Tuesday, December 4, 2012

$25 Christmas Mantel

 This year I decided I didn't want to purchase anything new for my Christmas decorating.

It's easy to get caught up with all the pretty things at the stores,
but I wanted to see if I could save some money
and still create something new for my mantel
that anybody could create if they wanted to at a reasonable cost.
I dug through what I had
and most of what I did use was from yard sales or second hand stores:
  • 2 pine cone candle holders = $2
  • two brass candle stands with glass tops = $4
  • tall gold with red glass candle holder = $2
  • silver box used as a pedestal for little house = $1
  • little houses after Christmas sale = $.25 each
  • red vase = $1
  • silver candle stands with red votive tops (purchased separately) = $4
  • little trees from previous years, especially after Christmas sales = $2   (some of the trees I made using pieces of artificial evergreens that I snipped off and shaped and then painted with 2 parts white paint mixed with 1 part Plaster of Paris. I then glued these into old wooden spools from some of my grandmother's stash of thread I had used up.)
  • wreath I made from our grape vines and decorated with pieces I got in a bag of greenery supplies at the charity store, ribbon I had from an after Christmas sale, moss ribbon, and a bird I made from home-made papier mache a few years back; the other two birds on the mantel were a $.25 purchase at the charity store.
  • About 5 pieces of double-sided scrap-booking paper that I also found at a yard sale = $.25
  • votive candles = $1

I figured out that with what I did have and the paint and crafting supplies I used,
excluding the mirror,
I had spent about $25 for my mantel decorations and supplies.

(That is taking into account that I also used a good part of the crafting supplies in creating things to sell:
the silver spray paint,
moss ribbon,
plaster of Paris,
glass glitter,
glue gun and sticks,
gold and white paint paint,
ribbon and heavy jute).

I created 9 new Christmas tree decorations from "junk",
like the silver ones shown above,

the cereal box trees I explained in a previous post,
these others with them that I will share in a couple of days,


and these mossy ones in this picture.

The greens in the vases I got from around the house:
pine, holly, white and silver spray-painted branches, and boxwood.

For the garland, I made some origami stars
and hung them from some heavy jute
(I hope to explain how to create them in the coming days).

 It is fun to create a few home-made decorations every year,
and the fact that it helps keep things in the budget makes it seem to sparkle just a little bit brighter.

Do you have any home-made decorations or tips you use in Christmas decorating?
I'd love to hear about them!

To see a picture of the  mantel in daylight,
you can see it in my previous post >HERE<.

The Lettered Cottage


  1. Love it!!! I really want to know how to make those stars! I still have not gotten out my Christmas stuff yet :( I made stockings today. I am so slow, but really enjoying Christmas this year :)

  2. Love this! and love that you did it on a budget!

  3. Looks fantastic and I think it is so important to inspire people to recycle and be creative rather than buying more stuff. This year I have really made a dent in my stashed craft goodies and it is so satisfying.

  4. Oh.


    This post made me all teary.

    Your home is so lovely and welcoming.

    That mantel looks like A MILLION BUCKS! Just beautiful.


I love your comments!