It’s cold here in the Great Lakes.

I woke up to a fresh blanket of sparkly snow and a big fat zero on the thermometer this morning.


Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


It was a gloriously beautiful morning with deep blue skies and sunshine casting dark purple shadows between the rows of trees.


Pine Cones in a Compote and Book Page Snowflakes :: Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


As I ate my blueberry banana pancakes this morning, I noticed  a large flock of birds flying around the backyard.  When I got up and went to the slider, I looked up to see a host of Cedar Wax Wings* flitting around in the tops of the maple tree, their breasts a gorgeous gold, illuminated by the rising sun.

That’s the beauty of winter!


Woodland Details :: Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


The flip side is getting up early to shovel a path to the car, brushing it off, and starting it early so your bum doesn’t freeze when you  finally slide behind the wheel.

Here in the Great Lakes, winter means bundling up with fleece and down and wool….layer upon layer…feeling like a mummy or the abominable snowman.

It’s walking the dogs with the wind howling and the snow stinging your cheeks.

If you live anywhere north, you’ll agree that winter is one half of the year and the other three seasons fill the other half.


Hand Cut Book Page Snowflakes :: Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


Am I complaining?  No.  That’s my reality.  And yes, we choose to live in this frigid climate.  The upside is that we don’t have hurricanes.  But, maybe even more important…in the heat of the summer…which is too short….I can maintain some semblance of dignity…most of the time.  How do you southerners do it?  I would be one sweaty mess.


Birch & Pine Cones & Book Page Snow Flakes :: Decorating the Mantel for Winter with Birch Branches, Pine Cones, and Book Page Snowflakes ::


There’s plenty to do in the north in winter if you want.  We used to ski…downhill and cross country.  But, after a several warm winters and moving around the country, we unloaded our ski equipment.  I’d love to cross country ski again and even try my foot at snowshoeing.


Hand Cut Book Page Snowflake :: Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


One thing I’ve learned to do is make the best of winter.  Inside as well as outside.   

Actually I do it much better from the inside.


Grapevine Wreath dressed with a Burlap Bow :: Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


Lately I’ve been having fun with birch branches.  You’ll remember my winter tablescape, and the birch branch wreath.  So of course, when I got around to decorating the mantel for winter, you know what came back out.


Pine Cone & Birch ~ Details Make a Difference :: Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


To begin decorating the mantel for winter, I placed a few larger birch branches on the mantel horizontally.  Then, for fun, I stuck a big bunch of birch branches in a container and hung the book page snowflakes I created from them.  I really like the look.  You know my love affair with book pages.  I got a bit creative with them here and here.


Natural Woodland Textures :: Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


I mentioned on Facebook that I finally learned how to cut paper snowflakes.  Someone suggested that I might have learned how to cut snowflakes in grade school.  Maybe because there was so much of the real white stuff around there was no need.  Haha!  You probably are a snowflake cutting pro, but on the outside chance that you are not and want to know how, leave a comment, I just might create a little tutorial.  [Note: The tutorial is now up here.]


Birch Logs & Pine Cones :: Decorating the Mantel and Fireplace for Winter ::


It’s the little details that make decorating the mantel for winter, or bookcases, or anywhere else, look appealing and put together.


Pine Cone Garland Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


The birch was the main ingredient here.  Pine cones provided color and textural contrast to the birch and I had several shapes and sizes which also created visual interest.  The grapevine wreath, leftover from Christmas, was relieved of her now-dried evergreen finery and left with this perky burlap bow.  Because repetition is always important, I added a little more burlap around the top of the container holding the birch branches and snowflakes.  It also gave that brocade an earthy twist.


White Birch Fireplace Logs :: Decorating the Mantel for Winter ::


And because I think we need a hard metallic contrast to the natural elements, an old silver compote was added and filled with pine cones.  It also was a small way to pick up the silver in the birch bark and the mirror’s frame.

The pine cone garland was spruced up a little, too.  You might have remembered seeing it in the fall with maple leaves hanging among the pine cones.  I pulled off the leaves and hot glued more pine cones to the jute garland.  It was just the extra touch needed to pull the mantle top and the box of birch and pine cones below, together


Birch Log & Pine Cones at the Fireplace :: Decorating the Fireplace for Winter ::


If you like this look, I think that it has possibility for fall too…just shovel up the snowflakes and rake in some leaves.

After your Christmas decorations come down, do you find yourself decorating the mantel for winter, or your home in general for winter?  I’d love to hear what you do or don’t do for the season.

*I might have shared a glimpse of the birds on Facebook…

Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.

Wishing you a day filled with extraordinary goodness,


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  1. I really like this! I don’t like the cold outside but it is so nice to be cozy inside and your mantle decorations are just wonderful.

