Merry and Bright Art for The Mantel

merry and bright mantel art

Christmas mode is in full swing at my house. Pandora has been on the Mariah Carey Christmas station, peppermint lattes have been consumed, and twinkle lights have made their way down from the attic. Tis’ the season, and I’m excited to show you what I’ve been working on lately. 

My “Merry and Bright Mantel” was inspired by my current obsession with metallics. A couple ideas from Pinterest got me thinking about a simple, modern way to decorate this year. The idea for silver and gold “snow” on canvases came from this pin, and the thought of using lights poked through a canvas came from here.  
I probably should have used a stencil for the “Merry and Bright” lettering, but I got impatient and just drew with pencil before using metallic paint pens to trace over it. (If you look closely, you’ll see some things are a bit off. Oh well, adds to the homemade charm right? At least that’s what I’m telling myself.)The find of the season was these amazing ornaments I scored for $3 each at Wal Mart, of all places. I snatched up every last one. The snowflakes below were also a WM find, $2 a piece. I need to remember to start my hunt at good ole’ Wal Mart then pick up the fancy, more costly stuff at craft stores later. I spent less than $100 on everything for my mantel this year. Which means, more money to buy stocking stuffers. The little wooden village above is one of my most precious possessions. My mother bought the set on a family vacation to Germany when my brother and I were very little. For as long as I can remember, mine and my brother’s part in helping to “decorate for Christmas” was to set up the village. We took great care to arrange and rearrange everything until we felt confident it was the “best Christmas village ever”. 
This was my first year to set the village up at my house. The feeling of nostalgia was almost tangible as I set up each little house and tree. It was the highlight of my decorating process. Each familiar piece brought back a flood of memories and made me miss my brother terribly. (By the way, isn’t the Volkswagen genius?!?)
Next week, I’ll be posting gift wrap ideas, a DIY stocking stuffer, and my trees. Yes, that’s plural. No worries, I only have two. How’s your decorating going? What is one of your holiday traditions that bring back memories of Christmases past?
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71 Comments Filed Under: Holiday, Home Decor


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  • Comments

    1. says

      I really like your art! But yes, I understand the frustration of DIY mishaps. I actually just blogged about our freshly decorated tree that fell over only hours after I finished getting it decorated ;-S

    2. says

      Thanks ladies! (I hope you’re not just trying to be nice becasue you feel sorry for my inner eight year old.) Amanda, I got those at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. Jenny, thanks so much for taking the time to say “hello”. Lucky Girl, that’s terrible!! I’m heading over to see the damage.

    3. says

      I think it all looks beautiful! I’m thinking a rustic/metallic Christmas will be making an appearance at our house. I love how elegant, yet not so red/green traditional it is! Loved getting to meet you last week…you were a lovely host & so much fun to talk with :) You inspired me to get going, now I just have to do it! Let’s keep in touch new friend :)

    4. says

      Hey! New follower here. I think the Merry and Bright looks great. Esp. for your first time. I have a lot of crap that looks like a second grader made it versus your 8th grader — if that makes you feel any better. Maybe a do-over is in order but I think any of us out here would take your cast-off!

      Love your village in a tray. Such a great tradition.

    5. says

      Katie, I had so much fun talking about…well, everything under the sun with you:) I’m so glad our hubbies have rekindled their “bro love” for each other. PS-Do you have your pretty inspiration notebook yet??? Maybe “Santa” needs to put one under the tree for you.

    6. says

      Okay, Heather..I’m totally jealous! Your home looks great! I really love your mantel. Happy Holidays! Thanks for sharing this at The Corson Cottage {Home for the Holidays} link party:) Carrie

    7. says

      that metalic snow pin you linked is beautiful! love that idea. so simple too.

      a little constructive criticism on the “merry and bright”…I think the lights look great! It’s just the writing that looks a bit…youthful :)i hate when projects don’t turn out the way I had hoped. i get grumpy and sometimes let it ruin my day. (real grown up of me I know)I always think by the time I pay for supplies to re-do something 2-3 times I might as well have bought something store made and saved my time!

      oh and I love those trees you posted as a tutorial the other day. they look great! I like the wooden village too. the tradition that comes to my mind is how we decorated our tree each year. our tree growing up was always decorated with hand made orinaments and each year we made new ones and bought an orienament that represented that year for us. I have all 25 of my orienaments and hope to start the same tradition with my family :)

      oh and wal mart is awesome.

