Creative Ways To Decorate Your Mantel For Valentine's Day

When you think about Christmas decorating, the mantel usually comes to mind. Since you're already hanging up your stockings by the chimney with care, it's fun to add a swag of pine boughs or some snowflake ornaments to top it off. But why stop at December? As The Spruce points out, the fireplace is such a focal point in the living room, den, or bedroom that it seems a shame to let it go bare when it can be used for other holidays. 

Valentine's Day, for instance, is a perfect opportunity to deck out the mantel with flowers, hearts, and anything else that signifies love and romance. With a minimum of time and fuss — plus a trip or two to your local dollar store or craft emporium — you can come up with a festive display without breaking your budget. Don't have a fireplace? No worries! A wall shelf will do just fine. We've come up with a long list of ideas you can use as inspiration for your own décor choices.

Hanging hearts

The display here, which is from a restaurant, is about as easy as it comes: Long heart garlands are suspended vertically just past the edge of the mantel for a striking curtain-like effect. Just make sure to hang the strands at a safe distance from the hearth if you plan to light a fire. You could also opt to put vases at either end of the shelf, but this arrangement is already attractive enough without any extra embellishments. 

Candelabras are a perfect match

An antique-style silver candelabra is the focus of this romantic arrangement. To avoid distracting from the beauty of the piece, keep the other decorations symmetrical, as seen in this balance of candles and hearts on either side. Using pillar candles in varied sizes creates a pleasing appearance. However, when you're using candles on top of a mantel, it's best to keep them unlit, as seen here, to avoid a fire hazard. If you want to create light on top of the mantel, use jar candles, votives, or electric lights, recommends Environmental Chimney Service.

Keep it neutral

If you're lucky enough to have an ornate fireplace like the one seen here, there's clearly no shortage of romance in your home. Instead of covering up the existing scrollwork carvings with garlands and hangings, leave them as is and add just a few neutral accents to the mantel. The wooden hearts in the frame and the lavender roses nestled among the white bouquet create a pop of color that calls attention to the fireplace without dominating the room.

Go goth

Are you more of a "Wednesday" person than a Hallmark movie binge-watcher? Then go for a goth look for your fireplace. The ferns and fringe add to the darker atmosphere, as do the clusters of hurricane-lantern candles on the mantle and in the fireplace. Keep the lights low for full effect. The decorator here used deep pink and red roses, but black roses would be even more effective here. Apartment Therapy notes that using candles in holders is safer than a traditional wood fire. Plus, it reduces smoke and soot, and there's no messy ash to clean up afterward.

Use rustic charm

The great thing about decorating for Valentine's Day is that you're not limited to using frills and fluff. This wooden fireplace mantel calls for a more rustic touch, such as the industrial lightbulbs and chalkboard heart garland shown here. For the top of the shelf, a mason jar of wildflowers or sunflowers would go nicely. Or, if you opt for candles, use the old-fashioned holders with handles. This display also features balloons, but it would look just as sweet without them.

Teddy bears are always the right choice

Just like your true love, teddy bears are cute, cuddly, and always ready to support you after a bad day. Make your mantel statement with teddy bears: a single one holding a heart, a pairing like the one here, or your entire bear collection if you like. Not into teddies? Go with the plush animal of your choice: monkeys, cats, dogs, unicorns, or even huggable stuffed axolotls. You could also nestle the animals into a swag of greenery to suggest an outdoor environment.

Include a heart tree

Still haven't taken down your Christmas tree? Instead of beating yourself up for procrastinating, make it a part of your V-Day mantelcore aesthetic by replacing the Santas and snowmen with hearts of all shapes and sizes. Here, as shown by Insta influencer Sierra Miller, the theme carries over to the mantel, which uses the same red and pink shades in the signage and garlands. Now you can pat yourself on the back for your cleverness in repurposing your stately pine. "I decided to give it a go, and I'm obsessed with how it turned out!" Miller says.

