How To Decorate A Mantel For Christmas

Creating A Cozy Fireplace Glow For Christmas With A Simple Christmas Mantel

Do you love the coziness of a glowing fireplace at Christmas, but you don’t have a fireplace? That’s okay, I’m in the same boat! Today I’m sharing how How to Create a Cozy Christmas Mantel even when you don’t have a fireplace! Decorating a shelf as if it were a mantel gives the illusion that it is a mantel.

How to Decorate a Christmas Mantel

I’m not sure what I love more, all the beautiful decorations on a mantel at Christmas or having the warm glow of a fireplace. But guess what, you don’t need to have a fireplace to create the warmth a fireplace and decorated mantel bring! All you need is to add the elements that a fireplace gives!


An open wall shelf creates the look of a mantel.

I get asked about my “mantel” all the time. People really don’t notice that this isn’t a mantel and I don’t have a fireplace! It’s just a DIY shelf! I made this wall shelf out of 2, 2×6 boards placed on top of two wood corbels. I painted it using Joanna Gaines Chalk Paint in the color Shiplap and distressed it a little.

Christmas Mantel

I love that the shelf gives the same look as a mantel would without actually having to install a fireplace! The perfect solution especially for anyone who is renting or in an apartment! Most landlords will allow you to put up one shelf!


Just a few Candles will bring in the same glow and warmth that a fireplace brings!

The flickering of a few glowing candlesticks can really add a magical, coziness to any space! If you don’t have a fireplace but want to add warmth to your “mantle” why not add a few candles? Every time I light the candles on this shelf, it begins to feel like we have a fireplace!

How to Decorate

The whole livingroom seems warmer! If you would rather not burn real candles, I know you can purchase electric candles that actually flicker! I have some that I display in all our windows and they really do look real!


Hanging Christmas Stockings as if you had a mantel!

I may not have a chimney for Santa, but simply hanging a few stockings on this (shelf) mantel instantly makes it look like a mantel! I used command hooks to hang these and they have stayed up.

How to Decorate a Mantel for Christmas

However, I’d recommend using something stronger if you plan on Santa filling your stockings full! I plan to swap these out for a few screw-in type hooks before Christmas Eve!


Having A Focal Point above the Christmas Mantel

If you scroll Pinterest or the pages of any home decor magazine you’ll notice that most fireplaces have a large piece of art or some kind of focal point (many times a TV or a mirror) above them.

simple Christmas shelf decorating

Bringing in a focal point above the shelf helps this space to look more like a mantel. I loved using this mirror for my Christmas mantel because it reflects the glow of the candles!


Adding Texture With Garland, A Nativity, or Any Other Christmas Decor

Growing up my mom would always decorate her mantels with garland or her Nativity!

Decorating a shelf for Christmas

Both were so beautiful! I feel like you can’t go wrong with either! This year I added a mix of faux, dried and real garland to my mantel and draped it off to one side using the stockings on the other side to balance it!

How to Decorate a Christmas Mantel DIY

My Christmas Mantel is super simple and I love how it adds warmth and Christmas Cheer without even beeing a real mantel! One day I will have a fireplace to decorate…but until then, I’m going to enjoy this little shelf and the beauty it adds to our little cottage!

Cozy Christmas Cottage Tour


Christmas Past


Gathering Around the Table for Christmas

  1. Kitty kilian says:

    What a great idea, it looks so cozy, and you can decorate for any season. I’m a renter now so I am limited on what I can do. Thanks for the idea.

  2. Kitty kilian says:

    I love your new website it is beautiful, funny and most of all easy to navigate, I’m still learning the new technology. Let’s just say when I was in school. No computers only manual typewriters. 😂😂 . Love this all my questions answered in one spot.

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