Red Lanterns Over the Christmas Mantel

December 07, 2011

I’m so excited to share my Christmas mantel with you today! You know this year was especially fun for me because of the redo our corner fireplace recently went through. 

If you haven’t seen it yet, go ahead and click over. We’ll wait.


OK, so here’s a quick stroll down memory lane – the big bad annoying corner decorated for Christmas:


I tried my best to work with it…and I thought it always turned out pretty this time of year.

But now…NOW. I am giddy!

I have a REAL fireplace (OK, it was always real, whatever) and a REAL, thick, chunky mantel. WHOO!

My plan was the same as always – I beef up my garland in layers. I started with some pine greenery from Big Lots:

big lots garland

I’ve mentioned this stuff a few times and I swear this is the most realistic, beautiful greenery I’ve seen anywhere. At least for $10. ;)

I made an investment this year by purchasing a few really thick 9 foot lengths of faux greenery at a local florist. They had thick, thicker and thickest and I got the thickest version. I got them during a great sale, so they were still a steal compared to the prices I kept finding online.

I used a section of it and just placed it right on top of the pine:

It’s SO FLUFFY!!!! (I try to resist, I do.)

Then I added the must have – lights:

I just pushed them in here and there.

Then I fluffed and fluffed and fluffed, and then started adding more pieces of the pine from Big Lots. Because I love this stuff so much, I got some on clearance last year:


Then came the sparkle in the form of cheap ornaments:


And the pine cones (they actually come attached to the BL garland – told you it was awesomesauce). I found some of the new Glitter Blast Krylon spray paint at True Value (they have every. spray. paint. ever.) and I couldn’t resist spraying the cones:

krylon glitter blast

This stuff is SO fun!

krylon glitter blast

I got the red version too, but I have yet to find something to spray red glitter. I WILL find something.

The garland was ready to go and was FLUFFY beyond my wildest dreams, but the wall above the fireplace seemed empty on the sides. Enter a trip to IKEA and their perfect red lanterns. I hung a few on each side with cup hooks and fishing line:


Aren’t the lanterns insanely festive?

I just love them and their bright Christmas red and stars etched into the glass!

I hung the wreath that usually hangs on our door over the mirror:

wreath over mirror

It’s a wreath from Target (clearance years ago) layered over a simple pine wreath I’ve had foreva. It’s nice and chunkaaay.

And the result? Well. I LOVE.

red christmas mantel

It’s a large and in charge mantel and I love it!

I’ve mentioned once or 20 times that I’m a little obsessed with red this time of year. This space is no different.

Obviously. :)

A few of you had asked for a shot from further back in the room, so here’s a view of the new wall:

christmas mantel decorating

I swear, it looks like it was always that way!

The little Polar Express Santa on the chair was a Goodwill find a few years ago and he was in PERFECT condition. The countdown pillow was from Stein Mart:

Did you see my cutie candy cane by the fireplace?

knit candy cane

It’s a knit cover over the cane and it is adorable! I found it at a local shop.

The stockings are all from Pottery Barn – I got them all for $15 each (including embroidery!) last fall:

pottery barn stockings

I think we need to get another one for this guy:

Yes. We will get our dog a stocking. Welcome to our world.

Because I am so excited about having this mantel (did I mention that?) I took way too many pictures. Speaking of pictures, ignore the IKEA backing still in those frames. ;)

ikea lantern christmas mantel

You know nighttime is my favorite time at Christmas! The little candles in the lanterns are all LED, so I just flip the switch on them and it’s all dreamy and glowy:


Here’s my view from the sofa:

Usually my feet are up there on that table but I’ll spare you the foot pic this time. ;)

(And the candy cane doesn’t stay there when the fireplace is lit – I just left it for a bit while I took pics.)

Because I can’t resist a before and after session, here’s the family room after it’s redo earlier this year:

Here is is with the new fireplace and all Christmastastic!

The view from the kitchen before:

And now, with new floors too!:

These show how very little space the new mantel takes up – I swear it looks more spacious! And I like how the angled wall mimics the angled wall that goes to my office.

Couldn’t be happier!!

And if you’re looking for more mantel ideas, check out my JOY version in our master bedroom:

JOY christmas mantel

More red. Shocking. :)

Happy decorating to you!

Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. Looks great!! I am in love with all your red!!
    Merry Christmas in advance!!
    Bonnie :)

  2. It looks gorgeous Sarah!I love the greenery, It's so fun to decorate a mantel! I feel the same way now that I have one too! If you get a chance stop over for the tour of homes. I hope you'll link your mantel Monday!!!

  3. I'm obsessed with red too, well more like Red and White color combo. The mantle looks so nice and fits perfectly in your living room. My favorite additions is that big candy cane

  4. So pretty Sarah, just loving it! One question, why is that chair faced away from the fireplace, is the tv on another wall we can't see? And I am red crazy too, come check out what I have done so far!

  5. I think I'd fall asleep on the sofa each night watching the lights!

  6. It looks so so merry and bright! I love it, and I can't wait to see what you put on your door since you used the wreath inside. And the rest of your home too.. could you do a holiday home tour? Showing all the decorations throughout your home? I just love how you decorate for christmas Sarah, its my taste exactly :)

  7. It looks AMAZING! I am so freaking jealous! I want a fireplace toooooo! Those lanterns are GENIUS! I may just copy the idea! I'm also obsessed with red this year, and our dogs each have full sized stockings stuffed with treats! :)

  8. Looks great!! I'm a fellow red lover so I enjoy seeing all of it in your decor!

  9. It's gorgeous! I love the simplicity of it!

  10. BEAUTIFUL!!! red pops prettily....I love your lanterns....and the wreath.........thanks for sharing I had a great time reading ur blog!

  11. I LOVE it!!! I'm so excited for you!!! Simplicity with a Perfect Pop!!!

    XO, Aimee from

  12. Oh wow! I love it! Those lanterns look awesome! I know you are loving the new looks great. Kristen

  13. LOVE your mantle! Is your mirror just propped? If so, do you do anything special to make it stay? I'm worried ours will slide forward...and off the mantle!

  14. how beautiful! I love the layered wreaths.

    ~ Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

  15. Sarah, it's gorgeous! Love all that red! Can you explain how you use cup hooks? I couldn't see them at all! Thanks
    ~Bonnie from The Boatwright Family

  16. I thought your fireplace looked nice before but WOW! the new one is GREAT. Your Christmas mantel looks great too!

  17. Loverly!!! I like the red too. I'd forgotten your tip about layering greenery...that would have helped a lot in my dining room. I guess I'll look for some clearance stuff after Christmas this year!

    PS. Our dog gets a stocking too. And this year she's also getting a new dog bed. My girls are so excited...they whisper about it, so Emma won't hear them and find out about her gift. ;)

  18. Your mantle looks gorgeous. Don't you just love decorating for Christmas!

  19. I love all the red. My favorite is what it looks like at night with the lights. How peaceful!

  20. What great creative ideas for your mantle!! I just love the whole package and your bedroom looks great too. I would have never thought of the IKEA lanterns... and layering the greens. Guess I am off to Big Lots. I have not seen glitter blast so I need that too.
    Have a great day.

  21. I LOVE IT all, especially those red lanterns you have hanging!! Martina

  22. Sooooo cute!!! I totally need to get motivated......:)

  23. I use those same lanterns on my mantel. I got them last year. I've been crazy for red this time of year lately too.

  24. Such adorable, love your creative energi :)) /Marie

  25. Looks wonderful!

    Have a great Christmas!


  26. I must comment today if for no other reason than to say THANK YOU for your unabashed love of red for Christmas. I know it's not particularly vogue to use red at Christmastime these days, but my goodness! It's Christmas!! I'm a sucker for complementary colors, and my favorite thing about Christmas is greenery, so red just makes sense to me. It makes me very happy to see how you love it, too.

    Your new mantel looks wonderful, especially all dolled up for Christmas. I'm so glad you're happy with it! The way you get joy from things like this is an inspiration. The way I see it, our homes are a gift from God, so improvements like this are meant to be enjoyed. :)

  27. Super cute!! I love red so much! And now Big Lots is on my list of places to go today. =) Hopefully I can find some pine garland as wonderful as yours!

  28. It's absolutely fantastic, Sarah! I love how filling in that corner actually makes the space appear more spacious. Great job on layering your greenery to get that wonderful fullness. Totally awesome!

  29. omg... i'm obsessed with those red lanterns! your mantle looks amazing!

  30. very pretty i love it!!! all red & chucky!

