Monday, November 29, 2010

Let the magic begin! (The mantels.)

Well hello there!! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving week! We had such a fantastic time, but there wasn’t much resting, shopping or decorating going on.

Just a lot of this:

Macy's Day Parade

And this:

And this!

And watching our sweet Bub experience many firsts – first subway ride, first musical, first trip on an airplane:

airport

That’s him watching our plane pull up to the gate. Giddy. Adorable. :)

Since we’ve returned, I’ve finally done a bit of resting (cause NYC kicks my booty!), way too much shopping and some Christmas decorating. I started with the mantels to kick off our Holiday Home linky parties!:

Holiday Home

The first one goes up Tuesday at noon over at Layla’s place. :)

I’ve discovered the perfect recipe for Christmas decor that I luuuurve. It’s so simple – greenery, red stuff and a few touches of nature. That’s it. I mix up those three and I’m one happy chick.

I’ve also discovered I love fluffy greenery so much it’s just sick. I need someone to stop me from adding and adding and fluffing and fluffing…big fat greenery makes me HAPPY. :)

My mantels haven’t changed much since last year, I just added a little more greenery (shocking) and some HomeGoods finds. The base started with some basic greenery I’ve had used for years. But it needed some poofing, so last year I found some fantastic greenery at Big Lots of all places, and I’m kind of obsessed with it. I got a few more this week:

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I just snip it apart and stick it in here and there in the basic, cheap greenery. It works GREAT and makes it look so much more expensive! In my opinion full and fluffy equals expensive looking.

After that, it’s just more fluffing and adding – sticks:

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Beady stuff, dollar store ornaments and pinecones:

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And there. you. go. I would stuff a cat in there if it would stay, seriously. I just can’t stop. :)

A few weeks ago while shopping for my Mom Cave, I found an adorable (big! lighted!) reindeer for $20, so I paired him with my little red adorable reindeer I found at HomeGoods last year:

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By the way, I saw that exact same large reindeer at Pier 1 for I think $60? It’s identical! Whoohoo!

My dollar store stars (from last year) hang from the ironwork, and it’s done:

Ugh, that fluffy garland just rocks my world. I love it!

Upstairs, I did almost exactly what I have in years past, but couldn’t resist a bit more fluff, of course.

Because I try to use what I have as much as possible in Christmas decor, I wanted to keep the current stuff up there, but the garland kept falling off around it. I picked up some Command Strips at True Value and laid a couple right on the top of the mantel:

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I just hooked the greenery to it and it worked perfectly!

Here’s a shot of the difference some fluffing can do – on the left, I’ve started stuffing my Big Lots good stuff in. On the right, it’s just the basic garland:

Here it is again, with a bunch o’ stuff thrown in:

Again, I just add till it looks right – ornaments, pinecones, the cat, whatever!

A few years ago, I got some cheap wood letters from the craft store, painted them red and then hung them from ribbon. I hang them from my wallpaper art every year and it’s such a big impact for so cheap!

Instead of hot gluing them like usual, I picked up some tacks from True Value and used those to secure the ribbon to the backs of the canvases:

And that’s it!

I just love the bright red against the black!:

JOY letters

RED makes me SMILE. :)

Our bedroom mantel, transformed with some greenery and a few changes to what we already have:

YES, I know…the cord. It’s giving me hives. But I have two more trees to get up and ten more bins to empty, umkay? Priorities people. But OH YES, it will be covered…

The candles are fake, no worries. :)

And of course, I love them best at night:

Christmas mantel

Ahhhh…that’s the magic!! :) LOVE. Be sure to link up tomorrow at Layla’s. I can’t wait to see what you’ve created!

P.S. I think I said “fluff” 89 times. Or so.

 

*I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.*

Thank you to my sponsor!:

70 comments:

  1. Love it lady! I am a fluffy girl myself!!

    Love your guts
    mandi

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  2. Love the mantel & JOY letters ...everything looks beautiful & festive. Can't wait to see more to come.

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  3. love the mantels! very inspiring as usual. :) i have my stuff out and ready to get my faux mantel decked out tomorrow.

    happy holidays!

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  4. Love the JOY above the fireplace! Make me one?

    The Lazy Mom
    www.imalazymom.com

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  5. Love, love, love it!!!
    And thank you for making me smile and laugh out loud throughout your post.
    I love blogs that do that to me!!!!

    XO,
    Lay

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  6. So fun that you have more than one mantel to decorate! Love the fluff!

    xo,
    cristin

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  7. Love it! I wish I had a mantel to decorate but for now I will just have to make do :)

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  8. I love the JOY on the wallpaper art... I might have "borrow" that idea - super cute!

