Summer Mantel

It’s summer mantel time- yay!

We had a ball putting together our adventure/sea-themed display this year…

As always, our goal was to create something fresh & fun to enjoy for the season, using free, inexpensive, or handmade items, and things we already had around the house.

We spent about $8 on the “have an ADVENTURE” art…

It’s just made up of two wood dowels, some leftover wood stain, an old piece of dropcloth material, some twine, and a couple beads of hot glue. The phrase decal came from Leen The Graphics Queen.

In a nutshell, we just cut out a (good) section of dropcloth (from one of our old dropcloths) that would fit above our mantel.

We decided to work on the side without any paint marks on it, then we ironed it smooth, primed it, pencil drew a United States shape on it, and painted it with Moonlight White and Southern Breeze paint. A little hot glue and a couple of wood dowels later…boom! Art with heart!

We also made the little sailboat on the left side of the mantel…

It’s made out of wood from our backyard, a piece of scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby, and two little triangles of denim from one of my old pairs of jeans. We just drilled a hole in the middle of the big chunk of wood and filled it with hot glue. While the glue was still wet, we stuck the twig down in it and waited for it to dry. The paper sails and denim flag are also held in place with hot glue.

Everything else was stuff we had around the house. Flea market finds, glass containers, candles, craft sand, driftwood sailboats, and seashells…

(white and ticking stripe sailboat: White Flower Farmhouse)

We got the bottle at Ikea last year. I just poured in some craft sand (Hobby Lobby), and embellished it with a small white pencil starfish, some twine, and a piece of an old Atlas we had in our car. (We love that part of Florida! I’ve got family in Pensacola, and we honeymooned in Seaside.)

I also wrapped a couple of our votive candle holders with pieces of our old map…

I got a whole set of the fish plates at a flea market last year, and just couldn’t resist propping one up there, too…

And last but not least, I filled our (non-working) firebox with some more goodies we had around the house. A vintage locker basket filled with books, a wicker picnic basket, and a soda crate

My favorite “goodie” is the one on the far left though. He makes decorating so much more fun!

PS- If you blogged about a Summer-themed display, or you’re looking for some more Summer-y inspiration, I hope you’ll swing by this coming Monday for our Summer Fun link party!

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  1. Heather Parrish says

    I love it! The sailboats are too fun! My favorite is the aqua/turquoise bowl! Also love the link up photo…I heart old bugs, bunches:-)

  2. Cheryl Thornton says

    always look forward to your creations…and I agree – that “goodie” on the left of the firebox is my favourite accessory too – he’s just so cute!
    Cheryl from Ontario, Canada

  3. says

    Love this…I love anything vintage-y/ coastal. You gave me a great idea for the old picnic basket and soda crates I have sitting in my garage without a home!

  4. says

    I love all your fun summer goodies, especially that you made most all of them yourself! The sailboat is adorable. Love the bug, too, brings back memories- my first time driving was in a green bug with my dad, ran into a tree- just a small tree, teeny-tiny thing. Dad didn’t say a word, just shook his head, got out and walked into the house. Mom took me driving after that…. :)

  5. Amy says

    Your mantel looks beautiful Layla! I always love your vintage collections (where do you store so much great stuff? Ha!) and Kit Kat looks especially dapper in the last photo! =)

  6. says

    Love it! I’m trying to come up with some Hawaiian decor for my bathroom that isn’t super cheesy (hula girl soap dispensers, anyone?), so this gives me some ideas. If you have any other ideas for a Hawaiian theme (as opposed to a beach theme – I’ve never seen sand dollars or star fish in Hawaii), I’d love to hear them!

    • Dianne Callahan says

      Hi Amber,
      An old friend of mine is actually from Hawaii and she has such a lovely way of bringing the islands into her California home. She often uses dark woods mixed with whites and then layers in the beautiful green of monstera leaves as well as large conch shells. Add in luxerious green and white towels and it could be gorgeous. You could also incorporate a great texture like seagrass wallpaper and perhaps a beautiful framed photo of the islands. I have a dark wood frame that holds multiple 4×6 photos that I use to display vintage style postcards I bought in Honolulu. You could frame a classis hawaiian shirt in a bamboo type of frame and use bamboo accessories on your countertop.