  31. Wow, absolutely gorgeous! It's makes me sooo jealous and antsy to decorate our mantle for the holidays. I'll most likely have to wait until next year though...we'll probably only be able to get the tree up by the time we move in. :( For now, I'll live vicariously through your posts! :)

  32. Your new fireplace makes a beautiful statement. How exciting! :)

    It is so pretty dressed up for Christmas too!

  33. Beautiful! I have that same garland from Big Lots, acquired three or four years ago, and it is my absolute FAVE!!! It has held up very well, too. People still comment on it every year. And RED is my favorite color to use for Christmas, too. Right on!!!


  34. I always love your mantels. And those lanterns! I could die. SO CUTE! My mantel garland isn't quite as fluffy as yours because my mantel is tiny, but I have to admit I thought of your love for garland fluffiness when I was putting it up! Flattering...or creepy? :)


  35. Very beautiful. I love the way your mantle turned out. And I like the idea of getting the dog a stocking. Our dogs have presents under the tree. We get our kids gifts too. LOL! Our pets are very much members of the family.

  36. Hanging the lanterns like that is genius. I love that idea. (Probably gonna steal it.) Everything looks great. I mean, seriously. Great. It looked awesome in years past, but the new mantel is definitely worth all the props you're giving it. Enjoy!

  37. Beautiful! Love those lanterns and the JOY letters!

  38. I love what red does to a room! Very nice!~Ames

  39. Someone might have already said this . . . but I think you should break out that red glitter spray on your adorable new red lanterns.

    Maybe not on all of them, just one or two. I think it would be even awesomer! (see, I can make up great words with the best of them!)

    And now I need to go watch Despicable Me!

  40. WOW !!! I love the red. It is so cheerful. I did to do something like that next year. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Can. Not. Stop. Using. "AWESOMESAUCE". My family thanks you for this! :) Love your wonderful Christmas touches. Cheery and classic!

  42. I love your mantel! Wanted to know what color you used for your living room walls. I want to paint the kitchen and thought I found the perfect color. When I put it on the wall it looked like baby poop. What kind and color did you use?? Thanks!

  43. Will you come decorate mine? :) It looks gorgeous and I absolutely love the hanging lanterns - how creative!

  44. Great job ! I want those lanterns !

  45. Hi there! Love your blog and I just noticed your red coffee table this time...I love red too and that guy would be perfect in my family room..can you share where you got it or how you made it?? Thanks!!

  46. Absolutely lovely! I especially like the greenery and the snow on it :-)

    Your pictures are amazing too, nice and bright. Glad you are happy with your new corner!

  47. lovely warm and welcoming a beautiful display of Christmas. Love those lanterns too. xo

  48. I love the fireplace! No offense, but the old fireplace looks like is was crammed into a corner it didn't belong. :) The new fireplace looks like it's always been there. It's a great redo!

    Love all the christmas inspiration I am getting from you too! Those lanterns are super cute!

  49. Your red hanging lanterns are sooo pretty and unique. Very creative. Love how it looks at nighttime too.

  50. i just started christmas decorating today! a little later than usual...

  51. Love your Christmas...and such a clean & uncluttered house. But the main thing that caught my eye was your ceiling fan. I know, I know, all that hard work decorating and some dumb blonde wants to know bout your ceiling fan. It is super cute though and I've never seen a fan with the barrel shaded light before. I would love the shopping info for that. I truly enjoy all your tips and pix. Thanks for sharing!

  52. I am in love with what I've seen of your house!! You do such a GREAT job decorating it. It's a must that I am going to follow you now. :)

  53. So festive! It looks so cozy and relaxing...I can smell Christmas from here!

  54. This is so crazy! I just found a store today that has similar items (they even have that exact amazing rolling cart)I want to live there! I had your blog on my favorites and lost it when my computer crashed. I just rediscovered you today too! I'm so happy :D. (I agree with prissy I love your ceiling fan too!)

  55. I am soo close to being done :) just have to decorate the tree and front door! :)

  56. I really love the french mirrors! putting it on my christmas list :)

  57. Love love love the panels in your bedroom over the fireplace. Can you share how you made those? My email address is


  58. the pops of red are beautiful in your living room. hah I didn't even notice the ikea inserts still in the frames. So you measure out the frames before hanging a collage or do you eye it?

  59. I love your mantel! Also love the red hanging lanterns! Your blog is so inspiring to me!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!