Winter Mantle

I finally got my winter mantle to look about how I envisioned it. 🙂  The inspiration came pretty much from what I did last year, making just a few changes in execution really.

Of course, the execution part is what took the longest to actually get done. 😉  Here’s what it looked like last year.  The whole thing was pretty much let’s take things I had leftover from Christmas and make it winter.  Oh, but I did make the clothespin snowflakes.

I loved the use of the winter tree photo I took with my dad a few years ago and wanted to use it in a much larger scale.

And while I love the palette backdrop and use it often, there really isn’t as much contrast between the wall color and the raw wood.  Actually, there’s probably more in real life, but as I always say, this is a challenging space to photograph because of the wall of windows around the mantle. And not to worry, I moved the snowflake wreath to the front door. It’s too cute not to use somewhere.

Here’s this year’s version.

I sent the photograph I had used on a small scale last year to Staples and printed a 24×30 engineer print. Cost all of $3.50 I believe.  Of course it’s black and white, but that’s exactly what I wanted. I had the frame in my collection of things I rotate around the house.  I just needed to darken the frame a little with some dark wax. Do other people do this sort of thing? Move decorative items around their home with the change of seasons?

The new additions also include the bottle brush trees I picked up while antiquing with my friend in West Monroe last Christmas. And I tried my hand at the white duck tape leaved branches Nester made.

Luckily for me, my daughter is quite the duck tape collector so she kindly let me borrow some.  At first, I couldn’t figure out what kind of branches I was going to snag from the backyard. The ones I used last year were from the stems of the flowers of my day lilies, which were fine as just sticks, but I felt like they were too vertical and not “branchy” enough for the addition of leaves. 😉

I almost decided not to make them because I couldn’t find any branches in my yard that were wispy enough. And honestly, I wasn’t going to sacrifice other bushes in my yard to make a temporary display on my mantle.

Then, I noticed these sticks from the dahlias that finally bloomed in the fall instead of the spring.  Crazy things! I think they work pretty well, obviously not as pretty as Nesters, but we have to work with what God gives us. And so I did.  Here’s how she used her branches.

the Nesting Place

I simply adore the vignette she’s created here.  Not a fan of heads or the ceramic horned creature phase everyone is into really, but the arrangement of elements is stellar in my opinion. Love it!!

Here’s another look at my mantle.

I think next time I will finally be ready to share some of the other projects I worked on this fall. 😉  See you soon!

Shared here:
Beyond the Picket Fence
The Charm of Home

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  • Cassie B.
    January 15, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Beautiful mantle, Leslie! What do you think of the quality of the Staples engineered print? I am thinking of doing something with a song Cainan, my husband, wrote but I am curious about last-ability.<br /><br />PS. This is Cassie, as in Tara&#39;s baby sister!

  • Leslie Davis
    January 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Hey Cassie!! Well I think the quality as far as image is pretty sweet. And I can be very picky about image quality. My only problem, if I&#39;m stretching to create one, is that the paper is extremely thin. The girl at Staples told me that her printer won&#39;t print on heavier paper, but maybe some other locations have that option. I think for 3:50 it&#39;s a steal. She said she could print it

  • Leslie Davis
    January 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Oh, and to really answer your question, I think it will hold up fine. I have a smaller engineer print in my new studio, which I haven&#39;t shared yet, but hope to soon. It&#39;s also framed and I&#39;ve had it for several months now. I think that some type of protection is necessary. I haven&#39;t tried decoupaging it so can&#39;t attest to that.


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Winter Mantle

We traditionally take down the Christmas decorations on New Year’s Day.  To me, it’s officially the end of the holiday season and it’s a good low key thing to do on a day after you stayed up way past your bedtime.

Here’s a iPhone shot of the mantle during the holidays. I regret I didn’t get to photograph it properly, but I think that’s an indication of how crazy it was around here.

This was a fairly big deviation from what I normally do on the mantle, not so much in the elements, but how I hung the garland and the stockings.  Even though it looks very different than what I traditionally do, the only thing new was the taller apothecary jar.

I don’t know about you, but the one thing I really don’t like about taking down Christmas decorations is how boring the house looks afterward.  I wanted to slowly transition out of the bling of the holiday decor and do a festive winter mantle.  (That phrase kind of reminds me of  “festivous“. lol )

I had a vision in mind to keep some of the glass containers and fill them with gold and silver balls and beyond that I didn’t know what I was going to do.

Enter the clearance section of holiday decorations at my local Gerbes grocery store, where I saw this tacky wreath silver wreath plastered with snowflakes, silver balls and a plastic, glittery “Happy Holidays” in the middle. I thought that with some serious editing, it could have some potential especially for only $10.

And with that serious editing came this…

I turns out that the editing was not just in vain either, I used the silver balls to fill out the glass containers.  The snowflakes were made with clothespins and then sprayed lightly with brushed nickel spray paint. I found how to make them here. I also used some inexpensive epson salt in the hurricanes to mimic snow. 🙂

The framed photo is a favorite one I took on assignment with my father of a local big tree after a snowfall last year.  I love that I’m finally using it somewhere in the house, even if it is only seasonal. I printed the photo on my color printer and found a frame in a stash in the guest bedroom closet.

I talked about the pallet backdrop before here. It has been a great “free” piece for my mantle.  I can’t just hang a wreath on the wall because an electrical outlet and a cable outlet would be in plain view. Quite the eyesore.

I debated on whether or not to paint the sticks white?   Not much invested in them so I can go either way.  (I collected them, or actually yanked them out of the ground, from the day lilies in the front yard this fall.)
What do you think?

Linking up to the Open House Party at No Minimalist Here &

 Beyond The Picket Fence

Thank you for subscribing to Paper Daisy Designs. Please continue reading on the blog. I appreciate having you as a reader.


  • Beth
    January 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I really love how the whole thing turned out! I also like the idea of using the dead stems from daylilies instead of sticks! I love the straightness and smoothness of them better! What a perfect idea to use a winter picture for part of your decor! You&#39;ve inspired me! I&#39;m your newest follower now.

  • Leslie Davis
    January 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you for your comments! Glad to have you as a follower!

  • Lizabeth @ Infuse With Liz
    January 12, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Wow you really made that wreath look great! The brown ribbon gives it a nice touch! I imagine you can change the silver out to red for Valentines day! It looks great!

  • Judy
    January 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Hi! I found you over at The Open House Party (@ No Minimalist Here). Love the winter mantle! It&#39;s fun to see all the ways people have similar interests! I&#39;m a new follower! Hope you&#39;ll visit me too!<br />~Judy~


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