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Decorating your mantel for Christmas when there’s a TV right above it doesn’t have to be problematic! With a few careful considerations and the right decorations, you’ll have a beautifully festive display.

How to decorate a Christmas mantel with a TV above it

Having our TV smack bang as the focal point in our living room is not ideal. But the layout of our front-to-back space isn’t conducive to having to having it anywhere else.

I love having it over our electric fireplace and DIY surround the vast majority of the time. It’s so cozy watching the glow of the fire while the TV is one! But it does pose some challenges when it comes to decorating the mantel for Christmas.

Modern and elegant Christmas mantel with garland

I’ve searched high and low for the best Christmas mantel ideas, and these specifically work well with a large TV overhead.

Christmas mantel decorations with faux garland beads and hanging stockings

How to Decorate a Mantel with a TV Above it

Big displays and layered mirrors or artwork are clearly out. Instead, I like to focus on adding some height to the sides of the TV as well as garland that drapes across the mantel and down.

1. Focus on Scale

Flank either side of the TV with one or two taller items and keep everything else low to the mantel. For the tall items, I like to use skinny vases, tapered candle stick holders, mini Christmas trees or hurricane candle holders – but anything tall and relatively skinny will work.

A side view of a fireplace and mantel with a Christmas tree in the corner. Greenery draped down the mantel with a green and white stocking hung.

In the above example, I have a simple vase filled with dried flowers that lives on the mantel for the majority of the year. I added a glass star ornament and a gold votive holder to round out the arrangement.

How to decorate a mantel for Christmas even when there's a TV over it

In this example, I have a taller candle holder with a few smaller items next to it.

2. Garland is Your Best Friend

Garland truly is your best friend when it comes to decorating your mantel for Christmas. Not only can it lay across your mantel but it can also drape across the front. I highly recommend using faux garland as it will last the entire holiday season. Weave battery-operated string lights through the garland for that special twinkle

A mantel displayed for Christmas with greenery, stockings, and faux gold mini trees.

There are several ways you can hang the garland. You can use lay it on top, swag it across (like above) or hang it assymetrically down just one side of the mantel.

You can also add extra embellishments to your garland like eucalyptus stems, pinecones, ornaments, and bells.

3. Add Stocking Hangers

Hang stockings with stocking hangers or mantel clips. Whichever you choose is a personal preference. I tend to go back and forth between the two, depending on how I’m decorating in a given year.

Modern Christmas mantel decor ideas with garland
Christmas mantel decorating ideas with tv above it

4. Utilize The Space in Front of The Fireplace

There’s prime real estate for decorating in front of your fireplace, too! The fireplace hearth can be kept bare, you can add some simple lanterns or a plant, or go all out.

A Christmas mantel with white and cream stockings and greenery down the top. A faux Christmas tree wrapped with blue ribbon and blue and gold ornaments.

The front of the mantel surround is also another spot where you can add some festive charm.

Simple and easy Christmas mantel decor ideas

I like to string different types of garlands, like bells or beads so that they hang underneath my main faux garland.

garland on a mantel with a tv over it

5. Turn Your TV into Art

One of the biggest issues with having a TV over your fireplace is that your focal point is an ugly big black box. I overcame this issue a couple of years ago by switching out my previous TV for a Frame TV that displays artwork. You can change the frames and the screen is designed to be glare-free so that it looks like art, and not just like you popped a picture on your TV.

Of course, switching out TV’s is not in everyone’s budget (and the Frame TV is NOT cheap). You can also just search YouTube for art you like and have that display when you’re entertaining or having guests over!

Other Ideas

Since my fireplace is the main focal point of my living room, I like to place my Christmas tree alongside it, so that the tree is also part of the focal point. Luckily, I have a space to the left of my fireplace that’s perfect for the tree, and it creates an asymmetrical look that I love.

I always recommend choosing a color scheme for your Christmas decor, and your mantel is part of that, too! A cohesive color palette will create a stunning mantel that you’ll be able to enjoy throughout the festive season.

a collage of my favorite mantel decor items

pine garland // wooden Christmas trees // pinecone picks // ceramic trees
mercury glass ornament garland // wooden stocking holders // brass stocking holders
ceramic vase set // bells // brass lantern

Final Thoughts

I hope I’ve inspired you to decorate your mantel this Christmas, even if it has a TV hanging right over it! By following these few simple tips, you too will have a beautiful Christmas mantel that will be the perfect focal point in your room.

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  1. Where did you find the wood beaded garland? Link doesn’t work 😥 thanks

  2. Hi Jenna, thanks for all your great decorating tips. Your mantle is beautiful year after year. Our tv and fireplace are the focal point of our room as well. I need all the decorating advice I can get:)

  3. Love all your decorating ideas Jenna; especially the valuable lessons regarding choosing paint colors!

    I personally dislike having a TV over the fireplace but I realize that especially in newer homes there are scant other choices. Perhaps you’ve already written about this, but if not could you please advise about best ways to decorate around a TV above the fireplace and around a TV that is placed on the wall, possibly above a console?
    Thank you!

  4. Thank you for sharing your decorating tips for decorating with a TV over the mantel. That is a common problem these days. Those new stockings from Target sure are cute!