Use balloons for extra fun

Balloons are popping up everywhere (so to speak) in the form of elaborate party arches, centerpieces, and gender reveals like the one Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth recently had. (Guests popped a board full of balloons, each of which contained either pink or blue powder. The colors were tallied, and blue won.) For Valentine's Day, you can make balloons the highlight of your fireplace décor. Here, as styled by Hangin With Haley, a single "Love" balloon hangs above the row of vases, while more balloons spill merrily out of the fireplace itself.

Frame your love

Signage is an increasingly popular option for both indoor and outdoor decorating. Just do a quick search under "trending signs" on Etsy, and you'll see what we mean. With that in mind, pick up a few holiday-appropriate frames for your Valentine's mantel. They don't all have to be blatantly Cupid-themed; here, a traditional hearts-and-love sign is paired with a red-and-white plaid and a red pompom garland. The signs here were made by the mother-daughter duo that runs The Handmade Sign Company, but you could try your hand at creating your own signage with pieces from a craft store.

Have fun with fabric

If your aesthetic is homey and handcrafted, then take your decorating cue from this arrangement. The hearts are all miniature stuffed pillows, and the banner is embroidered cloth. They look especially striking against this dark fireplace. You can pick up a similar set from the many crafters on Etsy (this one comes from Etsy store Treeific Creations) or try your hand at creating some yourself. This YouTube tutorial explains how to sew adorable felt heart "lollipops" using cloth scraps and a basic blanket stitch.

Include topiaries with your hearts

Red and green may be more commonly associated with Christmas, but they can also match well for Valentine's Day when the green takes the form of mini topiaries like the ones seen here from Deevine Home Creations, who styled this pretty mantel. The framed greenery heart in the center continues the theme, and the white accents in the banner, pots, and cloth keep the display from looking too Yuletide-y. The Spruce recommends that mantel decorations complement one another either "in color, style, or theme," and this arrangement certainly fits the bill.

Mix hearts with existing decorations

The only thing that directly says "Valentine's Day" in this display is the layered heart and tassel garlands above the hearth from The Collective Hearth. Creator Emily said she was looking for a "cozy" look. The mantel itself takes a subtler approach with warm homey items such as brass candlesticks, small white pillar candles, neutral-colored flowers, and miniature houses. A stone fireplace like this one works well with the softer color scheme of rose and white.

Go for a candy heart theme

Valentine's Day can be playful as well as gushily romantic. If you're the one who always buys an extra box of candy hearts for yourself when you shop for your child's classroom, then you'll adore this rainbow-bright assortment of trimmings from Kailo Chic. Best of all: These candies are dentist-approved and have no calories. Keep the rest of your décor in mind when you trim your mantel. A setup like this calls for a rainbow heart on the front door and perhaps some real candy hearts displayed in an apothecary jar.

Mirror, mirror

Putting a mirror above your mantel not only commands attention, but it can also enhance whatever decorations you put on the shelf itself, per Soul and Lane. You don't need to clutter the mantel with knickknacks since the mirror naturally duplicates whatever you put in front of it. Here, as shown by Kari of Our Fig Tree Cottage, a sign, a small wreath, and a single oversized bloom convey the holiday message. Are you in the market for a mantel mirror? Follow the advice of experts who spoke to The Spruce: Choose one with a width about two-thirds the size of the mantel, and hang it 4 to 6 inches above the mantel for best effect.

Let your fireplace do the talking

Do you have a showpiece fireplace like this one by Teal Door Designs10? Then less is more when you're looking to trim it for February 14. Overdecorating a mantel like this with tons of figurines and vases would take away from the gorgeous deep blue tiles framing the hearth seen here. Two small banners in neutral shades of sand and cream are all that is needed to create the mood. However, we could also envision adding one or two small vases with a single red or white rose in each. 

Banner up

For a wide fireplace like this one, you have an advantage: You can lay on more than one banner without overpowering the mantel. The three-layered heart banners offer a necklace-like look to the shelf. Tanya of the Instagram page Cottage by the Creek enjoys switching up the look yearly; her 2021 mantel design eliminated the banners entirely and focused on the shelf, using a bit of greenery, red candles in silver holders, and different-sized red Valentine's Day signs. Both looks are winners in our book.

