Last week I shared my finished fireplace and mantel and gave you a sneak peek at my spring mantel decorations. Today I’m showing you how I put them all together.
Before we talk birds and flowers we should revisit the aged wood background that everything is hanging on. I made it HERE for about $20 and I love the texture it adds to the room. It seems to be the perfect backdrop, no matter what season it is.
Now for some flowers. Bright yellow Forsythia leaves scream spring so I hit Michael’s during a 50% off sale and grabbed a handful of “fakeys” and a grapevine wreath. All-together I spent $17.
This is the part where I admit I totally faked it. I have no idea how you’re supposed to make a wreath. All I did was cut off the sprigs with a pair of pliers, jabbed them into the grapevine, and wrapped some floral wire around it in random spots. Does that count as a tutorial? Maybe? No? Either way, I’m happy with how it turned out.
Oh, and as for those empty mason jars, I have a plan for those. How perfect will THIS be in them? I can’t wait to try it. I’ll be sure to post an update.
The gold cage and birds were the most challenging part of this project but they’re also my favorite things on the mantel. I started with a plain artist’s canvas from the craft store. (I had one on hand but you can pick them up at Michael’s or JoAnn’s.) A coat of primer and two coats of Clark + Kensington Blue Jolt paint and it was ready for a cage.
I wish I could offer a stencil or pattern or something but I found THIS clip art online and just sketched it out one night while my daughter was at swim practice. (Sorry for the fuzzy iphone pic.)
Once my sketch was done I used a gold paint pen to trace the lines and my favorite gold leaf paint from THIS project to fill in the bigger areas. Voila!
Up next – birds. Here’s how I made them:
1. I started with THIS clip art and enlarged it on my monitor to the size I wanted.
2. I taped a piece of paper to my screen and oh-so-delicately traced the outline.
3. I cut out the bird and then used it as a template to trace the same shape onto a piece of heavy cardstock. This would ensure it was stable enough to stand up to paint.
4. I cut out the cardstock bird and painted it with the same gold leaf paint I used on the cage.
Obviously I did this twice, making the second bird smaller.
Did you notice how the bigger bird is layered in front of the canvas? I tried to give him some depth by gluing a piece of folded cardstock to his back so it created a tab that sticks out perpendicular to the body. I slid that tab between two of the wooden slats and it created the “flying” bird effect. This might have been Josh’s idea but he can never prove it.
The last element was the easiest. A simple frame, a coat of cheery coral paint, and a scrap of fabric leftover from THIS project.
Add a gnome candle and an an awkwardly empty vase which I promise to fill it as soon as something blooms around here, and you’ve got a mantel all ready for spring. (You’ll see some votive candles standing in for the mason jars in some of these pics.)
I love the bright colors and the look of spring when I walk in the door even though my furnace has been running all day. Sigh.
What are you decorating for spring? Any birds or flowers made their way into your house? Any bright pops of spring color?