Last updated on November 28th, 2021
I can’t swim like Michael Phelps. I can’t serve like Serena Williams. But I can make a sumptuous Christmas display! Click the “play” arrow above, and I’ll show you how to decorate a mantel with just greens, twine, and fruit.
How are your own holiday decorations coming along? Talk to me in the comments field below!
Looks fantastic. Wish I had a mantel.
My spruce tree is decorated year round with solar lights.
Patti Lapp says
Beautiful! I love the idea of fresh fruit as display, but have never used it for the reasons you discussed. Maybe I will give it a try . I use fake greens for the base of my mantle display, and supplement with real. If they dry I just pull them out and add more. The Wiltpruf seems like a good idea.
Your party must have been wonderful. Merry Christmas!
Grani Frani says
Beautiful!! I have never seen “wilt proof” anywhere. Where can I purchase it? Nothing like a real tree. A very merry Christmas to you and Mr. Fox. Wishing you both a happy, healthy New Year!
LaVon Eblen says
Real greens, real fruit, real pine cones = real celebrating. Christmas blessings.
That fireplace is beautiful. It is stone??
Very festive. TFS.
This is so lovely. Thank you for the tutorial, Kevin. How tall does the Thuja grow, that you clipped the lacy fronds from for the mantle?
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Grani Frani – WiltPruf is available at most garden centers.
Hi C. – Fire surround is marble. More details in this video: House Two Part 2: The Parlor
Hi Roxanne – Thuja details are in this video: July Garden Tour
Mary V says
Back in the old days…I always used fresh greens everywhere in my house. We always did a fresh fruit mantel display, here in RI the fruit always lasted for a week or so. Well not so much the grapes small children always stole some! I also had bowls of fruit with greens too around the house, children would ask ” are they for decoration or can we eat some?” Best wishes for the New Year.
Just lovely Kevin! 🙂
Christmas blessings of peace health and happiness to you and yours!
For a bit of fantasy, how about a tiny “Christmas” mouse situated in the arrangement! Definitely, those were all around in the 1800’s. Enjoy your holidays and thank you for bringing cheer to us ALL year round.
Jeanette Liberty-Duns says
What a lovely arrangement. I do enjoy your blog and videos. I made your pie crust yesterday in preparation for mincemeat tarts and thought of you. Christmas blessings to you and yours.
Betty Sehr says
Love the mantel , have yourselves a merry little Christmas, maryann
Beautiful, Kevin. Wishing you and Mr. Fox a wonderful Christmas season full of joy, peace and love.
Kevin, Beautiful arrangement. To Marcia who posted first and wished she had a mantel, you can either buy a fake fireplace or make one for the season. If you make one use battery operated candles inside the fire box, or you can make fake flames with fabric. I put some Google links below to help you out. Good luck 🙂
I started thinking: what about the flame-ability of the anti-transpiration spray? Any danger?
Thanks to Leslie, but no room for it. I might try something on the top of the 6 foot hutch. Thanks so much anyway. I have three hutches and three grandfather clocks, a 7 x 9 rug on the wall, this used to be a doctor’s office in a home.
Have never heard of Wiltpruf. Anxious to try it on our Christmas tree next year.
Frederique Jennette says
Beautiful!! Happy holidays!
As always, Kevin, your special touch adds so much to the centerpiece on your beautiful mantel. Love the greenery and that gorgeous mirror to reflect the entire room. Have a wonderful celebration.
Carol Rehme says
Your display is so charming and authentic. Thank you for a lovely presentation!
Here is Colorado the air is dry, dry, dry. Experience tells me grapes soften and shrivel even on my kitchen counter. Is it possible to spray the fruit with the anti-transpiration spray?
Thank you for all the lovely suggestions. Many years ago I used fruit as you have shown but I have changed it around through the years. Birch logs, a variety of pine/spruce cones, dried lotus seed pods, bittersweet, hydrangeas, allium seed heads, tall dry grasses, cinnamon sticks – they all have decorated my home along with juniper, yew, cedar, pine, spruce. I add the fruit at the last minute as you suggested and invite my guests to take some with them when they leave so it will still be usable for a fruit salad etc. I have always loved the pineapple and now, because of your video, I will use one in my dining table arrangement this year. Thank you for a wonderful year of great ideas, garden, cooking, baking and interior design tips and tricks. I will be planting 15 +/- amaryllis bulbs right after Christmas to brighten the late winter days for myself and as gifts to some family and friends.