Gnome is where the heart is

Just as with Christmas trees, gnomes are proving to be versatile enough to use at other times of the year. According to PureWow, decorative gnomes began gaining popularity around 2017 as part of the farmhouse trend and grew to symbolize the cozy hygge sensibility that emerged when the COVID-19 pandemic re-acquainted us with our homes. If you're inspired to add gnomes to your Valentine's Day mantel like Blessed Nesting did here, your other pieces should be as unfussy as they are. Earth tones, deep reds, and wood or faux-wood finishes are called for here.

Beads and bows make a statement

Everything about this mantel arrangement from The Grand Ole Lady oozes old-fashioned romance. Strings of ribbons and beads become a beautiful accent when arranged to become a loop-and-bow swag. "Ribbon is a simple & inexpensive component that can really make a statement," says Instagrammer Sarah Anne. A box of peach roses, which symbolize "sincerity, innocent affection, care, gratitude, and warm feelings," per Glam Fleur, are mingled with small white calla lilies, which represent innocence and purity, according to HGTV. Miniature lights are tucked in among the flowers' greenery to enhance the loving mood.

Dress up a vase

A small mantel like this one from Insta user My Pink Details looks just as good with a few larger decorations as it does with a batch of miniatures. Here, a vase gets a simple makeover with the addition of a string of chunky pink and white beads. Note the varying sizes of all the objects; this kind of contrast is more aesthetically pleasing than a uniform height, according to blogger Darci Lou. This setup includes tulips, but if fresh blooms are too expensive this time of year, realistic-looking artificial ones will do just as well.

Crazy for Cupid

In ancient Roman mythology, Cupid was the son of Mercury and Venus and the god of love, according to Britannica. One zing from his magic arrows was all that was needed to make his target fall in love instantly. Although we rely more on dating apps to find our mates these days, Cupid is still a popular image in Valentine's Day displays. Vintage decorator Misty Butcher of La Petite Maison uses him to great effect here. A large plaster Cupid hangs from the mantel, while a vintage-style postcard sign featuring the famous cherub graces the top.

You can't go wrong with pompoms

Pompoms aren't just for sweaters and kids' crafts. They're a popular style for garlands, particularly Valentine's-themed ones like the one here. Just a couple of pieces of tape are all that's needed to set the string in place for an instant holiday look. Apricot Polka Dot explains, "Even though some of the pompoms look like they are the same colors, they are all different!" Once again, symmetry combines with contrast on top of the mantel; note the varying sizes and heights of plants, vases, and knick-knacks on either side. 

Think beyond red and pink

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to decorating for Valentine's Day. For instance, where is it written that you have to drown your home in every shade of pink to make it holiday-appropriate? This mantel from Coastal Girl Living gets the message across just fine with a very nontraditional natural theme. Everything from the pale green glass vase on the shelf to the wood-finish "XOXO" banner offers a clean and earthy contrast to the usual frills. Love really is all you need on this holiday.

Dreaming of a white Valentine's Day

If you're one of the lucky few who can both create a white-themed room and keep it clean, our hats are off to you. You're also fortunate enough to pull off this elegant fireplace décor, which perfectly plays off the white and gold surroundings. The mantel is covered with an arrangement of white tinsel, gold pinecones, hearts and lights, along with the central gold-framed mirror. This room also features a Valentine's-themed tree. Insta user Designs by Ceres says her daughters call it a "wishing tree."

Try a Valloween theme

There's a Valentine theme for every taste — including one for decorators who live for spooky season. Among them is Instagram store The Glass Manor. Pictured here are just a few of the Halloween/Valentine mash-up items you can use to grace your mantel. (There's even a name for this trend: "Valloween.") To get the full effect, you could drape your mantel in a black lace shawl and attach red hearts to it. Or haunt your local craft store for unpainted wooden hearts you can use to add messages like "Be My Boo," "Love Bites," and "Ghoul Friend."

Say hello

This pretty display actually did have us at hello. It has all the requisite elements of a great Valentine's Day arrangement. Eye-catching layered banners across the mantel? Check. A variety of flowers? Check. Candles? Check. A nicely centered mirror? Check. Signage? Check and check. User Kimberly Shadoff keeps the big "hello" sign up almost all year round, as seen on her home décor page. Adding a Valentine's-themed "hello" sign for the season makes the look even friendlier.

