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Winter Mantel Decor: Cozy and Budget-Friendly Ideas Inspired by Nature

By Rachel
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Infuse the soothing aesthetic of the green forest into your space with this Winter mantel decor: cozy and budget-friendly ideas inspired by nature!

Winter is a season of chilly temperatures and cozy nights by the fireplace. It’s a time for warm blankets, hot cocoa, and home decor that’s full of natural textures. But let’s face it; decorating for Winter can be expensive – especially when it comes to creating an understated yet stylish mantel display. I’ve got you covered with this Winter mantel decor: cozy and budget-friendly ideas inspired by nature!

Neutral and Rustic Winter Mantel Decor

In this post, we will explore frugal ideas for Winter mantel decor that are not only easy on the wallet but also inspired by the beauty of nature.

From using natural elements like pinecones and evergreen trees to incorporating warm and inviting textures, get ready to transform your mantel into a Winter wonderland, all without breaking the bank.

winter Mantel decor with vintage finds

When I decorate any space in my home, I like it to tell a story. So, you will notice the vintage white handkerchiefs as a base for both sides, acting like a layer of white snow. Then, the forest theme comes into play with the Pine trees and pinecones. To add my own spin on it, vintage decor is infused throughout.

When you are styling a specific area of your home, I encourage you to get creative and see what kind of story you want your decor to convey. It’s super fun!

Winter Mantel Decor: Cozy and Budget-Friendly Ideas Inspired by Nature

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Winter Mantel Decor: Cozy and Budget-Friendly Ideas Inspired by Nature

Hello, guys! Can you believe we have already made it to February?! Usually Winter here in the tundra moves very slowly but, this year, it’s going by so fast! Probably because we’ve barely had any snow and it’s been eerily warm.

Even with the lack of Winter weather, I still like to decorate my home for the season, especially the mantel area. Wanna know the cool part? All of the items I’ve used for this display I had around the house…meaning I didn’t spend a dime on it.

Join me today for some easy and budget-friendly ways to style a mantel area for the Winter season!

Winter mantel decor with wool garland

Winter Mantel Trees

I love incorporating faux greenery into my home decor, no matter the season. Faux greens are full of movement and texture, helping to bring any display to life in a very simple manner.

If you are like me and used faux flocked trees in your holiday decor, here is a super easy way to re-use them for Winter.

All I did was dismantle each tree by removing all of the red ribbon and ornaments, leaving them completely bare. The vision I had in my head was a forest after a heavy snow and I think that’s exactly what was accomplished! I believe that, many times, less is more.

To bring in more of the Winter-y look, I tied a cream colored lace ribbon to the top of the tallest tree.

Winter mantel decor with flocked trees

Flocked and evergreen trees bring in a height element, which is so important when styling a mantel.

It’s helpful to have tall objects in the back to help draw the eyes up. This method also creates a cohesive direction from one side of the mantel to the other.

Tip: Another way to incorporate height into a mantel display is by using a mirror! This method not only adds depth but creates dimension by playing off of the reflections.

flocked and evergreen trees on a Winter mantel

Pinecones for Winter Mantel

To really hone in on the nature theme, I used a whole bunch of pinecones. Pinecones have incredible patterning to them, which helps bring that natural element into the display. For some variety within the pinecones, I used both flocked and plain pinecones.

If you don’t want to use store bought pinecones, I encourage you to go out the woods and forage for pinecones that have fallen on the ground.

I found all of the plain pinecones used in this display in the woods near my house. Free decor from Mother Nature is the best!

pinecones on a Winter mantel

To make each side of the mantel feel balanced, I spaced out the pinecones along the front, switching periodically from flocked to plain.

My advice for decorating with pinecones is to vary the sizes as well as the direction that each pinecone is facing. As you can see in the photo below, I placed an extra large pinecone in the middle.

Then, I worked outward from there, placing smaller pinecones and facing them in different directions. I wanted them to look as realistic as possible, like they had just fallen off a pine tree and landed haphazardly on the forest floor.

pinecones and green trees on a Winter mantel decor

Winter Mantel Candles

Candles are quintessentially Winter, aren’t they?! With the warm glow and flickering flame, candles make you want to cuddle up with a warm blanket and snuggle in.

Wanting to incorporate a warm and cozy aesthetic onto the mantel, I placed a faux pillar candle in one of my favorite milk glass compote dishes.

faux pillar candle in vintage milk glass

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The calming glow of the candle is so pretty, especially at night when the flame casts a shadow on the milk glass.

