11.23.2009

Dressing the Mantle

Since it's too soon to dress the turkey (especially since I haven't bought one yet), I decided to dress the mantle over the weekend. When my initial plan to decorate with manzanita branches and twinkly lights didn't turn out the way I envisioned, I panicked just a little. My husband suggested leaving it blank, but I knew I could figure out something.

I'm not into holiday decorations, but I like to bring a little something seasonal indoors. The pumpkins and gourds adorning the mantle for the last month and a half were looking worse for the wear, so they joined the oak leaves in the compost pile. I wanted to replace them with something natural and neutral, easy and free, and using materials we had available.

burlap garland

Armed with burlap, scissors, a needle and thread, I made a burlap leaf garland to drape over the mantle mirror.

I simply folded the burlap in half, and cut out symmetrical leaf shapes, approximately 4 inches long and 3 inches wide.

burlap leaves

Then I alternated the leaves and tacked them in place with a running stitch - short stitches in front, longer stitches in back. I just kept adding leaves one at a time and tacking them in several places.

burlap leaves garland

I worked one side of the garland at a time, working from the middle out, then reversed the direction of the leaves for the opposite side of the garland. The finished garland measures about 8 feet.

tea light holders

Then I enlisted the help of the woodcutter to make some easy and free tea light holders. We rummaged through our wood pile for different diameter rounds and George cut them at various heights, then drilled holes in the top of each round to hold a tea light.

lighting the mantle

Voila! The mantle is dressed. And now I'm going to keep cleaning.

29 comments:

  1. Beautiful! (What kind of tool would you use to drill a hole the size of a tealight?)

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  2. goodness, Molly, both the burlap leaves garland & the wooden candle holders are amazing ! How neat to have such a handy hubby ! Good luck for the cleaning, my dear !
    Have a great week oxoxo

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  3. oh, molly! this just floors me. i love the natural palette-i think i'm going to go in that direction for christmas decorations, too.
    you are one talented lady.
    xo, tt

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  4. absolutely love the simplicity. the garland is so pretty!

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  5. Very unique and totally you!

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  6. Quite beautiful! My daughter, many years ago when she was in Brownies, participated in making a centerpiece which included candle holders made of split cedar. I still have them and put them out during the holidays.

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  7. Very sweet & simple! My hubby made candle holders EXACTLY like that with the kids at our summer 5 Day Club a couple of years ago!

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  8. lovely...and so creative!

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  9. I really love this. It looks so natural. What a great idea to use the wood as candle holders. Beautiful.

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  10. What fantastic ideas!! I have many, many burlap bags that I could turn into lovely garlands like your's...and my husband is also a woodcutter type, so I'm going to enlist him in making some tea light holders. Thank you for sharing, your blog is fantastic!

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  11. Love it! Found items make the best everything (decorations, clothes...)!

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  12. Oh that is perfect!! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving~

    I get lots of compliments on my lovely acorn necklace that came from your Etsy shop, hope you are doing well with that venture!

    :)

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  13. So lovely...especially love the tealights!!!

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  14. I love the garland, what a fun idea!! I'm thinking you still need a POP of color though, eh? I can't manage to motivate myself to clean much these days, I'm having too much fun making everything messy :)

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  15. Ah-ha!! Now I'll be looking for tea lights as I stack the wood pile! Fantastic idea!! Happy Thanksgiving to you..

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  16. This is great Molly... I love simple decorations!

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  17. Very nice! How's that skirt coming along?

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  18. Lovely - made me feel cozy just looking at it. I am a little sad to take down my fall decorations but they too are getting a bit sad. We had brought in some really great branches with dried leaves - which we do every year but this year they seemed even more lovely.

    I wish I could swap them out with some wood pieces like yours. Your wood will make for beautiful winter decor too.

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  19. love the tea lights! how handy to have your own woodcutter man *grin*

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  20. *gorgeous* i love it molly!

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  21. Oh, so pretty.

    I'm feeling lazy this year, because we'll be guests elsewhere on Thanksgiving, instead of hosting as we have for the past couple of years. I had such a good time gathering seeds and pods for my table last year, and haven't done it this year. Guess it's not too late...

    I want to know how the skirt is going too!

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  22. LOVE the tealight holders! Oh la la, they are very nice!

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  23. how wonderfully creative of you, Molly! Love it!

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  24. Ok that is just so wonderfully brilliant. Even if I had come close to that idea I would never have thought of reversing the leaves in the middle. And I have been stuck on the idea of log candles with the nail-this is so so much better. You rock!

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  25. I LOVE your tea light holders. I'll have to see if I can find some logs for this.

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