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Fourth of July Decorations

The 4th of July is right around the corner and I wanted to create some mantel decorations to move into Summer and mark the holiday.  We have had some job/educational changes recently so full blown decorating had to be done on the cheap.  In comes stars and firework paper-craft mantel decorations.  The entire thing was created with 6 sheets of decorative paper (.20 a sheet on sale) and 8 sheets white cardstock (from a giant pack so more around .10 a sheet).

Paper fourth of July Mantel
Paper fourth of July Mantel

$2.00 for the new supplies put this mantel within budget.  I had a few supplies, like super sticky Zots, and staging items such as candles already on hand.  In fact the mirrors and candlestick were revamped Goodwill finds from a few years ago.


The mantel was supposed to invoke a vintage Americana feeling.  I used a palette of subdued reds, blues, and golds with pops of clean white for interest.  Kind of a faded “old glory” theme.


The gold and mirrors act to reflect a little light reminiscent of the stars.  It twinkles nicely at night.


The decorative paper was used to create the paper medallions to represent fireworks.


This look would be easy to recreate yourself.  I’ll post tutorials on making paper medallions and 3-D stars later this week and next.  You will find the links here when they are live.

Folded Paper Stars 6/20

Pleated Paper Medallions 6/24

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See more great crafts and decor at these link parties: Do Small Things With LoveCrafty Confessions, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, It Happens in a Blink, The Shady Porch, and The Winthrop Chronicles


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Christmas Mantel: Snowy Woodlands

Despite the cloudy, rainy mess our December is turning out to be, I was more in the mood for snow. Perhaps I needed the peace of snow falling in the woods after my shiny dining room and busy Christmas schedule. To be sure, I kept the sparkle to touches of shimmer. Let us take a look at the snowy woodland inspired mantel.

I know you should never lead with an apology, but excuse these photos. It seems we will never have another sunny day in which I can photograph my decor.

To create the upholstered/snow draped mantel I placed batting under white seersucker fabric. Those lovely corners? Yeah… I cut and pinned those because I was too lazy to walk downstairs and sew. I figure temporary display merits temporary seams. To offer some contrast to all that white I added fake alpine trees and collected pine cones. I also found some decorative cinnamon sticks (i.e. decent scent but not good for flavoring) I had squirreled away with last years decorations. They worked great to cover the bases of the trees in lew of a tree skirt.

I did want some shimmer so I took these dollarstore candle holders from last year, brushed a little white glue on the tops and rolled them in Epsom salt mixed with a pinch of clear glitter. I had planned on disposing of the candle holders after this Christmas since the candles are stuck (and they were only a dollar) but I may have to find a way to hang on to them. I love the subtle shine!

Again I am a huge fan of using what I already have on hand to create a new display. My wardian case became a candle holder in the fireplace, plant pots and baskets got co-opted to create stands for the candles and display pine cones. The snowflakes hung from the dining room chandelier last Christmas. Only the snow ball trim was new and at $2 per 30 foot roll I spent a total of $4 bucks.

While not shown (I’ll be doing the great Christmas reveal next week) the Christmas tree will sit next to the mantel and bring in a little more sparkle to the scene. As a hint, it will involve home-grown crystals to make an icy complement to the snow.

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The Metallic-Frosty Christmas Mantel

I promised a preview of my Christmas mantel and by damn I finally delivered (Yes, this is the same fireplace that included the saga of (removing 6 layers of paint from brick). If you’re just following this blog then I should let you know we are decorating for charity. We are on the Canton Christmas Tour of Homes this year so I feel the need to kill myself by going over the top with handmade wreaths, fresh garland, and a lot of bling. Anyway enough with the talking here she blows:

The mantel incorporates fresh, handmade evergreen garland, various DIY candle holders, antiqued mirrors, and a shit-ton of candles. If your interested in how to make garland I will be posting a tutorial tomorrow. It incorporates fraser fir. white pine, some other random pinetree, leyland cypress, and ivy. For now here are a few details of the mantel.

Please ignore the fact I need to dust.

The second candle holder that is grooved it actually a cut glass sugar holder from Goodwill. After painting and antiquing it achieved a burnished metallic look I was pleased with.

The metallic-frosty look was a little cold so I decided to add a few pops of cranberry to the mix. Also, you can see how to create the antique gold of the candelabra here.

I don’t want go go into how many photos it took to get a picture without myself being reflected in the mirror. I’m not exactly part of the Christmas decor.

Final detail shows my altar inspiration.

So what do you all think? Did I get the glowing but shiny Christmas from my inspiration? I would love to hear your comments/critiques before I show this puppy off at the tour on Sunday. I’m thinking I’m close but I still have till December 5th to mess with it. If your interested in the garland I’ll add a link to this post tomorrow.

Edit: Here’s the link for DIY evergreen garland