Our Summer Mantel

Note:
We’re tryin’ something new here on the Lettered Cottage blog, so be on the lookout for all the little audio players throughout this post, and click the “play” button to hear the messages I recorded for you!

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Since we spent almost all of June on Tybee Island, I never got a chance to take down our Spring-themed mantel display when Spring ended…

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But since I promised to blog about a different mantel display every season this year, I figured I’d better get to work on a Summer-themed one before it wasn’t Summer anymore!

I spent $67 on our Spring display, but this time around, my budget was $35.

Check it out!

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The only things I had to buy this week were some 2″-3″ starfish, and a few tubes of craft sand from Hobby Lobby.

I got the starfish on eBay…

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eBay consistently remains my favorite place to look for inexpensive, brand name home decor and other thrifty treasures like these- so remember, if you can’t find it locally, don’t forget to search there too!

The craft sand came from Hobby Lobby, and was just $2.49 per container.
I bought three containers, and dumped varied amounts of it into three, red-lidded jars I got for $1 each at a flea market earlier this year.

Each jar holds something different.

The one on the far left hand side of the mantel holds an old photo of me and my Dad…

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I nestled the photo (and an eBay starfish) down into the sand at the bottom of the jar.
And I gotta tell ya- walking past that pic, that was previously packed away in an old photo album, makes me smile and brings back such fond memories of my childhood.

My Dad lives in Minnesota, so I don’t get to see him that often.
Displaying his photo in an place that I see every day helps to mentally “lessen the gap” between us a little.

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The jar in the near the middle of the mantel holds a couple more of my eBay starfish…

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I like to think of them as me & my Mom…taking a walk together on the beach.

And the jar on the far right hand side of the mantel holds a colorful Tybee Island postcard…

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Kevin and I bought it as we were driving off the island in June. It reminds us of the amazing adventure we experienced there!

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Based on the aroma that I discovered inside the jars when I bought them, I think they used to hold pickles.
So if you like the look of them, you can probably find something similar at your local grocery store.

If you’d rather use brand new jars, here’s a link to some red-lidded ones that look a lot like the ones I used:

Red Lidded Jars

(Click the PLAY button on the divShare player below this sentence for another jar-related thought!)

We made the flag out of the shutters we had previously made for the reading room that we didn’t end up using.

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(I’ll post a step-by-step tutorial later this week in case you’re interested in how we made it.)

I got the driftwood sailboat from Whiteflower Farmhouse earlier this year…

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The enamel-covered metal number signs were from Pottery Barn.

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I attached the “9” to the old beadboard planks we removed from the shutters we took apart to make the flag…

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Since the planks were tongue and groove, I just filled the grooves with wood glue, and pushed them all together. Once the glue had dried, it made the perfect little backdrop for my nifty number nine!

I hung the “8” on the wall, on the left side of the flag…

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I got both numbers on clearance a few years back, but they’ve just been sitting in a drawer until now. So glad they got to come out and play finally!

(Click the PLAY button on the divShare player below this sentence for another metal number sign-related thought!)

The chunky little white frame below the “8” was previously hanging in our Guest Bedroom. It came from IKEA, and they’re pretty cool because you can use the glass on either the front or back side of the frame. I moved mine to the back side, in order to create a little “shadowbox”. I placed a starfish (painted the same color I painted the stripes on the flag) inside of it.

I used another blue-painted starfish on top of the IKEA frame that hangs on the right side of the flag…

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In the frame below it, I used an “S” and an “A” I already had (both from Michaels).
The “E” actually used to be a roman numeral “III”. We got it at Paris Market in Savannah, GA while we were working on the beach house on Tybee Island.

We bought the “III” to use as an “E” in our master bedroom to spell out the word…

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(More on that project later!)

Next, I snagged a little white pitcher/dish set from the “Wonder Wall” in the dining room…

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Wanna see what we keep inside it?

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Kevin’s guitar picks!

Who says decor can’t be multi-functional, right?

I got this “faux-liage” from Hobby Lobby for $1.50 on clearance a while back.

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I cut the “palm frondy” leaves off, since they seemed the most “Summery” to me…

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(Click the PLAY button on the divShare player below this sentence for a painters tape-related confession!)

I used the second “frond” in a little jar I got from the gals at Whiteflower Farmhouse…

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I hot-glued a small metal “Happily Ever After” tag to the front of it for a little extra sparkle. The tag used to be part of a wedding favor, and I could never bring myself to throwing it away- it was just too sweet!

The rope wrapped around all the candles scattered across the mantel came from Home Depot.
I got it a while back- but I didn’t end up using it on whatever project I bought it for.

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All I did was just wrap it around some of our candles, and then I secured the ends of it in place with stick pins…

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Ta Da!

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I liked the look of it so much, I even attached some to a few of Kevin’s Mainstays

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But because I haven’t mastered the fine art of driving stick pins through glass, I used hot glue to hold it in place on those.

Ta Da!

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Another idea is to use jute webbing, like this…

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You can find it at fabric stores, online, and I think you can even get it at Walmart. It comes in a couple different colors (red and blue), and it’s super easy to just wrap it around a candle, hot glue the end, and go!

The last thing I used on the mantel was a few handfuls of river rock from Hobby Lobby…

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I bought a while back to use in a project I worked on for HGTV.com- but I ended up using seaglass instead.

And there ya have it!

My “better-late-than-never, under 35 dollar, Summer-themed mantel”!

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I had fun putting it together, and I look forward to blogging about my FALL-themed mantel in…oh…lemme see…like, 35 DAYS! LOL!

Well, unless I find another project to distract me in the meantime.

Hmmmmmmm?
I wonder what aqua would look like?….or maybe red….or yellow….or…..

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Note- I altered the color of the lower cabinets in the photo above using Photoshop, just to see what they would look like!

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Comments

  1. charleigh says

    this display is just divine! thanks for sharing the step by step of how you put it together

  2. says

    I absolutely LOVE your mantel! It’s gorgeous!! I am going to use some left over wood from another project I just finished to make the coastal flag sign. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  3. Lauren says

    Hell,

    I love your mantel ideas! I would like to try and recreate the flag but I couldn’t find your tutorial. Do you have a link?

    Thanks SO much,
    Lauren

  4. says

    What a lovely mantel. Ours in under construction, so it might be until FALL before I can decorate it. hehe.

    Love the lower cabs in that shade. They really add a lot of interest to the kitchen, but I don’t think it overpowers the room.

    Happy Summer, and Happy Memorial Day =)

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