Less can be more

This simple but effective mantel can genuinely be called cottagecore; the White Cottage Company YouTube channel is hosted by Mary Yoder, a crafter and Etsy seller who also rents out two cottages. Yoder took two existing framed signs, used spray paint to cover the designs, then added her own simple "Be Mine" message. A needle, string, card stock and small pompoms come together to make the banners. (We're also loving her "heart tree" in a pitcher that appears in her dining room.)

Keep hearts collected

If you belong to the fuss-free school of home design, this is the mantel decoration for you. YouTube influencer It's Lizzy literally just opened a bag of craft store foam hearts, poured them into a shallow farmhouse-style trencher (you can get a similar one on Amazon), and spread them out for an even effect. No tools, glue, or hooks needed! This is such an easy arrangement to make that you'll have time to fix up other areas of your home. (Lizzy's kitchen has a corner with a hanging heart and glass jars of candy too!)

Hearts don't have to be red

Keep the hearts, lose the red. This vintage Westmoreland glass plate would make a beautiful stand-alone on a fireplace mantel, or used as part of a set. Per Glass Encyclopedia, the Westmoreland Glass company saw its greatest success in the post-World War II years, but eventually shuttered in the early 1980s. You can find Westmoreland glass products for resale on Etsy or eBay, or do some browsing at local thrift stores and estate sales. 

Make it super sweet

What would Valentine's Day be without candy? Celebrate the sweetness of the holiday in a most literal way by featuring it in your mantel display. As seen here from 12Timbers, red gummies and candy hearts stored in glass jars make an eye-catching arrangement. Wooden message heart tags add to the appeal; a red plaid bow tied around the bottom of the jars would also work. Of course, other types of candy can be subbed in. If you need to eat all the non-red M&Ms till you have enough for your jar, we won't judge.

Cathedrals can provide inspiration

This design from TikToker Jordan Reed would work equally well on a fireplace mantel as on the decorative shelf seen here. The cathedral-inspired hangings atop the mantel and along either side lend an air of dignified beauty to the display, which is then softened by the bright heart garland below. Reed's display also features small faux topiary greens placed on top of pedestal candleholders. She bought all her décor at Etsy and at craft and home stores.

Keep it simple

Maybe you're just trying your hand at trimming a mantel, or maybe you prefer a minimalist look. Either way, you can't go wrong with an approach like the one taken here by Instagram user Joy Wilkerson. "I am not super huge in all the little holiday decorating... but thought I would give a small effort this year," she explains. Wilkerson used just one beaded heart strand, which her sister-in-law sells on Etsy, and left her other mantel decorations as they were. We especially love those Russian nesting dolls!

Draping hearts

This "Be Mine" mantel comes courtesy of TikTok user TaterTotsandJello. She works with the simple white boxy nature of her fireplace by hanging a triple layer of heart garlands from the mantel, then adding vertical strings of red hearts above. She keeps things interesting on the mantel itself with the combo of two large message signs and an assortment of vases in a shade of pink that complements the garlands. Keeping the color scheme is key to making this style work.

Smaller can be better

A small fireplace mantel or shelf can be used to display a collection of miniature seasonal items, as Ashley N Morgan did in 2021. This adorable arrangement incorporates most of the trendy Valentine's Day symbols: cozy little houses, wee bud vases, a candy dispenser, a truck hauling hearts, and even (yes!) a tiny pink-capped gnome. Morgan didn't have to look far for her objets d'art: Dollar General, Target, and T.J. Maxx are her go-tos for much of her holiday decorating needs.

A heart-felt tree idea

The "Valentine's tree" idea works well in miniature form, as well. The ones shown here from Griffin Furniture's Insta page are simple DIY projects using materials such as felt, card stock, and a bamboo skewer. Fleece Fun shows how to make a felt tree like the taller one (you'll need a Cricut if you can't find pre-cut hearts). The red tree could be duplicated using a strand of red tinsel, a cone-shaped piece of craft foam, and hot glue.

