If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, then you know how central it is to all your holiday celebrations. It's the perfect place to hang Christmas stockings and to gather around for warmth while watching Christmas movies — and, of course, it gives Santa Claus easy access to your home on Christmas Eve. Because it plays such an important role, you don't want to ignore it when doing your holiday decorating, and if you're in need of easy DIY Christmas mantel decorations that won't break the bank, then these ideas will help give you some inspiration.
From colorful garland to adorable mini trees to DIY advent calendars, there are plenty of ways to decorate your mantel for Christmas ahead of the big day. And you don't have to spend a ton of money to deck out your fireplace, either, as some Christmas mantel decor ideas only require items you already have on hand. These decorations will help your fireplace rival your Christmas tree this year, and since they're all homemade, you can save money for all those Christmas gifts you probably still have to buy.
Paper Leaf Garland
Avoid cleaning up messy pine needles with this easy paper leaf garland. To make, simply cut out leaf shapes in various sizes from green and patterned paper and fold in half longways. Then, cut 10-inch lengths of floral wire, fold them in half, and twist. Using hot glue, attach a piece of wire to the bottom backside of each leaf. Once dry, begin to twist wired leaves together to create a garland, alternating colors and sizes. Finally, use hot glue to attach pom pom “berries” throughout the garland.
Jolly Green Garland
To make this jolly garland, use needle-nose pliers to bend ⅛-inch armature wire into 8-inch letters to spell out "jolly" (or any other phrase) and cover the letters with green floral tape. For each letter, cut a 3-inch piece of wire and wrap it with floral tape. Then, bend one end into a small loop and secure it with floral tape to the back of the letter toward the top. Pull the small sprigs off of an artificial juniper pine garland and, working bottom to top, use floral tape to secure them at the stem to the front of each letter form to create a base. Then, use hot glue to fill in the front and sides of each letter with more greenery. Finally, hot-glue faux or dried berries to each letter, and once dry, thread a length of red ribbon through the loops to hang.
Ice Skate Stockings
These easy-to-make skate stockings will look so cute hanging from your mantle. To make, simply cut two pieces of felt into blade shapes and glue them together before glueing on to the end of a plain white stocking. Then, add decorative backstitch embroidery with French knots at the ends to create laces.
Winter Wonderland Wreath
Whoever said wreaths are just for doors? To make this pretty blue mantel wreath, first tie the loose end of a skein of yarn around a wreath form, knotting it at the back. Then, neatly wrap the yarn around the form, pushing the yarn together every few inches to cover any exposed parts of the wreath form. Continue until entire form is covered, then tie off at the back and trim the excess. Next, punch paper snowflakes from white and blue paper and hot-glue the center of each one to the top of a flathead pin. Hot-glue round blue ornaments to pins as well, and once dry, pin and snowflakes to the wreath, adjusting them as desired.
Christmas Ornament Advent Calendar
Decorate your Christmas tree one day at a time with this ornament advent calendar, which doubles as a piece of decor when propped up on your mantle.
Coin Envelope Advent Calendar
You can also use little paper envelopes and a cork board to create an advent calendar for your mantle. To make, gather 25 coin envelopes and use rubber stamps to ink the dates on each one. You can also embellish them by adding tags, string, and washi tape. Then, fill each one with little surprises and pin the envelopes on a cork board.
Christmas Tree Garland
This simple Christmas tree garland is easy for kids to help make, and it will look adorable strung across your fireplace. To make, cut triangles out of cardstock and hot-glue felt onto each piece. Then, glue to clothespins, clip to baker's twine, and hang for instant cheer.
Red and White Vase
To make this color-coordinated Christmas craft for your mantle, begin by placing a small pillar vessel inside a larger vase, and fill the gaps between the two with red and white marbles or gumballs. Then, simply fill the inner container with a mix of anemones, garden roses, and evergreen sprigs.
Have way too many ornaments? Transform them into decorations for your mantle! To make, cover styrofoam cones with ornaments, attaching them with hot-glue. Start with larger ornaments at the bottom, transitioning to smaller ones as you work your way up. Fill in any gaps with mini ornament balls, and then wrap the finished trees with vintage tinsel and beaded garland.
Coffee Filter Garland
Instead of a classic pine garland, make one from coffee filters instead. First, stack 12 ruffled coffee filters, randomly mixing white and natural-colored ones, and staple the center. (For a 10-foot garland, you'll want 20 stapled stacks.) Once finished, poke a hole near the center of each stack with a small nail. Next, cut a piece of twine that's at least a foot longer than the desired length of your garland, and knot one end. Thread on one stack and secure tightly in place by knotting the twine on the other side, then tie another knot six inches down. Slide on a second stack until it presses against that last knot. Continue tying knots and adding stacks until all are strung. Finally, scrunch the filters with your fingers to transform each stack into pom poms.
Corinne Sullivan is an Editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers a variety of beats, including lifestyle, entertainment, relationships, shopping, and more. She can tell you everything you need to know about the love lives of A-listers, the coziest bedsheets, and the sex toys actually worth your $$$. She is also the author of the 2018 novel Indecent. Follow her on Instagram for cute pics of her pup and bébé.
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