The Making of a Fall Mantel

I must confess that my mantel décor has stayed exactly the same since late winter/early spring. Once the Christmas decorations came down, it actually stood blank for quite some time…  😳

Then finally I couldn’t stand the blankness any longer so I threw a few spring-ish things up there. Keeping very neutral and basic knowing in my heart that it might very well be that way for a while. And, I was right. Here is where is stood a week ago.


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Top 10 Posts of 2015

Hey there! I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I know we sure did! Blessings upon blessings!

I always like to take a minute and look back over the past year as the new year is approaching. And, today I’d like to do that with you by sharing the top 10 most viewed posts of 2015 ranked by you the reader! 🙂

Let the countdown begin!

#10 Patio Reveal – Our patio got a lovely update this year and we are using the space so much more than before!

#9 Tween Boy Bedroom – I love making spaces tailored to the taste of my kids!

#8 How To ‘Slipcover’ an Ottoman – Great deals are my favorite and this one was no exception!

#7 Stenciled Entryway – a stencil and a little paint brought new life to this small space.

#6 Painted Brick Fireplace Surround – I spent years going back and forth on painting the brick, and when I finally got my nerve up I wonder why I waited so long!

#5 Bright and Fun Teen Girls Room – Another fun kids space just for my girl, filled with DIY!

#4 Freshening Up The Curb Appeal For Spring – bringing in some instant color in the spring with perennials.

#3 Bathroom Makeover – my One Room Challenge project this fall was a big hit!

#2 Ribbon Makeover – such a simple and budget friendly solution to make what you have work with your new space.

and last but not least, one of my favorite projects and yours – 

#1 DIY Floating Mantel – this was easier than expected with maximum impact!

The one thing I would love to pass on to you from 2015 is two-fold: don’t be afraid to try a DIY – you never know if you can until you try!! And, don’t let budget constraints keep you from making your house a home – look at it as a challenge to be creative!! 

My goal here at frazzled JOY is to demonstrate how both of these things are possible! Wishing you and yours a happy new year!!

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A JOYful Mantel

I don’t know how Christmas decorating goes down at your house, but here at our home, Thanksgiving comes first. Which means I don’t even get things out of the attic until Thanksgiving dinner is over. So, it is always a mad dash the first week after to get the decorations out so we have plenty of time to enjoy them! I’ve come today to share with you our newly painted fireplace, and new mantel all decked out for Christmas. 

As I was looking through my Christmas home tour from last year I was reminded that this is my first year to decorate our new mantel! And let me tell you I was excited!! I love that I can put just about anything I want up there and it will look awesome against that white back drop. Before so many things just blended in and got lost against that ugly brick. 

But, enough about that! On to the good stuff.

Simple is my motto lately, and Christmas will be no exception. I draped some greenery on top of the mantel, added some lights, a few sparkly ornaments, pine cones, and my DIY jute and yarn balls for extra texture. It was all lovely and natural and I liked it a lot, but it needed just a little color, so I weaved in a red ribbon and added a plaid bow to the wreath (which also hides the cord).

The “JOY” is made with a wreath (obviously) and paper mache letters from Hobby Lobby (which are the only decorations I bought this year). I left them natural because I like the look, but you could easily paint them or decorate them anyway you would like to suit your taste. 

The trees to the side were a garage sale steal this summer and I couldn’t love them more. Simple and rustic and the perfect place for my ‘names of Jesus’ garland. With or without the lights on I love the look! 

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Spring Mantel

I know, I know, I just did a post about my mantel decor.  🙂 But, ya know that was for Easter and Easter’s over so I needed something fresh that would last for a while.

When I decorate my mantel I really do challenge myself to use things I have.  I move things around.  Steal things from other places in the house and make things new.  

Everything else I pulled out of my stash or borrowed from elsewhere.  You can find my burlap wreath tutorial here.  

It just got some new bows.  🙂  The trough my hubby made for me at Thanksgiving – I just filled it with a garland that actually used to hang on my front door. I made a small purchase of a couple of ivy plants to bring some fresh green and life to the mantel.

I love the simplicity of it and the pop of color.  

I finished up a few pillows for the family room this weekend, and I’m waiting on a fabric order to arrive to put the final touch on the room for a while at least.  I think I’m ready to move to the backyard.  I have been scheming ideas in my head for that space!  🙂

As always thanks for stopping by!  

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DIY Floating Mantel

Another addition in the Family Room Refresh!! A while back when I decided to paint the brick around our fireplace I also removed the mantel. It was never really my style. The fireplace sat naked for weeks, as I pondered what to put in it’s place. I toyed with the idea of building a surround, something tailored and traditional, or just a simple floating mantel.  My mind just kept going back to the latter, so that’s what we went with. And I’m soooo glad we did!!  I love it!!
DIY floating mantel

I had considered adding corbels, and I may still do that if I find some I love, but for now I love it as is!!
The DIY was not as hard as I thought it might be. Sometimes I can dive right into a DIY and get ‘er done, and other times I’m a bit intimidated.  I don’t know why, but some things get me psyched out!  
We started by attaching a ledger board to the brick.  We attached the appropriate anchors into the mortar in between the bricks, and then attached the board with screws.  
How to attach a floating mantel to brick
Screwing into the anchors and into the two pieces of wood on either end.  (That puppy ain’t goin nowhere!)
Then, we attached six 2″x4″x6″ pieces along the ledger board to help support some of the weight of the mantel.  
attaching a floating mantel to brick
You can see that we really weren’t concerned about them being spaced exactly even – no one is going to see them remember.
Then we moved on to building the actually mantel piece.  You are building a box that is missing one side.  
how to build a floating mantel
We used 1″x8″ pieces of basic white board for this.  This is the same wood that I used in our entryway.  I wanted some character to the wood since I was staining it, so this was a great economical choice.  I used two 6′ pieces and one 8′ piece which cost me around $25.  
This was my first time to use my nail gun, and man did it make this project easier!! Each joint was glued and nailed to make sure it was secure. 
building a floating mantel
In an effort to have as few cut end pieces showing as possible, I did this.  
how to DIY a floating mantel
The two side pieces (which are actually the top and bottom) were cut shorter to accommodate the end pieces (the width of the wood shorter on each end).  
building a floating mantel
This way, from the front and the ends – the most visible parts, there is only one end of the board showing.  Clear as mud right? I hope so!! Here is the dry run before staining :).
floating mantel installed
I filled a few tiny gaps with stainable wood filler, and everything got a good sanding.  I smoothed all the edges and corners really good.  Then I stained it with a dark walnut stain, and topped it off with a couple of coats of polyurethane.  
floating wood mantel
Hanging it was super easy!  Slip it over the supports, and attach the mantel to the ledger board with screws.  We made our ledger shorter than the actual mantel to allow room to adjust the placement of the mantel when we were mounting it, which was very helpful to get the desired placement.
I snapped this shot right after we finished hanging it.  Such sweet satisfaction to DIY!!
updated fireplace with painted brick and floating mantel
Loving the finished product and can’t wait to get it styled up for spring!!
family room
Our family room is coming along.  It really is feeling more and more like a space I want to stay a while.  And, that’s a nice feeling.  

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