Keep family in the picture

What makes this mantel look so special? It's not the puffy garland, the pompom-filled gum dispenser, or the jar of candy hearts. It's not the sweet pair of "Love" signs. Nope — it's the family photos displayed along with the holiday trimmings. Whatever you decide to use to decorate your mantel, make sure it's a reflection of you, your style, and your life. Using favorite pictures is a good reminder of the "reason for the season." Hooks Books Wanderlust explains that she began decorating for Valentine's Day when her oldest son was a toddler. "Fast forward 10 years and he couldn't care less about decorating for Valentine's Day, but his brother still likes it, so I still do it, because who can't use a little more love in their day?" she writes.

Get crafty with paper

Hit your craft or office supply store for patterned card stock (the more variety, the better!) to make these pretty hanging hearts. As seen here on Karina's Scrap Space Insta page, the how-to includes cutting out three differing size lengths of thin strips, stapling them at the top in size order, folding them into heart shapes, then stapling them together at the bottom. In no time, you'll have enough to hang all along your mantel. Pair them with a pompom banner, add some heart figurines or signs on the shelf, and you'll be Insta-ready too.

Use your kitchen for inspiration

Jessica Giffin's YouTube channel offers Valentine's Day DIY inspiration for every room in the house. One particularly clever idea is the one seen here, which would look just as good on a mantel as on a table. Gather three or four wooden rolling pins (check your kitchen or thrift store), preferably ones with pink or red handles. Arrange them in a tray or trencher, and cover half of them with colorful pompoms. This would be a perfect fit for a kitchen-themed mantel including Valentine's coffee mugs, cookie cutters, and heart-shaped muffin tins.

Go farmhouse chic

Another rustic mantel look we're adoring comes courtesy of Instagram user Jennifer Little of The Little Farmhouse. Rather than fighting the natural beauty of her wooden mantel and stone fireplace face, she accentuates it with stoneware vases and twigs. A vintage lattice basket takes center stage, and a large white textured heart in the center is all that's needed to convey the Valentine's theme. Truthfully, it works so well that it could be left up all year long!

Just-right black and white

Black and white are anything but basic in this super-stylish arrangement. Instagram member Paddy (queenbie78) created this look using dollar-store hearts spray-painted black. "The framed letters I printed out on my computer," she explains. "I don't usually decorate my home for Valentine's, but this was a fun, inexpensive project." If you don't usually put up holiday decorations either, this might just inspire you to change your ways. You could also add these touches to a "Valloween" mantel theme, if you're the spooky sort.

Use Disney magic

If you own yearly passes to Walt Disney World and have "It's a Small World" as your cell ringtone, then we don't need to tell you how to decorate your mantel for Valentine's Day. Luckily, Disney has been making holiday merch for eons, which you can find on their website or through garage sales, eBay, and fellow collectors. Mickey and Minnie Mouse-themed items are especially popular, which makes sense when you realize how long those two have been dating. An arrangement of figurines and/or kitchenware makes a logical mantel showpiece. Insta user Our Disney Family Life used this assortment for a shelf display.

Go big with garlands

Watch as TikToker ChicLikeMaci takes a base of green pine garland and romances it up in grand style. Wire ribbon, oversized bows, candy heart stakes, foil pompoms, and other easy-to-find trimmings are added one by one until the entire mantel is overflowing with Valentine's cheer. A large ornate frame takes the place of the traditional mantel mirror, the better to show off yet another heart inside. With a mantel topper like that and a striking fireplace screen underneath, there was no need to add on another banner. "Beautiful work!" raved a follower.

Mais oui!

Create Make Decorate's Valentine TikTok shows off her French country-inspired mantel. Instead of hearts and flowers, Baroque cupids, mini topiaries, a leafy base, and lantern sconces set the tone. Angel-wing artwork echoes the cherub figurines, and a string of flashing lights brightens the greens along the shelf. The same influencer also put together a more traditional Valentine's mantel design using DIY yarn and felt trees, a fabric heart garland, and an assortment complementary themed signs, including — you guessed it! — a set of Valentine's gnome pictures.

