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Christmas Mantle Archives - Hoosier Homemade

Christmas Mantel: Believe

By | Christmas, Decorating, Holidays, Home page - Slider | 18 Comments

Our Christmas Mantel is a bit different this year, in fact most of our Christmas trees and decorations are not our usual style. I’ll have to admit, it’s taking me a little time to get into the spirit this year, not sure if it’s the lack of snow, being so busy or simply life. So this new spin on our Mantel and other decorations is very refreshing for both Doug and I.

The Mantel started with a feeling…a wish…that the spirit of Christmas could live in all of us, not only in just the hearts of little children. You know…that sparkle and smile when a child sees the Christmas lights or sits on Santa’s lap. The warmth you get from believing about more than the presents or cookies.

And so, after lots of thinking and chatting about my idea, Doug and I designed our “Believe” Christmas Mantel

Just like in the Polar Express book and movie, the bells of Christmas ring for those that believe! So we began with the jingle bells as our theme and added lots of different white accents.

I decided to change up the usual garland that goes all the way across and just had a piece on each end of the Mantel. I started with one 9 foot length for each side, added the lights and folded it in half, securing it to the Mantel with wire. Then I added some picks with white tiny snowballs, ribbon and some white ornaments including a white bird, acorn and pinecone.

We found the deer at Michael’s, they began as gold paper mache’ and we transformed with white spray paint, spray adhesive and glitter. A white Santa, a boot filled with bells and other various sizes of bells were added on top of a piece of white fur fabric.

A treasured woodland Santa got tucked in the end.

On the opposite end, a little wagon received a new look with a coat of white spray paint, then filled with Epson salt, fresh greens to resemble a tree being brought home in the wagon, a deer and a few more bells.

More white deer, these were ornaments and I just removed the string and yes…more bells!

The Chalkboard, which is actually slate, anchors the Mantel with “Believe!” The wooden initial received a coat of spray adhesive and sprinkle of glitter, then the rest of the word is in chalk. My little trick for drawing with chalk, wet the board and wrap the chalk in a damp cloth…works like a charm!

The stockings I made last year from thrift store sweaters, received strings of twine tied with bells.

And more twine with bells across the top of the Chalkboard.

Do the bells of Christmas ring for you?

“At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me as it does for all who truly believe.” – Chris VanAllsburg from The Polar Express

May the bells of Christmas continue to ring for you this year and years to come!

Linking to…Holiday Mantel Party at Lettered Cottage, Show & Tell FridayWeekend Wrap up Party, Graphics Fairy

Rustic Christmas Mantel

By | Christmas, Decorating, Holidays | 13 Comments

I’m so excited to share my Rustic Christmas Mantel with you! Although I loved the Mantel we decorated last year, I really love the rustic feel and simplicity of this year’s creation.

After decorating the Dining Room Chandelier and Table, we loved the burlap mixed with fresh green and the whimsy of the wooden clothes pins so much we decided to carry the theme into the Living Room and add it to the Mantel.

The base of the garland is artificial greenery, then strips of burlap about 6 inches wide were pinned on with clothes pins. The clothes pins were a huge time saver. It usually takes me at least an hour to wire together the garland, but with the clothes pins, it was done in about 10 minutes. The garland was wired onto the Mantel and then I added some fresh green and a few pinecones.

I have been wanting to change the large star that we have had above the Mantel since we first decorated 4 years ago when we moved into our home. Christmas decorating was a perfect opportunity and I’m so glad I did. I love the wreath!

I decorated it the same way I did the garland, starting with an artificial green wreath, added some burlap, fresh green and a few pinecones.

The woodland Santas not only give a rustic Christmas feel but add the warmth of the season to the Mantel.

When I first saw the Twig Trees that Gina shared in Splendidly Homemade Magazine, I knew I wanted to add them to our Christmas Mantel. I started with a clay pot, and spray painted it black. Then using LOTS of different size twigs, I just glued and glued. For a complete tutorial, visit Shabby Creek Cottage…she’s awesome!

Stay tuned…more Christmas decorating to come!

Linking to…Holiday Home, Transformation Thursday, Show & Tell Friday, Weekend Wrap-up Party, Saturday Night Special

Splendidly Homemade Online Magazine

By | Featured Posts, Holidays | 10 Comments

I am SUPER excited to share with you Splendidly Homemade!! I have been working for months with my good friend and blogging buddy, Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage, to put together the Premier Issue.

