A mantel is one of the easiest places to dress for the holidays. You can make a charming, seasonal statement for your Thanksgiving celebration, and with just a few switcheroos, transform it into a Christmas scene.

Don’t have a mantel? Make one – we did! This faux fireplace and mantel was constructed from a beautiful old door frame purchased at an auction. Boards, a porch railing and old fence create the structure and mantel itself. The bottom board is covered with a subtle wrapping paper that fits with either holiday.

A framed blackboard made from an old sofa-sized painting hangs above the mantel. These elements remain the same … it’s only the decorations that change to suit the season.

1. Decide on a theme and gather your objects and materials. Decide which will form the foundation of both Thanksgiving and Christmas motifs.

2. Layer for a lush look. Start with greenery or a garland and build from there, layer after layer, incorporating your favorite objects. Think three-dimensionally by jutting elements out or draping them away from the mantel.

3. Always have a focal point. Go whimsical, funky, vintage, sophisticated, natural, colorful – it’s up to you!

4. Look for balance, whether your design is symmetrical or asymmetrical. We think asymmetrical designs are more fun.

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