Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mantel Project

On to my projects. So I haven't been happy with our mantel in the living room ever since we moved in - 7 years ago. That is a long time to feel unhappy about and confused with what to do with a space. We live in a Craftsman bungalow that was built in 1918. It has a beautiful and HUGE, long mantel that covers the fireplace but also extends along and over built-in bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. It was just such a HUGE space. It also has the largest mirror known to man above the mantel. Anyway, I was just overwhelmed with the space and the size of it. I could never seem to get it "right". The scale of whatever I put up there was always off - too small - and the space just ate it alive.


And then there was the magic that IS Pinterest. I did searches on Mantels like crazy. And mantel designs. And craftsman mantels. And craftsman design. I looked and studied and looked some more. Inspired, I knew what I wanted to do - two square vases on each side of the mantel with something large in the middle. I wanted tall sticks or something in those square vases. And maybe some candles. And I decided on a design that would be balanced and symmetrical. 

I started pricing vases and decided quickly that I needed another option. I was standing in my kitchen and looking down at an empty capri sun box that was by the trash when inspiration struck. And it just happened to be 70 degrees out that day. In January. In Oklahoma. It was fate, I told myself. CLEARLY the universe wanted me to at least attempt this project. So I did. 

First I emptied out another capri sun, or possibly cool aid drink box, and cut the ends off of it.

Then I spray painted them a flat black.

Sprayed one side, let dry and flipped them over and did the other side.

While the boxes were drying I walked around with the little ones and picked up some thin sticks. All were between 28 - 40 inches in length - based on the height measurements I took of my mantel earlier.

Then I opted on painting the boxes a hammered copper color - with my trusted hammered copper spray paint. I decided the black would be fine, but I thought the hammered copper would help fool the eye over any box imperfections. Also, our fireplace screen is copper - so I thought the two would relate to each other nicely.
This is the after.

one side up close

And the other side.

I added a star from the top, a chalkboard in the center that I write quotes on, surrounded by two candles on either side.

Another After.

I'm happy. AND I upcycled. AND I spent ZERO dollars to do it.

Upcycle Decorating - the BEST kind!

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