Layering – Mantle Style

Often times you hear of layering when it comes to fashion -layer with outfits and accessories – but I also love layering when it comes to accessorizing a mantle.  Don’t confuse this statement for adding too many items which can result in clutter.  I am a huge fan in simplicity but when done right, especially on a mantle, can be the perfect solution.

Try these tips to achieve the layering look to solve mantle decor dilemma:

1. Layer in heights – make sure you have varying heights to help layer objects.  In my case, I use the backdrop of the mirror to help make the room appear larger in depth then I start to layer on by height.

Layering - Fireplace Accessories www.middleredefined.com

Layering – Fireplace Accessories http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

2. Layer using different textures.  I used a textured frame, monogram H and angel wing to achieve this textured look.

[caption id="attachment_532" align="alignnone" width="682"]Mantle decor - featuring monogram, hurricanes, candle and angle wing decorative item - layer them on in a monochromatic color scheme Mantle decor – featuring monogram, hurricanes, candle and angle wing decorative item – layer them on in a monochromatic color scheme

3. Layer using a monochromatic color scheme or complementary color palette used in the room.  If you do have a neutral color palette like I do in our living room, I wanted to keep with color scheme but you can also use the mantle to infuse pops of color.

4. Layer using meaningful items.  This past weekend we took a trip to the T-Rex Cafe and Liam scored a dinosaur model.  He was so proud of his new dinosaur that he begged me to add it to the mantle.  I obliged – at least for a while.  Hey, it does keep with the monochromatic color scheme right?!   And if deer antlers are so on trend, I am going ahead and saying that dinosaur models are the next biggest thing.

Liam's contribution to accessorizing the mantle with his new dinosaur model

Liam’s contribution to accessorizing the mantle with his new dinosaur model

5.  Layer using multiple items of the same kind – meaning I have two pieces of “art” side by side.  One was a very thoughtful house warming gift from my best friend Ashley and another was a vintage Hermes piece we picked up on our honeymoon.  The black vintage piece works next to the tree “Living Life” art because it is simple in color and the large black frame helps add texture – all avoiding the clutter feel.

Layering pictures or art pieces for mantle decor

Layering pictures or art pieces for mantle decor

Now your turn, what are your favorite mantle decor tips?!  Also, stay tuned through out the year on how I freshen up this mantle look for season and holiday changes.

On Display: Make Your Own Photo Board

When I was in college, my incredibly creative friend Jamie had this massive photo board that displayed all kinds of fun pictures of all our friends and her family. One day, I asked her to show me how to create my own, and it has traveled with me to every house since then. Recently, I decided to give it a face lift so it would fit a little better with my current style.

My old one was red waverly – not my husband’s favorite material.

Old Photo Board Material

Old Photo Board Material

 

For my new one, I decided to use some of my leftover recycled coffee sacks I had used for another art project. I purchased several of these off ebay for about $10. Most of the time, when you search for coffee sacks, the sellers don’t guarantee what they actually look like when you get them. However, I’ve loved all the ones I’ve received.

Recycled Coffee Sack

Recycled Coffee Sack

 

If you’re starting from scratch, just buy an artist’s canvas. They make perfect photo boards, and you can usually buy them in multi-packs at Hobby Lobby for $5-$10. Lay your material over the top and wrap the fabric around the back, tucking the extra under the edging. Staple it all around the back.

Recovering Photo Board

Recovering Photo Board

 

Then use whatever kind of ribbon you want. I chose a satin cream colored ribbon because I didn’t want the color to compete with what I put on display. Depending on how large your board is, cut strips of the ribbon so that you have an equal amount of ribbon going each direction. In my case, I chose to do five strips going up and five going down.

I’m not incredibly precise with most of my projects, so you could totally measure and make sure everything is exactly even between each ribbon. In my case, I started in the middle, using the top and bottom points for the first ribbon, then worked my way out by eyeballing it from there. Each time I cut the ribbon, I just left an extra inch so I could wrap it around to the back. I did all one way and then all the other way…no need to mess with weaving anything in and out of each other.

Adding Ribbon to Photo Board

Adding Ribbon to Photo Board

 

Staple the ribbon on the back.

Back of Photo Board

Back of Photo Board

 

Find decorative tacks to stick into the canvas at the cross-sections of the ribbon. Once you push them in, however, you have to put something on the back to make them stay put. Jamie came up with the brilliant plan to cut Q-tips and use the sticks as the back. I just ended up reusing those same Q-tips – if it ain’t broke… My mom made some of these recently to donate to a nursing home, and she sewed buttons on instead of using tacks. They looked adorable.

Photo Board Finishing Touch

Photo Board Finishing Touch

 

Q-tip Solution

Q-tip Solution

 

We use our photo board in the kitchen to display photos of our family and friends. It’s also a perfect place to hold invites instead of on the fridge. Hope this inspires you to create your own display boards!

DIY Photo Board - Middle Redefined

DIY Photo Board – Middle Redefined

DIY Photo Board Up Close

DIY Photo Board Up Close