Mantel Magic

mantel

Inspired after decorating at the White House, I tackled embellishing my mantel when I returned home. Fresh greens, glittery balls and ornaments, and a little imagination is all it takes to make a welcoming festive mantle. I had some peacocks that I wanted to use so decided to go with blues and greens for my color scheme. Forget using the same old red as your primary color for Christmas! Push the envelope and try colors and subjects that normally you don’t associate with Christmas for a unique design.

Decorated mantel in the Vermeil room at the White House
Decorated mantel in the Vermeil Room at the White House; with teddy bears and shell trees
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China  Room mantel at the White House
Mantel
Red Room mantle at the White House
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Closeup of Green Room mantel at White House

Starting with a fresh green garland, I used  25 feet of cedar roping that I doubled up to make it extra full. I was really impressed at the White House with the quality of their fresh garlands which were made out of magnolia, fir, or cedar. Some were as thick as my leg! When I shopped for garlands at home, they were on the sparse side. If you can’t find what you want you can always wire your own garland together. Doubling my garland made it plenty thick for my needs. Pull some pieces down over the edge to give depth.

Fluff some of the greens down to hang over the edge
Fluff some of the greens down to hang over the edge
Wire in some additional greens like magnolia, and some dried hydrangeas
Wire in some additional greens like magnolia to match the wreath, and some dried hydrangeas
Start adding glittery elements; here I used silver gilded Eucalyptus and fake picks of glittered branches
Start adding glittery elements; here I used silver gilded Eucalyptus and fake picks of glittered branches, and Nandina foliage
Wire in your premium colored picks
Wire in your premium colored picks
Wire your balls on the garland, clustering the larger ones in the center
Wire your balls on the garland, clustering the larger ones in the center and on either end
Arrange your ribbon in layers, and wire it together at 2 foot intervals; weave it through the garland
Arrange your ribbon in layers, and wire it together at 2 foot intervals; weave it through the garland
Make a large multi-lopped bow and weaves the ends into the garland and have some hang
Make a large multi-looped bow and place one on each end of the mantel; Weave the ends into the garland and allow some to hang
When using multiple layers of ribbon, it works best using a bow maker
When using multiple layers of ribbon, it works best using a bow maker

I am a recent convert to “bow makers”. Many floral designers think these are frivolous but when you are dealing with many layers of wide ribbon, it works like a charm. The work of twisting and cinching the ribbon leaves your fingers free and makes a truly professional looking bow.

Cluster the larger balls with the peacocks in the center
Cluster the larger balls with the peacocks in the center

mantle

mantel

mantel

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