How To Decorate A Fireplace Mantel For Spring

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Your mantel is the perfect stage for a seasonal makeover. You may be familiar with setting your kids' stockings along the mantel at Christmas and even putting pine boughs and twinkling lights on the mantel for good measure during the winter holiday season. With a little imagination and a few props, you can decorate your mantel for spring, too. Exploring traditional Easter motifs and natural elements like pale pastels and soft whites will help get you into the mood for spring with style and flare to spare.

Moss and Decorative Grasses For Spring Mantels

You can create a woodland theme across your entire mantle using cardboard, a blanket of green crepe paper and decorative garden moss from your local craft store. Use the cardboard to create slight hills and valleys before you layer on the paper and moss. Now that you have a great base to work with, add branches, stones, carved or cast animals, rustic wooden bowls or reed baskets. Top everything off with one tall element like a pot planted with native grasses or bursting with pussy willows or cat tails.

You'll be surprised at how dramatic green, brown and gray can be when blended using natural materials. If you're a minimalist, try displaying a single, large rectangular ceramic or metal container planted with tall ornamental grasses instead. It will make a stark, vertical statement that will complement a modern room or one where you want the mantel to stay sleek and simple.

Bountiful Bouquets For Spring Mantels

Bouquets of fragrant, pastel flowers are one of the biggest indicators of spring, and you can add them to your mantel pretty easily. In a vase, decorative pot, wreath or garland, flowers provide a lot of decorative power for a small investment of time and money. Whether you use fresh flower arrangements, dried flowers or silk flowers, keep these bouquet suggestions in mind:

  • Evaluate the size of your mantel. Choose a container and bouquet style that's in proportion to the other elements in your room. One common mistake when assembling bouquets is to undersize the display, which will make your efforts look dwarfed and puny.
  • Work with odd numbers. Bouquets typically include greenery and a variety of flowers, some larger and some smaller. The larger flowers draw the most attention and can make a bouquet look balanced (or lopsided). When you're choosing flowers, pick focal flowers in odd numbers like three, five or seven. Balance their placement side to side and top to bottom.
  • Choose a viewing position. Bouquets are usually arranged based on how they'll be viewed. Because your mantel is probably attached to a wall, the back of the arrangement doesn't need to be filled out as much as the front. Keep the back vertical and simple. Place the most important elements front and center where they'll get attention and admiration.
  • Flowers to Consider: 
    • Tulips
    • Daisies 
    • Pastel roses
    • Snapdragons
    • Lilies
    • Iris
    • Chyrsanthemums
    • Carnations
    • Freesia
    • Yellow Buttons
    • Mums

Fireplace Mantel Baskets & Eggs

One of the biggest spring motifs every year is eggs in a basket. You can use this classic to your advantage, and with your own twist, when you incorporate a basket theme on your mantel. Try displaying a collection of different, diminutive baskets for a rustic look, or decorate one large basket with a collection of marble or decoupage eggs in bright colors. Include one or two eggs on the mantel itself, too. They'll provide a pop of color that will make the basket look even more special. If you want something colorful that shows your personality, decorate a basic white basket with intertwined pastel ribbons and use it as a focal point. Let the ribbons trail across the mantle and drape down on either end. It's a unique take on May Day that will make your room look like a fresh spring morning. Fill the basket with flowers, or just leave it empty.

Birdhouses and Naturescapes For The Fireplace Mantel

If the idea of using baskets is just too traditional for you, try other spring motifs:

decorate fireplace mantel spring decorate mantel spring decorate mantel spring

  • Birdhouses - Birdhouses work very well if you want a geometric look. Most craft stores sell a variety of small white birdhouses that are designed to be painted. When left white and lined up along a mantel, they can look beautifully simple and graphic. To add some color, include decorative birds, floral pictures and a few feathers.
  • Branches and birds' nests -Sticking with a bird theme, decorating your mantel with a tree branch, log or collection of pinecones topped with a bird's nest (complete with eggs), can look either modern or rustic depending on the other elements in your room. Most craft stores can supply you with everything but possibly the tree branch. You can always just choose one from your garden, though. Pick one that has an interesting shape and suits the size of your mantel. Oh, and make sure to check it for insect activity and clean it thoroughly! After cutting and cleaning, it's a good idea to keep the branch on your deck for a couple of days to make sure it is still free of newly hatched insects and ready to bring indoors. If you're using pinecones, acorns or other natural materials you've gathered together from your outdoor excursions, consider placing them in a warm (not hot) oven for a couple of hours. Exposing them to low but consistent heat should eliminate any potential freeloaders.
  • Ocean motifs -You can go farther afield than your backyard for spring mantel decorating ideas. Why not trade that tree branch in for some driftwood, a collection of shells and a tall hurricane lamp as a focal point. Ocean motifs like a wooden lighthouse replica, coils of rope, bird carvings and framed sailor knot collections can bring the salty air into your air-conditioned oasis and remind you of your last seaside vacation.

Spring Decorating Ideas For The Fireplace Mantel

Here are some other spring decorating ideas you might want to consider for your mantel:

  • Go white - If you have a number of white display or tableware pieces like pitchers, vases, plates or platters, consider displaying them on your mantel as a collection. Add a few colorful pastel eggs, feathers or lengths of ribbon between them for a pop of color. It's a great way to put your serving pieces to work.
  • Go quirky - Make spring green your mantra by adding a framed green chalkboard on your mantel. Add a saying like "Welcome spring" and include a small basket, bouquet or ceramic bunny (chick or other fun critter) alongside. This one is simple and fun.
  • Put it under glass - Place three fruit filled apothecary jars on your mantel. This works best if the jars are relatively tall but vary in size and shape. It's that rule of three again. Try lemons in one jar and limes and oranges in the other two. If you have a small mantel, use smaller jars and substitute colorfully wrapped candy.
  • Use candles - Display a collection of fat candles in pastel colors like lilac, baby blue, pale yellow and light pink. To make them sparkle (even when they aren't burning), mount them on silver, brass, glass or crystal candleholders.
  • Surprise with garden kitsch - Paint a small window frame antique green and lean it against your mantel. Place a watering can, wooden handled trowel and interesting garden pot nearby. This is a great homage to your garden and one that's sure to inspire a few interesting comments. (You can find craft window frames online. Check art framing sites for ideas.)
  • Frame your spring photos - Put together a collection of flower prints or photos in tabletop frames. Photo collections are always interesting, and like frames will add structure and continuity to the display.

Decorating your fireplace mantel for spring is the perfect way to freshen up your room and finally rid your décor of heavy, dark, winter pieces. Stick to white and pastel shades of green, pink, purple, yellow and blue, and incorporate nature whenever possible.

Last Updated: March 15, 2013
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About Sara Elliot Sara Elliott is a freelance copywriter and dedicated blogger. Her popular gardening, cooking and crafting blog, The Herb Gardener, was cited by The Wall Street Journal for its fun and frugal tips. Sara has a degree in English, and you can find her health, crafting, and lifestyle pieces on sites like DiscoveryHealth.com, HowStuffWorks.com, Savvi.com and TLC.com.

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