Decorating Your Mantle
Merry Christmas homeboys and homegirls!
So I know some of you are thinking these Christmas posts may be premature, but I am here to tell you that there is no reason to delay happiness! Christmas is happiness! You get to fill your house with frasier fir and cinnamon sticks and paint the place in white twinkling lights. Why on earth should we deny ourselves any longer?!? If you haven’t already, pull out your tree or plan a weekend to go cut one down . Take inventory of what you have, what you need, and last but definitely not least, throw your favorite Christmas cd in the boombox cause its about to get real!
Once you have your tree up and lit, follow me to another area of priority this merry time of year…..the mantle. The fireplace mantle is a huge focal point! It’s where your family gathers when its cold ,and it’s where the stockings hang waiting to be filled. Let’s dress it accordingly shall we?
1. THE GARLAND – Regardless of your Christmas style (whimsy, glam, woodsy) the base layer of your mantle stays the same….you need a garland! If you have one, wonderful, and if you don’t it’s time to pony up and get one. All you need to do is measure the length of your mantle and add 3-4 feet for drape. They come in all different varieties, and here is where you can adapt to your personal Christmas style. Once you’re ready to hang it, decide if you want it to be simple and straight across or full bodied with one or two swags (See sketch above).
When hanging your garland, make sure you have some green christmas wire, wire cutters, nails and a hammer. You will simply cut a long enough piece of wire to wrap around you garland and anchor back into the wall or top of mantle. This is where you will anchor your nail.
Once you have your base garland anchored and lookin’ pretty, I like to add dimension with a second layer of greenery. You can interweave a different type of garland for interest and/or add picks of winterberries, holly and pinecones to make it appear as if it has been growing there forever. The idea is to get your base layer nice and full!
2: TAILS, SWAGS & HEROS Here is where your personal Christmas style can really shine through! If you are whimsy, gather together your collection of tinsel trees and vintage glass ornaments. If you’re glam, collect your sparkly baubles and hurricanes ’cause its time to cake decorate this gorgeous garland!
I love adding some drippiness and drama on each end (or tails) of the mantle. You can bunch several ornaments together and hang them at different levels with your favorite ribbon or twine. Another trick is to add a wreath in the center of the mantle. It adds a lot of gusto and is a nice scale with all the small ornaments and berries. (Because honestly, don’t we all want a garland with gusto?) At this point, you can sprinkle the rest of the garland with more ornaments or picks until it feels right and finished.
PS: Don’t forget the stockings!
3: TOP OF THE MANTLE One word…..COLLECTIONS! The top of the mantle can often get cluttered with random accessories when all it needs is a few similar items from the same family. A collection of candlesticks, a collection of plates or even a collection of trees is enough to make a statement! Vary the heights of your pieces so you can see the collection through the voluptuous garland!
My very favorite Christmas decorations are those that are personal. Ones that tug at you with memories or introduce colors that make your insides dance. Please include these! They give your home soul and add a richness you can’t buy. Don’t hide your kids homemade ornaments or the one your mother gave you because these pieces are what Christmas is all about. They have a place amidst the sparkles, lights, and garlands!
We love Christmas here at Alice Lane and want your home to be your favorite place on earth.
The Christmas Elf