Natural Christmas decorations for the fireplace mantel - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Natural Christmas decorations for the fireplace mantel

Updated: Dec 21, 2011 02:58 PM EST
Finish off your natural Christmas mantel décor with a few beautiful and simple decorations. (©Siri Stafford/ Photodisc/Thinkstock) Finish off your natural Christmas mantel décor with a few beautiful and simple decorations. (©Siri Stafford/ Photodisc/Thinkstock)


By Alexandra Kerr

The Christmas holiday is naturally tied to the changing of the seasons and beautiful winter landscapes. This year, try decorating your fireplace mantel with natural Christmas decorations, and invite the beauty of nature into your home.

Garlands

Garlands are the perfect way to decorate your fireplace mantel with a natural Christmas theme. Play up the beauty and color of pine boughs, making these natural elements the focal point of your décor, rather than ornaments or decorations. Try some of these easy and beautiful natural Christmas garland ideas: 

Purchase a plain pine garland from a local craft or home décor store, or make one of your own.

For the natural theme, find or create large pine garlands, filled thicker than more traditional options.

If you would like lights, only use clear white lights on a green string.

Wrap the lights as closely to the center of the garland as possible to completely hide the wire. For natural garlands, no electrical parts should be visible, with only a soft white glow from the small light bulbs showing through.

For natural ornamentation on your garland, tie on pinecones and/or poinsettia flowers with a green or brown ribbon.

Red cranberries are another natural option that provides a vibrant pop of red, without diverting from the natural theme.

If you do not want to use a pine garland, look at your local craft store for branch garlands. Select one with deep green leaves and no flowers. Branch garlands with red berries are an appropriate choice, and will not require much ornamentation. These garlands will provide a smaller, more subdued Christmas display, and look nice in modern living rooms utilizing natural Christmas décor.

Gently drape the garland from one end of the fireplace mantel to the other. If you would like some branches hanging down from the main garland, do not place them in center, to avoid fire hazards. Adding several pine bough/branch offshoots on either end does look nice, and furthers the natural appearance of the Christmas display.

Remember to keep your natural garland primarily green, and do not add much, if any, electrical décor, shiny or vibrantly colored ornaments or other manufactured decorations. Keep it simple and clean, giving your mantel a fresh feel.

Candles

Adding candles to your natural Christmas mantel décor is a beautiful way to incorporate leaves, berries and twigs into functional and aesthetically pleasing lighting. Try some of these create ways to light your natural mantel:

Wrap your existing pillar candleholders with thin pine garlands, creating the beautiful appearance of candles emerging from branches.

Purchase or find a small tree branch or stump, no wider than six inches across, and varying in height between three and 12 inches. Use the tree branches/stumps as natural pillar candleholders. Some home decor and craft stores sell branches carved with small indentations to place tea lights in.

Fill a clear bowl or vase with water. Place several small pine boughs inside, then top with a handful of cranberries. Set a floating candle on top, and enjoy a gorgeous three-tiered natural Christmas candle. The bowl or vase can also be filled entirely with pine or cranberries. Other floating candles vases can be filled with mistletoe, pinecones or small ornaments. If you do use ornaments, keep them in muted silver, green and gold tones, to remain within the natural theme.

Gather enough twigs to completely encircle a small candleholder, when each twig is placed vertically next to each other. Wrap a ribbon or twine around the twigs encircling the candleholder to keep them in place.

Fill a large metal bucket with pinecones, pine branches and other natural winter décor. Place a pillar candle in the middle.

Place a pillar candle inside a clear glass hurricane vase. Slide pine branches inside the vase, against the candle. Make sure the branches do not come near the flame.

Check home décor and craft stores for candles made to replicate the look of tree branches.

Decorations

Finish off your natural Christmas mantel décor with a few beautiful and simple decorations. Consider some of the following ideas:

Purchase decorative faux moss from a craft store, and line the top of your mantel. For an added winter feel, sprinkle fake snow or Epsom salt along the moss for the appearance of a light dusting of snow.

Use red berries, pinecones and other fruit/vegetable décor to line the mantle.

Fill clear vases with branches, berries and pine boughs. Place at one or both ends of the mantel.

Use miniature pine trees at one or both ends of the mantel. Do not use trees with bright decorations already affixed to them.

Wreaths

For natural wreaths, remember to forgo excessive ornamentation, and allow pine boughs, branches and berries to become the focus. Place your natural wreath above the mantel, and incorporate several of the decorations below into the wreath itself. Pinecones, pears and berries all work well as natural wreath ornaments.

This article was originally posted on IdealHomeGarden.com

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