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  9. Beautiful! You've inspired me gonna work on some more Christmas decorating tomorrow! Don't have a mantel, but do have an armoire in my living room that I think I could add some magic to!

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  10. This looks wonderful! BTW: I'm tackling that 300 dollar Pottery Barn advent calendar. I hope I can link you a pic once it's done!

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  11. I love the "fluff" too!! Been fluffing all week! Makes everything look better... :)

    Excited to link all of you girls fun parties!

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  12. Very pretty. I really like the lights mixed in with the greenery. I am hoping to get some greenery from one of the tree lots this year so I can do what you did. Green, red, a little nature and wahlah!Christmas!!~Ames

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  13. Beautiful! I love them all lit up too. I'm looking at my mantel all lit up right now. :)

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  14. Yes, I agree, more fluffy greens the better. Just beautiful. I like to bring in some clippings and mix them together too.

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  15. They're so beautiful! I would give anything to have a fireplace in our bedroom. How romantic! Can't wait to see what's in the next 10 bins!

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  16. Your mantle has the perfect amount of fluff!

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  17. So pretty, I look forward to visiting all the rest.

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  18. I love coming here :) and yes, the thicker (or fluffier) the better!

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  19. All that fluffing and adding really did the trick. I can't believe I haven't thought of that! I've got a garland that can be spruced up too and you've given me the perfect and most affordable idea. Thanks so much! Beautiful decorating!

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  20. Lovely!! Especially your corner one :-)

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  21. Love your mantels, Sarah! The fluffy garland on the one and the red letters on your artwork on the other are my two favorite things!

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  22. Very pretty! Yesterday I repainted the brick around my mantel. About three years ago my husband painted it with the wrong shade of white and while he can't tell the difference, it's been driving me crazy. So I FINALLY said, "Enough! I'm not decorating the mantel 'til the white is right!" I so proud of myself! I am not a "project-in-a-day" gal, but I got it done! On to the fun stuff!

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  23. I love how you showed the Before and After shots to show the difference between unfluffed and fluffed garland. :)

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  24. I completely forgot that I bought a large initial last year that I never used. (Thanks for the reminder!) I need some greenery - I should head over to the dollar store and HobLob soon.

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  25. So pretty! I love the new reindeer. :) And it looks like a wonderful trip to NYC.

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  26. Wow, stunning! I would love to visit NYC during this time of year, looks like you had lots of fun and made great memories.

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  27. Beautiful mantles! I have greenery on my mantle year round (in my opinion it goes with my rustic theme) and am always trying to place stuff so I it doesn't look quite so blah! I never thought of adding more greenery to my greenery. Silly me! Thanks for the tip!

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  28. I love the solution you found with the hooks. I have a wooden mantle and just shove tacks onto the top. Your solution is much better. :)

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  29. beautiful beautiful beautiful pictures!!

    http://notsocountry.blogspot.com/

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  30. You can say "fluff" as many times as you like. Your mantels look beautiful! And I'm so glad there's still SOMEONE who loves red. It just screams "Christmas" to me!!

    BTW, I'm so happy for you that you got to go to NYC for Thanksgiving weekend! How exciting!!

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  31. Very nice. You crack me up about the cord. I hadn't even noticed it. Now I'll all subconscious about the cords in my display. EEK!

    Brittany
    http://www.prettyhandygirl.com

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  33. If you're not super artsy (which I am not necessarily) I would recommend checking out your local goodwill or thrift store for very inexpensive holiday decor. They usually have aisles full of the stuff. Buried beneath the mounds of tacky, useless decor, you can find simple and elegant decor for 10's of dollars less than you would pay at your local department store. So if you're looking for some inexpensive holiday decor, look up your local Goodwill!!

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  34. Beautiful decorations! I love to idea of taking what you have and just embellishing it!

    And NYC at Christmas, should be on everyone's bucket list! It's quite the sight. We went in 2008, saw the Rockettes, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Macy's and Lord and Taylor window, the works. Gorgeous! It has ruined me for any other city during the holidays.

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  35. Absolutely gorgeous! I'm a red lover, too. Red and gold were two big colors for me this year, when picking out decorations - first time decorating a whole house, eek!

    I'm so glad I found your blog so I can get even more inspiration! Now I wish I had a mantle...haha

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  36. Love love love love!!! Sarah, your posts really show your bubbly personality! So so funny;-) I need to hurry and get mine done and posted. I had to finish painting my ENTIRE downstairs myself.

