DIY Projects / Green Christmas

Simple, Affordable Holiday Mantel (+Paper Pom Wreath Tutorial)

As I mentioned in a previous post, this is the first time I’ve ever had a fireplace in our home, and I really wanted to celebrate that by creating a simple (of course) holiday mantel in our chosen color palette: silver, white and orange. Let me tell you — orange Christmas decor is ridiculously hard to come by! A few days ago, I shared with how I overcame that obstacle by creating my own stockings from Goodwill sweaters. Now you can see what the stockings look like within the bigger picture:

I love it!

I mixed some stuff I already had with some thrift store finds and some new items from Walmart.

I found the glass containers on the left at the Salvation Army thrift store, and the three wise men statues (one on the left, 2 on the right) at Goodwill. I filled the glass containers with silver balls from Walmart (orange ones were nowhere to be found) and grouped all three pieces by height.

On the right side, I grouped the other two wise men with a tall, silver beaded Christmas tree (also a Goodwill find). After I was done with both sides, I thought they needed something else, so I had my husband go find a few bare branches outside. I love the extra depth they add!

In the center, above the stockings, I placed six soy candles — one for each member of the family. I used a paint pen from Walmart to draw each of our initials on the candle corresponding with our stockings. Keep in mind that ALL our names begin with J. So I wouldn’t have 6 Js in a row, I used Js only for my husband and I. However, all the kids names start with “Ja” (as Ja’Vontae, Ja’Keil, Ja’Quan and Ja’Naya). We tend to call them by the last part of their names a lot (Vontae, Naya, etc.) So I used the initial for the second part of their names.

I also created name tags for the stockings, which I thought was a nice added touch. If you like the tags, you can download them for free in orange, ice blue or red! You can also use them for gift tags, or whatever else you can come up with! They are blank with just the frame and snowflakes, so you can just print them on card stock and write in the names. Or if you’re savvy in Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator, you can add the names digitally. If you’d like me to customize them with your family members’ names and your holiday color palette, I’m happy to do so for a small fee!

And the pièce de résistance? The paper pom pom wreath hanging above it all. It’s beautiful, it was affordable and more importantly, it was easy to make!

Paper Pom Wreath Tutorial

You’ll Need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Floral wire
  • A wreath form
  • Embellishments of your choice (I used more silver balls)

Step 1.

I started with tissue paper and cut it into fourths. Stack 10 sheets of paper and fold them, accordion style. Use scissors to round the edges of the paper.

Step 2.

Fold the paper in half so you can mark the center. Cut slits on either side. Fold a piece of floral wire over the center of the paper and twist until secure.

Step 3.

Slowly unfold the paper and pull it toward the center to start forming the pom pom.

Step 4.

Attach the pom pom to your wreath form with the remaining floral wire by twisting it tightly until secure. Some people recommend using hot glue to stop the wire from slipping, but I didn’t need it.

Step 5.

Repeat until you’ve covered the whole wreath form.

Step 6.

Embellish however you’d like. I strung a bunch of silver ornaments together with a piece of floral wire and attached them to the wreath form at the bottom center. You can add bows, ribbons — whatever you want!

Step 7.

Hang and enjoy! This probably goes without saying, but this wreath is definitely better for indoor usage. Paper plus rain and/or snow or even dew would leave you with a mess! We also know we’ll have to take it down when we want to light the candles so we don’t start a fire 🙂

If you attempt this wreath, I’d love to see pics of how it turned out!


I have a confession to make: I generally do very little decorating for the holidays outside of our Christmas tree. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s just that having lived in a series of apartments and other people’s homes for most of my adult life has made me less than enthusiastic about spending a lot of time on my holiday decor.  This year though, I plan to do more holiday decorating, both inside and out. How much more, I don’t know, but I’ll share stylish, eco-friendly ideas with you as I refine my plan. Come back often to see what the Decorate Green series has in store for you!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation to share affordable holiday decorating tips with you. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own. Check out more tips from my fellow Walmart Moms. Heather from Domestic Diva has some great DIY ideas and Melissa at Consumer Queen has another great mantel and grouping ideas.

About Author

I am a graphic designer by trade who has a strong passion for interior design and doing what we can to protect the environment. This blog and my other site, Green & Gorgeous, are my ways of giving back to the Earth.


  • Kate
    December 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    It’s probably too late for this year but if you decide to stick with the orange for next year you may be able to find some orange ornaments around Halloween. It’s always seemed strange to me but they have ornaments for all the holidays now.

    • jennae
      December 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks Kate! I never would’ve thought to look for Christmas decorations that early. And since we really don’t do a whole lot of Halloween shopping or decorating, I tend to walk right past the Halloween-themed stuff altogether. Next year, I’ll have to pay attention.

  • PJ
    December 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I never have seen orange as a Christmas color and wouldn’t have thought about it since to me orange is more a fall color. But Jennae, I do like the idea and I think your fireplace mantel looks gorgeous.

  • Monique
    December 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Beautiful Christmas display!

    • jennae
      December 9, 2010 at 10:06 am

      Thank you Monique!

  • Danielle
    December 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Looks fantastic and something I may just have to do for above my fireplace…great idea and thanks for sharing!

    • jennae
      December 9, 2010 at 10:06 am

      Thank YOU for your kind words 🙂 I’d love to see what you do with your mantel!

      • Danielle
        December 9, 2010 at 10:14 am

        But of course and if you’re interested I am doing a giveaway of my own pottery today. 🙂

  • Kathleen
    December 9, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Beautiful! I especially love the wreath, which I had thought was made from coffee filters. It will be gorgeous, even throughout the winter months.

  • Deborah Wall
    December 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Hey Jennae,
    Love what you’ve created – especially the xmas stockings. Fantastic way to use some old jumpers and love that you’ve gone orange too. Great blog.

  • Meg T
    December 14, 2010 at 4:40 am

    This looks awesome! I love what the tree branches add and thanks for the wreath tutorial!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.