      Have fun!

  7. says

    I love your mantle – so very summery!

    I have to say – I *love* Seaside, too!!! It wasn’t around when I got married, otherwise, I’d have wanted to honeymoon there, too! We always make it a point to stop there on our drive from Texas to my mother-in-law’s winter place near Orlando. I would love to retire to the Pensacola area.

    I need to take pictures of my summer mantle, so that I can link up!

  8. Mitzi says

    Hi Layla!
    Is the brick around your fireplace painted black or some other material? And what material did you use on the floor?

  9. erica says

    after seeing your summer mantle last yr with the sailboats i made one 2. i made my sail out of leftover dropcloths(which i made curtains with) and zig zag pillow fabric. thank you for the inspiration!!!!

  10. says

    Perfect as always. Love it All. Lot’s of great ideas like the painting on canvas and the bottle with sand and atlas tag. Looking forward to your Mantel Party, I’ll be posting mine although yours puts it to shame.
    PS. KitCat makes that whole picture. so darn cute!

  11. Amber says

    I absolutely love your style and your creativity.I live in a standard, borning ranch with almost no decorations. Do these things just come to you, do you have to think about them for a while, do you go looking for inspiration?

    I haven’t had an original thought or idea my whole life. If I see something I like, I go to hobby lobby to find it and then I get all indecisive about how to do it or which materials to use. I find it overwhelming.

    Has decorating and creating always come easy to you? Did you take decorating classes in college so you know what to do or is it just a niche you were blessed with?

    Are you ever indecisive or do can you just get everything to click together and look perfect? Do you have any advice how to overcome by indecisiveness and find my creativity?

  12. says

    gorgeous as usual. i love how creative and inspiring you guys are. just makes me keep on comin’ back for more!!! :) happy summer mantel day!

  13. Sarah S says

    I love it! I especially love the canvas art.. I’d love to re-create my own spin on it!
    Do you plan on posting a tutorial?
    Of not, how did you attach the canvas to the dowel? Hot glue??

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Sarah! There’s a little blurb about how we created it up there in the post. Super easy peasy! :-)

  14. says

    That’s so cute! I need to be better about switching up my mantle – it’s looked exactly the same since the day we moved in 11 months ago! I definitely need to do something about that.

  15. says

    Hi there,

    i really like your summer mantel, though i love all of your mantels you have ever done :D
    My question is, how could i participate this linky party with my summert mantel ? for example.
    I send you the url of the mantel, AND i paste that little pic with html code unde my post?
    Thanks :P
    Fanni (from Hungary)

  16. Marianne says

    Wonderful summer ideas especially the glass bottle and using maps, one of my favourite things as we travel a lot. Thank-you!
    Have always used our mantel for seasonal displays; sometimes even changed them monthly for special celebrations like birthdays, graduations or highlights in our lives.

    Am enjoying you & your husband’s ideas and great pictures: fun ways to decorate creatively and inexpensively. Am a fan/lurker/follower of yours north of the 49th in Vancouver, BC.

  17. says

    LOVE the handmade mantle art. you’ve actually given me a great idea for similar construction, though different theme, and i can’t wait to see how it turns out! thanks!

  18. says

    Loved the mantel and what a great idea making the canvas art:) We also love Seaside Florida as well because that too is where the hubby and I went on our honeymoon:) So excited we are going back at the beginning of next month ahhhh…..
    relaxation :)

  19. Heidi says

    eeek! You knocked it out of the ball park! Again. I was so excited and happy to click on your post today. I knew I’d love it.

    I’d love to see an answer to Amber’s (above) post. What is your thought process when pulling a look together? Is it something you visualize or is it how something makes you feel, etc?

  20. Katie says

    I think my favorite thing about your mantels is that they never seem to look propped – there’s always enough going on that it kind of looks like people just tossed things, there but at the same time it always looks awesome! (Maybe propped, but without the artificial notes? Either way, I love it!)

    And I agree with everyone else… cats are the ultimate goodie.

