter paint, then paint mdf or thin plywood with the chalkboard paint and frame it. This will be my statement piece!

Holiday mantel decorating


Another example of a good budget minded statement piece for your mantel, and the greens could come from your yard or tree trimmings… or even fresh herbs from the grocery store… From Midwest Living.

DIY budget mantel ideas


Myra at My Blessed Life has a great budget mantel to inspire you…empty frames (could be spray painted in holiday colors, white, or soft glitter?), a vase full of branches and leftover ornaments and bead garland, some extra candle-holders, a cake topper and a hand painted “Believe” sign. Better Homes and Gardens showcased this mantel!

Diy mantel ideas


Tonya at Love of Family and Home created this wonderful, soft a fresh mantel with DIY projects…

DIY holiday mantel


Terry at Forever Decorating had this great budget mantel… straight from the dollar store and thrift shop! Add spray paint and some glitter, and you have a very cool  mantel!

DIY mantel


This colorful holiday mantel is easy to do on a budget… wrap picture frames as gifts, then fill vases and the mantel itself with colorful and bright balls… you can create painted balls, by drizzling paint into clear glass balls from the craft shop, turn the balls until the inside is coated, then let drain over a box until dry inside.

DIY colorful mantel


Green and blue are my favorite colors, and I’m a nature girl, so this one just struck me… and so simple! Wrap the bases of potted plants with fabric and ribbon, add some sparkly ornaments, and if it were me, I would add a few candles in front of that wonderful mirror as well! You don’t need many because the mirror effect will double the number of candles.

DIY holiday mantel


Don’t have a mantel? Lookie What I Did has a solution!

No mantel Christmas decorating


Another great Christmas mantel from My Blessed Life! This vintage style is so refreshing, yet warm and welcoming… Great job Myra!

Vintage Christmas mantel

Share with us your creative ideas for mantel decorating on a budget in the comments section below…maybe you will inspire one of your fellow TBD readers!

Image Credits: HGTV, My Blessed Life, Love of Family and Home, Forever Decorating, Midwest Living, Lookie What I Did, My Blessed Life

1 Comment

  1. Michelle Malley October 19, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Beautiful! Full of fresh and exciting ideas. Thank you for sharing.


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