December 05, 2011

a simple, christmas mantelscape a.k.a the "emily mantel"

We had the most beautiful sunny, warm day yesterday. I was working on my mantel with the back door wide open. That's how nice the weather was. Of course, I didn't finish my mantel yesterday. And today when it was all finished and I got ready to take pictures guess what?? A cloudy, rainy day.
Please tell me I am not the only one this happens to?!
Sooo...I apologize in advance for poor lighting and shadows from the use of overhead lights. Boo!

This is a really simple, no budget, shop your house for items kind of mantel.

This is the same wreath I used for fall (which I took pictures of and never had the chance to post them and share). Nevertheless, I just pulled the fall flowers off and added a few Christmas-y ones. Oh and I added some red twine in between the layers of burlap ruffles.

This should really be called my "Emily Wreath." Almost all of the inspiration comes straight from Emily of Jones Design Company. The ruffle wreath is from her tutorials, as well as the flowers and the little Merry Christmas tag is from one of her printables.

If you aren't familiar with Emily and her blog, clearly you should be. She is full of crafty inspiration!

Oh wait, this is hers too. Might have to name the whole mantelscape after her! This art print is from her JDC Monthly printables.

I didn't want to fool with a frame, but it needed a little something to make it more substantial. I happened to have a black mat laying around in the right size. I painted it white and while the paint was still wet I sprinkled on a little glitter. I mean, it's not Christmas without a little glitter, right?!  

I made this chalkboard as a prop for some family pictures. It didn't work out so well in the pictures, but it looks cute on the mantel. :)
Are you wondering about those little Santas in the corner? I know they don't exactly go with the rest, but there's a story behind those little guys.  They are actually from the husbands childhood. Yes, he's saved those two Santa candles all these years. And every Christmas he requests they go on the mantel. How could I say no to that?

I have cabinets full of glass jars in varieties of sizes. They are so easy to decorate with. For these I just wrapped them in some fabric scraps and then some red and white bakers twine. And then I filled them with rosemary (because it reminds me of Christmas trees) and holly branches.

Please pretend my Christmas tree has ornaments on it. I have one very active toddler and not very many non-breakable ornaments. The tree may be a little sparse this year.

I threw together that Christmas tree skirt this morning. It actually isn't even finished yet. Shh...don't tell. I might do a separate post on it later because it's easy to make and only cost about $7.

Remember my grain sack table runner from yesterday? I made a pillow cover with the leftovers. And can I tell you how happy I am that I never painted this chair white?! It's perfect for Christmas with a red striped grain sack pillow!

A quick, little bunting made from burlap, red craft paint and a little red jute cording.
{I just realized as I was proofreading that these letters are done in the "Emily font". No lie!}

I am now officially naming this the Emily Mantel!

alima :)

 Check out some other great mantels at:





  1. Love it! And I could use a good christmas skirt inspiration post!

  2. Love it. Inspiring!

    I like the you-don't-have-to-rob-the-bank to decorate tone... and you sure have lovely items "around the house" to use :).

    Thank you for sharing.

    Merry Christmas!

    P.S. this year, and for the first time, my tree won't have a skirt. I crocheted a banner for the tree and thought that banner+skirt will be overkill... let's see after I have the tree done.

  3. Jones Design is definitely one of my favorite blogs too and there is lots of "Emily" inspiration around my house. Your mantel looks lovely and very festive. I love the "shop around the house" mentality for decorating. Glad I stopped by! :)

  4. love



    as you know i would CF chick....not that i have a tree this year- hmmmm- don't even get me to thinking bout that one...

    but...for next year- i too would LOVE your skirt recipe!!!!

    Melissa xx

  5. I just today came across your blog and I'm liking what I see! Now a new follower....


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