Love this easy frugal Christmas mantel with ornament Garland

My last two weeks have contained a world wind of the unexpected. From more basketball games than I can count, which include my new title, “Professional Concessions Stand Lady,” to decorating the school cafeteria for our son’s football banquet for 160 people (did I mention that I found out about it with three days notice), it’s been a slightly atypical holiday season.

Crazy, but good crazy.  I am not sure why I thought it would be different this year. With teenagers, life swings like that more often than not, but I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything. (Well, most of them, I wouldn’t…a few, definitely. ;))

With a week before Christmas, I still find myself filling in a few spots of our home with some ornaments here or sprays of fresh greenery there. I love how easy it is to make ones home feel cozy and festive without spending much.

One of the best ways I accomplished that this year, aside from my myriad of candles, was by creating this easy and quick Ornament garland. There are just so many ways that this simple technique can add such a gorgeous touch with out much effort.

My daughter and I made our ornament garland in about 30 minutes, and most of that time came from debating why she was so upset to find out that I wanted this to be on our mantel instead of our traditional garland of greenery.

When I first showed her Kate’s gorgeous mantel,and asked if she wanted to make this garland with me, she was thrilled. I had purchased a ton of inexpensive ornaments two whole years ago in anticipation of making an ornament wreath. That never happened, but this reminded me of the ones waiting patiently in my attic.

When we were almost finished, and I went to test it out and “measure” just how many more ornaments we might need, I exclaimed, “Won’t this be so pretty hanging down like this?”

Yes, Mommy, but where is the real garland going?

This will be our real garland, honey? Remember, I asked you if you wanted to do it like this? You said you loved Kate’s.

Oh no, we can’t (and tears starting pouring down her face, literally). We have to have our real garland too.

(SIGH: that was not in the mantel decorating plans. The ornament garland swagging down from my mantel does not mesh with the look I was attempting, but honestly, her sweet, traditional heart is way more important than needing my mantel decorated how I wanted it, so her wish was my command. Being the youngest of five, she doesn’t ask for much, nor does she get teary eyed about anything, so for some reason, this struck a cord in her. She is now over the moon thrilled with our combo mantel. :))

Since I only had about one day to get ready and pull off my football banquet decor, I knew that this would be an easy way to add a bit of glitz and glam to the sterile school cafeteria. I was determined to bring a bit of fancy to that place and by draping the garland around my punch bowl table and then filling it in with a few mason jar candles, it was a beautiful effect that greeted people as they walked in the school.

Right now, look around, is there a little spot where you’d like to accent a dramatic focal point or just warm up an area in a bit more festive way? Then this is your answer. It’s so easy.

Now, since it does need a LOT of ornaments, I highly suggest you stock up on December 26 for next year. I had a ton of ornaments,  but in order to add in a variety of sizes, I bought the small ornaments at the dollar store and they worked great.

The technique for making these is incredibly simple. Gather all the ornaments you can muster. Use a variety of colors and sizes.  I am estimating I used 75, but you would not need that many for a smaller area. I used a strong floral wire and tied one end to our doorknob, and then I just started stringing. This color combinations would not be my first choice, but again, I was determined to use what I had, and not spend more. (Although I did spend $2 at the Dollar Tree.)

Since I was using this garland against a silver punch bowl, as well as on my mantel where my tree is filled with gold and red accents, I knew that mixing gold and silver would be ok. Honestly, I only captured this with my iphone, so it doesn’t quite capture just pretty it is, but it’s just so warm and cozy.

Your biggest struggle in making this will begin when the cheaper ornaments begin popping off their toppers. Yes, as the garland fills out, and you are stringing them and pulling them in line where you want them to be, this will happen. The first time you will gasp and shout just a bit, and then attempt to put them back on with duck tape that says Happy Halloween.

But when it happens again, you will realize that those few missing ornaments aren’t even noticeable. If you are truly a good crafting girl, you’ll snag a hot glue gun over the left over Halloween duck tape and hot glue the tops back on so they are secure.

But if you’re a “Good Enough” girl, with just 30 minutes to finish the job, you’ll drape the garland over your mantel and when it’s done, you’ll sit one or two more ornaments on top of those places where they fell off and realize no one will ever know.

Yes, it’s a good thing and it’s certainly Good Enough.

All inspiration has to go to my sweet friend Kate, who reminded me of all the potential wasting away in my attic.

Her gorgeous mantel is a dream and her colors are my absolute favorites (and pretty much the colors in my home too). This picture doesn’t begin to do her space justice, and her blog is eye candy for the home decor soul.

My ornament garland was inspired by Kate's. It's gorgeous @centsationalgirl

My sweet friend just shared her multi colored ornament garland on facebook. After visiting last year, she was inspired by mine .

She tackled it and it’s just adorable. What a fun assortment of ornaments and I know her kids must love it too!