Driven to romance

To achieve a loving but not fussy aesthetic, TikToker Petite Mama With Coffee combined white pillar candles, a white tinsel garland (they're not just for Christmas, y'know!), and carefully chosen accents such as small light-up heart signs and a heart-toting "Loads of Love" truck. Keep the rest of your home décor in mind when you select your Valentine's Day pieces. This look is great for a minimalist home and fireplace, but it might not work as well if the rest of your house is totally westerncore.

Be a balloon-atic

Here's another balloon-themed mantel with a playful flair. Like the fireplace previously shown, TikTok user Steffybird filled hers with pink, purple, and red balloons spilling out over the hearth. (Let's hope no one stepped on them!) But the real star is the clever balloon heart above the mantel. Stephanie wisely chose to keep the rest of the shelf understated with a few classic brass accessories: a vase on one end and candlesticks on the other. "I love Valentine's Day, don't you?" she writes. 

Go green

While green boughs are more often associated with the Yuletide season, they work just as well for a Valentine's Day display with the addition of candy-heart accents, a red ribbon for color, and a couple of romance-themed signs. The greenery makes a nice contrast to this white fireplace displayed by Insta user House on Louise Meadow, but a wood or stone background would be equally suited to this particular style. Boise-based shop 12Timbers is the place to find the ornaments seen here.

Say it with mirrors

"Soft and Romantic Mantel Refresh" is how TikToker Simply Styled Life describes this look, and we couldn't have said it better ourselves. She allowed three overlapping mirrors to take the lead here, adding only the simplest of accents: a low potted plant (she chose this over a miniature tree) and two gently glowing candles. And not a heart or a gnome anywhere in sight. For the best effect when layering mirrors, Thou Swell recommends setting the larger mirror in the rear, then leaning the second one in front. It's also better to put a fancier mirror in front of a plainer one. 

Tulle time

When you already have an interesting focal point on or near your fireplace, try working with it, rather than taking it down. That's what TikTok user Leopard Farm House did with the cow skull over her mantel. Using a roll of ribbon and a zip tie, she created a "big, 80s-esque, tulle prom-my bow" for the showpiece. Inexpensive pompom and heart garlands from Walmart and Hobby Lobby, plus a string of mini lights, completed the look. "It's a little more decorated than I originally intended, but I'm really happy with it," she said. 

Spray away

To create this attractive arrangement, Clean in Vogue took bunches of dried hydrangeas and spray-painted them pink and silver before arranging them on her mantel. (She wisely did her spraying outside to keep both smelly fumes and mess to a minimum. If you try this, take a cue from her and spread a protective tarp over the ground first.) Using an understated white and gold heart garland adds an accent without pulling focus from the posies. Any dried flower sturdy enough to hold its shape would also work; how about roses or baby's breath?

Colorful candles

If you haven't been sold on mirrors for the mantel already, this may convince you: Here, a large mirror provides a perfect backdrop to an arrangement of fuchsia, pink, and purple candles set in gold holders. A small drape over the mirror, a modest vase of blooms, and a beaded garland finishes the look. Have a faux fireplace? It may not keep you warm, but it makes a great frame for a set of Valentine-inspired throw pillows that complement the mantel. TikTok creator Sierra Miller credits Home Goods with many of the materials.

A heart as big as all outdoors

In this striking arrangement, the focus here is not on the fireplace mantel, but on the wall above, where a rustic wooden heart takes center stage. The cloth and pompom banners on the shelf act as an underline accent. Instagram user 12timbers explains that fellow user sharee.designs made both the heart and the miniature houses using scrap wood cut to the desired sizes and shapes, proving yet again that great style doesn't have to cost a fortune.

Extending Christmas spirit

Most people strip their homes of Christmas décor by early January; TikToker Whitney Jewel believes in repurposing it to last through at least one more holiday. To prep her mantel for February, "I literally used the greenery from this holiday season and just added some pretty Valentine's Day garland pieces to it!" she writes. To add extra sparkle, Jewel wove in some inexpensive string lights and topped off the display with a Valentine's Day sign she picked up at Dollar Tree

Go big or go home

Not into subtlety when it comes to fireplace décor? We hear you — and so does holidaybaubleswreath2u. As she suggests, "Show your fireplace mantel some LOVE" with oversized hearts: four on top and four below. (We're loving the black-and-white-striped pair.) A plain green garland frames the bottom hearts nicely, centered with a smaller pink heart for contrast. Since her flat screen is directly above the fireplace, putting the focus on the mantel and hearth makes perfect sense. "My inspiration for this year coming up!" raved one of her followers. 

