Christmas Mantel

finding home christmas mantel 2011

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

Christmas Mantel 2011 031 In the lane, the snow is glistening..

Well, not really, but I am hoping it will be soon!

Maybe this makes me a dork, okay, it definitely makes me a dork, but I have had a vision for this mantel in my head for a while now.

I knew I wanted it to be very rustic and so I started with my beautiful old barn door.

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A few of the ideas I originally tried out didn’t work out so I was stuck for a bit.

So, I took a nap.

Really, I almost always get ideas when I am in that half in half out sleep – especially in the car.

I awoke to sleigh bells ringing…

I found the letters at Hobby Lobby (they were on sale when I bought them) and spray painted them with Rust-o-leum in Oregano.

I put the whole mantel together but still did not have the vintage sleigh bells – kind of an important part!

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When I was visiting family in NH, I knew there was an antique shop not too far away.  When I arrived, there were two set of sleigh bells on the door, so I thought “woo hoo”!  I quickly found out that they “were not for sale”.  I shopped the store a little more, went back up to the counter and this time the owner was there.  I could tell he was the type of guy who I could try to plead my case to.  After a few minutes, he made the mistake of throwing out a price and I literally hit the desk like an auction “sold!”.  He quickly asked if I would consider paying twice as much – umm, no!

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I used a vintage sled and added greenery and a flannel plaid bow.

The sign is wood from my Grandfather’s house (you can read about that here).  The wood was soft, so I was able to trace a print out of the words with pencil and then fill it in with a while chalk ink pen.  I then rubbed it with some sandpaper to “age” it.  In hindsight, the white was hard to photograph, but it really gave the “snowy” look I was going for.

Christmas Mantel 2011 213 This piece, also found in NH last year, is an old sap bucket cover.  I would love to take credit for the artwork, but I can not.  It was very lightly penciled in white, looks like it was intended to be painted but never was finished.  I, nervously, went over the pattern.  I used the white chalk ink pen here also because it seemed to work best on the wood.  I plan to spray it with sealer.

I also used some old vintage skate bottoms on the mantel as well.

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Hanging on the barn door, I used some faux greenery and berries, added some bell ornaments (found at Michael’s) and pulled together with a plaid bow.

Christmas Mantel 2011 024 Along the mantel I used a faux greenery garland, faux evergreen trees, some pinecone stars, white felt snowflakes and red ornaments all layered together.

Christmas Mantel 2011 058As the afternoon began to fade and my fire still blazed (oh yeah, I built that fire all by myself!) and the shadows began to play on the wall, I started to get a real spark for the Christmas season.Christmas Mantel 2011 273I will be sharing at some of the link parties found here and at

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As always, thank you so very much for reading.

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Welcome to Finding Home Farms where we share our favorite DIY and decorating ideas and inspiration. We believe your home should be a reflection of you and your family. Our blog is the story of our journey - and what we find along the way. Thanks for joining us!

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63 thoughts on “Christmas Mantel”


  1. Laura my friend, you are AMAZING!!!! I LOVE the entire room and the mantle is spectacular!!!!
    Come visit me at the Crossroads store in the galleria mall!!


  2. Laura, your holiday mantle is beautiful and so creative! I love that there are stories behind it too, repurposing the wood and finding your sleigh bells. Great job combining all these rustic and natural elements! Happy Holidays! 🙂

  3. The “mantle whisperer” strikes again! Nice job friend! I’ve been standing by with “bells and whistles” to see what you created this year! Beautiful!

  4. Your room is so cozy; I just love it! I always love your mantels, and this years Christmas mantel is no exception. Now that’s a family room that I could spend Christmas in!

  5. Hi Laura
    Wow your mantel is AMAZING!!!!!!! Im in love…. Living in New Zealand we have a summer Christmas and I so miss the snow we had while visiting family over Christmas. It adds to the atmosphere and being inside together.
    I have started my own blog since I last commented on one of your posts (about BHG), nowhere near as polished and lovely as yours but Im hoping that my blog will be similar to yours when it grows up.
    Have a blessed festive season, and thank you for the inspiration.
    Take care

  6. I love the rustic look of your mantle and especially love the old sled. I’m going to have to ask my mom if she’ll let me use my dad’s old sled for decorating.

    I’m your newest follower!

  7. I am trying to make out the stars…I saw it on the mantel picture you had up from last year…are they made from pine cones? That’s very nice. I’d like to know how to make those.

    My husband is from NH, and so my in-laws live there. His dad made a wooden Nativity set for the boys and brought it down this week. You’ve made good use of the wood from your grandfather’s barn for your sign. I can really appreciate using things from nature to create and decorate. Especially when they can be repurposed.

    And NO there’s nothing DORKY about having a VISION for your home! It’s called creativity! Some of us are blessed with it; the rest of us have to find inspiration through blogs like yours!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  8. I have seen this at another site and love, love it! It is all so pleasing to the eye! AND it just makes you want to curl up by the fire with all those festive pillows! Coming over from Blog Block Party! Christie

  9. Oh my gosh you have done it once again my dear!! This is beautiful in so many ways. You are so cleaver with the lyrics to the song, it is perfect! What a cozy place to share family memories in.

  10. This is one of my favorite mantels that I’ve seen this season. Absolutely love the Sleigh Bells Ring sign! It is so unique and festive. Wonderful job on decorating for Christmas.

  11. This is so beautiful! It looks like something out of Country Living… I love how you incorporate those antique touches, especially the sled. I also love the song lyrics… that is so clever! Merry Christmas to you!

  12. Love the barn door!! And your sleigh bells theme is great!!! Your entire living room looks beautiful!! Found your blog from the Southern Hospitality linky party! Hope you’ll drop my blog for a peek. Have a great day and Merry Christmas!!

  13. Absolutely gorgeous, Laura! I love the rustic take… the barn door, the cute letters, the sleigh bells. You nailed it! And while we’re at it, I’m kind of in love with your whole house… so glad I found your blog! I’ll definitely be featuring your Christmas decor in my favorite picks from the mantel link up!

  14. Love love love your rustic mantle. I’ve got my old led in the garage and have asked hubby to get it down for several years now because I want to do something like what you did with that vintage sled. Someday I will.

  15. Stumbled onto your blog, and I am addicted. Love your designs and style and am looking forward to exploring. The mantle is perfection.

  16. I LOVE this mantel idea! I recently purchased some vintage sleigh bells as well, and this is a brilliant way to display them! I have 35 of them on a leather belt to go over the horses, but in our case, the story will be that Santa happened to drop these bells at our place while dropping our presents off and we got to keep them! We are new grandparents so this will be a good story to have the grand-kids grow up with and have displayed every year at Christmas time from now on, not to mention it will make for an awesome “show and tell” item for when they go to school! haha! We also bought that Santa picture called “St. Nick” by Susan Comish which will be more proof for the kids that they were indeed Santa’s bells as they are shown in the picture! 🙂 We love Christmas, and love new ideas! Thanks for showing your style! 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your family, all the way from Cornwall, Ontario Canada! 🙂 P.S. Can’t wait to see this years idea!

  17. My father built big board for my mantle. Just looking for the letters. You said you got yours at Hobby Lobby. Not finding them on their website. Michaels only does caps. Your way looks better. Hopefully I can find them somewhere.