Merry Christmas to you and all those you love including your followers!
Betty Dyer says
As always Kevin, Your touch is an inspiration. Although I do not have a mantle,
I do plan to create a version of your greens and fruit combination on my small
apartment dining table.
Thank you or your sharing.
Joanne in Zone 6b says
Love all your videos; this display is just gorgeous! Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you!
Reminds me of my visit to Williamsburg!!! It is gorgeous. Thank you for a wonderful year of recipes, gardening ideas, decorating, and entertaining. I eagerly look for your new posts and save reading them until I have time to enjoy.
Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year. Health and Happiness to you and your!!!
Meredith Hill says
Kevin, your mantle is stunning!!! Thank you so much for sharing how you decorate it. Merry Christmas. Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.
Carla Afrika Sitar says
Gorgeous Kevin. The grapes are perhaps from here in Australia or Cape Town, & here we have tons of Pomegranates from USA in our shops – so we are swapping Christmas delights 🙂 Wishing you & your loved ones a wonder filled Christmas Season & a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year. Thanks for sharing your M A G I C. Cheers from me DownUnder.
Chris Thiessen says
Five stars as usual! The mantel display is stunning. I was so happy to hear about using WiltPruf on the greenery. I use cedar boughs and other greenery for my four window boxes on the front of the house, along with dried hydrangea flowers and other ornamentals. I will get some WiltPruf and use on my greenery there to see if it lasts longer.
Thank you for a wonderful “how-to” video!
P.S. I have a Meyer lemon tree with several ripe lemons. I am going to serve your French Lemon Tart over the holidays!
Such a simple, yet beautiful display. I would never have thought of using fruit for a Christmas display, bit it is s colorful and all natural. The pineapple is the best part.
Barbara Mullinix says
So glad I watched this – thank you, Kevin
Julie R says
Kevin, your video of Decorating the Mantel gave me such inspiration to decorate my own mantel. Yours’s looks so nice with the different colored fruit and greens on it. I love how it all came from nature and looks so beautiful. Thanks for the tip about spraying the greens.
Merry Christmas to you and Mr Fox and to everyone = )
Casey C says
Lovely, practical, and delicious mantel décor — thanks for the ‘how to’ video!
Karen at Country Gardens says
Love your site and have shared with friends
Janet Metzger says
Thanks for the step-by-step instructions on tying the swags. Will try your method out this weekend!
Happy New Year,
Nancy dickson says
We moved into a house with a heat-i-later – a vent at the back of the fire box drew hot air up and vented it out at the back of the mantle. I decorated the mantle with greens, etc. as normal and a few days later, we lit the fire. . . the smell of burning greens soon filled the living room. We could not figure out where it was coming from at first – maybe a neighbor burning brush? – but soon we realized the heat was enough to set the mantle greens on fire! Soon extinguished, leaving us with the dilemma – decorate or enjoy a fire?
Joan L. Higgins says
Thank you for all you do to make our lives better. The world could use more souls like you.
John in MN says
Love it, Kevin. Nothing beats fresh greens and decorations. I sometimes brush the fruit with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar, for a little sparkle. Sugared fruit also looks great in a compote or bowl for an easy centerpiece. Merry Christmas!
Beautiful display. I would have to do this just before company becaue the fruit would get eaten as the days passed by.
Nancy E. says
The mantle decoration is absolutely beautiful and gives us a glimpse of our colonial heritage. Ideas from others also add to the possibilities. Thank you for adding to the holiday season.
Valerie H says
***Gorgeous*** Kevin….excellent video…looks stunning! Cheers, Valerie 🙂
Judy McCarrel says
I love your videos! I enjoy all of your posts of decorating, cooking, and sharing pictures of your home. You are the best!
Sharon W says
Hi ho Kevin! What a delightful mantelpiece inspiration……I joined the 70’s plus this year and decided putting up the Christmas tree, moving furniture and decorating was just a bit too much for me — sooo sad. But then, viola! I saw your lovely mantle video……and INSPIRATION made my heart sing. Beginning in 2018 I will follow your basic mantel idea AND use a few of my very special treasured ornaments nestled here and there in the greens (I might include a few apples, oranges, nuts as a reminder of our Christmas stockings.). I will think of you each year as my new Memory Mantel takes shape.
