5 Steps to Creating a Festive Holiday Mantel

We’re sharing 5 steps to creating a festive holiday mantel today!  

Each year as soon as Halloween unofficially ushers us into the holiday season, my Mom and I start decorating for Christmas.  

She usually spends the entire day helping me prepare our holiday home and it’s always the biggest gift.

I don’t mind putting together tablescapes or wreaths, making bespoke ornaments, or adding festive décor in any other room of the house.

But as soon as I have to start decorating the mantel and the Christmas tree, my mind immediately starts glazing over.

Thankfully, my Mom has seen that look a million times before and is willing to rescue me and take over!

For those of you who love a festive holiday mantel, yet struggle to bring all the details together, we’ve devised a simple solution.

Festive Holiday Mantel Ideas with Ornaments and Pops of Pink-The Crowned Goat

Here’s a look at 5 steps to creating a festive holiday mantel…

Step 1: Start Fresh

It’s always best to start with a fresh perspective. Take everything off the mantel if you can. That way, you can start with a blank slate!

Be sure to gather your supplies in advance when you’re creating a festive holiday mantel. You’ll need garland, extra greenery, floral picks, ornaments, ribbons, and decorative items to choose from.

Step 2: Start With a Centerpiece

Begin by decorating the center with something substantial like a piece of art, architectural salvage, an old window, a wreath, a large clock, or a holiday-inspired sign.

Our DIY French Country mantel art is super heavy so we normally decorate around it.  

Step 3: Layer in Garlands, Greenery, and Floral Picks

Add a thick garland or multiple garlands to the top of your festive mantel and secure them in place. Then add additional greenery and floral picks to make the garland full.

Don’t forget to leave room for your stockings if you plan to hang them by the chimney with care!

Step 4: Add in Festive Accessories

Next, start filling in the gaps if you have any by adding fillers with festive accessories like ornaments, ribbons, and decorative accents.

Step 5: Edit

This step is always the hardest for me because sometimes I like to keep things simple and sometimes, I like our festive holiday mantel to be super festive.

Still, it’s important not to skip this step.

When you edit your mantel, be sure to take into consideration how the rest of your living room looks as well. 

If you have a lot going on, say with bookcases or other built-ins, you might want to keep it simple on the mantel, so it doesn’t read as Christmas cluttered. 

On the other hand, if your living room pieces are sparse or minimal, you might want to consider creating a festive holiday mantel that is full because you want it to be the focal point of the room.  

French Country Inspired Festive Holiday Mantel with Pops of Pink-The Crowned Goat

Sweet Shop Inspired Festive Holiday Mantel…

This year our tree is definitely the star of the show in the living room. So, we decided to keep our sweet shop-inspired festive holiday mantel as simple as possible.

Sweet Shop Inspired Holiday Mantel and Living Room-The Crowned Goat

I found this fabulous burlap bunting on Amazon and used it all over the house, including on the mantel. I love that it’s a no-fuss take on the colors you might see in a sweet shop!

Once the bunting was in place, we simply grouped frosted trees together and added colorful ribbons on top.

Frosted Trees and Colorful Bunting for a Candy Shop Inspired Mantel-The Crowned Goat
Frosted Trees with Colorful Ribbons-The Crowned Goat

Truthfully, this is the easiest mantel we’ve ever decorated. It came together in minutes which I really appreciated given it’s such a busy season.

Sweet Shop Inspired Living Room and Mantel-The Crowned Goat

Other Festive Holiday Mantel Ideas We’ve Had Over the Years…

Over the years, we’ve created all sorts of different looks on our mantel which is just over 7 feet long.

In the beginning, I thought every inch had to be decorated. As I look back at these photos though, it’s fun to see how much our style has changed over the years.

Nature-Inspired Christmas Mantel

Nature Inspired Holiday Mantel-The Crowned Goat

Mad for Plaid Christmas Mantel

Simple Plaid Inspired Holiday Mantel-The Crowned Goat

Dusty Pink Christmas Mantel

Steps to Creating a Festive Holiday French Country Mantel-The Crowned Goat

Soft and Romantic Farmhouse-Inspired Christmas Mantel

Simple Mantel Ideas with Riboons and Bows-The Crowned Goat

Effortless Cabin-Inspired Christmas Mantel

Steps to Creating a Festive Holiday and Cabin Inspired Mantel-The Crowned Goat

A Little Sparkle Holiday Mantel

French Country Inspired Holiday Mantel-The Crowned Goat

I know some of you have a more traditional style than mine, so I wanted to include these festive holiday mantel ideas from Bliss Barracks too…

Traditional Christmas Mantel

Traditional Blue and White Christmas Mantel

Red Plaid and Nature-Inspired Christmas Mantel

Take the Pressure Off Holiday Decorating…

I hope these steps have helped take the pressure off just a bit.

Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter if you’re creating a festive holiday mantel for the Christmas season or for everyday life, decorate with what speaks to YOU the most.

Even if it’s not something you see in magazines or on Pinterest.

Steps to Creating a Festive Holiday Mantel-Traditional Plaid with Dried Fruit-The Crowned Goat

I know it’s easy to get caught up in what’s trending or appears to be super popular on social media.

But in the end, it’s all about decorating with what makes you happy and works best for your family in every season.

Let us know your favorite way of creating a festive holiday mantel! Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Other Holiday Posts to Enjoy Before You Go:

Many blessings,


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  1. I love that you and your mom work together on this!

    I do a similar thing for my mom. It’s super fun helping her brainstorm every year, coming up with that year’s Christmas color scheme.

    I used to change my Christmas color theme every year, but for the last six years, I’ve settled into using a red and rustic “Christmas Decor Capsule Wardrobe.” Each year, I change how I use the elements, and I buy a few new items, but it’s sooooo easy. I can decorate the entire house in one afternoon!

    PS: Happy Holidays to you and your family. May the coming months be happy and healthy for everyone.

    1. That’s awesome, Corrie! I know your Mom appreciates all your help and ideas with her Christmas decorations. My brain is always creatively fried at the end of the year so I’m beyond thankful my Mom helps out so much too. I definitely need to get a Christmas Decor Capsule Wardrobe – it sounds amazing and virtually stress free too which is always a good thing 🙌 Sending you lots of hugs and wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season as well, CoCo

    1. I would not get through half the decorating I have to do without her help, Kim! It’s so nice she gives her time and talents during such a busy season too. I’m always thankful. Hope the tips help lady! Big hugs, CoCo

  2. We don’t have a mantle in our current home, but I’m definitely saving this post for future reference. You’ve definitely provided so many lovely ideas and much inspiration! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I really appreciate it, Christine, thank you so much! Hugs, CoCo

    1. Thank you bunches, Paula, I really appreciate it! Hugs, CoCo

  3. The only thing I don’t like about our new home is that it doesn’t have a fireplace! I miss being able to decorate a mantel! I guess we’ll have to build a faux fireplace to remedy that lol! Take care, Donna

    1. I’ve noticed more and more homes in Florida are being built without them too, Donna! One of my aunts LOVES Hallmark movies and snuggling up with a cup of cocoa every holiday season and last year her family surprised her with a fireplace and had an electric insert installed and she was tickled pink. Hope you’re able to find a fun way to cozy up too! Hugs, CoCo

  4. Christine Legacy says:

    Love your mad for plaid mantle, absolutely beautiful! Fantastic job mom! I love the joint effort.

    1. Thanks so much, Christine! I’ll pass your kind words along to my Mom – she will be tickled pink. Hope your week has been a special one, CoCo

  5. Hi Coco as I write this my whole house is choc full of boxes with all the decorations in, so far I have done the kitchen and the mantle, a newbie this year and it looks amazing, if I may say so myself. You have some lovely tips for everyone and so happy you and your mum work together, happy memories.xx

    1. That is so exciting to hear, Janette! I tell ya there is nothing like pulling out the Christmas boxes and discovering ornaments that feel like old friends again. May your heart and your cup of cocoa be extra full today, CoCo

  6. CoCo,
    I’ve been crushing on pink Christmas this year. I wish I could add it to my decor but I’d have to trash everything I have. LOL. I’d love to share your mantel on Sunday.

    1. So excited you’ve been crushing on pink decor this year, Rachel! It gives me the giggles thinking about you embracing pink I’ve tried to quit it a million times but here we are 40 years later 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing my mantel. I really appreciate it. I swear it’s one of THE easiest things we’ve put together this holiday season. Big hugs, CoCo

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