Merry and Bright Mantel

By Kate Riley December 4, 2012

The Christmas mantel is all fancied up for the season!  Blue and green are back this year and I reused a lot of my old decor I’ve had for years, including the mirror, the pedestal table, the stockings, candlesticks, and mercury glass vases.  I also brought the rug from my office into the space to make it feel more wintery.  I’m habitual about rotating my rugs since they’re all the same size, can’t help it!

What’s new are the fresh evergreen trees, the reindeer in the middle of the mirror, and the ornament garland I made to add some color and sparkle.

merry and bright mantel centsational girl


I ordered the white deer from Cardboard Safari on Etsy as a nod to Santa’s reindeer.   “It’s a little known fact” (10,000 points if you can name the character that always said that) that male reindeer lose their antlers in late fall but not females until January which leads to one conclusion, Santa’s reindeer must be female right?  It must be why they never need to ask for directions, ha!

white deer and colorful garland


So we pretend this is a reindeer and we took up a vote in our house.  My son thinks it’s  Blitzen, my daughter thinks it’s Vixen, Matt thinks it’s Dancer and I like to think it’s Dasher, because with that satin bow, hello totally dashing!

white deer on mirror


On the left side is one of the two spruce trees which I dusted with faux snow.  It sits in a champagne bucket we picked up on our ten year anniversary.  I used the same quilted stockings from Pottery Barn embroidered with the kids names (blurred for these images.)

ornament garland on mantel

To make an ornament garland, you just need a bunch of ornaments in different colors and sizes and some floral wire.

ornament garland


Clip an extra long piece of floral wire and secure one end to a doorknob.  Rotate different ornaments down the length of it to create the garland.

make ornament garland

You’ve got to have something to tie it to, so I used three cup hooks, one on each end and one in the middle.

hook to hold garland


Wrap the floral wire around the hooks to secure the garland and complete the look.  Our second champagne bucket holds the other evergreen tree, the mercury glass vases I bought at Pottery Barn.

colorful ornament garland centsational girl


A pile of ornaments on a silver tray awaits our Christmas tree – we’ll be picking it up this weekend and decorating it with more gold, silver, blue and green just like the mantel.

pile of ornaments on silver tray


kates christmas mantel


Here’s a peek at mantels from Christmases past:

Wintery Mantel (2011)

Sophisticated Mantel (2010)

I’m linking up to Layla and Kevin’s party today, join up with your holiday mantel too!

lettered cottage mantel party




  1. That is the most gorgeous mantle that I’ve seen! I love the colors (same ones that I use). the garland is an awesome idea – I’m pinning it and making it next year. And, love the silver on the mantle. Where did you get your mirror?

  2. Love it and I’m going to have to try the garland. What I’m noticing more though is how amazing your photos are. I linked up my mantel too but my photos don’t do it justice. Hoping Santa brings me a new camera!

  3. Kate, this mantle is simply beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial on the garland. I just did one on using shatterproof ornaments for an ornament wreath. It never occurred to me to make garland too!

  4. Gorgeous! Can you tell me more about the wood inside your fireplace?? I have been wanting to put some in a bucket on my mantle step but everything I read says it will just bring bugs and mold inside. Any tips for bringing fresh wood into the house?!?!

    • Hi Andrea! Those are clippings from my neighbors tree removal and I left them in my garage for a few days for that reason – you could always spray them if you discover critters…

  5. Love it Kate! Where did you get your chartreuse ornaments? I’m trying to create a similar look but my palette is hot pink, chartreuse and red… having a hard time finding the light green!

    • Hey Linda – Michaels has some pretty bright lime green ornaments That’s where mine are from !

  6. I love the blue and green and the sparkle!!Very pretty Kate and so very festive. Love the big floppy bow around Dashers neck!! Such a beautiful color,

  7. i love love love that color scheme!! i have been thinking about making an ornament wreath (with those same colors!) but i think now i might make garland instead. your photos are beautiful!!

  8. Beautiful!! I love the frosted trees on either side, love that they are sitting in Champagne buckets!! Your garland is gorgeous and the stockings are perfect. Love it!

  9. Loving the vibrant colors. Can’t believe how they pop! And I love the non-traditional color palette. I am hoping to try something like for next year possibly. So end of this season would be a great time to buy!!!!

  10. WOW, that is the most beautiful mantle I have ever seen. You have some serious talent.

  11. Beautiful mantel. I wanted to pass a tip along for those who don’t want to install permanent hooks for the garland. I have a stone mantel and I use removable hooks from 3M–the ones that have the little adhesive tab that you pull when you’re ready to remove it. Works great. Just make sure you buy the right size.

  12. Fabulous! Love the handmade ornament garland- what a perfect job you did on it! I love the colors you used. The reindeer with the satin bow is a charm! Cute idea with the little spruce trees highlighted with the faux snow!

