Looking for simple and easy Christmas mantel decor ideas? Here’s a simple decor hack to take your Christmas mantel to the next level.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been Christmas mantel challenged.

You decorated it (and sometimes redecorated it) and even redecorated it again.

But it just wasn’t right.

Please come sit by me.

I’m Christmas mantel-challenged, too.

This mantel is such a puzzle for me. I’ve tried so many things before to decorate it and it just looked flat and not the sparkling, shimmering Christmas creation that I envisioned.

And then?

I discovered this.

Easy Christmas Mantel Decor Ideas

Here’s an overall view of the mantel in the space.

The fireplace is so pretty. It’s constructed from vintage marble with a carved white wood top. It’s beautiful and classic and timeless and amazing.

But when they constructed it all those years ago? They added the plug to the very top of the fireplace.


Right there behind that picture.

Which is amazing for a picture light like the one I have–but super challenging in the Christmas mantel lighting department. No one wants a string of lights coming down from on high.

And then I discovered these battery-operated lights on Amazon.

You can see them here.

I’d seen mini lights before, but I’d never thought of battery-operated regular Christmas lights. I was a little skeptical at first–how long would they last? How strong were the lights? How would they work? But they were inexpensive and I was willing to give them a try.


These are a game changer. I just ordered more.

Think staircases and tops of hutches and garland on top of doors. Anywhere you can add garland–you can add these lights.

Can you see how the mantel fits into the room now?

It’s kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but the mantel is so shimmery.

The garland on the mantel is actually two different Target garlands from several years back that I just layered together

Here’s a close-up of all the options.

You can set the garland to have the lights wave or blink on and off or slowly fade on and off.

There’s also a six hour timer so you can just set it and have it go off and on without ever thinking about it. Our time is set for 4:00 when it starts getting dark.

And now?

The mantel is all sparkling and shining and shimmering and ready for Christmas.

The other day I had some friends come over to tour the house for Christmas and the first thing they commented on was THE MANTEL.


The mantel.

All those years of trying to get it right.

And all it took was a little battery-operated light strand to light up my Christmas world.

PS You can order the light strand here (be sure and check the 10% off coupon too).

PPS I posted videos of the lights over on my Instagram today if you want to follow along.

And just when I thought this Christmas couldn’t get any more amazing?

Look at these stockings.

There’s an extra one hung up and ready for Santa.

It’s going to be an extra special year. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Beautiful mantel...thanks for source of lights-- just ordered 2 . Now I can light a fav wreath on front door and my mantel. You save me so much time with all your great ideas. Thank you! Hugs,

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Janice, I like using the super strong command hooks---the ones with the metal hooks. Then you can wire around those! Happy day! KariAnne

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Yes! I used the warm lights! I think the other lights are too cool for me! I like warmer lights in my decor! Happy day! KariAnne

  2. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Those are great! I think I need to order some for my front door wreath! I love the stockings too! How sweet to have that extra one. Enjoy friend!

  3. Image for Kathy Kathy

    The entire mantle and room is gorgeous, I wonder if you have ever tried to remove spray paint from brass? I have deer that have been painted and would like to restore to original brass.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Kathy, I so wish I could help! I've never taken that off before! It should be able to be done because the brass has a finish on it that kind of rejects paint! Does that make sense? happy day!KariAnne

    2. Image for Ann C Ann C

      I’ve seen where people have taken old hardware that has been painted and they soaked it in a slow cooker for an extended period and the paint peeled right off. Unfortunately I’m not sure if it was just water or not but you might Google it.

  4. Image for Marlene Marlene

    Thank you so much for finding wonderful things we can use and sharing with us. Love your mantel and needed those lights.

  5. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    GORGEOUS!!! As always! You're a humdinger decorator! Thanks for sharing all your beautiful ideas. 😍

  6. Image for Teresa Teresa

    Ordered the lights. Thank you! I have some tiny ones but like that your mantle ones are larger. Like how you did your garland draping it. Then you have the mantle to display more. We are hosting our annual SS Christmas Brunch this Sunday! Maybe 50 - 60 people! And, we are a small church but this is a must attend annual affair that we delight in doing. Tree decorated and love it! My sweet hubby has been wrapping gifts all day. Now I do the ribbons. Just love Christmas! Your home is decorated so pretty. Wish you lived close enough to do our finishing touches.

  7. Image for Kris Kris

    I found similar lights for my mantel and they have a remote! I also have some which I use for my small trees flanking my front door and for the wreath on my door. They really are helpful when you don't have a convenient electric outlet.

  8. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Beautiful. It’s always a blessing to hang an extra stocking.😉 Wishing you much joy this holiday season.

  9. Image for Crystal Crystal

    YES! I discovered these last year and was really bummed when they didn't work this year, so had to order more, ( I might have ordered extra ). These are the best, no thinking required which is good during the holidays when my brain is buzzing from too much hot chocolate!

  10. Image for Shelley Shelley

    I LOVE your Christmas stockings!! Where can we find those? I love the font you used to embroider them in. Is the extra stocking for a grandbaby???? I'm wishing so!

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