I call this a mantle but it's really just a strange 'nook' in my living room wall. In keeping with my white and silver theme I used a curtain from the thrift store as the base and then just went at it! I included some of my Snow Babies collection. When my twin girls were born, my mom began buying me these each Christmas. Sadly, as her memory is fading, she stopped buying them but I have them for the first 16 years of my girls' lives.
At this end are included the candle holders I got for a few dollars at the thrift store. They got a coat of chalk paint and a dusting of ultra fine glitter. They're holding some giant pine cones I got for free! The little silver and glass candy dish and silver trays were also thrift store bargains.
You can see the reflection of these two hugging in the tarnished plate!
This porcelain church and the trees were from the thrift store for just a dollar each! I didn't do a thing to them -- they were perfect as is!
This year I discovered the battery-operated tea lights. . . I know they've been around for awhile! But being a candle-lover I always scoffed at the idea of "fake" candles. HOWEVER, they add the perfect glow to the mantle (you can't see them I know) but they're tucked in here and there. Real candles would of course send this all up in flames so I relent and concede, there IS a place for them after all!