1 Mantel from October through December

It seems as though as soon as you’ve decorated your fireplace mantel for Fall, it’s time to do a whole new look for Christmas! This year, we’re taking on a new strategy — we’re decorating our mantel bit by bit. We’re using the same pieces from early Fall through Christmas, just adding things here and there. Here’s how we did it:

Fall Mantel decorated with branches, magnolia leaves, and candles

October Mantel

We started with these items:

Fall Mantel decorated with branches, magnolia leaves, and candles

This simple arrangement is a great way to kick off a new season. It feels festive and perfectly appropriate for Fall, and what’s more, it’s the perfect base for your Christmas mantel later in the season.

It’s important to remember when you’re decorating your mantel to have something at each height. First, you’ll want something very tall, the same height or three-fourths the height of your actual fireplace. We used a large mirror (which has a gorgeous antique gold finish), but you could also use a large piece of art!

Fall Mantel decorated with branches, magnolia leaves, and candles

Next, we chose something in the middle, still tall, but not as tall as your focal point. Two large tortoise hurricanes are perfect, and they’re perfect for holding dried branches.

Finally, we brought some things that are short and fill up the ledge of the mantel. Flameless candles with a birch texture look pretty, plus they’re remote operated, so you can turn them on all at once. Paired with some dried magnolia leaves and a long, narrow votive holder, you’ve got the perfect mantel for this Fall season.

A Fall mantel decorated for Thanksgiving using natural elements and warm colors

November Mantel

Once November hits, entertaining is in full swing and the holiday season is nearing. We like to take things up just a notch by adding two large ropes of Live Magnolia garland (so the ends can hang generously off the sides of the mantel), a twig wreath with an ochre colored ribbon, and a few pine cones.

A Fall mantel decorated for Thanksgiving using natural elements and warm colors

This mantel works beautifully for Thanksgiving since it has natural elements that work year round, but the warm colors remind us of pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes!

A Fall mantel decorated for Thanksgiving using natural elements and warm colors

The magnolia garland makes a statement on this mantel since it’s so full! We did use a carved reindeer — the wood works perfectly with the rest of the mantel.

For Christmas, add a larger wreath with a red ribbon and your stockings

December Mantel

Once Christmas rolls around, we add a big magnolia wreath tied with red ribbon, burlap stockings, reindeer stocking holders, and red berries and glass icicles to our branches.

For Christmas, add a larger wreath with a red ribbon and your stockings

Another great thing about this holiday mantel? You’ve been adding pieces bit by bit, so you’ll never feel overwhelmed. Decorating the mantel is a much less intimidating task this way.

Find tons of holiday inspiration here, and shop Ballard Designs Holiday decor.

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