Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our "Give Thanks" Mantel & The Thankful Garland...


This year's Thanksgiving mantel is all about Giving Thanks. Spelled out in fun, pretty, white letters it is a constant reminder to be mindful of all that we have...


I made the sign out of leftover cedar planks that I used to make our friends' wedding sign back in July. Four planks, a little wood glue, two strips of wood for the back of the sign, and two nails for each plank was all it took. Then I used hemp rope and punch-out cardboard letters that I then spray painted Heirloom White...


Since the letters are only attached to the rope, it leaves me free to change out the sign to say whatever I please. And I like having the option to change my mind!

:)

On the mantel I tried to stay as close to nature as possible - both real and faux.

Real moss, faux acorns, real Indian Corn, faux moss balls, real wheat and pumpkins. It all works together to create a natural mantel scape...




The real moss is a bit messy, but I absolutely love it! It is the exact color of green that I was looking for and it is so pretty and delicate...




While browsing for inspiration, I found a beautifully decorated mantle and hearth that had a chest sitting in front of it. I loved how it brought the whole theme together and kept the mantle from feeling like it was floating. Since our fireplace sticks out so far from the wall and does not have a raised hearth, it sometimes feels like the decor is floating at eye level.

Coincidentally, I still have this ochre colored chest that was left here by the previous owners. I love the color this time of year and it was the perfect width to hold a couple of medium sized pumpkins, a bundle of birch logs and some Indian corn...





But my absolute favorite part of this year's mantel is the Thankful Garland.

I saw Melissa post about it and I was instantly hooked! The idea belongs to Jen from Tatertos and Jello. You can see her Thankful Garland and her How-To, here.

Just like Jen, I used grapevine garland. It was about $12 at JoAnne's Etc and it comes rolled up like a wreath. I'm not going to fool you and say it was a breeze to put up. It was NOT! There were a few times that I was ready to give up because wrestling with it just seemed pointless. It was wound pretty tightly and did not want to stretch out at all, so if I hadn't had Owen here to help me, I would probably still be fighting with it! But don't give up. Trust me, eventually...you will win!


To make the leaves, I used two different leaf stencils and some Autumn inspired scrapbooking paper that I also got at JoAnne's. It was half off, so I got the whole big book of different paper patterns for just $9.oo.

Tracing, then cutting out all of the leaves was tedious, but it was definitely worth it...



And it has been fun taking turns writing down what we are Thankful for.



I tied the leaves on by using a hole punch near the stem and then using a small length of the same hemp rope that I used on the sign. Nothing fussy or fancy. Just a simple knot at the top lets the leaves hang loose and sway when someone walks by...





I have to say, this is my favorite mantel yet!

Probably because my family was involved in making it come to life. And what could be better than a pretty focal point that is also interactive. We can add leaves to our Thankful Garland all month long...

28 comments:

Brittanie said...

what a great idea! And it all looks beautiful!

Simply LKJ said...

I love it! I saw Jen's too. The entire mantle and display below are gorgeous. Yes, grapevine can be a bear!! I remember reading somewhere, or maybe a girlfriend told me, that you can actually somewhat take it apart...wet it down which makes it easier to work with, shape it how you like and it will dry. Guess that makes sense since grape vines are subject to rain outdoors!

too Blessed to Stress said...

So lovely! i like how you mixed real and faux - looks great :)

~Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

April@gingerbreadgirl said...

HOLY MOLY!!! This is super cute...I love it...I could curl up and read book in front of that fireplace....love your blog!!!

Erin @ Two Story Cottage said...

Love the mantel decor! I like the idea of the chest in front of your fireplace. I don't have a raised hearth either and I always feel like the fireplace needs something (else)...

Oh, and I love the grapevine suspended like that - we have a TV over our fireplace (ugh-don't ask) and I'm always trying to decorate around it. :)

http://www.somanytables.com/ said...