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  37. I am obsessed with your blog! Whenever you make a new post it brightens my whole day!! Love all your amazing ideas!! xx Liz Marie

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  38. I know this is a decorating blog and I should be commenting on the mantels (beautiful), but I just ♥ Love ♥ that dimple!!! :)

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  39. Very pretty! I fought with my mantel all day Sunday. I'm hoping to link up tomorrow. Looks like y'all had tons of fun in NY. I've never been but it's on my list.

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  40. Your mantles look amazing! No surprise there! I don't have a fireplace but I do have two 6' windows in my family room with marble sills. I decorate them as I would a mantle. I've always liked the greenery with the red...so christmassy! I didn't see stockings on your fireplace...do you hang them somewhere else or do you not have them up yet (or maybe this is something you and your family doesn't do?) I was just curious. Love all your deco ideas - hope you don't mind if I flatter you (copy you) like crazy! lol

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  41. WOW!!! That's a serious showstopper!

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  42. Love the reindeer with the red and green Christmas balls. So cute!!

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  43. i think those three panels with the letters spelling JOY is stunningly perfect for that fireplace. Great scale and color pallet!

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  44. Hi, I'm Aubrey, and I am a red-aholic...*LOVE* all the red...it seems like too many people get caught up in trying to find "unique" Christmas colors...I say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! (c:

    http://loveallthingsbrightandbeautiful.blogspot.com

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  45. That looks great! At this time of year I always wish I had a fireplace and mantle!

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  46. It's beautiful! And you're so right, fluffy does look expensive. I think I'll be fluffing my garland tomorrow, thanks!!

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  47. I joined into the linky mantle party today and I'm loving it. Our mantles are similar in that they include lots of greenery, a touch of red, and pinecones. Can't wait to see your tree.

    http://enjoyalllifehastooffer.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-merry-mantle.html

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  48. Both mantles are beautifully done! It's hard to beat the traditional reds and greens of the Christmas season. I too love using "greens", but switched to a more sparse evergreen garland this year. I like it, something different. :)

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  49. I love your mantel! Simply breath taking. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  50. So glad you had a great time in NY! :)
    Your mantel is beautiful. I love lights on my mantel too.

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  51. Hi Sarah-

    Love to sit in a room with just the mantel glow. So magical!
    My best- Diane

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  52. I LOVE the mantels!!! I already have mine done with basic lights, tulle and candles.. But I LOVE the greenery look!!

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  53. Like the joy letters. So easy. I've done my best job so far I think decorating this year....all because of blogs like yours. : )

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  54. Wow! I need to do a lot of work on my mantel after seeing this...

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  55. You've got some great "fluff" going on there. (Sorry, I couldn't resist, I had to use the word too!) I am loving the red stars on the iron work it looks so elegant!

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  56. Your mantel(s) look SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just love them!!!! I will be posting my mantle soon. It is done, just haven't gotten good pics yet! Have you been over to my blog yet???? Please stop over! XO, Pinky

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  57. I am completely new to this "blog" thing. I stumbled upon your blog when I typed in "mantle ideas" months ago. It opened up that whole new blog world to me! Yours is still my favorite! It took a long time to post something (mainly because I had no clue on how to...) but since you have your beautiful Xmas mantels up, I thought how appropriate to thank you for your posts finally. I love your style and I feel I had an instant connection w/ almost EVERYTHING you say, do and decorate! I have a 4 yr old boy I call "Bubs" or "Bubby" (along w/ 12 yr old daughter), I love to spraypaint furniture black, and love love love to decorate on the cheap! I feel very corny sending a message but my Bubby is home w/ the throw up bug, and I finally sat down long enough to post. I think it was meant to be when I was directed to your blog. Thank you for entertaining and inspiring me! ~Shelley

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  58. I am completely new to this "blog" thing. I stumbled upon your blog when I typed in "mantle ideas" months ago. It opened up that whole new blog world to me! Yours is still my favorite! It took a long time to post something (mainly because I had no clue on how to...) but since you have your beautiful Xmas mantels up, I thought how appropriate to thank you for your posts finally. I love your style and I feel I had an instant connection w/ almost EVERYTHING you say, do and decorate! I have a 4 yr old boy I call "Bubs" or "Bubby" (along w/ 12 yr old daughter), I love to spraypaint furniture black, and love love love to decorate on the cheap! I feel very corny sending a message but my Bubby is home w/ the throw up bug, and I finally sat down long enough to post. I think it was meant to be when I was directed to your blog. Thank you for entertaining and inspiring me! ~Shelley

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  59. I love the mantles. I did something similar with one of mine this year. I was actually really pleased with it! I think my decorating skills improve each year and I love getting inspirations from blogs like yours!

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  60. I want to do something like this, but I am having a really hard time finding fluffy greenery like that. I went to big lots.. no luck.

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THANKS so much for reading!