How To Create A Simple Chalkboard Christmas Mantel
This post is all about keeping it simple, and stress free! I created an easy to duplicate Christmas mantel using an over sized chalkboard, bottle brush trees, and a pom-pom garland. I decorated my mantel in under ten minutes, including the chalk art! I know you can do it too.
Merry Christmastime sweet Foxes! December is just tick-tocking down to the big day, and before it’s too late, I know I promised to come back and share some details about this years Christmas mantel. The Holiday Housewalk home tour series is so much fun, but I always seem to have an over abundance of pictures (and words) and I had to wrap it up!
Before we dive in, I want to thank you for all the lovely comments and emails about our holiday home this year. I want you to know each one means the world to me! I’ve been blogging in the same little house for over then years now, and I’m so thankful that you continue to tune into what’s going on in my tiny corner. It really does mean so much.
Alright, enough mushy stuff. We left off right about here… so that’s where I’ll pick up!
Now I don’t know if chalkboards are in or out, but I still love all of mine and I will continue to use them. I’ve got vintage chalkboards, DIY chalkboards I’ve created with paint, and some old green ones too. They just have a nostalgic vibe that makes me feel happy.
How To Re Create My Chalkboard Christmas Mantel
Before you do anything, if you’ve got a NEW chalkboard, do this — How to season a chalkboard: place a stick of chalk on it’s side, and chalk the entire surface of your chalkboard to prevent ghosting (a design that imprints and will not disappear) when you write or draw for the first time.
You’ll want to start with a chalkboard of course. Mine is an old beat up vintage number, but I love it. You can use the size that best suits your mantel. If you’ve got a smaller version, just add larger tress to beef it up, or some chunky candle pillars, etc… no hard and fast rules apply. You can also use two side by side if that works for you. It’s decorating, HAVE FUN!
TIP – practice first, and get the feel for the flow of the chalk, and how it draws on your board. Don’t be afraid to use different lengths, hold the chalk at different angles, and use the side of the chalk as well.
To begin your tree forest art (I’m using that term loosely), I started at the top and chalked some very soft curly-que swirly bits, just a little something to fill the space. If the lines feel too hard, simply smudge with your finger. I used a piece of chalk about an inch long, and held it length wise to the board.
TIP – if you are a perfectionist you can have a damp paper towel handy to re-do lines, or whole sections, until you get it all exactly how you want everything.
I actually had my mantel done, and lived with the tree placement for a few days before I added the chalk art to my chalk board. That way, I knew I was comfortable with where everything was, and was able to determine the size and general shape/visual weight of the trees I’d be drawing.
Your trees don’t have to be perfect, it’s actually better if they aren’t, as they are essentially just background filler, adding depth to the 3-dimensional bottle brush trees on the actual mantel shelf.
Be happy with whatever trees flow flow from your hands… I did wispy, thick, heavy handed, fat, and even a stack of upside down V’s for the little one on the right. Be more aware of the general height, you’ll notice my two tallest trees are pretty symmetrically placed, in order to be more naturally pleasing to the eye.
I decorate more with what feels right to my eye, in regards to visual weight and balance, more than probable anything else. It’s my decorating gut instinct, and when things feel “right” that’s when I stop.
In the photo below you can see I added some soft, side-chalked filler along the bottom, perhaps to mimic hills, or snow. But again, imperfect, and done quickly! It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We don’t want to be obsessing over chalk art!
If you have any questions about this project, I’m more than happy to help! Comment below or message me at email@example.com and I’ll do my best to answer them.
I’ll tell you a secret… I didn’t actually love one of the trees I chalked, but I am practicing the art of GOOD ENOUGH, and I needed to be done for the day. So I called it good enough, and the world is still spinning. If you struggle with this, I suggest you start small. It’s quiet freeing! I still finger-space all my hangers (too many years in retail) but baby steps right?
I found this little metal house silhouette a few years ago after Christmas on clearance, and never ended up using it. I’m pretty surprised it made it through the many purge sessions I’ve had, but I’m glad it did, as it is a perfect fit for the center of my tree forest. It was previously a galvanized metal finish, I just gave it a quick update with some Antique Gold Rub N Buff, and now it melts into its surroundings so much better.
At the last minute, I topped my chalkboard with a pom-pom & jingle bell garland that I’ve had for years, simple pom-pom garlands are everywhere now though, and so easy to find (or DIY).
Since you’re here I think I better go ahead and chat about the hearth details as well, in case you are curious!
Under the mantle shelf, I added a mixed Eucalyptus garland, and stuffed it with two XL long-pine picks to help it tie it in with all my other flocked finished trees & greenery. Next, I wove some of the white & gold Merry Christmas ribbon into the garland, as it’s the same ribbon that I used on our main tree.
I have been stuffing my fireplace box with lights for years now. It’s a great way to get some extra glow in the house, when you aren’t using your fireplace that is.
The wooden trees are a DIY from a few years ago, and I just mixed up some craft paint to give a few a new look in the perfect shade of pink. The glass bubble tree was a Better Homes & Gardens find from Walmart a few years ago, wish they had brought them back because they are so pretty, last year I stuffed it with tiny fairy lights and I’ve used flameless candles as well.
Thank you for joining me today, and letting me share my home and projects with you. Next thing you know it’ll be Christmas Day, and then… 2022 won’t be far behind. Happy Christmastime, XO Shannon
PS: If you’ve already decorated for the season, you can pin this project idea for another year, or to share with friends.
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ITEMS THAT MIGHT BE USEFUL FOR THIS PROJECT:
How To Shiplap A Fireplace Wall (for about $30.00)
How To Paint A Fireplace Fire Box — this will keep your fireplace looking good!