Give your fireplace a seasonal makeover with these Christmas mantel decor ideas using bright red and festive green accents, penguins and candlesticks.
One of my goals for this year was to make an intentional effort to change our fireplace mantel seasonally. We had the same basic mantel decor for nearly ten years, so it was overdue to be updated. With each new season, it’s been my desire to create a significant impact visually while re-using as many pieces as possible to keep the decorating cost lower.
Here’s a reminder of what we started with:
Last winter, we made the most dramatic changes with a large white framed mirror, tall candle holders, a big white owl vase, and a small vase. We also replaced one of the picture frames. At that time, we purposefully picked basic white pieces as our foundation so we could use them year-round and just change the accents seasonally with different colors and foilage.
Let’s take a quick look back at the seasonal mantels we created this year:
Winter Mantel Decor – We used rustic red, bare branches with red berries and red hydrangeas.
Spring Mantel Decor – We used an arrangement of refreshing green eucalyptus and lavender, as well as green hydrangeas and sage green candles.
Summer Mantel Decor – We went with a beach or nautical theme using a turquoise blue or teal color and hot pink along with coastal elements like sisal rope, shells, tall beach grass and a large pelican.
Fall Mantel Decor – We updated everything for autumn with pumpkin orange and harvest yellow accents, a perky little fox and a white ceramic pumpkin. This allowed us to use the same decor for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Christmas Mantel Decor Ideas
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The holiday season is my favorite time of year to decorate our mantel. It’s the one time of the whole year that I actually did change out the decor on our mantel in the last ten years. While I wanted to continue to use the foundational white decor pieces I’ve been using all year long, I also wanted to bring in some of the traditional elements I’ve always used on our mantel at Christmas time.
Christmas time at our house is also affectionally known as “penguin season” around here. Penguins are my all time favorite animal and I’ve been collecting them in various shapes, styles and sizes since I was in middle school. This year’s Christmas mantel decor ties in wonderfully with the “Let It Snow” and “Penguin” art work I got from The Summery Umbrella. Aren’t they cute? If you love them too, we’ll give you the 8 x 10″ digital prints for FREE! Just go to our blog post about the holiday home decor signs at The Summery Umbrella, then scroll to the bottom to get all the details about how to get yours for free to print at home.
The Let It Snow and Penguin set you see hanging on the orange wall in our dining room were actually custom created by The Summery Umbrella. If you want yours framed like that, just ask LZ to make you custom ones too. I love how these are hanging in close proximity to the fireplace so they coordinate well with the rest of our Christmas mantel decor.
It was really easy to change everything over to Christmas mantel decor when the holiday season rolled around. I knew I wanted to use bright red and festive green for the colors, I just had to switch out a few things and swap out some of the simple white decorative pieces on our mantel.
First, I replaced the tall red and yellow straw/grass and sheafs of wheat in the owl vase with a silly red and green striped Santa hat. I got it last year at an outdoor holiday light festival in Washington. My ears were terribly cold, so this silly hat made it much more enjoyable to walk around and look at all the cool displays. I just stuffed the hat with tissue paper to give it some height and help it to stay on the owl’s head. I also added a gold ribbon bow/scarf around the owl’s neck to complete his yule-tide look.
Next, I tried using the red candles from our winter mantel decor on the tall candle holders, but I felt like the rustic “winter” red wasn’t as bright and cheerful as I wanted for the holiday season. I found these red and green glass tealight holders in the Dollar Spot at our local Target for just $3 each. I love how they fit perfectly on top of the candleholders and look like big ornaments. Unfortunately, they’re only available in store.
The “Believe” sign and two resin penguins in the center of the mantel have been part of our holiday decorations for years. I definitely wanted to re-use them for our Christmas mantel decor. I especially love how that little penguin on the left always looks like he’s about to take a big step off the edge. Sometimes I make the one on the right look in the opposite direction like he can’t stand the left ones antics anymore.
