7 Wonderful Winter Mantel Decorating Ideas

I know you may still be decorating your home for Christmas. Winter comes after Christmas and that is a wonderful time to decorate your home for a new season. One of the first places to transition your home from Christmas to winter is your fireplace area. I have 7 wonderful winter mantel decorating ideas for you.

After all the emphasis on color during Christmas, I love the calmer approach to winter decor. These seven wonderful winter mantel decorating ideas will give you a process to help you create a softer, natural look.

Where do we begin decorating for a winter mantel? With our Christmas decorations. Let me show you how to create a wonderful winter mantel.

Although I am not a cold-weather girl, I love creating a warm, cozy feel for our home during winter. Any room with a fireplace creates a focal point that is a natural place to decorate.

Because we want to give you plenty of winter ideas early, my Celebrate the Holiday friends and I are sharing some of our favorite creations for your home and table. This month’s theme is all about winter – home decor, DIY, and a delicious recipe – to get you ready for the new year.

Are you coming from my friend Wendy of WM Design House and her beautiful tablescape? I’m so happy you’re here at Bluesky at Home. You can easily access all the pretty winter ideas at the end of this post.

7 Mantel Decorating Ideas for Winter

A few years ago, as we were organizing and packing away our Christmas decorations, I intentionally looked for items that could be recycled for winter, especially for our mantel. Our mantels are always a focal point no matter the holiday or the season.

Every one of my 7 winter mantel decorating ideas uses items that have been used in our Christmas decor.

I found many ideas on Pinterest, which I saved to my Winter Home Decor Board. Then, because I love to share, I gathered my favorites in a post, 13 Winter Decor Accessory Ideas.

I used several of these ideas as I planned and created our winter mantel.

Reuse Your Wreath

Any type of green wreath can be reused to decorate a winter mantel. All you have to do is remove the bows, any ornaments on the wreath, and colored lights. The wreath above our mantel has a very soft wintery look – I’ll call it cypress.

Since our lights are white, I left them on. This gives the living room a bit of winter magic in the evening.

NOTE: That year, by the time we returned from our Christmas trip to Atlanta, Fairhope, Alabama, and Biloxi, the lights were really dim, so we replaced the batteries.

lighted winter mantel wreath

Reuse Your Garland for Your Winter Mantel

My favorite color scheme for winter decorating is white, green, and neutrals. Evergreen trees evoke a natural, organic sense. I dream of the quietness of walking through a forest during winter after a snowfall.

Disclosure: I do not have a forest near me and we don’t get much snow. Our home does back up to a tree-filled greenbelt. This is about creating a feeling.

Most of us use garland in our Christmas decor. Some of that garland has a more earthy, winter look than traditional garland. Pine, cypress, and juniper garland lends themselves to winter decor.

You can use any garland that you have on hand to get the winter look. Whatever type you use, remember to remove the colored lights. That’s the trick to a soft winter feel.

For this winter mantel, I removed the Santa Clauses and multi-colored lights.

I left these two strands of garland that are perfect for winter mantel decorating. One strand is just green and the other has a hint of white on it. I mixed the two strands together on our mantel. This garland already has a few pine cones attached, but you can add more.

TIP: a mix of garland in different textures adds to the natural look of your winter decor.

faux greenery on winter mantel

You may like a sparse look for your garland, which fits the winter feel. I decided to give my mantel a more lush green look.

Last Christmas I bought several different types of green picks on sale. I cut all the branches off and used them as filler in other Christmas decor and to create a bowl of greens in our kitchen.

This year I’ll recreate the same base look of garland for the mantel.

faux greenery

I used these green pieces to fill in the garland on the mantel for a fuller look.

TIP: Use a variety of foliage for a more natural look – oh, I already said that!

faux greenery on winter mantel

Reuse Faux Christmas Trees Become Winter Trees

If you have small Christmas trees, they will be a great addition to winter decor. I had 3 small trees that I used in our entry and kitchen.

First, I removed the lights and the ornaments. One tree had a snowy look to it with a burlap wrapper – perfect for a soft winter mantel with texture.

TIP: Burlap is another fabric that adds a rustic, natural and wintery feel.

frosted tree on winter mantel

TIP: When your trees are against a flat background, flatten the branches on the back of the tree. That way they will fit better and the front will have a fuller look.

I used two smaller trees to balance on the other side of the mantel.

We now have four decorated tabletop Christmas trees. I’m hoping to use some or all of them after Christmas for winter decor.

greenery on winter mantel

Use Wood for a Natural Element

Wood always adds a natural, organic feel to any setting. I used two vintage wood candlesticks on each side of the mantel.

white candle with frosted tree

Check out more winter decorating ideas.

wood candlestick on winter mantel

Use Candles on Your Winter Mantel

Nothing creates a warm winter glow more than candlelight. For my tall candlesticks, I used 2 battery-operated candles for areas that are harder to reach. In the images above you can see these candles. They are on timers and have a remote control.

On the mantel, I used real candles (from Dollar Tree) that had been elsewhere during the holidays. Last summer I wrapped adhesive burlap ribbon around them. The texture and natural color of burlap work great for winter, too.

