It’s been several years since we’ve lived in a house with a mantel and I’ve never really done a theme or seasonal decoration for the mantels we have had in the past.
So, this year, I thought I would put together something. My goal was to take my time and choose fabrics and items that I love that I can continue using for years to come.
The bare mantel is really quite ugly. The wood is painted (not stained) and darkish brown and since we are renting this home, there’s not much I could do about that. So, I set out to find a runner that would cover most of it. However, I discovered that this mantel is ridiculously long and I couldn’t find any handmade shops that had runners that were long enough in the style I had in mind – SO I made one!!
I used tan burlap and burgundy felt and made a fitted runner that drapes over the front and sides.
After cutting all of my pieces (mantel top, front facing and 2 end facings from the burlap; and several long thin strips of felt), I sewed the end facings to the front facing. Then I used embroidery floss and a large embroidery needle to”gather/ruffle” the strip of felt.
After the felt was ruffled, I machine sewed the ruffle to my long strip of burlap (the front and side facings) being careful not to sew over the embroidery floss – an opposing color floss works well for this. After the felt was sewn on, I snipped the knots off the ends of the embroidery floss and pulled the floss out of the ruffle.
After the ruffle was taken care of, I sewed the facings onto the runner/top portion. Take care to sew right sides together and keep your needle in the fabric when turning your angle to go around the corner.
It may sound a bit complicated, but I did all of this without the help of any photo tutorials and I’m not usually able to imagine the finished product and actually get all the pieces turned in the proper direction for hemming, SO, know that this was easy-peasy!!
After fitting my mantel cover on top of the ugly brown wood, I began decorating.
This year I started my Willow Tree nativity set, so that was a definite! The only other items on the mantel that are new are the berry branch in the back and the burgundy candle! I already had everything else, but the items had previously been used in other places.
From left to right: Tall thin glass flower vase with dark red glass rocks, Willow Tree nativity, berry branch, NOEL angel figurines, burgundy embossed candle on tall black candle holder, cute little snowman that matched my theme perfectly (I’ve had him for years!), photo of my husband’s great-great grandfather in Egypt, long stemmed gerber daisy’s and mini Christmas tree.
My absolute favorite part of this mantel, is something that we have had installed for a few months already. We really needed somewhere to hang kid’s artwork so we installed this awesome line system from IKEA and use these clip hooks and it makes it SO easy to display artwork, etc. We’ll be using it for our Advent ornaments starting tomorrow! I love that the runner hides the actual line, but everything hanging from it is still perfectly visible!
Overall, this was a really fun and quite simple project! I’m excited about hanging our daily Advent ornaments and adding to the ambiance.
My least favorite part of this project? The fact that the fireplace isn’t even in our living room. It’s in the lower level family room that we use for our school room. I would love to be able to hang our Advent ornaments in a well trafficked area of our home, because I feel it could be a conversation starter for some of our friends and guests.
Have you created any fun projects lately?
This post is linked to Made by You Monday.