“Make Do” Decorating: Dress your Mantel for the Holidays

dec 2015-12-08 010When updating my home decor from season to season, anyone who knows me can attest that I am a big believer in “making do” with things that I already have or seeking out things I want and need at area thrift stores. My methods may not improve the state of the economy very much and may cause retailers to cringe, but my recycling and upcycling ways are better for the environment and certainly better for my budget.

dec 2015-12-08 008This year, I created a “snowy woodland” themed Christmas tree. To make my fireplace mantel match, I sorted through my Christmas boxes and walked around my  house collecting together white and woodland themed decorative pieces that would work in a snowy-look mantle display.

To give it some height, I collected branches from my yard with the intention of spray painting them white. Discovering however, that my only can of white spray paint was clogged and unusable I “made do” and painted them silver instead.  Had I not had a can of spray paint, I could have left them in their natural state and they still would have fit the woodland theme.dec 2015-12-08 011

Once dry, I sprayed them with adhesive and sprinkled them with clear glitter to give them a bit of sparkle and then I arranged them into the largest vase I own which happens to be blue. I draped them with a string of battery operated rice lights and some shiny silver beads and I hung silver glitter and clear acrylic snowflakes from the branches. Last of all I clipped on a set of red cardinals which I admit to purchasing new this year although at a considerable discount!dec 2015-12-08 009

From there, I started adding pieces here and there.  A primitive Santa and a wooden sleigh, a log cabin birdhouse surrounded by a trio of pines and a couple of white frames — things which I like using to dress my mantel throughout the year regardless of the season.  A pair of vintage snowmen and three white bottle brush trees keep the white theme going.  There’s nothing minimalist about this year’s mantel decor and smaller vintage holiday pieces fill in any and all empty spaces. cropped-dec-2015-12-08-0131.jpg

It’s important to stick to the color scheme and use pieces of varying sizes, shapes and textures. I like to use items in pairs or three of a kind. To vary the height of items I will stand them on hidden boxes or elevate a piece in some other way such as the snowman standing inside the sleigh while his partner stands at its normal height on the opposite end of the mantel.

Whether dressing your fireplace mantel, a side table or dining room buffet, use what you have and have fun making your pieces work for you.

 

 

 

 

 

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