Wintry Mantel With Vintage Style

vintage style christmas mantel

Every project I do usually starts with a group of pictures. Most of the time, Christmas around our house is filled with strands of candy-colored lights and a rainbow of bright ornaments, so when I saw the inspiration photos for HGTV Holiday House, with its neutral palette, I got excited. This was the perfect opportunity to try a wintry palette of neutral and natural tones. I started by taking a couple trips to my local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store and wandering the aisles for a little inspiration. I decided to incorporate several simple DIY projects to make a wintry holiday-scape.

See how I put it together in this photo gallery, then follow my 6 steps below to create your own fabulous mantel for the Christmas season and beyond!

sisal and wood base in a basket

Step 1. Start with some natural elements. Whether I’m decorating a room or decorating a mantle, I like incorporating some natural textures. For this mantle, I spread some sisal out first thing. This is the same material that’s used in twine and can be spread out to act like a snowy base. Then, I put down a wood base in the center of the mantle as a point of reference for everything else.

mix up heights on your mantel

Step 2. Mix up the heights. If you learn nothing else from this post, remember to mix up the heights on your mantle. It will help lead your guests’ eyes through all those little details you’ve designed. Put the tallest elements down first and go from there. In this case, the tallest elements were the yarn trees I made from foam cores and chunky white yarn. You can learn how to make these yarn trees in my how-to post.

vintage style mantel decorations

Step 3. Use a variety of textures. It is easy for neutral to quickly move from calming to cold, so to prevent that, I really like to mix up the textures. My usual rule of thumb is “something natural, something soft, and something sparkly.”

JOY made from decoupaged kraft letters

Step 4. Make something one-of-a-kind. You don’t have to make everything, but a little of your own touch always adds a ‘wow’ factor. In this case, I found an old book that had damage in the free-bin at the bookstore, and I used it to make origami stars. With some of the other pages, I used a little Mod Podge to decoupage letter forms for the centerpiece.

painting floral garland

Step 5. Shop sales. I also lucked out with some serious sale elements. For instance, I wanted to find something in the floral department that was neutral in tone but harkened to the holly and berries we see so often around the holiday season. For that, I found an out-of-season garland for 70% off that I could spray paint to just the hue I desired.

painted jars used for candle holders

Step 6. Incorporate light. Candles, lamps — something needs to illuminate all those little details you’ve put together! Usually I’m vamping vintage and for this project, I thought it would be fun to bring in metallic or mercury-glass candle holders. However, I thought it would be a little more interesting to try making my own. So I got out a few of the jars I’d been hoarding in the kitchen and did a little DIY instead of dishing out the moolah for the real stuff. See how to make these faux mercury glass jars in my how-to post.

Brought to you by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, where ideas and inspiration come together for a Simply Creative Christmas.

9 Responses

  1. Brittany says:

    Where did you find the letters to decoupage? I have the hardest time finding ones that are chunky enough! This all comes together so well. I will be using many of these ideas! Thank you!

  2. [...] inspiration–you should check out the other entrants who submitted designs shown in this post, this post, this post, and this post. The winner (drumroll!) was Amy Bell with this design (love it), but over [...]

  3. Kelly Smith Trimble says:

    Thanks for all your great comments about this mantel design! You can now see the winning mantel design and projects from all our fabulous designers from the Jo-Ann Blogger Challenge here on HGTV.com: http://www.hgtv.com/handmade/one-mantel-styled-th… and here: http://www.hgtv.com/handmade/10-rustic-chic-holid

  4. Sue S.G. says:

    This is my favorite. The mirror and the jars make it!

  5. Sandra Glowe says:

    I love the lightness airy feeling of white.

  6. Tami Lombardi says:

    I love the lights,jars and stars! The mirror is beautiful.

  7. Marija Jevtic says:

    Super! Is there any How to for those stars? Would like to try making them…

  8. Mary says:

    I love your design. Of course, I would change a minor point or two for myself but it is a great job. Not too much and not too sparse.

  9. Kelly O. says:

    I love those jars and your Joy letters!

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About Hannah B. Slaughter 

30Posts

I’m a graphic designer for HGTV and DIY who loves taking something old, making it new and then adding sparkle. Weekend activities include thrifting with my handsome husband, writing for ...

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