Sunday, October 7, 2012

Spooking Up the Mantle

With all the cute ideas out there on Pinterest, I decided that I needed to up my Halloween decorating game. My mantle looked sad and sign of Halloween in the family room at all. So...I am in the midst of a spooky makeover.

Step one: mantle dressing. I have pinned about five different mantles trying to decide on what I wanted to do. I finally landed on just making a hodgepodge of my own.

I started out by getting my letters. I grabbed a cute template from Very Merry Vintage Style. I love the words on the little letter panels.

I sat down to cut all of these out and quickly realized that trying to cut a mat for these is ridiculously difficult. Stupid isosceles triangles. I finally ended up just cutting a freehanded mat. Once I verified that this would fit, I used it as a template. I cut out one set in orange and then a larger set in black. It wasn't until I got about 2/3rds of the way through these that I realized that I had picked the wrong colors. Ugh. I had actually intended to do cream and black for a more vintage look. Whatever. I guess I'll just have to make another one now. But I think the orange and black turned out pretty cute.

I layered up the colors and glued everything together using a tape runner.

I wanted something more to make my banner stand out. It needed a little more Halloween flavor. I hit the Google for some ideas and wound up with some awesome. I found this cute little skeleton template at Paper Crave. How adorable is he?!?! I've decided that I'm going to make him into a little plush at some point. I love him. In fact, I'm pretty sure I said that at least ten times while I was making this banner. I said it enough that Collin pointed out that I had said it more than once. I don't care if it seemed obsessive...I love him.

This is where life took a little turn. I knew I wanted to put bats at the ends of the banner. Who knew that these simple little bats would cause me so much trouble? Cutting them out was easy. I found a clip art bat online that I liked and put him into my Pazzle program. For those not familiar with is the most awesome thing ever. It's like a Cricut, but it does not require cartridges. I can use any font on my computer and any image I can find. I just have to put it in the program and "vectorize" it. I'm telling you...awesome. One of my favorite pieces of scrapbooking equipment.

So...bats all cut out and ready to go, I looked at them and thought that they were too bland. I wanted to spice them up, maybe add a little bling. I busted out the glitter spray, only to discover that the nozzle had gummed up. Fine...I had a second can. Nope...gummed up too. Drat.

Plan B was to emboss the bats. Nope. Huge disaster. The embossing powder I had was pearl...not translucent. I ended up with bats with white freckles. Crap.

At this point I was out of bats and had to cut a second batch. Plan C? Let's go for some glossy ModPodge. That will surely work, right?? Haha...funny. Nice try, lady. Though I'm usually pretty good at using ModPodge, I managed to totally muff these up and ended up with a pair of streaky disasters.

And...printed a third set of bats. Seriously? Ugh. I just gave up and left them plain. They still need some bling, but it will have to wait until another time. For now, they look fine.

I attached everything to a sheer black ribbon using black and orange brads and attached it to my mantle with...sadly...masking tape. It worked for now. I think I'll need to invest in some of the gummy stuff that sticks to paint without stripping it. After 3 hours, it's still holding steady. We'll see how it looks tomorrow.

So, there you go. Step one of my crafty mantle. I love it and I especially love my little skeleton. I know...totally didn't see that coming, right?

This post is part of a series on Creative Crafting. Too see the other here.


  1. I saw this same "family" piece in a magazine and have been trying to find it. Tonight, when I googled it, your picture came up. Can you please tell me where you got it?
    Thank you!

    1. I purchased that piece quite a few years ago. I believe that I found it at Craft Warehouse, a local store similar to Michaels.


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