How to Decorate a Mantle

Well, it is finally starting to warm up here in Maine. It’s been above freezing for a couple of days now. We close the doors in our dining room that lead to the front of our house in order to save on heat. So, our sun filled front room has gone unused all winter.

This weekend I decided to add some life to the room. It’s an ongoing project. We have no furniture in the room and the built-in book shelves are unfinished still. I decided to start small, adding some decorations to the mantle.

I love the look of mantles. They can be decorated for any season and holiday. My mom always has a  beautifully decorated mantle. So, when we fell in love with our farmhouse that was built in the 1800’s, then realized it had no fireplace, it was a huge bummer.

I began looking for mantles online. I looked at stores, on etsy, and even on craigslist but whenever I found a mantle, it was way too expensive. People were asking $300 + and I didn’t love anything I found enough to pay that high of a price.

Then, less than a minute down the street, we found it. Leaning up against a tree, full of potential, the perfect mantle for our front room. We pulled over immediately to get a closer look of the post-it note with a price… drumroll please…$20!!


The mantle was a light brown color and had a shine to it. I sanded it and painted the mantle white. It has a little shine, but is a lot more matte than when we got it.

Now, the mantle looks like it’s been a part of the home for a long time. All the decorations I bought were very inexpensive.

The cow painting was a piece I found at an antique store in Bridgton. If you are ever in Bridgton, ME you should definitely check out all the antique stores. There are a bunch of them and they are all filled with great items! Joe and I go a few times a month!


I found the lanterns/candle holders at Marshalls. They were on sale! They have a weathered look and great gold accents, giving them a mix of old and new. The faux flowers are also from Marshalls and were also on sale. I love plants, but, like I’ve said before, I can’t keep anything alive. I am always looking for fake plants that don’t look too fake. These flowers are a pretty color and don’t look cheap or plastic.

These fake books were also found at Marshalls. They are cute, open up for small storage, and they are pretty hilarious. They have the gold accents that match the lanterns, the weathered look of an old book, and the bright pink that ties in with the flowers and cow painting. However, it was the titles that got them into my cart…”Because Adulting is Hard”

The little wooden window pane was a very inexpensive Goodwill find. It adds good texture and some height to the look.

With a little paint and some inexpensive decor, the mantle is not too shabby for a $20, roadside pick-up. As we slowly add more to our empty room, I will keep you updated.


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