Christmas Mantle 2009

The day after Thanksgiving I scurried around in my attic to decorate my Christmas Mantle. The Big Guy went to work and was none the wiser (he was a little cranky about climbing into the attic)! I'd been planning to tweak last year's concept and couldn't wait another minute to get things pulled together.

I layered an artificial white pine wreath (from Tuesday Morning) over the iron work hung above the mantle with an "S" hook:

Filled my apothecary jar with green ball ornaments (from Tuesday Morning) and faux snow:

I nested the angel wings (similar to these Pottery Barn lovelies) into the garland (from Marshall's) and hung the ends from the corners of the iron work with fishing line, then piled scented pine cones in the center:

Added a trio of creamy iron crosses from TJ Maxx:

Many of the items I carried over from last year. The only new items are the crosses and the 3 green Christmas balls, and everything was purchased at local discount stores. See? Inexpensive and beautiful.

This mantle has the spirit of Christmas, but also works for a general winter theme, so it will remain up into February around here.

Do you want to make a pair of Heirloom Wooden Angel Wings for your own home? I've worked out a tutorial just for you!

Here are the steps to create your own set of Angel Wings.

Create a template on a piece of paper (if you can't draw this free hand, don't fret!Go to your local library to borrow a projector. You can find many angel wing shapes on Google to project onto your board).

You will use the same template for both wings but to make a set you will have to flip the template once for a left and a right wing. Trace around the template onto your wood, I used a 20x32 inch length of pine from Lowe's. I could fit two wings onto it.

Cut out your wing shape. I used my pretty red Skil jigsaw/scroll saw combo. Don't be afraid of power tools! You can do it! Just be careful and wear eye protection. This doesn't have to be perfect! You will be sanding later! (That was my pep talk)

Next, I penciled in the rough shapes of feathers along the surface of the wing (just a bunch of half circles) then went over the lines with my Dremel. Using the attachment on the far left of this photo:

The grooves will be rough, but that is the beauty of this project. You want it to look hand carved. And you will be sanding later.

Now, I sanded everything really well with a palm sander, this mouse sander was perfect for getting into all the grooves.

To get the distressed, antique look I painted the wings with an antique white acrylic paint, about 4 thick coats. Sand in between coats with a fine sandpaper to get a nice smooth surface.

Next, brush a medium stain over the whole wing and wipe off. Make sure to get stain down into the grooves to accentuate the feathers. Try to rub a bit of extra stain into the edges to give an authentic antique look.

Make sure to mark you calendars for Friday, December 4th for a Hand Made Christmas Gift Linky Party! I want to see all of the fantastic ideas you have come up with for the season. Want to see mine? Come back tomorrow for a lemony gift idea...hmmmm...stumped?


The Shabby Chic Cottage


  1. LOVE those wings! Your mantel is gorgeous! I'm loving those green balls in faux snow, they're adorable!

  2. Before you even got to the wing tute, I was thinking how much I loved the wings!

  3. Gorgeous! I am amazed that some people have such a gift for decorating. I have no clue!

  4. J'adore the pine cone wreath. The angel wings are just plain beautiful. :) Visiting from Kimba's party. :)

  5. Everything looks so beautiful, but those Angel wings just blew me away!!! I can't believe you made those yourself. They are fabulous!!!

  6. The wings are awesome! The whole mantel looks great!


  7. Simple and wonderful...my cards are done, the decorations are up except for the tree...and my shopping is almost complete...but I'm not feeling the "spirit" yet...I need some snow and I have to bust out my christmas CD's.

  8. I love those and I have all the stuff here already to do it! They are beautiful great job! I am now following. Found you on ASPTL!

  9. Thanks for the tutorial. I've been working on a metal pair of rusty wings for a storefront project. Your mantel is beautiful!!

  10. Love your mantle...I think I am going to have to "borrow" your apothecary jar idea for my mantle, which I've been working on the past couple of days! I also love the angel wings...saw another tutorial on another blog, but yours is much more my speed and now I actually think I'd be able to make some. Thanks so much for posting this!

  11. That's beautiful. I go more Christmasy and display my Santa collection on my mantle with garland decorated to match the tree. Right now everything is a candy theme with red and white and a few green highlights. I thought that would be cute with the kids.

  12. Beautiful! I love those wings-it looks great.

  13. Love the angel wings!!! The whole mantle looks gorgeous!

    I just found your blog and love it!! I will be back and I am a follower!

    Lou Cinda :)

  14. Ahhh woodworking - you are a girl after my own heart! I'm so loving this!

  15. Absolutely gorgeous! Wow! I'm impressed.

  16. I absolutely love your mantels! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Very cute!

    Those wings remind me so much of the wings from Castaway!

  18. Looks gorgeous! Thanks for the wings tutorial... i'm TOTALLY going to try it! LOVE THEM!

  19. I was all geared up to ask where you purchased those gorgeous wings and alas and alack you made them! I'm not scared of power tools, but the price of buying all said tools would make my wings more than PB's. They are amazing. I love them! Nicely done girl.

  20. Those wings are so pretty. I love how they look like you plucked them off of an antique icon or something. I'm sure you saved a lot by making them yourself & they will be much more special to you & your family.

  21. Gorgeous mantle! Love the wings too. You are so freaking crafty and creative!

  22. Hello~I've just strolled in for my first visit...I've enjoyed taking a peek at your past posts. You've got so many wonderful creative treasures. Your blog is so beautifully inviting too.
    We share similar taste for so many of the same design elements.

    As fall came to a close I looked forward to winter (that's fast approaching), bringing a festive inspiration for decorating.
    I would like to try making those angel wings.
    I'm hoping to trimming the tree this weekend. Maybe some baking for incentive.
    Don't you love the aroma that fills the air during this season?
    My cat also appreciates the evergreens and an occasional ping pong toss of my ornaments...

    I've bookmarked you in my favs.
    I look forward to coming by your charming blog again.
    Come by for a visit. Your company would be nice.

    Sweet holiday wishes,

  23. oh my goodness! those wings are gorgeous! beautiful job!

  24. oh my gorgeous! Love the wings - love the tut...totally thinking about making my own :)

  25. Those wings are beautiful! What a creative (an unique - love that!) idea...

    pk @ Room Remix

  26. The Hubster is making me some of these today! I can't wait to get home and add my shabby touches with paint and glaze. He'll go overboard, I'm sure. Thanks for sharing this great project! When I post my pics, I'll let ya know and link it back here so everyone can find your wonderful tutorial!

  27. I love angel wings. You did a great job on yours.
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  28. i really love the angel wings! i might have to try this!! i have a wall of angels adn the wings would be a great addition!


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