This blog post is written in partnership with and sponsored by Big Lots.
Tis the season to deck the halls! I am a total sucker for fun and colorful, yet tasteful Christmas decor. Adding fun holiday themed pieces is easily one of my favorite parts about this time of year. We always try to add in a few new pieces with old favorites, and this year I really wanted to have some pops of red, to really amp up the wintery holiday feel. With the help of my boys, we put together a really fun red, rustic Christmas mantel that I think turned out great!
However, our festive Christmas mantel is a little different this year. With our very sudden, big move, we have had to move into temporary housing. Now, this is not ideal for my favorite decorating time of year. Normally, that means no nails and very little personality. Okay, so not really. Because actually, creating a budget friendly holiday mantel layout is super easy – even in a temporary / rental situation!
Creating a budget friendly red rustic Christmas mantel
Decorating your mantel in a rental for the holidays comes with a few difficulties. Especially in a temporary situation like ours, we aren’t allowed to make any physical changes to the apartment. And, because, basically all of our possessions are in storage, we have none of our holiday decorations with us. So, we need a quick and easy one stop shop that offers everything I need to decorate with. My local Big Lots has quite literally everything I could need to spread holiday joy, and more.
I’m a sucker for all the plaids, and the second I saw the buffalo check deer with grey scarf, it went into my cart. And for $20, I added a second one too. As much as I love to go overboard with all things holiday and winter wonderland-esque, minimalism is something I’m working more towards. So, all my pieces that I buy need to be purposeful. Keeping that in mind, plus the fact that the mantel is a definitely focal point of the room, I wanted to keep things simple yet impactful.
Choosing a theme
This home is super mid-century modern, so I don’t want to go overboard with the rustic elements or be too froufrou with embellishments. Because a countryside Christmas theme just tugs at my heartstrings, these deer are the perfect starting point. With the huge selection of holiday decor at Big Lots, I had access to any theme or color I could imagine. Their holiday lantern options are quintessentially enchanting and I was in hog heaven.
Buffalo plaid deer and Winter Wonder Lane Lighted Red Decorative Holiday LED Lanterns placed in my cart, and I instantly knew what else I needed. Twinkling, heart-warming, holiday lighting. I dare you to glimpse at a mantel, adorned with flickering lights and not instantly start to feel the holiday spirit. It’s impossible.
Candles evoke that warm-hearted holiday feel.
And with the Birch Wood Votive Candle Holder that I picked up from Big Lots’ Rustic Cottage Collection, the fall down my holiday candle decor rabbit hole begun. I probably spent almost an hour just looking through all the Christmas candles and candleholders. Thank goodness for husbands who are willing to spend multiple hours shopping for holiday decor with two restless toddlers! Thanks to him corralling the two little dudes and distracting them in the toy aisle, I got to ooh and ahh over votives, candelabras, scented candles and more.
I love how versatile the molded pinecone candles are – they’ll be great around the table for Thanksgiving, but are also perfect for Christmas. And when my eyes landed on the tree candles I may have let out an audible squeal.
Then came time for the quintessential holiday decoration – a Christmas wreath.
I browsed through and selected a few favorites. I couldn’t decide on whether to go super rustic with an antler adorned wreath? Or maybe a gorgeous rustic twig and berry wreath? Or how about a classic (and versatile) pinecone and berry greenery wreath?
OR, how crazy would it be to think outside of the box? What if instead of a traditional wreath I went with something a little more versatile in the long term? Like this round hanging mirror! I love the way that it plays on the round shape, like a wreath, yet it offers more longevity of use. Plus, the way it makes the candles extra twinkly is just magical.
Once the holidays are over, this $20 mirror can still happily live over the fireplace and will still be perfect for any type of holiday or everyday mantel decor. It’s lightweight enough I can hang it without adding a hole in the wall, and I really like the depth it adds.
No Christmas mantel is complete without some greenery.
And how perfect is this Glitter Pinecone Garland from Big Lot’s Winter Wonder Lane collection? I am slightly obsessed with the sparkle it gives the room. Because of the huge window in our living room, the natural light we get in here is amazing. The sun hits the glitter garland and just gives such a happy feeling to the room. My favorite though is at night, when the candles are on and lit. Hygge through and through! The light glimmers and it’s just more and more magical. And it was only $10!
The big kahuna, big mama, big ticket item we went with to make our rental feel more like home was a Christmas tree! I let my boys and husband help me make this decision, and it was unanimous. Choosing the right Christmas tree is a big deal. This is the main anchor in the room that signifies the holiday season! And by going the faux route, it’s going to make life a lot easier. No pine needles to constantly vacuum and sweep up. No having to worry about the kids playing in the water basin. And no worry of bugs! A little tip – I like to diffuse a little Douglas fir essential oil to get the best of both worlds. Plus, the pre-lit 7.5′ Breckenridge Deluxe Cashmere tree checks off more boxes on my to do list and saves me time.
This mama runs on bargains (and caffeine), and Big Lots is my (not so anymore) secret spot for home decor.
From everyday deals to affordable holiday decorations, Big Lots is a one stop shop. Being on a budget around the holidays isn’t always easy, so it’s great to find ways to make a stressful temporary living situation feel more like home.
Do you have any tips to make a rental feel more like home during the holidays?