How to DIY Decorate Mantels for the Holidays

Wondering how to DIY decorate your fireplace mantel for the holidays using items you probably already have around your home or yard? 

Here are a few ways that we’re decorating our home for the holidays using items from around the house, outdoors, and hidden gems from inside your junk drawer.

Foraged mantel with greenery, glass mason jars, and uncolored candles from The Outer Banks Candle Company.

Mantel Decor You Already Have at Home

You know that cabinet you have full of stuff that you only use once a year?? (Or maybe like in the case of my wedding china, pieces that only get pulled out once a DECADE… eeeek.)

Think outside the box for ways you can reuse items you may already have. Your holiday mantel decor might be tucked away at home in your cabinets or closets! 

Many of us have vases, mason jars, canisters, cake stands, platters, or even glass water pitchers that we only pull out for special occasions or holiday dinners. 

Glassware like cake stands, mason jars, platters, and glass food containers used to decorate a fireplace mantel.

Most glassware items can be used for holiday decorations on your fireplace mantle as well!

Foraged items from your HOME you might use to decorate include:

  • Mason Jars or other empty glass food containers
  • Glass canisters, vases, bottles or water pitchers
  • Cake stands or platters
  • Candles

3 Tips for Decorating Mantels

When you’re decorating your mantel you can use these DIY tips to display beautifully staged winter arrangements.

#1: Forage Items From Outside

Larger vases and canisters, such as hurricane vases or even glass water pitchers are a great way to display larger found items from outside.

Pine cones foraged from outside placed inside a glass canister for a holiday mantel decoration.

 You can keep an eye out for pine cones, tree branches, and clippings! 

Here we took clippings of juniper for a vibrant green with a pop of color.

Vibrant juniper clippings to be used in a fireplace mantel decoration.

#2: Play Around with Height, Texture, and Color

Be mindful of items that add different heights, textures, and colors to the display you would like to create. 

Here, we kept the color palette simple and neutral by using clear glass, uncolored mason jar candles, and a pop of color with the greenery. 

We looked for objects of varying heights to make the display more interesting.

Cake stands are a great way to add height to your display and provide a nesting place for things like candles, seashells, or other collections. 

Platters can also provide a place to arrange candles, a vase of flowers, or even a bowl of festive fruit! (Pomegranates are a favorite that also brings a bold & festive pop of color!)

#3: Use Glass Jars 

Empty glass mason jars in different sizes make fun and unique vases to display collections such as holiday candy, flowers, or found items from your yard. 

Here we used eucalyptus cuttings inside each glass jar.

Eucalyptus cuttings inside glass jars on top of a fireplace mantel

These jars can be as simple as washed-out spaghetti sauce or pickle jars! (My family eats A LOT of pickles… we could probably fill an entire mantel with the empty pickle jars we have by the end of each month!)

By choosing jars & containers of different shapes and sizes, you will add visual interest to your display.

Holiday mantel decoration with candles, glassware from the kitchen, and The Outer Banks Candles Company candles.

As you can see, with a little bit of imagination – and some digging around in deep cabinets and dark closets – there are endless possibilities of all the ways you can forage items from your home and yard to decorate your mantel, table, or china cabinet this holiday season! 

And by keeping it simple and using everyday items like candles, you not only save money, but you can create simple, beautiful and timeless displays that extend long past the holiday season. 

Now it’s time to start digging around…

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