A Simple & Affordable Christmas Mantle

I tired the kids out with a trip to open gym at the local gymnastics center and a trip to great grandma and grandpa’s house this morning. Now that they are off napping it is time for me to share our Christmas shelf. Before we get to that, I have gotta tell you about my weekend. If you follow me on Facebook you know that I was stoked about having a weekend with NO PLANS! I don’t remember the last time that happened. With three Thanksgivings this week and the holidays around the corner, it is just what the doctor ordered. Only instead of being lazy, we did the impossible…the unthinkable-we attacked the basement. I have never before posted pictures of our basement, because it is just downright embarrassing. Since it recently became my mission in LIFE to clean out that basement, I have decided that I will, in fact, be posting before and after photos. So stay tuned! Now back to your regularly scheduled programming (aka- the Christmas Shelf).

This Christmas marks one year of our dining room shelf, which I often refer to as my mantle. The shelf has had many looks throughout the year and is my favorite place to decorate for the holidays. I should probably do a post just about all the different looks this shelf has had.

This year I kept things simple and affordable. Let me inundate you with photos.


Here is how I pulled it off. I filled the picture frames with wrapping paper. The paper bag flowers might be the most genius idea EVER, but it isn’t mine. I got it from A Place For Us (<– click on over for the tutorial). In case you couldn’t tell, I was going for the poinsettia look. Are you feeling it? I found white paper bags at Target (so cheap) and seriously this is so easy. You cut off the end of the bag and with one cut get four petals! How smart is that? Meet Me Under The Mistletoe is a printable we are offering on the blog. I traded out the candles for some red candles that were rolled in Epsom salt. The wreath, garland, stocking hangers, and stockings are from many Christmas’ ago. The wrapping paper Christmas tree is from last year. Unfortunately last year’s reindeer advent calendar was a no go, since Eleanor would have destroyed it. The nutcracker advent calendar was a half off Hobby Lobby find. Pretty stinking simple and affordable, right?

I know I said I was going to wait until after Thanksgiving, but I lied! It was just one shelf. This weekend we will do the tree and dress up the rest of the house, as is tradition around here. I still haven’t settled on a spot for the tree. If it goes in the same corner as last year the desk will have to move to I-don’t-know-where and, while the tree might look beautiful in a few other locations, it is not in the least bit conducive to Christmas morning presents & photos. Anyone else struggling with this?

So tell me, have you started to decorate for the holidays? Don’t you just love how warm and cozy and full of joy a holiday home feels? I sure do.


Sharing these ideas at: Thrifty Decor Chick: Before and After Party, The Lettered College: Holiday Home Mantle Party


  • Sue

    Love it! Especially the paper flowers! Thanks for the link for those. I would love to see all the other looks your “mantle” has had throughout the year! What a great idea! Happy Holidays and many blessings!

    • http://www.balancinghome.com Megan Bray

      Thank you Sue! Those paper flowers were too easy. A shelf roundup post is definitely in the future. Thanks for the kind words. Happy thanksgiving!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hmmilton Heidi McCarty Milton

    Beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving, Megan!