May your life be filled with the joy and pleasure you spread to others….HO HO HO,
Sharon J. says
A few small oranges or lemons pierced with cloves and tucked into the greens adds a nice scent to the room.
Betty in Arlington says
Your mantel is beautiful and different. I will decorate my mantel with a village of lighted houses and a few little people. Merry Christmas!
Karen at Country Gardens of Oley Valley says
Looks beautiful. wish I had a mantle.
Kevin, Beautiful and your instructions make it all so simple. Sweet! Many blessings for a lovely holiday to you and yours and all your readers! Your the best…
linda hulsey says
that is just so beautiful Kevin thanks for showing us how to do the greens and a focal point as we can see it very important i love all the fruit the colors are awesome i have some huge pine cones we picked up from the california mountains which will look just awesome among the fruit also smaller ones from the grounds cant wait to try this have to buy the spray to keep the greens fresh
Cindy Nelson says
A lovely, sumptuous scene. Makes me want to melt right in. Thank You.Cerise
Liliana West says
So lovely! I will do up my mantle like this this year!
Merry Christmas to you and yours, Kevin! I’m still digging in boxes for my decorations, but there’s still time, lol!
Carol R. says
So lovely, practical, and historically true. Could you please feature your tree and other holiday vignettes you create? I need more inspiration for my own historic home!
Do be careful with a fire going!
Love this and I’m going to try it! I love that the whole thing is either edible or compostable. Thank you for sharing!
Inspired!!!! Thank you for ‘no wilt’ tip!!! Would love to see Decorate the Tree Video next year!!! Thank you so very much for inviting each of us into your home and life! Wishing you all the best!
Allison Proffitt says
Beautiful! Reminds me of Colonial Williamsburg!
Beautiful and classic! A trick I use to keep greens fresh and weighted on the mantel is to sharpen the cut end of pine, cypress, magnolia and insert it into a potato which has been slightly punctured ( I use a kebab skewer). This seems to give me 2-3 weeks of freshness. Bringing beautiful nature in seems especially important this year. Wishing you a healthy and grateful Christmas season, Kevin.
Diane C says
Lovely display! Happy birthday and have a blessed Christmas! Hope your foot is on the mend.
Beautiful mantle. Simple yet elegant. Wishing you and Mr Fox a Merry Christmas. Happy birthday!
Lovely, Kevin! A very happy birthday to you! Stay safe at your party.
Ellie Bullock says
We have an old farmhouse but they took out the fire place. I do have an area on my book shelf so I am thinking about doing something there. I will use some of your ideas. Thanks so much!
Happy birthday!! I wish you many healthy and happy more years.
Beautiful, Kevin. Such a treat for your guests. Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends. xoxo
Roberta Adams says
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kevin!!
Best wishes for a healthy, happy
Blessed year ahead.
Kevin, that is absolutely stunning. I’ll have to try that. Thank you so much. Do guests ever eat the fruit? Susan
bev miller says
Always classic!!! Love this!!
Unlike Phelps and Williams, your talents will last a lifetime!
Question: How do you keep your cats off the display?
Sandy Martinez says
And is so easy to arrange.
Do you string popcorn and cranberries?
Merry Christmas to you and to Mr. Fox. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Just watched your video and was so inspired. You are very creative. Thank you for all your suggestions. Wishing you and Mr. Fox a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year. Please play the piano soon, I love hearing you.
I look forward to your email each and every week. I enjoy each and every one of them and have tried several recipes which were all a success with my family.
I wish you and Mr. Fox a beautiful, healthy and happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
After reading the comment above I too request that you play something on the piano.
(Are there no end to your talents??) (You amaze me).
Cheryl Baertl says
Absolutely gorgeous! It has inspired me. I always forage in my garden (and my mother-in-law’s) to find things to create Christmas planters for my front entrance and deck. My mother-in-law lives on an acreage and it’s very dark, so I add tiny twinkling lights to her planters and hanging basket displays. The real stuff looks so nice and lasts well into the New Year as I keep the soil in some of my summer planters and stick the boughs and twigs into the soil. It keeps everything in place and keeps it fresh. Merry Christmas. Hope Santa is good to you!