Rustic Woodland Christmas Mantel Design Ideas
November 10, 2019
Advent calendar decor in front of Rustic Woodland Christmas Mantel

How to Design a Rustic Woodland Christmas Mantel

Is a Woodland Christmas mantel your style? Or are you more of a traditional greenery and berries kind of decorator? When designing a mantel it's best to choose an overall theme. Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas Inspiration is all about your holiday mantel decor! So you're sure to find something that fits your personality.

rustic woodland Christmas mantel

My craftsman style home calls for something a little more rustic and a farmhouse inspired woodland Christmas mantel is the perfect choice for me. Take a look at your favorite pieces of holiday decor and decide which direction you want to go.

Once decided the fun begins! Follow this step by step and start collecting the perfect pieces for your own mantel.

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Mantel Focal Point

Print of Santa kneeling next to baby Jesus on rustic woodland Christmas mantel

When designing ANYTHING you'll want to start with your focal point. It's usually the largest, brightest, or lightest, or most colorful item on the mantel. If you don't have one, check out my list of Favorite Christmas Art Pieces for some inspiration. {coming soon}

OURS: In my case, I've had my eye on this “Every Knee Shall Bow” print for years before I made the splurge. It perfectly captures the spirit of the season. Balancing Santa without detracting from the Christ centered Christmas I strive for each year. Makes for a great family night conversation and the perfect focal point for our woodland Christmas mantel.

Rustic Woodland Themed Pieces

Deer, snowflakes, and tree on a rustic woodland Christmas mantel

Now look for fun design elements that work with your theme. You want items with texture that are different shapes, sizes, and/or colors to keep it interesting.

OURS: I picked this deer up at Target a few years ago and he was the start of a Christmas reindeer collection! The natural elements of the pinecone trees and branch snowflakes help support the woodland feel. And keep your eyes open when you're out and about. I picked those snowflakes up at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant shop. How random is that!!

Christmas Details

Framed Christmas lyrics for a rustic woodland Christmas mantel

Holiday printables are another affordable way to add interest and break up your 3 dimensional pieces. Look for Christmas quotes that make you smile. Are they movie quotes? Scripture? Song lyric? Either way, if it speaks to your heart, that's a great sign you're on the right track!

Then fill in the gaps with candles and bottle brush trees!

OURS: I chose a couple of framed Christmas carol lyrics from Shabby Creek Cottage to balance the large painting.

Hang the Stockings

And the stockings were hung sign with burlap stockings on a rustic woodland Christmas mantel

Do you ever have trouble hanging those stockings? Using a stocking board is so helpful! No heavy stocking hangers that still fall down when the stockings are full. No mantel, no problem! This board can hang anywhere you've got a wall. Or use a vintage window and a shelf to create your own faux mantel focal point.

You can also see the apothecary jars filled with sparkly ornament balls that tie in and balance the colors on the mantel so Santa's red suit isn't the only color.

Rustic Woodland Christmas Garland

Natural garland on a rustic woodland Christmas mantel

The garland you choose will be the glue that holds everything together. I opted for this rustic woodland garland over a traditional greenery option. I love how it ties in the pinecone trees and hides battery operated tea lights that cause it to glow at night. Place the garland on last so you aren't trying to knock it down with each adjustment! {I know from experience!} This garland is messy when moved so use two people to install it and only touch it once. Then sweep up the crumbs and enjoy your holiday!

Decorate the Fireplace

Basket full of books marked for each day counting down to a rustic woodland Christmas

If you've got a deep fireplace hearth there are opportunities for further decor. This basket of wrapped Christmas books is a family tradition. We open a read one each night as a count down to Christmas.

I've collected books each year but when I started I wrapped all our books about Jesus and checked out a bunch from the Library. You can usually keep them for 30 days so it's easy to borrow and have them for the whole month. That's the smartest way to go but I have a confession to make. I am a book addict! I LOVE buying books. I'd love to have a whole house full of books with those lovely ladders on every wall. But until then I'll work on our Christmas book collection!

Tomte gnome in sled on basket of pinecones for a rustic woodland Christmas mantel

The rest of the hearth has white birch logs in the center and a sled riding gnome nestled in basket full of pinecones. The tomte gnome is new this year and will grace our Christmas table with some of his friends!

Finished Rustic Woodland Christmas Mantel

Rustic woodland Christmas mantel with stockings

Now take a step back and admire your handiwork. We have the vintage window as a backdrop all the time and I switch out the decor depending on the season. It gives me a fabulous frame to work with in balancing all the elements so they create a triangle of sorts.

  • Place taller items in the middle with the rest drawing your eye out and down.
  • Mix up the heights of everything.
  • Place a little frame on a chunky candlestick to help it stand out.
  • And don't forget to fill in the negative space at the top. Having the snowflakes hanging from above makes them feel like they are floating.

I hope you feel a little more prepared to style your own mantel this Christmas season and that it fills your home with as much love and joy as mine. If you try out a new Christmas mantel design this year I'd love to see what you do.

Please tag us @partieswithacause on Facebook and Instagram and follow along for more great Christmas holiday inspiration! 

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Christ centered woodland Christmas mantel

More Christmas Mantel Ideas:

DIY Christmas Shelf Decorations from Joy In The Commonplace

DIY Christmas Shelf Decorations

Red Traditional Christmas Fireplace Decor from Jordan's Easy Entertaining 

Red traditional fireplace decor


If you are just joining us, welcome! Here’s what you missed:

  1. DIY Christmas Ornament: Golden Snitch Ornament DIY
  2. Christmas Cookie Recipe: Grandma’s Thumbprint Cookies
  3. DIY Christmas Home Decor: Buffalo Plaid Christmas Coffee Table Tray
  4. Savory Christmas Recipe: Cranberry Brie Tart Easy Holiday Appetizer Recipe
  5. Hot Cocoa Bar: Gingerbread Themed Christmas Hot Chocolate Bar
  6. Gift Ideas: Toilet Paper Snowman Neighbor Gift
  7. Healthy Christmas Party Food: Fruit Christmas Tree Platter Tutorial

Holiday Mantel Ideas Through the Year

Until next time my friend,

Halfpint Design, personal headshot, Bri Adams


    • Brianna Adams

      Thank you! I love it too. I waited for years to finally make the splurge and purchase it.


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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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If you're ready to improve your lifestyle and the health of your family, join me in the "Healthy Hostess" movement. Where we serve great food to the people we love. With food that nourishes the body and events that feed the soul. Use this food subtitution list to plan more intentional holidays and gatherings. Collect healthier recipes, less stuff, and more meaningful memories, with me at Parties With A Cause. 

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