Mantel Madness

Final effect - Christmas spirit all over the place :)

Final effect – Christmas spirit all over the place 🙂

Decorating the new house for Christmas has been an adventure – not everything you have fits or works so you have to rethink what you normally do.

We have a fireplace again, which is awesome since the rental house did not, and the watching the yule log on your TV is just not the same LOL.  This one is a little different than ones I have had in the past  – it is pretty shallow so there is really no room to decorate it the way I had before and my original thought of just hanging a garland across the front quickly got tossed out the window when I realized how much heat the front of it got when the fire was lit. I imagine exploding pine garlands and baubles would probably ruin christmas LOL

Pretty and hopefully not a fire hazard LOL

Pretty and hopefully not a fire hazard LOL

So Instead I decided to decorate either side – away from the heat and potential explosions. I had seen some fancy teardrop swags in catalogs but as usual they were extremely pricy so since the last Christmas craft project had turned out so well I decided to try it again.

teardrop swag

teardrop swag

I picked up a couple of cheap swags as a base at Big Lots for only $17 each and pulled off some of the ugly fake feathers (yes you read that right – there was a reason they were only $17) After another glitter filled trip to Michael’s, I went through the same process as I did before and once up they looked like the $200 ones in Frontgate!!

Hmmm - big blank space...

Hmmm – big blank space…

Next thing to need a little christmas spirit was the top of the built in shelves. There is a lot of space up there and it looked a little barren. It needed something – but what? Something that did not cost an arm and a leg or involve oversized nutcrackers staring down at me that I would have nightmares about (I have seen Chucky and Dead Silence – no giant dolls or puppets allowed!)

Big Lots - the raw materials :)

Big Lots – the raw materials 🙂

SInce we were already in Big Lots I picked up some inexpensive outdoor holiday decor. Some LED twigs you are supposed to line your pathways with and a couple little sleigh and reindeer sets. All told, I spent less than $100

Teen Labor

Teen Labor

Once home I once again enlisted husband and teen to help me. We drilled holes in a 2×4 and inserted two sets of LED pinecone branches spaced evenly apart. We assembled and tested on the floor before handing it up to my husband on the ladder to put in place on top of the shelves.

setting up on the ground

setting up on the ground

Next we took the first sleigh and reindeer set and marked the correct positions on another 2×4 before drilling more holes and installing in front of the branches. Now I had a sleigh and 4 reindeer flying across a wintery forest – not bad!



We did the same thing on the other side except we removed the sleigh so when seen as a whole it was Santa and his 8 reindeer stretched out across the top of the shelves on either side on the fireplace 🙂

I love it – my heart grew two sizes that day! Amazing what you can do with a couple 2×4’s extension cords and some cheap discount decorations – and of course the free labor from my guys 🙂

Merry Christmas!


4 thoughts on “Mantel Madness

  1. I missed this one!
    Fun decorations. I love the team effort. I indirectly torched a tree shaped rosemary plant near our fireplace. I didn’t realize till I was breaking down decorations that the whole side of it was dk brown. I’m soaking the roots in water to see if there is any hope to plant it.
    I like your ceilings too:)
    cheers…x wendy

    • LOL – oh no poor Rosemary – I had to bring my orchids in the past couple days (it was in the 30’s if you can believe that) and I think one of them was a little too close to the fire – one of the big buds dried up and dropped off – plants are tricky 😦

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