That wreath garland is super! I'm glad you posted about the struggling part. When I begin to make mine (and I will, as I love yours so much), I won't go crazy when it doesn't fall exactly where I want it the first time.

The sign is pretty nifty too.

Anonymous said...

I like--very much!

http://bringingkatyahome11.blogspot.com/

Robin said...

So beautiful and festive! Your give thanks sign is adorable-such a great idea.

Lorie said...

Karla! Your mantel is beautiful and I am absolutely in LOVE with your wood planked sign that you hang your garlands on! LOVE IT!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

The whole thing looks so beautiful! I want to make a garland now. I tried to find letter as Joann but they didn't have the plain ones. Love the bundles of wheat too.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

What a clever idea. I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year at my house. I'm going to mantelscape tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

I love this, so many great ideas! Beautiful.

One Cheap B*tch said...

Sigh! Once again I wish I had a real mantle! Looks beautiful!

Jeanine

Cozy Home Scenes said...

Your mantel decorations came together so wonderfully. I especially love the garland, but I know how hard that is to use. I have some I put on a garden/bird theme tree at Christmas and every year I'm like you and swear never again. But as you know, that stuff is too pretty not to use.

Love all your natural accents in this one!

Erin Zacharda said...

Your mantel turned out beautifully and I love that the kids got to help out! My favorite part though is the 'give thanks' sign - so simple, yet beautiful!
Question for you...how did you attach the vine to the mantel??? I want to hang a garland from my mantel but don't want to put holes in it...
Thanks!
Erin

wildflower said...

I just love it! So natural and creative. Nice sign, too!!

DANA said...

That is awesome! I would love for you to link up at my Strut Your Stuff Party!
http://danajeanward.blogspot.com/2010/11/strut-your-stuff-party.html

Ann said...

Hi Karla,
What a fantastic mantle! That grapevine looks so darn good...I'm sorry that it was a chore, but it certainly looks like a work of love!!
Fondly,
Ann
@
The Tattered Tassel

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Wow! This looks great. My favorite part is the sign out of wood planks. I'm feeling really inspired to try this out. Love the rustic look.

Bella said...

Karla, I am new to your blog, and loving it. It;s beautiful, and FULL of wonderful ideas.

Your mantel is simply stunning, and I loce how everything works together so beautifully.

I host a weekly party **Amaze me AUgust** and would be so happy if you shared with my readers sometime (you can start with this ) he he. :)

Also for any Christmas projects, my new party **6 weeks 2 Jingle ** is up and running.

I am totally stoked to be your newest follewer.

Thanks Bella :)

Lisa Cash said...

Your mantle looks great - just lovely! I'm new to your blog - LOVE it!

Audrey Pettit said...

Your mantle and hearth look wonderful! I really like all the nature inspired elements you used and adore your crafty projects. That plank wood sign you made is fabulous. Love that you can change it out. and how cool is that grapevine swag? The leaves are a great touch.
TFS!

megan @ homemade ginger said...

beautiful. I love the garland!

Rose :: FineCraftGuild.com said...

Thanks for this great display aka decorating 'tutorial'. I love your ideas.

OK. I am inspired to invite you to come link up with us, so our readers can love you too: http://www.finecraftguild.com/diy-craft-tutorial-linky-party-20/

Every Wednesday there will be a new party, so bookmark our home page and you can come back over and over again with great ideas and tutorials.

We look forward to showing your work.

Smiles,
Have a happy day!

Jenny said...

This is beautiful! I can't wait to see what you do for Christmas. I'm going to repost this on my blog.

Jerri said...

I love your mantel! It's so inviting! I'm featuring you this week. Come by and grab a featured button if you'd like one!

Thanks so much for linking up for Friday Favorites. I hope you'll link up with us again this week!

malia said...

Hi! Saw a pix of your mantle and it caught my eye... totally had to come over and become a follower!
Malia
www.yesterdayontuesday.com

Between U & Me said...

I featured this post today on my blog! ;)

www.betweenuandme.com