Step by Step DIY for your Christmas Mantel

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I love a lush, gaudy full Christmas mantel, but it isn’t always an easy thing to achieve. A few years ago, I came across a tip in a magazine that completely removed all the stress of holiday decorating streamlined the mantel project. It started with a board, measured and cut to fit the mantel.

DSC00139Saint measured and cut out the space for the electrical outlet that allows us to plug in lamps and Christmas lights without a cord hanging down. Then he hammered small tacks in a triangular pattern all across the board. There is no need to measure or fret about where to put these as they are completely covered and only serve to anchor the wire that he threaded around and between tacks.

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Now it is time to add all the greenery. I like to use several small pieces rather than one long one because you can add texture by using different greenery, and you can alter the thickness as needed.

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Sometimes I wire the greenery on; other times I simply wind a strand of the greenery around the wire. This is nice and secure with nothing taped or tacked to the wood on our mantel.

I had not planned to use this antique frame this year, but it just jumped up there and would not let me take it down.

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Next, I add bits and pieces along with lights.

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I could stop here and hang stockings, but this year I have ten stockings to hang, and they will not fit here or on the basement fireplace. We do love stockings in our family! Maybe I’ll show you that update later. I’m still working on it, now. Anyway, I like the rusty jingle bells hanging down, and on the way to the Mizzou game yesterday, I scored these perfect over sized ornaments (at Home Goods) to accompany them.

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These ornaments are rather heavy, but they came with ribbon hangers which loop perfectly over the heads of the tacks in the anchor board and attach with no extra nails, tape, or danger of becoming detached from the greenery.

There you have it. It’s really all about the anchor board that you never ever see on the finished project.

DSC00167Cozy, isn’t it?

DIY Summer into Fall Wreath Update

I picked up this grapevine wreath for a couple of bucks at a garage sale this weekend. I thought it would be perfect for a summer to fall makeover that would add some curb appeal to our son’s house. He and his new bride have three houses right now…his, hers, and theirs. So, we have been busily getting two of them ready for market by Labor Day weekend.

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I planned to remove the greenery, but since I wanted a summer into fall wreath, I decided to leave the summer element and just add some autumn touches.

 

 

 

 

 

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This is the junk collection of materials I already had…burlap, of course, leaves, sunflowers, fabric strips, twine, and wired basket weave ribbon.

I made three twine flowers (the tutorial for that is in an earlier post from Christmas) and started tucking leaves here and there. I didn’t glue anything until I played with the placement of the leaves and sunflowers on one side of the wreath.

Next, I made a bow with the wired ribbon and a touch of burlap. I like the bow at the bottom. But that leaves one side practically naked bare. I love the look of the wreaths that have knotted fabric strips all around, so I decided to try adding a few strips of neutral fabrics to the blank spaces.

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Nice…but I wanted it to be a bit more welcoming.

How about a WELCOME bunting? Out of burlap?

Of course!

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I took it right over and hung it on the door. I think it will work with the other things I have in mind for the porch. For now.

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