  13. I love the mantel, the colors are spectacular. I remember seeing similar ornaments in Michael’s by me a while back. I frequently go to Michael’s.


  14. Your Christmas decorations are beautiful every year. It made me smile to see your blue and green this year, as I used turquoise, lime and brown. Similiar color family, I must be doing something right!! Now if I could just find time to take pics and upload!

  15. Gorgeous! I want to make the garland, can you tell us approx. how many ornaments were required to make yours? It looks fantastic!

    • Hi Jen, I don’t know the exact amount, I’m guestimating around 90 ornaments large and small for my 5 1/2 foot mantel.

  16. Hello! I’m sure you’ve answered this question a million times and I did search the site for an answer but couldn’t find it – but where did you get that terrific enlongated quatrefoil mirror above the mantle?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Lisa, I’ve had it for years, I found it at Lamps Plus and spray painted it white, sadly they dont’ carry it anymore!

  17. Yukon Cornelius? (I intentionally did not ready any other comments and will be checking my answer online shortly) :-)
    Beautiful Mantel – love the garland

  18. As always Kate, YOU DELIVER! Love it all, especially that faux dear head! What a nice and unique touch! I love the ornament garland too, I should try that next time!!!! Thank you always for giving such inspirational ideas!!!! happy Xmas!

  19. Love the colors. Thanx for the instructions for the ornament garland ~ very kewel. :)

  20. always love how fresh and bright your place looks. Love the palette. About how many ornaments did it take?? So smart with the champagne buckets!

  21. Beautiful Kate! I am so going to do an ornament garland now..even though I don’t have a mantel..

  22. You always have the most beautiful mantels! And you are always my first stop when looking for ideas & inspiration during the holidays. :)

    Much love,

  23. WOW, so beautiful. I always love looking at your photos.
    I actually used the same colors in our basement family room, but I could never get this lighting for pictures in that cave.

  24. Ok friend – there’s been a run on floral wire.
    Yep, call Santa’s helpers. I went to four, YES FOUR stores. What’s with that? They were all out, and then ran out of time for that fifth stop which was sure to be my lucky one. Off to try again today, because you know that I bought all those ornaments THREE YEARS ago when the ornament wreaths were all the rage and never made mine (cough, cough), but this year, thanks to you, ornament wreath it is. If I ever find that $1 worth of wire. The worst part, I know I have a ton in my attic, but I can’t find it…. ;)

  25. This is beautiful! I”m particularly smitten with the ornament swag. I have so many ornaments in my basement, I’m thinking this is a wonderful solution. Do you have any trouble with the ornament popping off from the top? That was my issue when I made an ornament wreath a few years ago.

  26. Where did you get all of your ornaments from? They are so pretty and so unique. Thanks for sharing your wonderfully creative ideas!

    • Hi Teresa, they are a mix of old and new, half from my old stash and some new ones from Michaels and Home Depot too. :)

  27. HI Doreen, to secure Dasher, I used a small clear Command hook – you have to let them set for a few hours after you stick the adhesive to glass or mirror before you hang anything on them but they work great for me. Dasher has a small hole in the back which fits perfectly on the hook.

  28. That ornament garland is FAB! Not only the design but the colors are beautiful! I’m not decorating this year due to loads of travel, but I will do this next year for sure!

  29. I love your wall color…you probably have answered this a thousand times but what is it?????

    Thank you!

  30. I love the ornament garland you made! It is beautiful! I have some floral wire and some ornaments- I may have to make one of those myself! I think I recognize some of the ornaments- did you get the green and blue ones from Michaels? I have the matte green ones in the picture but they didn’t have those shiny green ones at the top right of your picture! Gorgeous! I wish they did, because they would have looked beautiful on my silver and green tree this year! I totally love the blue and green look for Christmas. One of my mantels is green and blue while the other is more traditional, mostly white this year. :-) I love how your mantels are different every year! Thanks for the inspiration! I hope it’s ok that I pinned this post to remember how to make that garland next year!

  31. Love the mantel. Plan on making the garland. How long is your garland and about how many ornaments did you use?

  32. Did you install permanent hooks in to your mantel for the stockings? I love how it looks, but my mantel is brand new and I don’t know that I want to drill holes in to it. Thanks!

  33. I saw the garland and had flashbacks of two years ago when I got the craft bug and decided to make a Christmas tree out of ornaments. Looked so cool and didn’t want to pay the prices so I decided to make one. Several glue sticks later, I was done. Looked beautiful until I had to move it! Balls were falling everywhere along with strings from the glue. Remade it but what a pain!
    Wiring…hmmmm, never though of doing that! Lol

  34. I am officially obsessed. It’s all gorgeous and your photography is amazing. Thanks for the inspiration!

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