Three Merry Mantelscapes

November 29, 2009

Whenever the Christmas closet is opened, the first place I always begin with my seasonal decorating is with the three mantels in my home.   This year, I used a combination of fresh garland, faux greenery, yard clippings, and other baubles to add a little holiday flair to my home with three very different, yet very merry mantelscapes.   


apothecary jar

In the living room, I decided to throw tradition to the wind, and somehow hot pink found its way into my home.  It all started out very green and gold, which is perfectly fine and lovely and traditional, but then I got a wild hair and I decided with a box of hot pink glass balls and a few 50 cent picks, I could glam it up a bit. 

living room mantle final

Can you believe it ?  Hot pink in my traditional living room ?  Pinch me, cause I must have been sleepwalking when I came up with this one.  But I have to confess, in hindsight, and with all the bronze tones in the space, I really do like this flashy color, especially since it is just for the season. I have plans to sew a new bronze tree skirt this year, so I think I’ll wrap some presents in hot pink and tie them with bronze ribbon.  I’m definitely having some fun in the living room this year. 

The greenery is a combination of real and fake.  I’m not one who insists every ounce of greenery is fresh, or one who never ever uses any fresh greenery at all.  I think it’s perfectly fine to use both.  In fact, I mix real and fake all season long, fresh for its scent, and faux for the glitz.

For this mantle, I used a base of faux garland, added some glittery swags, then pulled some yard clippings from my ‘breath of heaven’ evergreen shrub to create a medley of green tones and textures.

glittered greenery

living room greenery

Thrift store decanters make great vases.

thrift store decanter

The wreath was easy peasy.  Start out with a plain fragrant fir wreath.

plain fresh wreath

Add some ribbon, glittery picks, and glass ornaments with floral wire.

attach ribbon and ornaments

Add different texture and color with a few free yard clippings. 

breath of heaven

And then you have your own custom wreath in about ten minutes. 

wreath after 

This apothecary jar is so versatile.  In fall, it held acorns, walnuts, and pinecones.  Now it showcases some very cheerful ornaments.  Golden berry picks in the wreath and on the mantle play off the existing bronze tones in this room.

apothecary of ornaments

Colored picks at Michaels are two for a dollar.  At that price, they go a long way to add that fresh pop of color.  Doesn’t cool hot pink look fab with warm gold ?   

pink glittery pick

living room left view


Outside, there is little color at all on the mantel.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite:  void of color, and far more rustic and natural. 

outdoor fireplace

outdoor mantle

Again, a combination of three types of greenery, real cedar underneath, with a faux fir garland and a beaded pinecone garland on top.  

outdoor blended greenery

The simple fir wreath is embellished with just a few more pinecones, and a seasonal message is suspended with invisible fishing line. 

peace wreath

For our Christmas party, I think I’ll add some twinkle lights up here to really make it merry.

pinecones and garland


In the kitchen I had a little fun creating a winter wonderland.  I always use a lot of red and silver accents in the kitchen during Christmas. White lanterns and flocked branches send a wintery message, while an inexpensive pack of red cardinals adds whimsy and color.


The everyday pear plates are replaced by these red toile transferware pieces I found on Ebay last year. 

lantern and bird 

I’m just crazy about the Moroccan style intricate detail on these lanterns.  They cast quite a spell at night when lit up.

plate and two birds

The white flocked garland is topped by some faux beaded branches.

red bird

Red tea light candleholders add another dash of crimson.

white lanterns

Truth is, no one ever needed a fireplace to create a seasonal “mantelscape”.  Any wall shelf, bookshelf, hutch or console table is prime real estate for your own display of greenery.  Have fun, mix it up, use what you have, get in the spirit, and get creative.  After all, it’s only a for a few weeks ! 

Have a great Sunday !

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