I know that I am a little late in sharing my Fall mantel and many have already moved onto Christmas, but I LOVE Fall and I want it to last as long as possible. It snowed here Sunday and luckily it melted by the next day. I am not ready for winter to rear its freezing head.
As usual, I love to decorate with things I already have and pull in things from the outdoors. I also created a custom art piece this time which I will share a tutorial for today.
I chose not to grow pumpkins in my garden this year (I can’t really remember the reason why) but I am lucky to have a neighbor who had almost his whole garden covered in them.
And what is a fall mantel with out some fall leaves? I snipped a few off our tree in the backyard. The small pine cones are also from out back but the large one was one my dad brought home for me when I was small.
I am obsessed with using books. They added much needed height to that side of the mantel. The brass pheasant has a story all its own and you can read about it in my first mantel post ever.
The large white frame above the fireplace is actually housing our TV. But when we have company or are not watching TV I like to cover the television up. In the past I use a piece of foam core board that I spray painted with chalkboard paint. It is light weight and pops in and out easily. And I can stick it behind the fireplace when I am not using it. You can see what I mean by looking at my spring and summer mantels.
But for fall I wanted to try something new. So I bought the thinnest plywood (1/8 inch). It comes in 2 foot by 4 foot pieces at Home Depot and is super lightweight. I used my jigsaw to cut it to the right size.
Then I stained it with my “go to” color of Dark Walnut by Minwax.
I did two coats of stain. Once it was completely dry I used my Silhouette machine to cut out leaves. If you do not have a vinyl cutting machine you can buy ready made stencils at crafts stores or make your own using X-acto knives. I have done similar projects using all three methods.
I mixed up some craft paint since I didn’t have orange and got a few foam brushes.
I placed the vinyl “stencils” where I wanted them on the board. I was going for mt take on a pile of leaves getting blown away. Then gently sponged the paint on. Then I smoothed it out with downward strokes. Most needed two coats. I purposely only used one foam brush for the red, yellow, and orange paint. When I was up the canyon taking some family and senior pictures, I noticed that most of the leaves were multi-colored. You certainly don’t have to do it that way but it was easy to blend them and added another dimension to the painted leaf.
Let the paint partly dry before taking the vinyl off. If you take it off immediately you may smear it and if you wait until the paint has dried all the way it will peel some of the paint off.
The leaves that were all the same color lacked a little something so I grabbed a fine tipped small brush and added some veining to them.
Once it dried all the way I popped it in the frame over the TV!
Happy fall y’all!!!
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