Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Christmas Mantel

It's finally done! I was so inspired by the pictures I showed you earlier. And while our mantel is certainly nothing like those, I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I like a reasonably spare mantel. Ours typically looks like this:

If you'd like to see the hot mess we started with, you can click here.

I centered this year's decor around the Hereford cow painting. I think it is absolutely gorgeous and I'm not going to take it down, not even for the holidays. My mom-in-law painted it for her father, who was a Texas cattle rancher. And while we're unlikely to ever live in Texas again, it's crucial to us that our kids are raised with the same culture and heritage that we were. So, in that vein I decided that we'd go all green. The fireplace is sage and the painting's framw has hunter green in it, so why not?

We took a quick (ha!) trip to Target and got our stocking holders. I like that they're flat- they'll go with anything I decide to do decor-wise in the coming years. The best part, though, was the price. Each 2 pack was 8 bucks, so we got out of there for 16.

Then, a trip to Michael's for the hunter green candles. Once again, I have to say that I am married to the best guy on earth. How many men would brave Michael's on Black Friday just to keep their wives company?! Mine! And my friend's husband, too. They both rock! And mine got a pressure washer out of the bargain- 69 bucks at Lowe's- go now if you're in the market for one! But he's out pressure washing our porches right now, so I came out pretty good, too :)

 The candles were about a dollar each and the green poinsettias were 98c each. So, everything you see here was achieved for a whopping 24 bucks.

And here it is, almost all done: we made our stockings last year, but I need to make another one for our newest addition. Fortunately, I always buy way too much fabric, so that won't be an issue. I'd love if the picture had them all up, but that stocking isn't likely to get made this week, so I'm just going to go with what we have. I'll update when it's all done and give you the lowdown on making your own stockings, too.

Need more inspiration or general mantel advice? Check out Elle Decor's Making The Most of The Mantel. Gorgeous Slideshow!
Hints, Tips & Tricks:
  • Off-the-shelf- candles never look quite right when you place them. Burn them for about 20 minutes to get that rounded edge going.
  • A poinsettia in a quart pot will thrive on 1 ice cube per day- it's the perfect amount of water and it melts slowly, so you shouldn't have to worry about leaking.
  • Stuff stockings with wadded up plastic bags- they're light and will help fill them out if you haven't prchased the real "stuffers" yet.

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