How to Create a Christmas-Themed Gallery Above the Fireplace

Uncategorized Dec 16, 2020

Photo caption: Your fireplace mantel is already the focal point of the room. As such, it’s an excellent place for a holiday art gallery. Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay.

The space above your fireplace in your living room or den is a logical place for a Christmas-themed photo and painting gallery. For one thing, the fireplace is usually the focal point of any room it’s in. For another thing, a traditional fireplace often has a mantel and shelves flanking the sides of it. 

These shelf spaces, along with the wall space above the fireplace, give you plenty of places to place holiday knick knacks, as well as space to hang pictures. On a related note, it’s nice to sit and have fireside chats with friends and family on cold winter evenings. Making the space cozy and beautiful sets the stage for these holiday season chats.

It is with this in mind that we put together this instructional post on how to make a photo wall for the holidays.


Photo caption: Choosing images that fit the holiday theme, but that aren’t necessarily Christmas pictures allows you to keep the gallery up after the holidays.  Protector of the Promise Image courtesy of Elli Milan. 

1. Gather Photos, Paintings and Decorative Items

At this stage, you’re just planning. You might have some ideas about what you’d like to see on your photo wall, on the mantel and on nearby shelves. It’s good to consider everything you have.

For example, you may have a favorite painting you love to bring out each year, or some decorative elements, like berries and pine cones. These elements also add to the theme and add another sensorial element to the mix, particularly, if they are scented.

Additionally, it’s also a nice touch to add pictorial elements that fit the theme, but that aren’t necessarily Christmas or holiday specific. Doing this allows you to keep the gallery up longer if you choose to do so.

Finally, it’s equally helpful to be mindful of the fact that you may want to go overboard. Too many photos or paintings, even if they fit the theme, may make the space look busy. Choose only the ones that best suit your endeavors. Leave the rest for another part of the house or another holiday.

2. How to Make a Photo Wall: Study Different Photo Configurations

When you’re creating a photo wall for Christmas and other holidays, it’s helpful to map out the kind of picture gallery you’d like to have above your fireplace mantel. You can sketch out a gallery arrangement on a piece of paper to try out different configurations.

Or if you have a number of items that you’d like to put in the display, you may want to position all of the items on the floor in front of the fireplace to see them in context. To do this, you’ll want to measure the space above the mantel to see how many feet you have to work with. 

Once you know this, you can mark off the same amount of space on the floor and position your paintings within that space. This allows you to determine if everything you want in your display will fit.

If you need some additional help with this, you may want to use a template. Templates show you a number of different styles of gallery organization, and can be really helpful if you’re stumped for ideas.

Photo caption: The space above your mantel may only have enough room for one or two pictures and a few decorative elements. Image by BUMIPUTRA from Pixabay.

3. Making a Photo Wall for Christmas: Do Things in the Right Order

If you plan on having decorative items on the mantel below your photo/ picture gallery, you’ll need to place things in the right order. 

Here’s what we mean. If you position your decorative knick knacks on the mantel before you hang your artwork, you run the risk of knocking items off the mantel and potentially breaking them, because the frames could hit the items. 

It’s best to hang your holiday pictures up first, and then, place the other decorative items in your display after you hang the pictures. If you set up your display in this way, you run less risk of knocking things off your mantel or damaging your picture frames.

Photo caption: While your picture gallery will consist of your favorite holiday images, you can also add decorative elements to the fireplace mantel, too. Image by Mammiya from Pixabay.

Final Words on How to Make a Photo Wall for Christmas

Making a Christmas or holiday display above your fireplace mantel allows you to capitalize on this key architectural feature in your home. The fireplace is where people gather to chat, to warm themselves after a day in the cold and a place to reflect and reminisce. Adding a beautiful holiday display to the mix adds to the visual drama that already exists in this space and makes the holiday season feel brighter.

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