  2. Rondell says

    I love the look of the birch logs and pinecones, the pinecone garland is adorable and looks easy to make.

  3. The mantle looks lovely! Love all the elements you included Lisa @ Sweet Tea N’ Salty Air

  4. Rondell says

    I forgot to mention the book page snowflakes, I’d love to no how to make them as nice as yours!

  5. Carolyn says

    Hello, Diane,
    Just love what you did with the mantel & fireplace in general. Birch trees are not commonly found this far south (MO), sadly. I don’t know how we would substitute for them. Maybe find something w/a smooth bark & paint it!

    Also I like your take on “the abdominal snowman”– so much less fearsome as “The Abominable Snowman”!
    And every self-respecting snowman that I’ve ever know did have a rather roundsome tummy!
    Thanks so much for sharing your lovely ideas. They warm our hearts during this unusually cold winter!

    Blessings of Peace, Provision & His Presence!

    • Diane says

      I’m laughing so hard Carolyn, I’ve almost fallen off my chair. That’s what spell checker will do for you!!! 🙂
      Do you have sycamore trees? Their branches can be quite white.
      Thanks for your warm thoughts and you for the laugh. I’m off to change it now.
      Stay warm….

  6. Glenda Kremer says

    I shared this on facebook with message of thanks Diane but I will enjoy your mantle here but continue to enjoy my family pics on my mantle year around–the best of both! by the way I learned that ladies don’t sweat–we glisten! I so hate the northern winters and we are only in Ohio but from Texas 28 years ago–only because of job! I would never have chosen the north–I hate cold!. I much prefer the heat!

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Glenda! I didn’t see it come up in my feed….but I also haven’t been on much lately.
      I remember that southern gals glisten. Seriously….there is nothing glistening about me when it’s hot. 🙂
      And for the record, I prefer warm….not hot and not cold…just right. 😉

      • Glenda Kremer says

        funny as I actually learned the glistening here in Ohio at a friend’s mom’s funeral when her grand daughter spoke and said, ” Grandma taught me ladies do not sweat they glisten!” I loved it! a sweet grandma memory made it more special! I much prefer summer clothes to all these layers of sweaters and stuff. When we were in Arkansas for Mom’s funeral thankfully I threw in a couple summer tops to layer as people in their 90’s are very cold and it was so hot in Dad’s apt, I had to dress like summer.

  7. Gail says

    You’ve been using a lot of birch in creative ways. Birch is such a hot trend. Luv it

    • Diane says

      It’s funny how things become trends. In this case….we found a bunch of it after a windstorm…therefore lots of fun ensued.
      Thanks Gail!!!! 🙂

  8. Mel says

    Haha…I love that the abdominal snowman lives. LOL. With the layer upon layer, sometimes fretting about that next lake effect snow/Alberta clipper would make that happen. 😉
    Of course the mantle is wonderful. I love the snowflakes…and yes, I’m one who learned them in grade school…and held on to it. Love making snowflakes!
    I’ve put out hearts and moved straight into Valentine’s stuff. I think I figured there was enough winter decorum surrounding me from all angles…and I have no mantle! Oh but I love the pinecone garland, too.
    The whole display is just wonderful.

    • Diane says

      Oh….I got caught again. That darn spell checker and my tired eyes!!!
      You learned how to cut fancy snowflakes?! I bow to you!!!
      I’m starting my Valentine projects….a little late this year. I’m having trouble with my timing. Yikes!! It’ll be here and gone in a flash. Glad you’re enjoying yours. And yes…there’s plenty of winter decorum…Mother Nature’s outdone herself this year!! 😉
      Thanks for your warm encouraging words. [hugs]

  9. Cute Cute mantle! Looks like we are on the same page. My post is all about mantles too. Love your snowflakes!! Following you now on fb.

    • Diane says

      Awww…thanks Marsha!! I’ll have to pop over and check out your mantel!! 🙂
      Thanks so much for stopping by! [hugs]

  10. Joanne Viola says

    I never know what to do with our mantle to get it to look warm & inviting. This is beautiful! Visited from Time Travel this morning 🙂

  11. Jean says

    I love the mantle especially the book page snowflakes. We have a Christmas craft book and I have to look at the instructions every time to cut the paper snowflakes–the boys do a better job still than I can do.

  12. So pretty Diane, love the effort you went to! Jacqui

  13. Oh, Diane, what an absolutely glorious mantel ~ I love every element of your decor. Such winter perfection! I cannot even imagine how cold it is where you are ~ down here it has been a long, cold and snowy winter and I am ready for spring…but I do enjoy the winter a bit!.

    Mary Beth

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much!! It was so fun to put together.

