Rustic Woodland Christmas Mantel Design Ideas
December 5, 2018
Advent calendar decor in front of Rustic Woodland Christmas Mantel

Style a cozy rustic woodland Christmas mantelHow to Design a Rustic Woodland Christmas Mantel

When designing a mantel it's best to choose an overall theme. Since my craftsman style home has a classic feel a rustic woodland Christmas theme is perfect for our mantel. 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

You'll want to start your mantel design with a larger item to use as the focal point. I had my eye on this “Every Knee Shall Bow” print for years before I made the splurge. It's not a rustic woodland Christmas themed print, so why on earth would I choose it? Not everything needs to be perfectly themed. This Christmas print has a soft rustic feel and still works well with the rest of my decor. It perfectly captures the spirit of the season balancing Santa without detracting from a Christ centered Christmas. Makes for a great family night conversation.

Rustic Woodland Themed Pieces

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

Now for the theme! I picked this deer up at Target a few years ago and he was the start of a Christmas deer 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 the Cracker Barrel Restaurant shop!

Christmas Details

Framed Christmas lyrics for a rustic woodland Christmas mantel

I chose a couple of framed Christmas carol lyrics to balance the large painting. Then bottle brush trees and candles fill in the gaps.

Hang the Stockings

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

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!

  • Large hinged basket: Home Goods {Similar here}
  • List of Christmas Books {coming soon}

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.

Rustic Christmas Traditions

Advent calendar decor in front of Rustic Woodland Christmas Mantel

Rounding out our mantel decor are a few special pieces on the coffee table in front. This advent calendar is a wonderful tradition my family loves. The elves hide candy, small toys, and activity ideas behind the doors each night for a fun surprise in the morning. I refuse to have an Elf on the Shelf! I already do a lot of fun things for my kiddos and I do not need that extra pressure. So if you are feeling guilty for not inviting that darn elf, DON'T! I give you permission to start different traditions that are more meaningful and less crazy making.

Child Friendly Nativity Manger

Little People nativity set for children with rustic woodland Christmas in background

Another tradition I love it to setting up the Christmas tree and nativity scenes the day after Thanksgiving. My Willow Tree nativity set is too fragile to play with so I love this Little People nativity the kids can play with and love all season long. As we read the scriptural account of Jesus' birth {Luke 2:1-16 KJV Bible} the kids take turns placing the figures. Object lessons are so much more powerful for little ones that just hearing a story.

What kids of traditions are you starting with your family? Is a rustic woodland Christmas mantel one of them? I hope you feel a little more prepared to style your own mantel this Christmas season and that it will fill your home with love and joy as our has in mine.

Pin it for Later

Rustic woodland Christmas mantel ideas with deer and kneeling Santa.

Holiday Mantel Ideas Through the Year

Until next time my friend,

Halfpint Design, personal headshot, Bri Adams


  1. Nathalie - Press Print Party!

    We have that exact same Little People nativity scene! We still pull it out even though my kids are bigger.

    • Brianna Adams

      I’m glad to hear it. Makes me sad to think they are “outgrowing” things. I will definitely hold onto it then.

  2. Natalie Mayhew

    What a warm and welcoming home you have. This fireplace decor is gorgeous! Loving the hanging snowflakes

    • Brianna Adams

      It does feel quite cozy in the wintertime. Thank you so much. Those wooden snowflakes are my favorites!

  3. Sarina Kinnunen

    Super cute and cozy Bri! I pinned this on Pinterest! Love it!

  4. Susan

    Bri I love what you did to your mantle ! The painting is gorgeous and I love that garland. Wonderful job.

  5. Holly

    So many gems here!! Isn’t it amazing what you find in that Cracker Barrel store?! Always cute stuff! I also love your book idea– super cute!

  6. Beth

    Love the natural elements, like the pinecones, and the framed song lyrics! The mantel is so pretty!

  7. Sarina Kinnunen

    Everything looks so stunning and cozy! I love your tradition of wrapping up Christmas books. I may have to start some fun new traditions soon! 🙂

  8. Nikla Lam

    You have styled this fireplace so beautifully! The decor is rustic but with touches of elegance. I really love the snowflakes! Great job!!

  9. Lori

    I love it Bri! Everything is so warm and welcoming and I love the Santa artwork! I also adore the basket of books!! What a fun tradition!!

  10. Lori Goldman

    It’s beautiful Bri! My favorite pieces are the white snow flakes and the Oh Holy Night print!


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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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