Homemade Mantle Decor

I should have added home decor to my 2016 To-Do List especially since we have been in our current home for three and a half years and there is definitely a lack of wall decor and miscellaneous accessories throughout most of our home. BUT I am so excited to finally have one home decor project almost completed. The vision of this project has been on my brain for almost 2 years now and we are one step closer to the finished product!

My home decor style has really evolved over the years and I have come to the point I would love for my home to be decorated like a picture in Home and Garden Magazine but I have no desire to spend the money to get it that way. So instead I’m always on the hunt for free projects, sentimental family pieces that can be incorporated, AND the time to do it. 
I love versatile pieces that also hold sentimental value. Our mantle piece was constructed from outdated wood valances from the first house we bought, one side portrays our hands and fingerprints, and the other a tree (with hopefully soon, the silhouette of a pair of lovebirds and their four little hatchlings with a fun saying).
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birch tree – with soon to be family of 6 lovebirds and cute saying 🙂
painted January 2016

Really wishing I had taken a few more pictures of the kiddos helping, as well as the proof that you can create artwork with almost anything you have on hand! The white ‘paint’ was actually shoe polish similar to this (not even sure where it came from or how long we’ve had it, but it’s worked just fine with a few extra coats) and the black paint was from a box of crafty stuff from one of my grandmas. I wouldn’t consider myself a hoarder by any means; however, if it’s a crafty item I will find a place out of sight (or in the basement) for it until it can find it’s purpose again!  🙂

The birch tree effect was really easy to do  thanks to pinterest … of course! A white background leaving behind horizontal brush strokes. Then using a flat scraper dipped in black paint, start on the the edge of the tree and drag to the center.

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kiddos helping

The thing I love most of this homemade piece (besides the sentiment of course), is that it now has two sides. The trees are more fall-inspired and at Christmas I would just turn it around to hang a wreath on the bare wood. I am thinking I will still hang a wreath on the birch tree at Christmas, but will strategically place the additions so it’ll still look cute.

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the trunks are each of our arms, the branches our hands, the leaves our fingerprints
Completed October 2013

Cost for two-side, sentimental artwork – $0 … cha-ching 🙂
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