Mantle Mania... but keep it simple

All through December, (and for a lot of November this year it seemed) Instagram is awash with extravagant, mantle arrangements and I'm totally here for it! The bigger the better IMO, in fact, if your mantle isn't creaking under the sheer weight of the botanical beauties adorning it then was it even worth bothering?!

If you're a regular round here, then you'll know I'm always looking for ways of achieving big results without breaking the bank, and this year's mantle display was a prime opportunity to save a few pennies with a bit of festive foraging. I had plenty of foliage to choose from in our garden, because after a year of neglect it resembled a wild overgrown forest. (Don't judge my lack of garden maintenance - I spent all the lockdowns knee deep in IKEA hacks and panting tester pot wall murals!) I'm not brave enough to share the garden horror pics, but below are some pics of the foraged foliage.

I'd sketched out a really simple design that I hoped would create a big impact without being too fussy or overfaffed (that's a word right?!). I started by taking the largest branches and positioning one each side of the mantle and securing them in place with a couple of wall cable holders, (pics below).

I tied the bottoms of the first branches together in the middle of the mantle and then started layering up more branches on either side. Rather than bore you with lots of progress pics, here's a quick vid instead which I'm borrowing from my Tiktok

To secure some of the latter branches I tacked a nail into each side of the chimney breast and tied the branches to it with clear polyamide thread. Once all the branches were in place I popped a couple of stems of faux red berries in the centre (from Homesense a few years ago) and then hung a red kid's stocking under the mantle. I had intended to make a large red velvet bow and the stocking was only meant to be a sort of placeholder for that, but in the end I liked the family Christmas vibe of the stocking and it stayed.

I styled the final shot with a cosy large knit blanket (kindly gifted by Dusk) in a rustic basket I bought in the Range.

Here's the final look... super simple and lots of fun to do.

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