Once the chilly winter nights set in, the space around the hearth becomes the perfect place for families to gather. Aside from bringing warmth into your home, a fireplace decorated with timeless holiday mantel décor can elevate your living room’s aesthetic. Below we share a few decorating ideas to help you spruce up your mantel for the merriest time of the year.

Safety First

Before anything else, make sure to follow these tips:

Keep Dangling Décor Away From the Firebox

Secure greenery using strong adhesive hooks along the mantelshelf. To keep stray embers from escaping the hearth, use a fireplace screen or opt for a closed firebox as an alternative safety precaution.

Use Candles and Light Strings With Care

Keep real candles away from greenery that might catch fire. If using candle holders, choose wide ones that are stable and don’t topple easily. You can also use flameless candles to avoid the risk of open flame. For light strings, ensure there are no broken bulbs or frayed wirings and cords are far from the firebox.

Watch for Soot Buildup

Clogged burner ports and improperly positioned fire logs cause soot buildup. Regular maintenance and inspection by a professional can prevent this from happening. If you see any soot on your hearth doors or mantel decorations, clean the firebox immediately.

Have a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

A fire extinguisher comes in handy in any home since there are many sources of heat like a fireplace or the kitchen. Place it at least two feet away from the furnace for easy access in case of an emergency. Keep track of the expiration date and make sure to replace it when needed.

Classic Christmas Village

 White mantel decorated with artificial greenery, Christmas village advent calendar, and candles


For a timeless look, use fireplace mantel décor in red, green, and white. Incorporate vintage pieces to evoke nostalgia through your decorations.

Step 1 | Set Up Your Greenery

Choose Christmas mantel garlands and wreaths adorned with nature-inspired accents like berry clusters, twigs, and eucalyptus leaves. Make sure to fluff the foliage before hanging them up.

Step 2 | Create a Unique Focal Point

Highlight a Christmas village or an Advent calendar on your mantel. Flank it with FLAMELESS CANDLES and presents for a charming holiday landscape.

Step 3 | Complement With Matching Accents

Display faux fur pillows and plaid throws in your lounge areas. You can also place TABLETOP TREES and lanterns by the hearth for a festive feel.

Learn How To Hang Wreaths and Garlands

Rustic Winter Wonderland

A rustic winter wonderland mantel décor idea with nature-inspired holiday pieces


Combine the rustic charm of the woodlands with the enchanting atmosphere of a winter wonderland. Perfect this Christmas mantel décor idea with frosted greenery, farmhouse-inspired accents, and soft furnishings.

Step 1 | Choose Frosted Foliage

Style your wintry vignette with flocked or frosted wreaths and garlands. Choose ones with glittered leaves or add your own picks for some shimmer. You can also wrap them in fairy lights or use pre-lit ones for a bit of twinkle.

Step 2 | Incorporate Animal-Inspired Accents

Display miniature wooden deer, feathered bird ornaments, or penguin snow globes atop your fireplace for a whimsical feel.

Step 3 | Add a Bit of Shine

Place glass ornaments and pre-lit twig trees behind the garland to create depth in your frosty mantel. For a cohesive look, use the same Christmas balls that you have on your holiday tree.

Learn How To Flock Your Christmas Tree or Greenery

Sparkle With Silver and Gold

Fireplace mantel decorated with artificial greenery, candles, metallic accents, and ivory Christmas stockings


For a polished look, use elegant Christmas fireplace decorations in white, silver, or gold. You can also switch gold to blue, purple, or pink for an unexpected pop of color.

Step 1 | Decorate With Gilded Accents

Go for wreaths and garlands with metallic accents that match those on your Christmas tree décor. You can also use an ornament wreath and garland for visual interest.

Step 2 | Hang Christmas Stockings

Use faux fur or knit STOCKINGS to balance out the hard metallics in your décor. Personalize them with the names of your loved ones in gold lettering for a polished look.

Step 3 | Add Warmth

Place votive candles or fairy light strings inside glass hurricanes or cloches for a cozy atmosphere.

Insider’s Tip

Hang a mirror in place of a wreath for an alternative focal point that’s still within the theme.

A Christmas Story

Christmas mantel decorated with nutcrackers and lit stockings


Channel nostalgia with Christmas mantel decorations inspired by holiday tales. Think nutcrackers lined up on the mantelshelf, an 'It's a wonderful life' sign in place of a wreath, or Charlie Brown character figurines to cheer up the young ones.

Step 1 | Pick a Story

Choose a well-known Christmas story as the central theme of your décor. Going with just one storyline ensures that your guests will recognize it upon first look. It also keeps your mantel from looking too cluttered.

Step 2 | Use a Statement Piece

There’s usually one standout element in every Christmas story. It could be nutcracker soldiers, the train from Polar Express, or a miniature 34th street sign as a nod to Miracle on 34th Street. Select one to be the focal point of your decorating theme, then add complementing accent pieces.

Step 3 | Create Depth

Arrange your decorative pieces in a neat row at varying heights. Or group them on one side of your display for an asymmetrical look.

Estate-Inspired Elegance

Holiday mantel showing elegant Christmas fireplace decorations like gilded greenery, flameless candles, and faux fur stockings


Lean into the look of traditional luxury with mantel décor that exudes sophistication. Showcase greenery with accents in crystal-inspired colors such as platinum and champagne. Celebrate the avant-garde lifestyle with sheer or faux fur furnishings.

Step 1 | Use Glam-Inspired Decorations

Channel old Hollywood glam with gilded ribbons, pearl garlands, and handblown glass ornaments. Place candles in glass or gold metallic holders to add light and movement.

Step 2 | Accentuate With Miniature Trees

Set up a smaller Christmas tree near your hearth to complement your main tree. Choose from our selection of TABLETOP TREES or POTTED TREES to find the perfect one for you.

Step 3 | Add Holiday Scents

Elevate your décor with our SCENTS OF THE SEASON™ FRAGRANCE MACHINE nearby. Infuse the air with classic HOLIDAY SCENTS like Balsam Fir, Fresh Cut Evergreen, Fraser Fir, and Cedar Wood.

More Decorating Tips

Want to know more about holiday mantel decorating? We answer some frequently asked questions below.

What Is the Most Realistic Christmas Garland?

Balsam Hill’s ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS GARLANDS are the most realistic on the market. Made from the same True Needle® foliage as our Christmas trees, our garlands are available in a variety of styles and designs from decorated, frosted, unlit, and pre-lit. We also offer FRESH AND PRESERVED GREENERY to give you more options to choose from.

How Do You Attach a Christmas Garland to the Mantel?

The best way to hang garlands on your mantel is to use adhesive hooks. You can also use them on staircases, porch railings, and kitchen counters. Secure your garland further with zip ties, jute strings, or twist wires.

How Do You Decorate a Narrow Mantel for Christmas?

Choose a minimalist theme to avoid a cluttered mantel. Decorating with a garland may not be possible for a narrow space, so opt for a statement wreath instead. Hang it inside a frame to create visual interest, then add candles and figurines in varying shapes and sizes to create depth.

How Do I Arrange My Mantel Candles?

A good rule of thumb to follow is to display pieces in odd numbers. Arrange them in a perfect line or on opposite sides of a draped garland. Another way is to group them on one side of your décor for an interesting look.

Usher in the season with these holiday mantel décor ideas. Get style guides, special offers, and new product alerts when you sign up for BALSAM HILL’S NEWSLETTER.


Get Fresh Inspiration

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