What holiday mantel decor is best?

A mantel is the perfect spot for holiday decor, whether you’re lining up a row of stockings or decking it out with garlands. But with so many decorating options, picking the best mantel decor for the holidays can seem daunting. 

First off, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the types of mantel decor available, and then consider themes and color schemes. These tips will have your mantel looking like something out of an interior design magazine.  

Consider types of mantel decor

These are some of the most common items people decorate their mantels with. Of course, it’s perfectly fine to use your imagination and think outside the box. 

Garlands and swags

Christmas garlands are long and evenly sized from one end to the other, while swags are thicker in the center and narrower at each end. Both look great strung along a mantel. They’re often made from faux pine or spruce branches, but you can find other types of garlands, such as ones made to look like winter branches. 

Ornaments

While ornaments are common for the Christmas tree, you can also decorate your mantel with figurines and other trinkets. Holiday ornaments can include snow-covered cottages, Santa figurines and reindeer, to name just a few.

Lights

Twinkling string lights add a touch of sparkle to a mantel. You can buy pre-lit garlands or arrange lights yourself. 

Stockings

Stockings hung from a mantel is an iconic Christmas image. Even if you don’t exchange stockings in your household, hanging them from the mantel still looks great. 

Candles and lanterns

Candles and lanterns are perfect for creating a wintry holiday ambience. You can make them the main event or mix them in around other mantel decor. If you’re worried about open flames, choose flameless LED candles. 

Tips for choosing holiday mantel decor

These tips will help you decorate your mantel in a way that you’re proud of, adding to your holiday cheer. 

Pick a theme or focus

It can help to pick a theme or focus for your mantel, whether this is a central hero piece or an occasion or idea. While holiday decoration is often centered around Christmas, there are other options to focus on if you don’t celebrate. Consider basing your mantel decor on another winter holiday, such as Hanukkah or Yule. 

You could also pick a theme such as snow, Santa’s workshop or the Nativity. If you already have one eye-catching centerpiece, such as Santa in his sleigh or a menorah, you start there and build the rest of the display around it. 

Make a scene

Rather than simply placing unconnected decor on your mantle, you can make a holiday scene. For instance, you can buy winter village figurines, featuring snowy houses, town halls, vintage lamp posts and people. Arranged on your mantle, you can create a gorgeous festive scene. Don’t be afraid to get creative and tell a story with your scene. 

Consider color schemes

It can be easier to pick mantel decor when you have a rough color scheme. Maybe your tree is always covered in bronze and silver ornaments and you want to match your mantel to that. Or, perhaps you want to go all out with the bright festive colors and stick to reds, greens and golds. 

Think about the rest of your home

If your home decor is sleek and modern with white walls and not a piece of clutter in sight, a busy mantel will look out of place. Conversely, a minimalist mantel is only going to look strange in a maximalist home. Think about your existing decor and use this as a jumping off point.

What you need to buy to decorate your mantel for the holidays

Best National Tree Company Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Garland

National Tree Company Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Garland

With realistic faux evergreen branches, pine cones and integrated battery-powered lights, this 9-foot garland is perfect for decorating mantels. It’s full-bodied with lifelike needle tips, so it won’t end up looking sad and limp. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best National Tree Company Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Mantel Swag

National Tree Company Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Mantel Swag

Thanks to its swag shape that’s fuller in the center and narrower at each end, it’s easier to make it look good on your mantel, without fussing with the positioning too much. It includes faux berries, pine cones, holly leaves and warm white lights. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best One Holiday Way Miniature LED Lighted Christmas Village Scene

One Holiday Way Miniature LED Lighted Christmas Village Scene

This 10-piece Christmas village is perfect for anyone who wants to create a festive scene on their mantel. It includes a bank, fire station, city hall, lamp posts, trees and people. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Marsui Christmas Pine Tree Set

Marsui Christmas Pine Tree Set

Although they’re simple, these flocked bottle brush Christmas trees look great on a mantel, as part of a more elaborate scene or interspersed with candles and lanterns. You get 24 trees of varying sizes in a pack, plus a handful of figurines: a winter village house, a deer and several vintage lamp posts. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Department 56 "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" The Griswold Family Tree Figurine

Department 56 “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” The Griswold Family Tree Figurine

Fans of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” might like to add this light-hearted figurine to their mantel display. Although it’s a nod to the movie, it’s subtle enough to blend in with other festive figures. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best The Dreidel Company Hanukkah Tree of Life Menorah

The Dreidel Company Hanukkah Tree of Life Menorah

If you’re kitting out your mantel for Hanukkah, this gorgeous tree of life menorah is a beautiful addition. It’s available in four finishes: pewter, copper, gold and nickel. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Eldnacele Christmas Flameless Flickering Candles

Eldnacele Christmas Flameless Flickering Candles

Candles make excellent additions to a mantel display, but they burn down and pose the risk of setting other pieces of decor alight. These LED flameless candles give the appearance of real flames without the mess or danger; plus they come in a range of winter designs. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Joyin Knit Christmas Stockings

Joyin Knit Christmas Stockings

This pack of six rustic knit stockings is perfect for decorating the mantle. You can hang them all through the holiday season, you don’t have to wait for Christmas eve when Santa’s due to arrive.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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