Print charming

"STOPPP SO CUTE" and variations thereof are the reactions Kristin Nicole Miller is getting on TikTok for her Valentine's Day efforts. She confesses that this is her first try at a February 14 theme, and that she "didn't go overboard because I'm so burnt out from Christmas." But she succeeded, thanks to her decision to use a giant heart-themed print as her backdrop. Ceramic houses, slender candles, tiny string lights, and fabric garlands complete the look, which is indeed cute without being too gooey.

Super fun, super cheap

Proving that inexpensive style can actually look luxe, TikTok user Sarena Taff designed her entire mantel using only products from Dollar Tree: heart garland, tinsel strands, and of course, plenty of signage. (We're not sure whether the pedestal candleholders are also Dollar Tree finds, but the store does stock a variety of candles and holders.) All told, it looks as though Taff spent less than $20 on her attractive array; she can use the change to stock up on St. Patrick's Day knickknacks.

Love in bloom

It doesn't get much more romantic than this. KrystalClearDIY decked out a white fireplace with vases of oversized roses and peonies, dusty rose candles in brass holders to match the brass-framed mirror, and fabric heart garlands, one with fringed accents. All that's missing is the champagne and chocolates to set the perfect Valentine's eve mood. With a monochromatic room like this (even the box of the nonfunctional fireplace is white), a few touches of one accent color are enough to make the room pop.

A no-hassle tassel

With a bit of imagination and some easy-to-find craft store materials, TikTok creator Nubia of nobxo11 fashioned a mantel garland using rope, tassels, and wooden beads. The result: a display that lends a nautical flair to the shiplap wall around her fireplace. It makes a nice change from the endless string of hearts. But to get the holiday message across, she also included a red-clad gnome. Her unfussy round mirror breaks the rules a bit when it comes to placement — it rests on the mantel itself, rather than hanging a few inches above — but in this case, it works.

Ooh, baby baby

Its scientific name is Gypsophila, according to Britannica, but we know it as baby's breath — and with its tiny white blossoms, that name is a better fit anyway. It's often used as a filler for floral arrangements and bridal bouquets, but there's no rule that says you can't use it on its own. TikToker Stephanie Hanna put baby's breath center stage on her mantel by painting the bunches a delicate pink and draping them over the shelf. A pink heart garland helps complete the look.

Teaching love

Mantel decorations look great even when they're not enhancing an actual fire. TikTok user hiphiphoorayforela is a middle-school teacher who set up a faux fireplace in her classroom for Christmas. Instead of taking it down in January, she simply removed the stockings, switched out the Yuletide garland and signage for love-themed ones, and called it a day. The gnome artwork was downloaded after a Google search. "I have them named after each of the teachers," she told a follower. 

Go basic with black

This dramatic look is further proof that black can be just as romantic as red. The "LOVE" letters here match the black mantel shelf, while the pink pillar candles add a pop of color to get the message across. The white picture frame was left empty here, but it could just as easily have been used to set off a print of black or pink hearts. To balance the other side of the shelf, we could easily envision another set of candles or a vase of white roses.

Purely romantic

For centuries, flowers have been used to send wordless messages to both current and would-be lovers. For instance, roses have different meanings depending on their color. White roses represent purity, innocence, and new beginnings, which is why they're a top choice in wedding bouquets (per Brides). If you're in a new relationship or want to show the world the eternal loyalty between you and your beloved, an arrangement of white roses is the way to go. An assortment of white pillar candles backs up the message.

Say it with tea

You probably already have everything you need in your home to set up a Valentine's Day display on your fireplace mantel or shelf, as Kristi Pierce Kelley did here in her Insta post. Before you run out to start a spending spree, take a look at your closets and cabinets. For instance, the silver tea set you inherited from your grandmother (or picked up at the thrift store) can be a charming addition to a holiday display. Here, heart-shaped cookie cutters, a sprig of baby's breath, and an arrangement of white candles inside the sugar bowl create a vintage February 14 atmosphere.

