Chic on a Shoestring Decorating: Rustic Christmas Mantel

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Rustic Christmas Mantel

Hi there!  After Germageddon we are finally getting back to normal around here although I am waaaay behind on my Christmas decorating.  I am getting stuff up slowly but surely...

My Christmas mantel is finally complete!

rustic christmas mantel

This year I wanted to mix up my Christmas mantel a little bit.  The past couple of years I've had somewhat of a candy cane-ish theme.  You can see my Candy Cane Christmas Mantel here..  Anyway, due to my decorating ADD I'm am totally over the candy cane-ish look.  (Big surprise.)  

I loved the rustic look I did on my kitchen console table last year.  DIY Network even featured it on their site!  

I decided I could pull off a rustic Christmas mantel on the cheap  using mostly stuff I already have.  

A few years ago I shared with you that my mantel garland is super scraggly. 

rustic christmas decor
scraggle garland (the one poinsettia is super classy)
Well, I attempted to replace it last year after Christmas when the Hob Lob takes 80% off and I got some really nice and realistic looking blue-spruce-ish greenery.  

It looks so real and beautiful... lying on my floor. 

I could not get this stuff to stay on my mantel!  It has a permanent metal bend in the center that makes it impossible to lie flat.  I tried to bend it back the other way, no luck.  I tried to flatten the bend, no luck.  I considered nailing it to the top of my mantel (I've have done this with other uncooperative decor before (shh, don't tell)) but even this wasn't going to work unless I nailed it in like 5 different places, that's a little much, even for a crazy mantel nailer like me.  My gloriously cheap, beautiful, realistic, blue-spruce-ish greenery was not happening on my mantel.  

What kind of loser greenery doesn't stay on a mantel?  How annoying. 

So that left me with going and buying some new stuff at before Christmas non-discounted prices (you guys know I'm way too cheap for that) or suffering through another year of the dreaded scraggle greenery. 

Scraggle it is.

“The scraggle”, which it will now be known as, had the nerve to have dead lights on it even though I put brand new lights on it last year.  It is SO going in the garbage after Christmas.

Anyway, I managed to dress up the mantel enough to hopefully take away attention from the scraggle… no one will ever notice, right?  Just don’t look real close…
rustic christmas decor

To take away attention from the scraggle I used an old wreath and made it look new by adding a few of these burlap-ish flowers I scored for half off at Hob Lob and adding some burlap ribbon through it.  

I busted out my old 90% off red candle holders that I bought with the intention of spray painting.  They are marvelously Christmas rustic looking so I’m so glad I didn’t.  The birch candles were 80% off from Hob Lob’s after Fall sale.  (they are definitely not just for Fall, score!)  I used some of the Christmas trees that I had and that was that.

rustic christmas decor wreath

I changed up the hearth of my fireplace this year too.  So many times people forget to decorate the fireplace hearth.  It's like dressing your top up with your best Christmas sweater but forgetting your pants.  Don't forget the pants bottom, people! ;)  

rustic christmas decor

I got this huge red lantern for $8 after Christmas last year!


It was 90% off and a super score deal in the game.  It is ginormous and I heart it.  I was planning to put it on my porch but then I couldn’t stand thinking that it would get rained/sleet/snowed/iced on and likely only last a few seasons.  And if it was by my front door I wouldn't get to see it much because I always come in the garage.  Bummer.  

I made an executive decision and saved it’s life by sticking it by my fireplace alongside another lantern that I keep there all year. 

Your welcome, Ginormous Red Lantern.

My friend made the awesome lantern stand that is now a permanent fixture on my fireplace hearth (it will never be pantless again!).   I dressed it up with a few faux greenery swags and a big burlap bow.  

I made the bow myself after following extremely confusing instructions and some cursing I found online.  I’m not sure if I like it, it is kind of like the post is wearing a big, fat, little girl hair bow looking thing.  I added some jingle bells to distract from the poor bow formation.

I changed it up by sticking a Santa in the lantern instead of a candle. Further distracting from the burlap hair bow.
rustic christmas decor

On the other side of the fireplace hearth I stuck some birch branches in my blanket basket but I didn’t have quite enough to fill it properly.  This is when I decided to take advantage of the new blue-spruce greenery and stick it in there with the birch branches, lights and all.  This is the shape it likes to be in, completely bent in the center.  It's happy now.

rustic Christmas decor

Guess what?

