How to decorate a mantle for Christmas

So many people ask where we buy our decorations or how do we do our decorating that I’ve decided to show step by step how to decorate a mantle.  The same steps can be used on a window, a stairway, or even down the center of your table.  So if you want a mantle that looks like this:

Garland with magnolias and twinkle lights

Mantle in Living room with Christmas Decoration

follow along these simple steps.  When I started writing this blog the program was letting me add pictures and then text.  Then it got ornery and wouldn’t let me add text after each picture so I’m writing all the steps first and then you will find all the other pictures illustrating this at the end.

First step is to put some nails in your wooden mantle.   We use artificial garlands for many reasons.  First, they don’t dry out, second they will last through the entire season especially when you start decorating as early as we do, and third they will support all the pick material.  “Pick material” is the extra stuff you purchase to add into the garland and you can find this at craft stores like Michael’s or specialty Christmas stores.  Use pieces of the garland to wrap around each nail to hold up the garland and hide the nail.  You can either place the garland straight across or swag it.

The next step is to add the lights.  We prefer white twinkle (not flashing) lilghts.  Just wrap them in and our of the garland from one end to the next.  Now you are ready to start layering your decorations, depending on your theme.  In our dining room we do a Della Robbia (fruit) garland, in the billiards room a woodlands theme, the reception room gets an antique Santa theme, and the living room a Victorian theme with white and burgundy magnolias.  After all, I’m from Georgia so have to give a shout out to my heritage.

As far as the material you add in, you simply poke the material into the garland.  Unless it is really heavy, it will hold.  We put in the background leaves first, then add the bows on each end.  I make our bows but you can purchase these.  Best to get bows with wired edges because they hold up better.  Christmas tree ornaments do get wired in.  Use green florist wire for this about 12 inches long.  I usually take 3 balls and use one florist wire to thread them together and then wire into the garland.   Don’t forget to hide the electric cord to your lights.  That is it step by step.  It really is simple.  The final step is to shoot your husband so he quits adding stuff to your garland.

At the end of the season take each piece out and put in a large plastic bin, label it and you are ready for next year.

Mantle with nails hammered in

Christmas Decorating

Glenn combining two artificial green garlands

Decorating mantle

Adding garland to mantle using nails.

Christmas Decorating

Mantle with garland added

Christmas Decorating

White lights twinkle in the garland

Garland with twinkle lights

Mantle with lights and bows

Christmas Decorating

White Magnolia showing stem


White magnolias, gold Christmas tree ornaments and twinkle lights in garland

Christmas Decorating

Christmas Decorating