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Friday, March 5, 2021

How to decorate your mantel

Searching for spring mantel ideas?  Here is a simple mantel display idea that is easy to create.

I knew when Mr. Vintage and I were looking at homes, I wanted a mantel somewhere in my home.  I have many fond memories of Christmas growing up as a child excited to see what Santa left in my stocking!  I had an elf stocking holder and I had the exact same stocking from birth all the way through adulthood.  I actually still have my stocking, but it is tucked away in my memories box where I hide all of my good stuff from my childhood.  Maybe one of these days I will display some of those things in my home again. 

You probably wouldn't believe it if I told you, but we looked at so many homes before we found the perfect one for us.  I would be so excited to look at an older home and Mr. Vintage would just shake his head and say not the one.  You see, we had different agendas... he wanted to build and I wanted an old home full of charm.  We looked at so many homes, he nearly had me convinced to build.

We had plans, met with a builder several times, but it never seemed right to me.  I kept looking at homes everyday... as he moved forward with building... we even put in an offer on land and the offer was declined.  Secretly I was smiling to myself about it because I felt like something else was in store for us.

I would look at homes on my lunch break everyday, in the morning before work, in the evenings.... and I would only show the ones I thought I had a chance at talking him into, but I kept going... I was not going to give up.  We both kept working at what we both wanted.

Every Sunday I would say let's go for a drive... and we would drive around our hometown searching out homes.  We always drove down the street we live on now and say wouldn't it be nice to find a home on this street?  Homes rarely went for sale on our street... I think he thought I would eventually tire of it, but it just fueled my fire all the more... I knew I had to come up with the perfect house before he found new land to build on.  

One day on my lunch break, I was scrolling through homes and I found a home for sale on the street we both loved!  I sent it to him right away.  He replied it's ok... we can look at it.  As we walked up the winding sidewalk, I just knew this was our home.  I was grinning from ear to ear and he was just shaking his head at me.  

We toured the home and guess what?  It checked almost all of my boxes on my list.  It also had the mantel I had wanted in our home.  I have fun decorating our mantel, sometimes I change everything, sometimes I change a few things, it really depends on what strikes my fancy.  

I've mentioned before, decorating is my way of wiping the work week away... I get to be inside my head for a few hours... it allows me to be creative, it allows me to focus on the details at hand, what is in front of me, taking ordinary items and putting them together, taking a step back and seeing something I created... it makes me happy, it brings me joy, and you know for so long I steered clear of anything creative because of one teacher I had in junior high? A story for another day, but I have found I am not the best, but I am not half bad at it either.

So I thought I would show you how I recreated our mantel and bring a little spring inside... the snow has all melted, and maybe who knows, we will see green grass here shortly.

Mantel with picture

I started with my architectural urn I photographed while in Newport, Rhode Island walking down the street looking at the mansions.  If you are interested in blowing up your own pictures you can read the post here where you can do this for a really great price.  I also tell you where to find large frames for a steal too.  

If you look really closely, you can see we have some repair work we need to do around the mantel from a leak.  Water is really terrible for a home, it's another thing on the list to do around here.

Mantel decorated with rose garland

Next, I added a rose garland to the mantel.  Roses are my favorite flower, I know, a hopeless romantic in the midst.  

White mantel decorated with blush rose garland

Here is a closer picture of the garland.  I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived, it is full, the coloring is spot on, the roses are larger than I expected.  I think it is pretty perfect.  

Mantel decorated with airplane propeller

I added a vintage looking mirror to the mantel.  I have had this mirror for many years, but could never find the right place for it.  I think I found it.  I love chippy paint and it has it in spades...

Mantel decorated with rose garland, chippy paint mirror, large urn picture

I added another wedding picture; this one is actually my favorite!  The frame was found at At Home.  If you have never shopped here, I recommend it.  They have really good prices on frames and the clearance section?  Oh my goodness, you cannot keep me out of there!  I have been patiently waiting for this pandemic to end so I can go back.  I think I am having withdrawal... 

Mantel decorated with photos and candlesticks

I added my milk glass hobnail candlesticks with my silver pieces.  Do you want to know a secret?  The silver pieces are from Hobby Lobby and do you want to know what they are?  Christmas ornaments of course!  I am telling you, you can get fancy pants all year round adding Christmas ornaments to your home!  I bought a set of two for less than $3.00!

Mantel decorated with rose garland, shabby chic mirror, and photos

Next came the gold hurricanes.  There are twinkle lights inside, but I need to order more batteries.  All of my twinkle lights take 3 AA batteries.  If you use a lot of batteries like I do, did you know you can find them on Amazon, 48 batteries in one package and a great price to boot!

Gold hurricane and milk glass hobnail candlestick on mantel

Here is a close up of the candlestick, hurricane globe, and Christmas ornament.  I removed the hanger and placed some putty on the bottom of the ornament and it sticks in the top of the candlestick.  Easy, decorative, and looks expensive for just a few dollars! 

Rose garland, gold glass globe, and candlesticks on mantel

Another close up of the other side of our mantel.

Blush rose garland

Do you see how full the flowers are and the veins in the leaves, looks pretty realistic to me.  I honestly do not think I have been disappointed in any of the floral pieces I have ordered.  

Rose garland with diamonds on mantel

I added the diamonds we had sprinkled on our tables at our wedding.  I love a little sparkle throughout.  

Mantel decorated in a cottage with rose garland and photos

Here is the manel all put together.  

Fireplace screen, rose garland, pineapple finial

And here is the fireplace screen lit up.  

If you missed the post about layering in the living room, you can read it here.  

Here is a link for another mantel post.

If you missed our Christmas mantel, you can find it here.    

You asked, I listened, I have some alternate ideas for you below and some are the exact pieces I have purchased for our home.  If you have more suggestions or questions, just let me know.  You can comment at the end of each post.      


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  1. What a wonderful sweet story, I’m happy that you got your mantle & are finding joy in making it your own style. She’s beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much Rue. We enjoy seeing our home go through the transformation we are putting it through. Slowly of course, but we will get her there.