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Mantle Decorating Made Easy, Decorate Your Mantle Like a Pro

Decorating my mantle for the holidays is always such an easy thing to do. I have certain things I put up every year and I always put it up the same way. The rest of the year, decorating my mantle can be an exercise in frustration. What should I put up there?  Will fit on the mantle?  Anybody else have these problems? Come on….I know it isn’t just me!

I have come up with an easy way to decorate my mantle and today I am going to share it with you!!

Simple way to decorate your mantle

The Room

Our fireplace is in the dining room. Craziest place in the world to have a fireplace, I know! I believe it is because our home is a modular, originally 1250 square feet. The kitchen and dining room are open to each other. Originally the light fixture for the dining area was only a few feet from the peninsula of the kitchen. I am pretty sure it was designed to be a kitchen, dining room, and family room combination….for a family of very small people! There was no way our family could do all that with the space, nope, never would have happened!

We have made lots of changes to the space, but I am not going to go into all of that.  Lets talk about decorating this mantle, that is on a fireplace in the dining room…sigh.

Picking a Theme and Gathering Decor Items

The first thing to do is decide wether or not you want to use a theme to decorate your mantle?  If you aren’t into themes, then choose a collection of items you love.  Be careful doing this though, it can end up being a bit chaotic if you aren’t careful.   I decided on a winter theme because, well, it is winter here in the midwest.  Also, there were a few items from Christmas that I just didn’t want to put away.  I felt like these items were good transition items to get me through until spring.  Of course, I added some of my favorite things to go along with them.

Simple way to decorate your mantle

The candle holder was something my hubby had when we got together.  I love the unevenness of the glass and that wonderful blue strip going around the middle.  The tractor was another one of his purchases.   The North/South part of a weather vane (I had the rest of it, but it fell apart 🙁 ) I picked up a long time ago at an auction and the “Let it Snow” sign came from my favorite antique store.  I bought those spools of cotton thinking I would string it around my tree this year, but instead used them as they are…aren’t they cool?!

Setting up the mantle, the easy way

Simple way to decorate your mantle

Simple way to decorate your mantle

The first thing to do is to put your taller objects on the ends and in the middle.  Doing this will give your mantle balance.  If you don’t have something tall for each area, consider putting them up on books or a decorative box.   Even an old antique scale like the one I got my hubby for his birthday a few years ago would work famously.  Funny how it turned into decor for me to use in the house ;).  The items in the middle don’t have to be as tall as the ends, but they should have some height to them so that the items in between nestle nicely and fill the space.  Of course, a handmade farmhouse sign is always a good item to add if you like that style!

Simple way to decorate your mantle

My main sections, which are the ends and the middle, each have groupings of three items.  It’s a rule in decorating.  I have no idea where it originated or who came up with it, but it works so who am I to break the rule.  Actually groupings of uneven numbers somehow just go together better, don’t question it, just do it 😉

Simple way to decorate your mantle

Simple way to decorate your mantle

Now, I could have left the areas in between my main groupings empty.  Sometimes less is more and I don’t think it would have looked bad.   It would have still looked balanced, but I really like that sign and those spools of cotton!

Simple way to decorate your mantle

There it is!  All done in just a few simple steps.  The hardest part will be deciding on what items to put up there.  They should be items you love and don’t think about it too long.  I did this in about 15 minutes.

Do you like to use a theme to decorate your mantle?  Do you have any items that you like to keep up all year long?  Do tell in the comments below!!

See you soon!



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  1. Susanne – I really like how you approached this. It IS still winter, so I love the trees, let it snow sign and your nutcracker. All of these still speak to a winter feeling, and just add a feeling of cozy! Thank you for these ideas!

  2. The entire staff loves your blog! We really like what you have done here and there are some wonderful ideas. We especially loved the antique scale. It really adds a little extra something.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Kendra!! I love that scale too and I am so glad I didn’t let it go out into the man cave 😉

  3. Susanne, what interesting textures and items! I love the look and the teaching.

  4. Simply gorgeous! Sadly, we don’t have a mantle! That’s one thing I regret not putting on my want list when we were house shopping.

  5. I really like it all filled in too, just adds to the warmth. Looks great!

    1. Thank you Susie! I fill it pretty full in the fall and winter, I just love lightening it up for spring and summer 😉

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