Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Mantel-a-go-go

I have the world's most boring fireplace mantel. My fireplace is conveniently located in a corner of my home but, while convenient, it's a pain to decorate. Since it's a corner piece, the top of it isn't your traditional long rectangular shape but, rather, a very large triangle. It's meant to have a t.v. on top of it but our t.v. hangson the wall instead, leaving a very large space to fill.

I came across a wonderfully decorated mantel on Positively Splendid (a fantabulous blog) that featured a whimsical Seuss-like Christmas mantel. It absolutely inspired me to do something with my boring old triangle.

I decided to go with gold and purple as my colour scheme and, like Positively Splendid's mantel, feature everything around some beautiful silhouette art of my two bébés! Below is what I came up with and I'm so happy every time I happen to catch a glance over at my new Christmas corner.

I started out by going to Zellers and picking out some gold Christmas balls. I also found some bright purple birds and some giant wrapped Christmas candy ornaments. All the Christmas décor was already on 40% off so I picked up a few other coordinating items such as the curly purple Christmas tree and a gold snow flake.

The tall wispy gold balls in the large vase were from Fabric Land, who was also having a 50% off sale! I was originally going to put them outside in my cast-iron urn with some shrubbery but liked them on the mantel instead, giving the décor some much needed height! I am still going to put in some more height, by placing in a cedar behind all the decorations you currently see. Like I said, it's a very large space so I have a lot of room to still work with.

I have always been in absolute love with silhouettes. I am thrilled to have finally been able to make some of my girls! Positively Splendid provided an awesome tutorial on how to make these pieces using PhotoShop (click HERE for the link). I had never used Photoshop before and I can tell you - it's a bit challenging!! This tutorial, however, makes it very easy to create your own silhouette masterpiece! I printed mine off at home and adhered them to some purple polka-dotted paper; I then used some plain black frames and some easels I bought at the good old dollar store to display my art!

There are two of these gorgeous flourished reindeer on each side of the mantel. I love them because they are a combination of antique gold and silver in colour and have a beautiful detailing on them. I used a 40% off coupon at Michaels and got them for $12 each!
This little mister is one of my favorite Christmas decorations. I have had him for a few years now but every Christmas when I pull him out from the depths of the basement's bowels I am always delighted. I went to a large warehouse that sells greenware and bisque items and bought him for around $15. I then brought my snowman into one of those coffee shops where you paint ceramics (SOOO much cheaper when you buy your own bisque, however, not all places will let you bring in your own pieces) and paid the $10 studio fee. So, for $25 I consider this guy to be a steal of a deal!

And finally, seeing that I had downloaded a free 30 day trial of the Photoshop program (here) I decided that I should play around with it a bit. This program, for me anyways, is very confusing but I did manage to make this cute cut-out of my kids with Old Saint Nick! I used the magnetic lasso tool to highlight what I wanted in my picture (when we got our Santa pictures we paid for the digital image only, rather than buying their expensive prints!) and then whited out the background. I then used my trusted super sharp Stampin' Up craft scissors to cut around the top part of the picture. I folded back the top and made a pop up tent backing. I then adhered some purple polka dot paper on the base so it would go with my décor!

So however you decide to decorate this year, I hope you have fun with it and maybe try something new! It's fun to add each year to your Christmas stock and maybe even add in some new traditions along the way! I would love to hear what new things you may have tried and if you've posted some pics to your own blog, post your link in the comments so I can check it out!! :)

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