the heartland

My whole life I’ve dreamed of having a fireplace so I could decorate the mantel and change it out seasonally and for special occassions. Well my whole adult life anyway. Dreams do come true and here’s my first mantel display!

Here’s a background story on the mantel: When we first moved in, Ryan wanted to put the TV above the mantel. Typical. I wanted to put the TV in the basement/soon-to-be family room. After some negotiating we agreed to put it on the built in shelves. This way it’s in the living room but NOT the focal point. We are both pretty happy with the compromise.

Back to the mantel decor…

I’m not usually all stars and stripes like this but we’re having our first official family barbeque in the new house this weekend in honor of Memorial Day. It seemed like a no brainer to rock the holiday theme on the mantel and keep it up through the 4th of July. I had this salvaged pine slab lying around. I knew right away I wanted it to create height and impact. I also knew I wanted a wreath made of dried floral material and planned on making one. I forgot how expensive it is to buy dried flowers. I love drying my own but it’s spring, not fall, so I had nothing to work with. Then I saw this fun dried seed pod flag wreath. It was everything I wanted rolled into one. But I refused to pay full price when I first saw it at AC Moore. So I did what every girl does at some point. I played hard to get…with the wreath. I found myself thinking about it and paid another visit a week later. I figured that if it was 30% off I’d buy it. (See how I negotiate deals with myself – is this normal?) Guess what! It was 40% off!!! I danced with it to the cash register. Not handmade by me but a bargain! Done. The pine slab had a mate.

Then I filled the mantel in with things I LOVE. The yellow McCoy planter was a thrift store score last week. The succulents (I love succulents!) in the wire basket were a housewarming gift. And they’re actually a really, really good synthetic version. Fake! Oh remember those weird silver-painted-over-sterling-silver candlesticks that I thought I’d paint again? Well, I haven’t yet so here they are.

Another vintage tray! I think this one cost 50 cents at an estate sale last year. I liked how the shape and red rose colors mimic the wreath.

And finally my very own banner/pennant/streamers. What is this called? I made it just days after obsessing over one I saw at a baby shower . It was pretty easy too. This could be a fun project to do with kids.

This is all you need. And yes that is lip liner in the picture.

I bought fabric at the thrift store when I bought the McCoy. That’s what I actually went there for. I couldn’t choose just one patriotic fabric so I decided on all 3! They were only a dollar or 2 each.

This one actually had a vintage tag left on it!

I cut a triangle template out of paper. My triangles measured 6 x 8.5 x 8.5.
I then traced it with an old lip liner pencil. It was so much easier to use then pen or a regular pencil because it is so soft. I am sure eye liner would do the trick too.

Then I cut the triangles and used some leftover fabric glue to adhese them to twine.

I let them set over night and voila.

I want to make these for every occassion now. I am obsessed! The variations seem endless…triangles, squares, ribbon, string…

I like to call this mantel look “the heartland”. I’ve tossed that around. It makes me think of John Cougar Mellencamp’s Little Pink Houses combined with Jack and Diane for some reason. Two American kids growin’ up in the heartland…Ain’t that America for you and me? So this mantel design goes out to…John.

Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Linking to:
The Lettered Cottage
A Diamond in the Stuff

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

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