Love my burlap for texture (and to hide my ugly mantel). Now I'm sure you have a planter somewhere around the house. Put something inside to raise up your candles and have fun filling with cut greens from your yard (or neighbors). You can also use artificial or a combination of both and add some picks for a little more interest. Just be careful with your placement and lit candles or just use electric for safety. I also placed lots of pinecones around here and there.
I added a couple of inexpensive trees for height and tucked in some paper hydrangeas - dried will work too.
So, the only problem with the real evergreens is they will dry out and get messy especially if you're lighting a hot fire below. But I love the look so much that I just replenish during the season. You will also find that certain greens hold up much better than others.
Oh I just realized, my favorite little bird fits right in here.
Trees: Try Michaels or ACMoore or your local crafts store
Urns and little bird: I used to sell them in my shop but try TJMaxx
Burlap, planter box, berry picks : Hydrangea Home
Assorted greens and pinecones: Backyard for FREE!
Now there are lots of great mantel ideas over at Layla's so check it out!