I love how it all turned out despite the scraggle.

The scraggle did not doom my Christmas mantel after all. 

Take that the scraggle!!! 

Kate: 1   Scraggle: 0

Stay tuned for more Christmas decor...

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  1. Your mantel really came together and looks beautiful! I had a hard time keeping my garland in place too. It kept falling down after I had placed several of my pretty unique ornaments on it, breaking them. I have never broken so many ornaments as I have this year! I finally ended up using hidden duck tape to keep it in place. I was determined to put this garland on my mantel.

  2. It came together perfectly! And yes, you should dress the hearth too. I usually do but sometimes I don't post the pic because it's hard to get a shot of everything together in my house.

  3. it's all beautiful! i luv it! does your friend have a tutorial or can we get a pix with out the greenery so we can see the lantern holder - i would luv to have something like it for my hearth.

  4. Very nice! Love those lanterns and basket!

    Glad to hear germageddon is over. No fun.


  5. Kate, your holiday mantel is beautiful! That red lantern is fabulous; and I love those birch branches and greenery in the basket. Very pretty!

  6. Just gorgeous. Fabulous vignette in the "Joy" basket and I lobe your lanterns...what a steal on the red one! Your whole look is perfect.

  7. Loser garland! LOL Well, it all looks great now and I don't see any scraggle!

  8. Hi Kate! Your mantel turned out great! Your red lantern is wonderful, and I love what you did with the basket. Great ideas, thanks for sharing!

  9. loving the birch with the lights!

    if you haven't already stopped by, hope you'll have a moment to enter the giveaway on my blog!

    happy december to you!


  10. Hi, Kate, thanks for stopping by & for finally getting to comment. Nice to meet you, your Christmas mantel is very pretty, I love this time of year. Enjoy the season!! Thanks for the compliments on my new house, I'm so enjoying being here for the Holidays.

  11. LOL "Take THAT Scraggle!!" Oh you so won this round! Everything looks great - and I feel your pain with the burlap bow!!!
    Thanks for the inspiration and laughs!! :)

  12. Love your mantel, love the whole room, it's a room that you just want to walk into and stand and feel the ambiance of Christmas beauty. :)

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  13. Hi Kate! Your mantle looks great. You're not the only one in slow motion decorating, my hubby has yet to go get my tree and decorations out of storage. Bad for him, I'm funding Hobby Lobby...LOL

    I'm having a FACEBOOK social hop. I'd love for you to hop on over, grab a button and link up your facebook.

    Have a crazy beautiful week!

  14. I love how you used your birch logs! Thanks for visiting and leaving me your link :) I love what you have done with your mantel, so warm and cozy! Have a great day :)

  15. These mantel displays are gorgeous! I will definitely be sharing the above displays with my mom. Perfect designs for my Philippines property. Thanks! :)

  16. It is fantastic idea about Rustic Christmas mantel. I read your informative post and really enjoyed it. I am thankful for that.
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  17. Your basket of branches, greenery, and lights is gorgeous. We don't have a fireplace and I always feel like we miss out. I will definitely be creating something inspired by your basket. Thank you for sharing. You mentioned you would need 5 or so nails to fix a decorations. Why not consider 3M sticky hooks in the future? I have used them to secure many a decoration over the years. Happy Holidays!

  18. I love your mantel decoration! What a great idea and really great in its simplicity of design and execution. Anyone can create this and have something to be proud of when they are finished!

    Thanks for sharing inspiration,
    Marilyn @ Christmas decorating ideas

  19. Hello kate, hw are u ?
    your mantel is really great. I love'n it :D thnks
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    mebel jati
    furniture jepara

  20. I like the idea that you share here and I hope there is a fresh idea that can be shared in the future
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  21. I decided I could pull off a rustic Christmas mantel on the cheap using ...

  22. What a wonderful collection of rustic Christmas decorations and ideas! These are perfect for this coming holiday season this 2014. Thanks a bunch for sharing!


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