How to Decorate Primitive Fireplace Mantels

Written by katherine kally
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How to Decorate Primitive Fireplace Mantels
Berry garland wreath you can hang over a fireplace mantel. (Christmas wreath image by William Berry from

Primitive decorating invites you to relax in a warm, cosy environment. Worn wood furniture made from pine, simple patterned fabrics such as checks or stripes and handmade folk art are typically found in a primitive room. Primitive decor styles also include accessories made from materials that are often found in nature. To decorate primitive fireplace mantels, use simple designs made with natural materials such as flowers, twigs, cones and berries.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pine-cone wreath
  • Interlocking strip hooks
  • Berry garland
  • Grunge candles
  • Rustic urn
  • Dried flower bouquet

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  1. 1

    Hang a large pine cone wreath on the fireplace surround over the fireplace mantel using a removable interlocking strip hook. Pine cone wreaths are simple to make; glue several rows of pine cones around a premade wreath frame. Wreaths are popular items in primitive decorating; you could also make one with berry garland to hang above the mantel.

    How to Decorate Primitive Fireplace Mantels
    Pine cone you can use to make a primitive wreath. (pine cone image by Aussiebloke from
  2. 2

    Drape berry garland from one end of the mantel to the other using small removable interlocking strip hooks. The garland should run around the front-facing edge of the fireplace mantel, including both sides. If you prefer, stencil a pattern along the front-facing edge of the fireplace mantel in place of the berry garland.

  3. 3

    Stand a large grunge candle on each end of the fireplace mantel. You can make your own grunge candles by coating premade pillar candles with a layer of melted wax and then rolling them in potpourri.

  4. 4

    Place a rustic urn in the centre of the fireplace mantel. The urn can be a stoneware jug, an old tin container or a ceramic vase with muted colours. Think old, rusty and worn when you decorate primitive-style mantels.

  5. 5

    Fill the centre urn with a bouquet of dried flowers. Dry your own flower bouquet by grouping them together and hanging them upside down in a cool, dark place for two weeks to one month.

Tips and warnings

  • Large metal barn stars are often found in primitive-style rooms. Replace the wreath on the fireplace surround with a large metal star. You could also replace the grunge candles with smaller metal stars on stands, and then centre each grunge candle between the star and the dried flower bouquet. Another alternative is to replace the dried flower centrepiece with a grouping of three different-sized metal stars on stands.

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