October 22, 2017

Christmas Mantel Decorations and Ideas for Garlands


decorating a mantel for Christmas

As the holidays approach, Christmas decor comes out of the attic, outside lights go up, and schedules increase. One of my yearly Christmas decorating inspirations has been my friend, Laura and her glorious garlands. Last Sunday, I heard her ask a friend, “Do you mind if I come over and cut some Magnolia leaves from your tree?”

I am a big believer in using what you have, (or asking a friend for it.) Often, we forget the decorating beauty that comes from bringing the outside in and it’s definitely that time of year to look out the window and see what you have to use.

Creating masterful Christmas Mantel Decorations can be as simple as adorning your staircase with garland mixed with pines, ferns, magnolia and a beautiful bow. Remember that the most inspired decorating doesn’t cost much money at all. It’s about incorporating some of the very things you already own.


Today I have been busy cutting greens from our ferns, and my favorite holly bush inspired by my sweet friend. I love incorporating them into our staircase garland, but I just love how she used the magnolia leaves throughout her arrangements. In my opinion, the more the merrier when it comes to adding greenery because you all know I am NOT a minimalist.

Decorating staircase with garland

Tying a beautiful bow creates a polished, masterful look to any Christmas decoration. It doesn’t come very easy for me, but I sure am working on it this year.
Christmas Tree Topper

If you’re a bit tired of your usual Christmas items, don’t forget the wonder of spray paint. I have had a blast updating and changing out my color themes, just by changing up dated items with a fresh coat of spray paint.

Check out my Holiday Decor on a Budget ideas.

They are always a great option to fill in spots with no decorations.

using glass bowls for ornaments 500x385 Holiday Decor on a Budget (a few last minute ideas)

For Ideas on Ways to decorate your Christmas Tree, Check out my Breathtaking Inspiration here.


  1. That is really, really gorgeous! I’m going to my neighbor’s for magnolia leaves right now!
    Cheers, Andrea


  2. Beautiful pictures. I’m a very thoughtful neighbor – I always help them with their pruning this time of year. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Can’t wait to see more!


  3. I’m loving all your real greenery. How beautiful and I bet it smells nice, too. Gorgeous Christmas decor!


  4. Oh I know what you mean about using what is on hand naturally. I received a box of magnolia leaves in the mail from friends in Florida. I waited too long to preserve them , so I spray painted them and I’ll be using them in my holiday decorating. Your garland is lovely!


  5. omgoodness gracious!!! everything looks beautiful.

    your topper on your stair post is stunning. isn’t it amazing to decorate with things we see or drive by everyday??? i grabed some holly for our drs. office. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    nice to meet you. found you via twitter earlier & now layla’s party.
    have a super day!


  6. I love your real green garlands!! And you have added just the right amount of glorious glitter glamor. Lurve!!


  7. So true! I am so tired of all my gold so I am spraying my way to silver this year! Your garlands are just gorgeous!


  8. What pretty greenery displays. I’ll have to take a look outside and see if there’s anything worth bringing in.


  9. very nice, I have to get some real greenery to add in with the fake. Yours looks so pretty


  10. I love it! Fresh is always best and in my budget too. If only I had your trees ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet your house smells of Christmas too. What a neat idea you shared about spray painting your old ornaments. I may just have to try that idea when this aqua starts feeling old. Miss you ~ Susie


  11. Absolutely GORGEOUS!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I am a huge fan of using greenery. I go to our local Christmas tree farm and get the branches they cut off of the trees they sell! The give it to me by the truckload!

    Gorgeous garlands!

    Lou Cinda ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. I have a theory for Christmas decorating, Either simple or over the top!! You do over the top so beautifully. Great inspiration,Kathysue


  13. You know, I REALLY hesitate to say this, but on Friday, we went on our annual Christmas tree “killing” expedition (a tree farm where we cut down- kill- our own tree). But it was closed, so we ended up at Home Depot. Well! There, they are oh-so-helpful about cutting off the bottom branches of the tree, and they just stack them up in a basket. While we were tying the tree onto the car, a nice lady pulled up in her Cadillac & was so very helpful to them, taking a cart-ful of those branches off of their hands, so they didn’t have to dispose of them. We couldn’t let her get all the joy of helping others :), so we took the other basket FULL of fir branches off of their hands. Free. Gratis. De nada! And they look MAGNIFICENT on my mantel!

    The reason I hesitate to mention it is, if I go to my friendly neighborhood Home Depot next year to assist them with their burden of extra branches, and another of your readers here has beaten me to it, I shall be extraordinarily PEEVED. Not to mention, out of branches.

    So, free is good, no matter who you’re helping to “free Willy”


  14. You have a beautiful gift for decorating. I wish I were more creative or could learn how to make such beautiful pieces. Thank you for sharing.


  15. So pretty! I covet those magnolia leaves big time ๐Ÿ™‚


  16. well, now I am just mad at you…..

    that was not NEARLY enough pictures. You should of injected the smell of chocolate chip cookies in there to really make me drool. I SO want to see more of that loveliness. Whatever that thing is with the bow on top-looks like a teardrop of greenery? gorg.


  17. Oh, Jen, it’s all beautiful! I love bringing the outside in, and I’m trying to get some magnolia leaves from a friend in time for using in a center piece for our Women’s Ministry party.

    You can also go to Lowe’s Christmas tree area and ask for pruned branches. I did this last year and he told me to take all I wanted. For free! Can’t beat that!


  18. GORG!!!!
    LOVE the layers of greenery.
    Makes me want to decorate some more today!

    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Layla ๐Ÿ™‚


  19. Beautiful arrangements. Love the sparkling gold. You have inspired my staircase which is usually just garland and lights. Would love to see more.

    I recently had a good lesson in decorating from a friend. She changed all her tree decorations this year to dark blue, purple, magenta, hot pink and light blue. I was surprised by the colors when I saw them in the boxes. Especially the hot pink. Later I was amazed how beautiful the tree turned out. She had really large, medium and small size ornaments which made it interesting and without the bright magenta and pink it would have been too dark.


  20. wow, wow, I just luv luv this.


  21. Oh so beautiful! I’d love to make bows like that. I’m working on it. Do the greens stay fresh for the Christmas season? I’m sure you home smells as heavenly as it looks.


  22. Beautiful!! That’s all I know to say about this decor.



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