We couldn’t have done it without our amazing group of contributors; Tiffany from Eat at Home, Amy from MomAdvice, Barbara from Barbara Bakes, Holly from iGoBoGo, Kellie from Nest of Posies, Laura from Real Mom Kitchen, Jessica from Kohler Created and Ashley from Ashley Pichea.com who helped us pull it all together for Kindle!

Isn’t she GORGEOUS??? I’m so proud and thrilled, I could cry…but I won’t!

So what’s this Online Magazine all about and how does it work?

First of all…it’s FREE! Yes, just click on the button below or head on over to Splendidly Homemade. When you arrive, you just need to click on the “Click to Read” button in the middle of the picture, and enjoy!!

You can also grab it on Kindle if you would like, for only $.99 cents! And be sure to “like” Splendidly Homemade on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

And here’s a little sneak peek of my contribution…

Doug and I had such a blast creating this Bird Tree! The unique patina of the garden trellises, the bird houses, homemade suet and the cute little wreath on top make it a show stopper in our front yard!

Giving a gift from your kitchen is always such fun and budget friendly too! I filled this basket with Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Apple Butter and Pumpkin Butter. {recipes in the magazine}

By using antique kitchen tools and a dried fruit garland, this Kitchen Christmas Tree is a great way to show off a collection and add a little whimsy to your kitchen or dining room during the holidays.

Won’t you join us?? Visit Splendidly Homemade to view the Premier Issue and find more wonderful ideas for the holidays!

Linking to…Made by you Monday, Works for me Wednesday, Transformation Thursday, Show & Tell Friday, Weekend Wrap up Party.Saturday Night Special, Sundae Scoop

Christmas Mantle with a DIY Garland

By | Christmas, Decorating, Holidays | 32 Comments

Oh how I LOVE Christmas!! The look…the feel…the smell…it’s my favorite time of year!

And my favorite part of our home, our Mantel! You’ve seen the Mantel decorated for all the different seasons and Holidays, and even last year for Christmas. But, I think, this has to be by far, my favorite Mantel I have decorated!!

In years past, I have always used the garland made from greenery and added the white lights. This year I wanted to go one step further, and bring a little outside in, so I added fresh green to the artificial garland.

  1. I (with Doug’s help) wired the artificial garland to the Mantel, then added some fresh greenery. After the garland on the front was finished, I added a layer of greenery to the top of the Mantel.
  2. Next come the Santas, first the sleigh with a large Santa and his pack
  3. Then a very tall woodland Santa on the opposite end

I like starting with the largest pieces first and placing them on either end. And the fresh green that I used was arborvitae and spruce.

  1. Then 3 more Santas in the middle
  2. Some very large pinecones that came from my sister in California, many years ago
  3. And some fresh oranges for color and to match the popcorn garland and tie it all in together

Last week while baking the oranges and apples for the popcorn garland, the house smelled so good, like Christmas, I just had to share on Twitter. I had a couple followers ask how I baked the fruit, so I thought I would share with you. It’s really very easy, and I think the results are great!

Christmas Popcorn Garland

You will need…

  • Oranges – sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • Whole Cloves – to put in the oranges
  • Apples – sliced about 1/4 thick
  • Lemon juice to brush onto the apples
  • Cinnamon and Sugar mixture to sprinkle on the fruit
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Popped Popcorn – no butter or salt
  • Needle and clear thread or fishing line
  • 2 teenagers willing to sit and string the garland for you {Thanks Nick and Brittney!}

First you need to bake the fruit…slice oranges and apples, brush apples on both sides with lemon juice, push the cloves (2 or 3 for each slice) into the orange slices, and then sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place the fruit on the cooling rack and bake in a slow oven, about 250 degrees for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, watching them closely.

The reason I baked them on the cooling rack is so that the bottoms would also bake. For Halloween we made Shrunken Heads with carved apples and had to flip them over to get them to bake on the bottom. Using the cooling rack definitely helped.

Allow the fruit to cool completely. Then pop the corn, grab the cranberries and start stringing.

So, what do you think? One of your favorites that I have shared?

Are you decorating for Christmas? Just starting…like me? Or all you all done?

Linking to…Sundae Scoop

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