      Mary Beth….I can’t remember being more ready for spring and it’s still January! LOL!! At least it’s beautiful to the eyes. 🙂


  14. Suzan says

    Just gorgeous – love the banner !!!

    • Diane says

      Awwww…thanks Suzan!!! It was super easy to make. 🙂
      Hope your day is Extraordinary!

  15. Your decor is very pretty Diane! Odd but I’ve never tried the paper cut out snowflakes – seems to complicated. I’ll have to search for some easy patterns. Have a great day!

    • Diane says

      JoAnn….I didn’t us a pattern. I learned how to fold the paper and then just had fun cutting. I’ll share that on an up coming post…a few people mentioned they’d like to learn too.

  16. I love this winter display and the book page snowflakes are wonderful. So happy to have you sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. Your participation helps to make it so much fun . Big Hugs ♥

    • Diane says

      Awww…thanks Katie! Your sweet words make my day! {hugs]

  17. Cindy says

    Would love to see a tutorial on how to make the snowflakes!

    • Diane says

      I can do that Cindy….thanks for letting me know.

  18. I love this so much…I am going to use some of your ideas…your burlap bow is perfect!! I really like the way you did the snowflakes. Thanks for sharing on the blog hop today!

    • Diane says

      I’m thrilled that you got inspiration for my mantelscape, Pam! Yay!!
      Thanks for popping by…
      Hope your week is Extraordinary!

  19. What a beautiful mantel! I love the shades of winter white. Thanks for sharing at TTF!

  20. Nina says

    I LOVE those book page snow flakes! I’ve made paper snow flakes for many years but I’ve never had the courage to cut up the pages of an old book . . . . think I’ll see if I can find one at the thrift store and start creating some of these beautiful designs for our home on these winter days. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas!

    I’m stopping by from the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop at Katherine’s Corner – hope we can connect again soon!

    Please stop by and visit me at my blog at when you have time. I post crafty and creative ideas, too, so you know I’m really fascinated with your beautiful, creative designs ;o) Nina @ mamas*little*treasures

    • Diane says

      I’m a huge fan of book page anything, Nina. And I no longer feel badly cutting up someone’s cast-off book. 😉 If you choose to make snowflakes from book pages, keep in mind the thickness of the paper. I chose this book for the color of the paper….it was a little heavy when I folded a page a gazillion times for the snowflakes. 😉

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and introduce yourself, Nina. I’m looking forward to seeing your creativity.


  21. Julie says

    This look is great! I am a sucker for snowflakes, and I really love how you combined the white birch and snowflakes with the dark pinecones, wreath, etc. The hints of silver really pop, and the aged silver dish is fantastic. Really nice!!

  22. Bev says

    Love this mantel…wonderful natural elements. The snowflakes are wonderful.

    • Diane says

      Thanks Bev…they were fun to do. 🙂 I’m so glad I finally learned how to cut pretty snowflakes. 😉
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  23. Diane this is fantastic! I will feature tomorrow at Home Sweet Home!

    • Diane says

      Sherry…you just made my day!!! Thank you!!!!!

  24. I just love your mantel, Diane! You did a fabulous job combining all of the different elements. Wanted to you know that you’re going to be featured at The Scoop this coming Monday night. Thank you for linking up!

    • Diane says

      WooHoo! Doing the dance of joy as I type. 😉 Thank you so much Suzy!!! 🙂

  25. Diane — Your mantel is absolutely lovely with the combination of textures and the sophisticated color mix of browns, white and gray! I’m off to read your tutorial on how to cut those gorgeous snowflakes because mine tend to come out looking like flat tires on spoke rims! Thanks for sharing!

    • Diane says

      Charlene…that is just the nicest thing you could say. Thank you so much for putting a big smile on my face. [hugs]
      Let me know how your snowflakes turn out. 🙂

  26. I don’t think I could live up north. I like it here in NC where we actually have 4 fairly even seasons. Your mantel is lovely. Thanks for sharing with us at The HomeAcre Hop!

    Please join us again Thursday at:


    • Diane says

      Thank you so much. I always wonder how I would do with the heat you get in your neck of the woods.
      Best wishes for An Extraordinary Day!

  27. Such a pretty mantel! Makes me want to decorate for winter too! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

    {BIG hugs}
    ~ Ashley

  28. I live in Georgia, near Atlanta. Yes, I suffer here for many months with the heat and humidity. I stay sweaty. I love your fireplace decor. I’ve been doing a lot with birch branches too. I bought my branches at Hobby Lobby when they were 40% off. I hope you and yours have wonderful holidays.

    • Awww… thanks so much for your warm words, Cherry!!
      Gotta love those 40% off sales.
      All the best for a most extraordinary Thanksgiving and Christmas!!


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