  21. says

    Oh Layla, you ALWAYS inspire me on my summer mantel. Love the map idea, can I just copy you and call it a day? No I kid…you make it look so easy. Love the Florida Panhandle too…we were there in March.
    Can’t wait to link up and especially can’t wait to meet you and your hubby next week at Haven…it is going to be a blast! Thank you for always inspiring me

    Andrea xo

  22. says

    I must say that I truly think that is the cutest summer mantel I have ever seen. Very creative and that little sailboat is just awesome. I love the canvas as well – a great take on summer. I only have about twelve inches between my mantel and my “big screen” alcove so I can’t go “UP” – only to the left and right. I manage to come up with some nice mantels, but now I think I’ll just pack it in now that I’ve seen yours ;) Have a great weekend!

  23. gidget in CA says

    i’m feelin’ the breezy attitude of your mantle! so nice that you showed me how to do something similiar. yes, the kitty is my fav addition, too.

    i’m new to your site and hard work, inspiring design and very helpful guidance. there is so much to read n see; you’ve made me very happy.
    thank you!

  24. says

    Looks fabulous (love the sign/banner). I know that the sea theme is always a popular one, but it seems even more so this year. I see beach/sea related items in nearly every store, and of course I have my own vignettes going on. lol

    Seeing your sweet sailboat reminds me that there’s one I want to make.

    With all of the remodeling and other stuff that I’ve got going on, it’s nice to come here and get inspired, because sometimes the ‘big picture’ gets a little overwhelming.

  25. Josie says

    Great mantel and love your banner.
    It’s the time of year when you dream of sand between your toes. I live in Florida very close to the Gulf so I can enjoy it year round but there is something about June that makes you want the beach. Love that you have a lettered olive shell. That is one of our favorite to hunt for when we walk along the Gulf beaches.

  26. says

    Oh Layla girl… you constantly blow my mind with your creativity! I love it. I think I’ve given up on ever having a mantle of my own… but I sure enjoy the cuteness of yours.

  27. says

    Gorgeous as always. Love how summery it feels. You’ve inspired me to pull a load of things out of my bathroom to use on my mantel!
    One question – you must amass so many ‘props’ (for want of a better word) as you change things up so often – where do you keep them all? I don’t have that much stuff but find it really hard to store all the stuff that is seasonal.
    Sam x

  28. says

    Love all the touches ,,, especially the sailboat you made and the white and blue ticking sail boat. Oh, and your favorite accessory that I almost missed until you point him out. Too funny how he can hide in plain sight.

    And I have to say that I think your link party button is my favorite ever … Seriously cute!



  29. says

    I Love it all. I seriously would not have found a place to create a lovely summer mantel if it wasn’t for you. The post will go live tomorrow and I will link to your party and then my shelf will go back to being a shelf. Thank you for the inspiration.

    I scored a last minute ticket to Haven and can’t wait to see you in action. :) Have a wonderful week.

  30. says

    Wow.. It’s all so inspiring. I love your blog and am a new follower now. Oh and that accessory is exactly like one I have at home (his name is jasper) I’m sure he appears somewhere in my blog lazing around.
    Bec x

  31. says

    What did you use to paint the inside of your fireplace? I desperately need to paint ours, especially after seeing how great that black looks next to your white. I recently painted our fireplace white and would love to beef up the mantle but it’s on a long list of to dos! Thanks!

  32. says

    Love your summer mantel, especially with the coastal elements! Your boats are too cute … love the scattered shells, and the art you two created above is fabuous! Great vignette (especially with your furry baby) in your firebox!

  33. Cheryl F (also from Ontario, Canada) says

    Hi Layla,
    Love the mantel! Probably because it reminds me a lot of my entryway. I have three of those fish plates in various shades of turquoise that I hung above a mirror and made one of those sailboats last summer from driftwood collected on one of many walks with some gorgeous outdoor fabric I found in shades of turquoise, navy, and green.
    I often think if we lived in the same neighbourhood (or country) we would totally be buds. Reading your blog is like chatting with a girlfriend.
    Enjoy the sunshine!

  34. how2home says

    Your summer mantel looks fabulous :) Love that you used such clean and neutral colors for the mantel! Great post!

  35. Mary Sutterby says

    You two are just too creative, such neat ideas. I love your sense of play and that you decorated especially for summer. Just love the bottle with sand, twine and map. So clever. Really enjoyed looking at your page.

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