Tuesday, December 6, 2011

J-O-Y to the mantle

(Or, the exciting transformation of my fireplace mantle over 5 days time.)

Here is my ho-hum mantle on any given day.

Sorry for the crappy picture. This was taken before I ever considered doing a blog post about my mantle (because why would anyone do that?), and was supposed to just be a reminder to myself on how to put things back once the Christmas decorations come down. Although, upon a recent close inspection of the framed wedding photo, I realized that both Ryan and I totally have double chins in that pose, so it will probably not be making a return appearance after the holidays. And the whole thing really is pretty bland and one-dimensional, so maybe I'll work on spicing it up a bit more in the future. Anyway, in the meantime...

Here was my mantle upon emptying the contents of my Christmas decoration bins.

Not bad, not bad. Just not quite Christmasy enough...

And here is my mantle now, after several (completely out-of-character for me) super-Christmas-spirited enhancements.

I love it! Of course, the most obvious change is that I took down the somewhat boring, but pleasant-in-color-palate picture that we normally have hanging above the mantle and replaced it with "JOY!" But I think that the garland adds a little extra touch of something special and makes me grin whenever I glance that way.

And I would actually prefer to have our stockings hung by the chimney with care, instead of from the bookshelf near the fireplace, but because of some super heavy-duty snowflake hooks holding them in place and a grabby toddler roaming around these parts, I fear a concussion and a subsequent trip to the emergency room by doing so.

The JOY canvases were pretty simple. I got the idea via pinterest (of course) from here. I bought three 16x20 canvases at Hobby Lobby, along with a yard of gold decorator's fabric, wooden letters, craft paint, and ribbon. I simply staple-gunned the fabric around the back side of each canvas and, after painting the letters (I used three coats of Folk Art Metallic Bright Red [493] acrylic paint) and allowing them to dry, I attached the ribbon with flat thumb tacks (both to the letters and to the top of the canvases). Donezo. I — a certifiable math dummy — managed to figure out the simple calculation for hanging them even and level (I'm pretty proud of that) and just used Command hooks to do so, so as not to put permanent nail holes in the wall. I completed the entire project off-and-on throughout the course of one day. That's some kind of project record for me, I think.

How about you guys? Have you had any unexpected bursts of holiday decorating pizzaz? Implemented any new pinterest ideas for the holidays? Here's another very simple idea that I implemented in my home for displaying all those Christmas cards that have been rolling in already. How am I so behind on that this year? I guess I need to apply some of that Christmas pizzaz into getting our cards done now.


  1. Looks so awesome! I wish I could say I have done the same, but I'm still trying to figure out where to put my Willow Tree nativity that little hands can't reach. Also - about the stocking holders, I had the EXACT same thought you did ;)

  2. Nice, Mary! Very creative. Looking forward to seeing it in person.

  3. I am TOTALLY loving Pinterest and all it's crafty goodness. My co-workers are getting some fancy cranberry lime infused vodka for Christmas compliments of a recipe I found on there!
    I haven't gotten any good Christmas ideas, at least none that are conducive to my 900 square foot apartment. I love the J-O-Y... so cute :)

  4. looks amazing! you're so crafty :) one of these days i will actually make something that i've pinned on pinterest...hopefully over christmas break i will get around to one of the many projects. you're living room looks very cozy and festive!! merry christmas