    8. says

      Sorry ladies: I’ve been out of town and was so excited to login and see all your sweet comments. Courtney and Michaela, I’m loving your link party! Thanks for hosting. Brit, “youthful” is a euphemism, ha! I’m growing to like it a little more. (AND my to-do list is growing, so I’m thinking it’s sticking around.) I think the ornament tradition is such a great to have. @lameonewithmuchope-I hung it in our attic. Andrea, so true! Good to hear. Carrie, thanks for hosting! Latoya, Casa de Luna, and A Lived in Home, welcome and thanks.

    9. says

      I think it’s absolutely gorgeous! Don’t switch out that art, it’s so cute! I think you did a great job and plan to feature as part of my favorite mantels from the link up party. Thanks for participating!

    10. says

      I came over from A Thoughtful Place after seeing your mantle featured. It is just beautiful and so creative! It really caught my eye. I love your artwork and would not change a thing. I think it is perfect! Your color scheme of whites and metallics is gorgeous. The velvet green stockings are beautiful. Your story of your wooden village is so sweet and special. I love to be surrounded by sentimental things at Christmas. Thank you for sharing your mantle. I enjoyed my visit to your blog and will be back!

    11. says

      Thanks so much Allison:) After all the great feedback I’ve gotten from other bloggers, I guess it was the confidence boost I needed to leave the art how it is! I’m so glad you found so much that you enjoyed. Welcome!

      Laura, it’s actually paint pen that I stenciled on for $15. (A lot less than the wallpaper I really wanted.) You can check out that post here:

      http://www.thelovelycupboard.com/2011/07/diy-stenciled-wallpaper.html

    12. says

      Great Mantel and cute blog too! I hope you don’t mind I featured you on my blog tonight – oh, and I see above me to Corson Cottage is feature you too! Congrats! Take care, Laura

    13. says

      I think it all looks, even your Merry & Bright sign – honest!

      I love those white ceramic jars you have near your fireplace – I’ve seen them at Hobby Lobby and always debate getting them…but never do because I’m not sure how I’d display them. I love how you have them next to your fireplace and think I may have to do the same. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

    14. says

      OMG. I am in LOVE with the art!!! come make me some, pretty please???? WOW. Now THAT is talent. You should be incredibly proud of your mantle, looks SO chic and creative and all of the things I wish I was, lol. Great job and thanks for sharing and for linking up!! xoxo shelli

    15. says

      I think your sign looks great, but if you aren’t happy with it, I saw an idea on pinterest that might help. You put little stickers or decals (stars in your case?) all over your canvas then spray paint white over it. Remove them and put white lights behind, but not poking through and it will glow from behind. This is actually what I thought you had done until I saw the second pic. very pretty :)

    16. says

      Your little German village is interesting. My Mom always sets up a village, complete with train, ice, and skaters! She lays out quilting fibrefill, and the whole display sits on the ‘snow’. Little grandchildren & great-grandchildren are always fascinated. Your set is definitely a keepsake worth keeping!

    17. says

      I LOVE the Merry & Bright sign and your WHOLE mantle!! I just found this via Pinterest and hope to make something similar this year!! Hope you don’t mind! :) :)

      • says

        Thanks! Go for it. I used a canvas and punched holes for the lights using a very small leather punch. Then I secured each light with a dab of glue. Honestly, it took some sweat, time, and a few tears. Be sure to clear an afternoon for this one if you try it:)

    18. says

      I think you did a fabulous job on this project. So fun and bright! I pinned it on Pinterest then came to your blog. I have been here before but lost the link. Now you are in my bookmark bar! Love it!

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