This year I’ve created a simple, nature inspired holiday mantle using fresh greens, wooden candle holders with ivory tapers , flameless pillar candles, a citrus chain, and mercury glass. I find this look to be very calming and I never tire of it. The fresh garland is optional and I’ll be talking about the options when using both faux and fresh. When the garland gets too dry I’ll probably toss it and drape a smaller faux piece over the picture for a completely different look. Let’s get started on the details!
Get the look
Gather your supplies
You’ll need to purchase fresh garland or use existing faux garland. I love using fresh but that does create more hassle and then there’s the pine needle issue. This year I simplified my holiday decor. Wood always warms things up so I purchased inexpensive candle holders from World Market and added a two flameless pillar candles. If I want extra light I add my vintage glass candle holders that I found on Etsy. The tapers are a mix. Some are from World Market and others I purchased from Camilia Home. There are lots of colors to choose from so check the site out if you need tapers. The stocking hangers are from a few years back and then I added diamond knit stockings and used wire to add a swag to each side of the mantle. In front of the fireplace I have a faux sheepskin rug and a basket nearby with a warm alpaca throw from Jenni Kayne. Don’t forget all the pretty holiday decor and use my code lemongrovelane20 at checkout to receive 20% off your purchase.
How to make your own garland:
Making your own garland can save you money but it also takes time so you have to prioritize. Sometimes it costs more to buy everything separately and assemble, so check the cost of everything before you start. I have a nearby nursery that makes garland and it’s very reasonably priced. This year I purchased a mixed garland from them because I was making wreaths for the front door, orange garland for my kitchen, and potpourri containers for gift giving so by the time I got to the mantle I decided to take the easy way out;)
If you are lucky enough to have pine in your yard, then forage away! Head over to your local nursery and pick up juniper, berries, and cypress.
- Bring everything home and place the greenery in a bucket with water.
- Measure your mantle with a piece of twine and use that as a guide when assembling the garland.
- Overlap your branches and use floral wire to secure on the twine.
- Slightly overlap the branch sections working clockwise until you’ve reached the end of the twine.
- Once you get to the end, place a branch in the opposite direction to cover up the end piece and wire.
- I hang my garland with command hooks rather than nails. Get the heavy duty ones so they don’t fall off. I use these.
How to keep your garland fresh:
Okay so here’s the reality of having fresh garland indoors. It WILL get dry, pine needles will fall, and if it’s hanging near a fireplace, the garland will dry out quickly.
- Soak your greenery for a few hours prior to assembling.
- Mist your indoor garland and centerpieces daily to help keep them fresh.
- Try using a protective coating like this one.
- Display holiday greens outdoor when possible.
If you decide to go faux:
- My experience with faux anything is that you get what you pay for so don’t cut corners here. If you decide to go faux there’s a couple ways to do it so the garland looks full and beautiful.
- Mix types of garland. I purchased jasmine and cedar for my downstairs mantle.
- Layer, layer, layer. Add several pieces at least to make the garland look full.
- Supplement as needed. This is easy and less expensive than replacing the fresh garland. Add pieces of live cedar, eucalyptus, and cypress to the faux pieces to create a more realistic look.
Once the garland was in place I added the stockings and candles. I found these candle holders for under $20 and added the long taper candles.