Christmas Mantel

finding home christmas mantel 2011

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

Christmas Mantel 2011 031 In the lane, the snow is glistening..

Well, not really, but I am hoping it will be soon!

Maybe this makes me a dork, okay, it definitely makes me a dork, but I have had a vision for this mantel in my head for a while now.

I knew I wanted it to be very rustic and so I started with my beautiful old barn door.

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A few of the ideas I originally tried out didn’t work out so I was stuck for a bit.

So, I took a nap.

Really, I almost always get ideas when I am in that half in half out sleep – especially in the car.

I awoke to sleigh bells ringing…

I found the letters at Hobby Lobby (they were on sale when I bought them) and spray painted them with Rust-o-leum in Oregano.

I put the whole mantel together but still did not have the vintage sleigh bells – kind of an important part!

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When I was visiting family in NH, I knew there was an antique shop not too far away. When I arrived, there were two set of sleigh bells on the door, so I thought “woo hoo”! I quickly found out that they “were not for sale”. I shopped the store a little more, went back up to the counter and this time the owner was there. I could tell he was the type of guy who I could try to plead my case to. After a few minutes, he made the mistake of throwing out a price and I literally hit the desk like an auction “sold!”. He quickly asked if I would consider paying twice as much – umm, no!

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I used a vintage sled and added greenery and a flannel plaid bow.

The sign is wood from my Grandfather’s house (you can read about that here). The wood was soft, so I was able to trace a print out of the words with pencil and then fill it in with a while chalk ink pen. I then rubbed it with some sandpaper to “age” it. In hindsight, the white was hard to photograph, but it really gave the “snowy” look I was going for.

Christmas Mantel 2011 213 This piece, also found in NH last year, is an old sap bucket cover. I would love to take credit for the artwork, but I can not. It was very lightly penciled in white, looks like it was intended to be painted but never was finished. I, nervously, went over the pattern. I used the white chalk ink pen here also because it seemed to work best on the wood. I plan to spray it with sealer.

I also used some old vintage skate bottoms on the mantel as well.

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Hanging on the barn door, I used some faux greenery and berries, added some bell ornaments (found at Michael’s) and pulled together with a plaid bow.

Christmas Mantel 2011 024 Along the mantel I used a faux greenery garland, faux evergreen trees, some pinecone stars, white felt snowflakes and red ornaments all layered together.

Christmas Mantel 2011 058As the afternoon began to fade and my fire still blazed (oh yeah, I built that fire all by myself!) and the shadows began to play on the wall, I started to get a real spark for the Christmas season.Christmas Mantel 2011 273I will be sharing at some of the link parties found here and at

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As always, thank you so very much for reading.