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How to Style Your Holiday Mantle

Ten Thousand Villages | How to Style Your Holiday Mantle. Image shows an illustrated mantle on the left, split with a photo of the same mantle on the right.

Whether you’re celebrating Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or the winter solstice, creating a cozy home environment in which to celebrate is essential. Make it an ethically-sourced hygge space with great design and you’ll be winning all around.  

Because a toasty fireplace is quintessentially cozy, our product stylist has utilized a range of Ten Thousand Villages products to create 5 different mantle styling looks and shown us exactly how to pull off a mantle design in any home.  How to style a holiday mantle?

Just remember: 

  • Height 
  • Anchor 
  • Layer 
  • Balance
Diagram of how to style a holiday mantle with Ten Thousand Villages products. Diagram depicts moving in a triangular shape with your styling tools keeping heigh, an anchor, layers and balance in mind.

Solstice Mantle: 

This year, the winter solstice is December 21 in the Northern hemisphere, and it serves as a time to honor the longest night of the year and the subsequent rebirth of the sun. Use the Medieval Reverse Painted Tray (read its incredible production story here!) to anchor this look and pay homage to the sunburst silhouette. The mantle is filled in with glowing votive holders to serve as harbingers of light in this dark time and remind us the sun will indeed return. Varying shapes and sizes are key; filling in around your glowing, shining objects with objects from nature is an extra special piece of this solstice design. Notice the earthen textures that fill in around the mantle with baskets providing a place for textiles—a necessary addition in the cold months! 

Image shows a Winter Solstice styled mantle with a medieval painted tray as the anchor piece, candles, garlands, baskets abound.

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Neutral Tones Mantle: 

Utilizing a 3D Paper Star Lantern for height here, the eye is drawn down through the reaching branches, to the snowflake ornaments, then the filler candles and miniature trees. The garland draws the eye across the mantle to the visual weight of the flocked tree, down to the texture of the Tundra Recycled Bottle Throw blanket serving as a tree skirt, and over to the table of shiny textures. When you choose neutral tones as a design theme, ensure there are multiple textures and tones to keep the eye’s attention and draw people in.  

How to style a holiday mantle with a neutral tones. Photo shows a holiday mantle with a large paper star lantern above the mantle, branches in a vase and a clocked evergreen tree in the front.

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Traditional Mantle: 

Using a traditional Christmas color palette, saturated with reds, the eye goes first to the red, 3D Paper Star Lantern hanging above the mantle.

HOT TIP: use 3M command hooks to hang temporary décor for no-fuss removal after the twinkle lights have all gone.

The trio of sinamay and burlap angels in the center of this mantle are handcrafted of all natural and sustainable materials in the Philippines by fair trade artisans. Functionally, they are tree toppers, but utilized here as centerpieces, they hail the Christmas season beautifully. Layered in with them are trios of candleholders in complementary colors, providing symmetry, balance and a warm glow. Because of the symmetry and visually lighter-weight items on the mantlepiece, we can get away with the visually heavy design element of the tree on the left side of the fireplace. Were you to balance it with items on the right, it would look just as good. What would you put opposite this twinkly tree with the Sacred Sari Throw as its tree skirt?

How to stye a holiday mantle in traditional christmas colors. Photo shows a large red paper lantern above the mantle, handmade sinamay and burlap angels anchor the mantle and a flocked evergreen tree is in front with red garland.

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Rustic Mantle:  

If the outdoors are your muse and your spirit is most calm in the trees, lean into that sensibility and utilize it in your décor! Providing height and color palette inspiration is the Kantha Forest Wall Hanging, anchored by the Serenity Nativity and filled in with various woodland-themed candleholders and items from nature. The Tree Branches Mood Lamp glows on top of vintage wooden crates that provide height and texture next to the Recycled Tire Utility Tote, which holds extra firewood.  

Styling a rustic mantle with a handmade kantha stitched wall hanging taking center stage.

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Global Homage: 

For the well-traveled and globally-minded, this internationally-inspired mantlescape boasts items from multiple continents. Beginning with the Chorus of Bells Windchime, handcrafted in India; then to the Arabesque Lost Wax Statue, handcrafted in Burkina Faso; the Phoenician glass candleholders from West Bank; on to the Bright Bits baskets from India and the Singing Bowl from Nepal. Each item represents a country where artisans excluded from the global economy are finding fair trade employment that breaks poverty cycles around the world. When you shop with intention, you help ignite social change that ripples into generations.  

Once you learn how to style a holiday mantle, you can create a number of looks year-round with the same principles. Have fun, and enjoy with these tips in mind.

How to style a holiday mantle with global goods. This fair trade mantle centers a chorus of bells windchime, a lost wax statue from Berkina Faso and much more.

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Erica Martin

Content Writer for Ten Thousand Villages, Erica’s heart beats for travel, sunshine, campfires and great chai tea lattes. You’ll generally find her in the garden, behind a camera, curled around a good book, or chasing her 3 children who insist upon getting faster and more cunning every year they’re alive. Words bring Erica life, and she’s hoping you’ll excavate something gratifying from hers.

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