Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day "Mantel"

If you read any one of the million and one crafty blogs on the Internet these days you know that one of the biggest trends is decorating your mantel for holidays and seasons. Well, I don't have a fireplace, and therefore I have no mantel. But I'm such a wannabe that I've turned the top of our entertainment center into my "mantel". I decorated it for Halloween and Thanksgiving and loved it so much! It just added some fun to the living room. So I decided I wanted to decorate it again for Valentine's Day. But, we don't have any Valentine's Day decorations. So I decided to get my crafty on and make it happen!

I found a box in the garage that held the decorations for our Valentine's tree from last year. Since we weren't doing that this year I thought the garland and ornaments needed to be put to good use. So I started with those as a base. I added in several projects inspired by Pinterest (where else!?!? lol) and ended up with this:

I LOVE how it turned out! I feel like it's not too much, just enough that when you walk in the room you say "Oh, it's Valentine's Day!" (insert smiles!) Let's take a closer look at each section.

On the left side I have a Valentine's Day Subway Art that I framed in a poster frame from Walmart. I had bought a different frame at the Dollar Tree but it cut off most of the words on the sides. Luckily my mom had some extra frames laying around (never know when you might need a frame for a cute project you found on Pinterest!) I added two Glade Soy Candles I had which I sat on top of two glass candlestick holders which my mom found at Goodwill forever ago! Since I had practically everything already the cost of this project is pennies for the cardstock and the little ink it used. $0.50 maybe! Yippy!

The LOVE art in the center is one of my favorite parts. It started when mom found natural wood frames at Michael's for $1.00 a piece. The wheels started turning and we thought why not use them for something cute? Turn them into a L-O-V-E collage with the heart standing in place of the O. Here's a quick tutorial!

Step1: I painted the natural frames white to make them pop. A quick coat of acrylic paint (which we already had..cost...$0.00!)

Step 2: Using the mats inside the frames as guides, cut new mats out of pretty, sparkly scrapbook paper. (Cost: $0.89, it only took 1 page to cut all 4 mats.)

Step 3: Adhere vinyl letters to the mats. I used my Cricut Expressions and the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge. The vinyl was part of the package with the first Cricut I ever bought. (Cost: well, pennies but since I've had everything for so long I'm chalking this part up as FREE!!) Place letters in frames. (And this is where my computer got stupid and I lost the last 2 pictures of the process...but I think you can figure it out! lol)

Step 4: I added some 3D felt flowers from Jolee's to the top left corner of the L frame and the bottom right corner of the E frame. I thought it added a nice touch and a little pop of color. 

 The right side of the display holds two Conversation Heart Topiaries. But, my stupid computer lost the photos of that process as well so I don't have any to show you. It was super easy though! I just took two Styrofoam balls (two different sizes), attached them to dowel rods (wrapped with Valentine's ribbon) cut into two different lengths. Then we put them into foam floral bases and put them into two terracotta pots. The comes the most tedious part...gluing the conversation hearts onto the balls. It wasn't hard it just took a while. I had to take a few breaks during the process to feed a baby, etc so Steven took over. And I mean he literally took over, finished the smaller ball and did the whole larger ball by himself. He was pretty proud of himself but my stupid computer lost that picture too! (Grrr...I am hating our computers right now! None of them want to work right and it's making me lose my freakin' mind!!!) The final touch was to add a little bow to each dowel rod and put more conversation hearts inside the pots to finish it off. They were super cute! I think this whole project cost less than $10. (Styrofoam balls are expensive man! But I did find the floral foam bases at the Dollar Store. I bought 2 but only ended up using half of one so that part only cost me $0.50 and I have more sitting around for future projects! Yippy!) Here's a closer look at the finished product.

I love them! I need to spray them with something to preserve them before I put them away this weekend. Any suggestions on what to use?

One other little touch that I found at Michael's are my Lovebirds.

Aren't they sweet?! They were only $1.99 each AND they were marked down 40%. AND they were in the color scheme of my living room so I just had to have them. I'm thinking they may stay up permantely after Valentine's Day. They're just too cute. They are sitting in the open cabinet on the right side of the entertainment center. In that cabinet we keep a picture frame that holds a baby picture of both Steven and I and then a wedding picture, my wedding bouquet and a family Bible. This Bible holds death notices, birth announcements and has a spot for family history. We don't read from this Bible, it is purely for show (and believe me, we have plenty of other Bibles in the house that can be read from that I don't mind having a pretty one just for show!)

The open cabinet on the other side holds another wedding photo of us with our maid of honor and best man, a custom candle made using one of our wedding announcements and our cake topper. I absolutely loved my wedding and I feel like keeping these things out and visible at all times gives our children a chance to see how much that day meant to us as the beginning of our family.

So here's one final look at our Valentine's Day "faux" mantel. I'm looking forward to changing it up for St. Patty's Day! Happy Valentine's Day week everybody! I hope you have someone to hold onto and love!

You can see the posts that inspired these crafts at Naturally Estes (Conversation Heart Topiaries) and Free Word Art Valentine Printable Cards (V-Day Subway Art).

I am linking this post to Motivate Me Monday over at my friend Kaysi's blog, Keeping It Simple. Look Kaysi! I'm finally posting something :-)


Kaysi said...

It turned out sooooo good Kari! I love the frames, so cute.

Shelly said...

My favorite part is the conversation heart topiaries. I'll have to make those next year.
The love birds are cute and I think you should leave them out all year. They go so well with the other items!