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