I chose to use just one candle on my Winter mantel but you could totally use more. How lovely would it be to have a whole bunch of candles, of varying heights, lined up all the way across?!

In any way you choose to use them, candles will elevate your mantel, giving it an elegant and sophisticated Winter touch.

Winter mantel candle

Winter Mantel Garland

Real life story time…I had such a difficult time coming up with what to hang across the front of the display! Winter garland’s are so hard to find because I didn’t want it to lean too holiday, if you know what I mean. So, I got on the Google and started searching for Winter garland inspiration because I truly had no idea what I was looking for.

Well, it didn’t take too long to find exactly what I was looking for (even though I didn’t know that was what I was looking for 🙂 )

wool ball garland Winter mantel

The thing I found is this subdued and soft wool ball garland from Etsy. I chose three wool colors (white, cream, and dark green). When it arrived in the mail, I knew it was perfect for the space.

So, to tie each side of the mantel together, I draped the wool ball garland across the front of the mantel beam.

adore how the garland seamlessly blends each part of the mantel decor and creates a unified look. Winter Mantel Decor: Cozy and Budget-Friendly Ideas Inspired by Nature

Transitional Winter Mantel Decorating Ideas

Other decor pieces that I used as part of my Winter mantel are items that can be used now as well as the transition into Spring next month.

To bring color and height to the hearth, I stacked two vintage books, in varying blue hues, on top of each other. Then, I placed a large faux pine stem inside a vintage crock. To tie the crock in with the rest of the mantel, I knotted the same lace ribbon onto the handle.

transitional Winter mantel decor

My advice to you, when transitioning or re-arranging your home, is to try and decorate with items that can be used for multiple seasons. Utilizing decor that can be kept out for more than one month will make your life so much easier!

You see, when you have ‘base pieces’, meaning neutral decor items such as ironstone vases, bowls, or tureens, you always have a background to build off of.

When styling this Winter mantel, the white hanky, minimal green vase, and the milk glass compote bowl were all things I already had on hand to use. I roughly set them in place and then built the rest of the display around those items.

thrifted art on a Winter mantel

Vintage Winter Mantel Decor

I am not going to get too much into it in this post but another beautiful way to add character to any Winter mantel display is to incorporate thrifted or vintage finds, such as milk glass or ironstone.

This type of decor can be used in transition, like when switching your home from one season to the next. However, in my home, I love to incorporate neutral vintage decor all year round.

Vintage or thrifted decor that can be used on a Winter mantel includes:

wool ball garland on across a mantel beam

Closing Tidbits for Winter Mantel Decor: Cozy and Budget-Friendly Ideas Inspired by Nature

Decorating your Winter mantel with cozy and budget-friendly ideas inspired by nature brings such joy and warmth to your home during the cold months. By following the tips and ideas mentioned in this article, you can create a beautiful and inviting space that reflects the beauty of the season.

Be encouraged to create a serene Winter oasis, overflowing with natural and vintage decor, while finding a calm sense of living along the way.

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Leave me a comment! How do you like to decorate your mantel for Winter? I love hearing from you!

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Winter mantel decor with milk glass and pinecones

If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the writer and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I encourage you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more.

Here on the blog, you will find loads of inspiration for decorating with vintage and antique decor, simple DIY crafts and many thrifting adventures. If that interests you, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail. You will receive a free digital download as a thank you!

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • MaryJo Materazo
    February 8, 2024 2:04 pm

    Your mantel looks so cozy for winter Rachel. I love it. All the organic touches are fabulous and that garland was the perfect touch! XO- MaryJo

    Reply
  • I love all the Winter touches you added to your mantel! Your room looks so cozy! Love your new garland, it is so cute, and those colors are perfect! Maybe Spring will come early this year since it’s been so mild there!

    Reply
  • So many cozy ways to celebrate winter, Rachel! I love that you still leave all your flocked trees out. We do the same! It makes such a big difference and is a fun way to extend part of the holiday season too. Hugs, CoCo

    Reply
  • […] week, I shared a new post all about decorating a mantel for Winter. On this mantel display, I incorporated decor that I already had on hand with natural elements like […]

    Reply
  • Hi Rachel! I love that you offer budget friendly advice on decorating. Also, the idea of adding a mirror on the mantel really does make a difference. It looks so pretty with candles in front. I hope you are staying warm. We are expecting 6 inches of snow tomorrow.

    Reply
    • Rachel Granholm
      February 12, 2024 9:32 pm

      Hello! Thank you! Really?! No snow here…it’s been unseasonably warm for this time of year! Stay warm and cozy!

      Reply

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Hello I’m Rachel.

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