The day after Thanksgiving I scurried around in my attic to decorate my Christmas Mantle. The Big Guy went to work and was none the wiser (he was a little cranky about climbing into the attic)! I'd been planning to tweak last year's concept and couldn't wait another minute to get things pulled together.
I layered an artificial white pine wreath (from Tuesday Morning) over the iron work hung above the mantle with an "S" hook:
Filled my apothecary jar with green ball ornaments (from Tuesday Morning) and faux snow:
I nested the angel wings (similar to these Pottery Barn lovelies) into the garland (from Marshall's) and hung the ends from the corners of the iron work with fishing line, then piled scented pine cones in the center:
Added a trio of creamy iron crosses from TJ Maxx:
Many of the items I carried over from last year. The only new items are the crosses and the 3 green Christmas balls, and everything was purchased at local discount stores. See? Inexpensive and beautiful.
This mantle has the spirit of Christmas, but also works for a general winter theme, so it will remain up into February around here.
Do you want to make a pair of Heirloom Wooden Angel Wings for your own home? I've worked out a tutorial just for you!
Here are the steps to create your own set of Angel Wings.
Create a template on a piece of paper (if you can't draw this free hand, don't fret!Go to your local library to borrow a projector. You can find many angel wing shapes on Google to project onto your board).
You will use the same template for both wings but to make a set you will have to flip the template once for a left and a right wing. Trace around the template onto your wood, I used a 20x32 inch length of pine from Lowe's. I could fit two wings onto it.
Cut out your wing shape. I used my pretty red Skil jigsaw/scroll saw combo. Don't be afraid of power tools! You can do it! Just be careful and wear eye protection. This doesn't have to be perfect! You will be sanding later! (That was my pep talk)
Next, I penciled in the rough shapes of feathers along the surface of the wing (just a bunch of half circles) then went over the lines with my Dremel. Using the attachment on the far left of this photo:
The grooves will be rough, but that is the beauty of this project. You want it to look hand carved. And you will be sanding later.
Now, I sanded everything really well with a palm sander, this mouse sander was perfect for getting into all the grooves.
To get the distressed, antique look I painted the wings with an antique white acrylic paint, about 4 thick coats. Sand in between coats with a fine sandpaper to get a nice smooth surface.
Next, brush a medium stain over the whole wing and wipe off. Make sure to get stain down into the grooves to accentuate the feathers. Try to rub a bit of extra stain into the edges to give an authentic antique look.
Make sure to mark you calendars for Friday, December 4th for a Hand Made Christmas Gift Linky Party! I want to see all of the fantastic ideas you have come up with for the season. Want to see mine? Come back tomorrow for a lemony gift idea...hmmmm...stumped?