I love how bright and cheerful the Christmas mantel decor looks alongside the Christmas tree we have upstairs. Our living room, dining room and kitchen are all one big great room. On the Christmas tree, I used red ribbon with white polka dots as garland to coordinate with the ribbon that we use on our kitchen cabinets to hang all the Christmas cards we receive.
Last year was the first time we put up a second tree. Our larger one is downstairs and has a penguin angel on top. I didn’t have a second tree topper for the upstairs tree. Instead I just created a large loopy bow using the bow making video tutorial from the O’Neil Sisters when they shared their designer holiday wreath on Kenarry.
Throughout the seasonal changes this year, I’ve kept the large mirror since it’s neutral and can really coordinate well with any color. Next year I think I may add a bow or small wreath to the mirror for the holidays. What do you think? The paper holly berry garland is a new addition to our Christmas mantel decor this year. My little brother, Michael and his partner Andrew make them. I bought it when I visited their booth at the Andersonville Galleria in Chicago when we were there for Thanksgiving. You can find the paper garlands in stock there or check out their online shop.
We’ve had these stockings for years. I’m sure you can guess which one is mine. There’s a slight overhang on our mantel. We screwed small hooks into the bottom of it to hang the stockings. We just leave the hooks there year round and no one ever notices. For birthdays, I actually use the hooks to hang the felt birthday banner I made several years ago.
I love how the Christmas mantel decor looks. I think it’s a great combination of what I’ve always used with some of the new elements I’ve introduced this year. I just hope it doesn’t look too bare when I go back to just the winter mantel decor in January. Maybe I’ll leave the penguins on the mantel until my birthday in March? What do you think? Please comment below and share your thoughts. We’re always looking for new ideas. We’d also love to see how you decorate your mantel for the holidays. Please post a photo and tag us on Instagram @kenarryideas so we can see!
Get This Look for Your Christmas Mantel
We shopped online to find similar products like we used for our Christmas mantel decor, in case you wanted to get this same look above your fireplace. As you shop online, search for terms like “antique white”, “distressed white”, “rustic” and “shabby chic” to find home decor like this.
White Owl Vases
White Framed Mirrors
Wood and White Candlesticks
Other Decorative Accessories
- Glass Ornament Tealight Holders – I got ours at the Dollar Spot in our local Target. Unfortunately they don’t have them for sale online. If you can’t find them at your area Target, I think this red tealight holder on Amazon would give your mantel a similar look even though it’s a different shape. This one would work too. Here’s the green mercury glass votive holder, if you need both colors.
- Resin Penguin Statue – I got ours years ago as a gift and can’t find anything quite like it online. If I was decorating now, I would pick this Penguin and Baby Statue and try to pair it with this statue. Or I might go for this set of wood penguins on Amazon. These wooden penguins would coordinate with that set too if you wanted four.
- Red and Green Striped Santa Hat – This one is similar.
- Holiday Garland – We’ve had ours for years. You can probably find one you like at any home decor store or online at Amazon.
- Paper Holly Berry Garland – Contact Mikey-Made-It.com and they’ll make you one!
Do you change your fireplace mantel decor throughout the year? What elements do you include or trade out from season to season? Please comment below and share. We’re always looking for new ideas.
While you’re here, be sure to check out other Christmas ideas on Kenarry: Ideas for the Home, like this Wine Cork Christmas Tree or this Scrap Fabric Christmas Wreath. If you enjoyed these Christmas Mantel Decor Ideas, please share it with your friends or pin it for later:
Carrie is the chief writer, crafter and cook here at Kenarry: Ideas for the Home. She’s an optimist by nature and enjoys sharing recipes, trying new craft ideas, planning for parties and events as well as organizing and decorating. When she’s not blogging, preparing meals or picking up around the house, you’re bound to find her hidden away in a castle under the stairs reading to her two young boys. Whether you’re cooking, crafting or creating for your family, follow Carrie on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to get inspiring ideas for your home.