NOTE: The adhesive burlap ribbon I used was about 4 inches wide, but I can’t find available anymore. This ribbon can be added in strips until you get the width you want.)

The mantel creates a lovely, warm glow at night.

Use Pinecones for an Earthy Look on the Winter Mantel

Pinecones are such a natural element in winter that they should definitely be a part of your winter mantel. My garland had a few pinecones attached. I added more small pinecones that added a pop of white softness to the winter mantel.

Don’t Forget to Decorate Your Hearth

In addition to the area above the mantel, the area below the mantel – the hearth – should also be part of your winter mantel decorating.

Here’s one way to decorate your hearth.

Use Natural Baskets or Lanterns

If you have lanterns or baskets, use them to add ambiance to your winter fireplace decoration.

In this area, I combined baskets, lanterns, greenery, wood, and candles.

For winter mantel decorating, I used a large basket filled with faux greenery. The greenery on the far left is acutally a small Chrismtas tree.

I added the white birch logs (which I did not use this year for Christmas.) and a couple of winter owls.

If you can find white, grey, or natural colored animals, they are wonderful accessories for winter decorating.

wood basket with greenery

The lantern that was in our entry filled with bright gold balls and a big red bow is now filled with natural pinecones on the hearth.

greenery and lantern in front of fireplace

On the other side of the hearth, I used two wood and glass lanterns that were in the dining room during Christmas last year. These are not available now, but I love the look of this set of wood lanterns.

wood box with greenery and white logs

More candles in the lanterns complete the winter decorating on the hearth.

white lanterns with candles

Using a combination of these different winter elements creates a cozy feel for winter.

fireplace with white lanterns

Recap the 7 Winter Mantel Decorating Ideas:

Love these winter mantel ideas? Need decor items to create your winter mantel? Try these.

Love these ideas? I hope that you will take these ideas and use them to inspire your own winter mantel decorating. Be sure to PIN this post – you don’t want to forget them.

I’d love to know what you think about these mantel decorating ideas? Do you decorate for winter? Which ideas would you use? Do you have other winter mantel decorating ideas to share? Let me know in the comments.

And now, it’s time to visit the other participants on our Celebrate the Holiday Winter Theme. My friend Susan of Hen and Horse Design is sharing a fabulous recipe for the cold winter months.

pin for later graphic in blue
celebrate winter graphic
burlap wrapped candle with winter greenery on white mantel
challah bread pudding on winer table
candles and comfy pillow
flower flowers in rustic pot with blue patterned bowl
faux snowballs in decorative galvanized bucket
white wood snowflake display
winter table
winter table

Peacock Ridge Farm – Tartan Winter Tablescape

WM Design House – Winter Dining Room Decor

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21 Comments

  1. So many great ideas for the winter mantel, Carol! I particularly like the idea of repurposing Christmas decor for a natural winter look. Thanks, Carol!

  2. These are all great ideas Carol. I love the serenity of winter decor and love how you styled the mantel. I really love the tall lantern with pine cones. Thanks for everything & wishing you a very Merry season! XO- MaryJo

  3. Beautiful! I love your winter decorating style, and usually do some of those things in my decor. The problem I always have is I have a wood stove in the corner with a pipe going up to the ceiling, and my mantel is a 90 degree corner behind the stove. It is hard for me to figure out how to decorate this.

    1. Shelley, you do have a challenge, but it sounds like a nice one to have. A wood stove sounds delightful. Thank you for reading and commenting. I really appreciate that you took the time.

  4. Lovely ideas all, Carol. Although I’m wondering who in the world WOULDN’T reuse their faux trees! Isn’t that the point? Love picks, garland and basket and I reuse everything. My mantel this year was much the same as yours . The green and white is just right!

  5. So good to have ideas to make things beautiful and cozy after we’ve taken down all the Christmas decor. Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

  6. Your mantel is lovely and the tips you give are perfect for winter. I smiled when I read your post because I did most of these things too this year. Great minds think alike! Thank you for sharing every week and I look forward to seeing what you share next. #HomeMattersParty

  7. Hi Carol! Thanks for submitting your posts to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop #292 last week. This post has been chosen to be featured in the Simple Homestead Blog Hop #293 this week! Congrats! Don’t forget to swing by this week’s hop on Thursday, January 14, 2021 and grab your “featured in” badge to include on your post. Happy homesteadin’ and thanks for hopping with us!

  8. Such great tips and I love the lanterns! I have such a hard time transitioning from Christmas decor to spring decor and I love your idea of reusing garlands.

    1. Stacie, lanterns can be used anytime in so many settings. Going from Christmas to winter is a little easier than jumping over to spring decor. Watch for more ideas to help you.

  9. Carol, I love how you have decorated your mantel! It’s lovely — so cozy and wintery!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND SWEET SHARK!

    1. Happy winter, normally I love being locked in during January-February…LOL. But after a year of lockdown, seems to be a bit repetitive. Great looks, simple. I do leave up some snow pine garland up along the top of my windows with white lights. It gives the kitchen a nice glow during these dark, dull days! Happy New Year, Sandi

      1. I would guess that you get a lot more snow in Canada than I do in Texas! You are definitely on top of winter decor. Lights always add a touch of magic. Happy New Year!!

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