Pamper your mantel with pampas

Chelsea Hood of thehouseofhoodblog posted a TikTok video of her decorating efforts. Here, long sheaves of magenta pampas grass make an eye-catching addition to the mantel. Per Better Homes & Gardens, the plume-like pampas grass is a South American export that's both hardy and fast-growing (don't try planting it unless you want a yard full of feathery blooms). Hood also used an assortment of paper glitter hearts cut with her Cricut, gold candlesticks tied with pink ribbon, and small containers full of mini-mirror balls.

Use your noodle

Sometimes having just one mantel decoration makes more of an impact than a large assortment of smaller ones. Taylor of the taylorcrabb TikTok page made this magnificent mantel topper using artificial peonies and glitter hearts on stakes. She cut off the individual blooms from their long stems, then stuck them, along with the hearts, into a foam pool noodle. (The flowers and hearts were Dollar Tree finds, but Taylor had to look elsewhere for her base: "no pool noodles in Jan[uary]!") All told, this easy DIY cost less than $20 to put together.

Understated neutral style

The Till Vacuum Do Us Part YouTube channel offers suggestions for creating a neutral palette for Valentine's Day. "Maybe [pinks and reds] are just too bright and too colorful, but you still want the house festive for your kids," she explains in the video. She spray-painted some craft-store signs black (again, outdoors and using a flattened cardboard box as a base) to put around the house. For the fireplace mantel, she kept the black and white theme — "I just love layering a ton of signs and garland," she noted — using a white fringed heart garland and signs reading "Home" and "Love." The result: An understated style that still conveys the coziness of the holiday.

Wine time

For many of us, Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without sharing a glass of wine with someone special. So why not carry out that idea in your decorating, as well? TikTok user Leigh of thedavidsonhouse offers a quick tutorial on turning used wine bottles into Valentine's showpieces. Cover two empty glass wine bottles thoroughly with white Krylon spray paint. Once dry, decorate the bottles with red heart stickers and twine. Leigh then uses craft sticks and a mini-heart garland to connect the two bottles. Use a pair as the centerpiece of your mantel, or try an arrangement of four or more!

Climbing the walls

When you're decorating a fireplace mantel for Valentine's Day, don't limit yourself to the shelf itself. TikTok user Brittany Rice makes the most of her fireplace area by arranging a batch of pink and white paper hearts up one side of the wall to create a "climbing" effect. The asymmetry works, thanks to the evenness of the rest of her display: a vase with pampas grass opposite two pillar candles, a few plaques, and the ever-present swags of pompoms and hearts. 

A fresh take on fireplace banners

Thinking outside the box can produce amazing results — in this case, TikToker hannanaadams27 thought inside her refrigerator! She created an organic farmhouse look for her mantel with an antique window frame as the centerpiece. Clear glass vases, candlesticks, and a swag of greenery accented with felt hearts from Dollar Tree fill the shelf. But she took creativity up a notch with her banners. In addition to the traditional heart garland on the pane, she created a swag from orange slices for a fun and nature-inspired touch.

Just peachy

Using a dual-color theme is always a smart choice for decorating anywhere in your home, including your mantel. While combinations of pink, red, white, and purple are traditional for Valentine's Day, other shades can create an equally love-inspired atmosphere. Take this mantel from French Country Coastal, which uses a peach and green palette to reflect the vintage candlesticks and Cupid print. Take a closer look at the clever handcrafted banner: It was made from pages of a book!

Booking it

TikTok user Emilia Franco R calls this arrangement her "Mantel of Love." The little tweaks to the traditional decorations are what make it special: the draping pink ribbon around the tea-light candlesticks; the romance books stacked on the shelf; the two dramatic mirrors; the unique woman's-head vase, accentuated by the matching framed print; the tassel garland, and the string of yellow (not pink!) lights. Franco's dog doesn't look too impressed by the whole effect, but we certainly are.