Get Cozy With This Unique Home Made Winter Snowflake Mantle

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Get Cozy With This Unique Home Made Winter Snowflake Mantle

I started dreaming of this cozy winter snowflake mantle long before Christmas!  One of the features I love the most about my home is the giant fireplace.  We moved here about a year ago, and I was so excited to start decorating that mantle.  It took several months to get in and get settled before the real inspiration hit, but I’ve been in a groove for about 6 months now.

Monthly Mantle Themes

January - Let it Snow!

Each month I choose a different theme, usually related to the month’s holiday or season, and run with it.  So today, let’s talk about my January mantle and how I put it together!

I discovered right away that it doesn’t work so well to put dark-colored objects on my mantle because they blend into the darker colored bricks.  So, this January snow-theme is perfect with its creamy whites and a pop of red color!

Cozy fireplace mantle with snowflakes and a frosted window
My sweet little dog, Reba, enjoyed her photo moment for this one!

Giant Snowflakes!

I was fortunate enough to find the giant white snowflakes at Hobby Lobby in late October, long before the Christmas season.  I bought the last two they had at the location I was visiting.  I originally wanted 3, so I planned to pick up a third at the store closer to home.  Unfortunately, the snowflakes were already gone when I made it there to shop a week or so later.

Lucky for me, I was able to tolerate a 2 snowflake mantle this year.  As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention,” so I am prepared for next year to make my own.  I found some tutorials so you can create your own snowflakes at a fraction of the cost!  If you have a few power tools, then check out this Wooden Snowflake Wreath DIY On a budget?  These Jenga block snowflakes are super cool for a dollar store price.  And finally, if you’re looking for something unique, check out these Coat hanger snowflakes. 

You will need a way to hang your works of art on the mantle.  If you have bricks as I do, you will surely want to pick up some of these handy brick hangers.  Be sure and measure your bricks before buying.  I accidentally purchased the wrong size the first time, and they were pretty useless.  As soon as I put any weight on them, they fell right off the bricks.  It was quite a mini-disaster and ended with some shattered décor and an emergency trip to the craft store to replace the broken item.  Eek!

A Little Side Rant

Let's Talk About Seasonal Decor

Is it just me, or is it happening that we can no longer purchase seasonal décor during the actual season for which we’d like to use it?  On October 1, I decided to begin shopping for some Halloween décor.  Imagine my frustration when I bee-bopped into my local craft store and found nearly empty aisles where the Halloween décor should have been!?  Of course, I was happy to find a few snowflake items that I planned to use for the January mantle, but that was not helpful to my October theme that I was silly enough to shop for in October!

I thought perhaps it was just an anomaly, so I swallowed my irritation and commenced crafting a few things instead to use for my mantle.  Keep an eye out for future posts on all of my seasonal mantles!

Sadly, I should’ve taken the hint because here we are at the end of January (as I write this post), and I cannot find a Valentine decoration to save my life!  So I guess the crafting shall begin for February’s mantle.  But I digress…

We Now Return You to Our Originally Scheduled Snowflake Post

Snowflake Garland!

So knowing suddenly that snowflakes might be hard to come by during the winter (go figure), I decided I’d better get cracking (an old phrase my dad has been known to use) and pick up a few items.  I was able to find both the snowflake and the Let it Snow garlands at local craft stores in October (insert eye roll here).  If you don’t have a craft store nearby, you can always pick up some garlands on Amazon, like these:

If you’re feeling crafty, you can cut your own paper snowflakes for the snowflake garland.  HERE is a handy site where you can find patterns that will make your snowflakes look symmetrical and ordered.  If you don’t remember how to make snowflakes from paper (don’t worry – I haven’t done it in years and couldn’t remember either), these instructions make it super simple!  Just be sure you have a great pair of paper scissors to get the job done.  Whatever you do, don’t use the fabric scissors!  If you’ve got a kid or grandkid handy, don’t miss the opportunity to put them to work and create their own beautiful snowflake works of art!

A Frosty Window With a Message

First, the Window!

To top off the entire cozy look of the snowflake décor, I added a windowpane with some homemade frost.  But first, I had to get my hands on a window.  I love buying used items and repurposing them, so I went to my old standby, Facebook Marketplace.  If you’re not into Facebook, you can often find old, used windows at your local resale shop.  I really love the Habitat for Humanity ReStore – it supports a GREAT cause!  You can read about my adventure with Habitat for Humanity in What Happens When 7 Strong Women Handle Power Tools.

If you don’t have a ReStore nearby, you can always check with your friends and neighbors.  Someone is bound to have a window laying around that they no longer need.

Now, the Frost!

Now that you’ve got your window, it’s time to whip up some handy homemade frost with just 2 simple ingredients.  Here’s a quick primer on how to do it…

Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of “light-colored beer”
    • 4 heaping tablespoons of Epsom Salts 

Add the Epsom Salt to the beer and wait until the salt dissolves.  You can use a small sponge or your fingertips to apply the mix to your window.  If you want the look of “real” frost, be sure and recreate the arc in the lower portion of your window.

That’s it!  Just wait a bit for the liquid to dry, and your window will be perfectly frosted!  A side note here – you can use this mix on your actual windows, too, so have fun and surprise your kids and grandkids with some amazing frost when they least expect it (I feel some summer fun coming on)!  The best part of this whole frost process is that it easily washes off your windows when you’ve had enough.  You can use your favorite window cleaner and a squeegee or paper towel, and your windows will be as good as new!

Finally, the Words!

Once I was all frosted, I decided I needed a little message for my cozy mantle.  I used some liquid whiteboard chalk to put the letters on my windowpane.  For me, it was important that I could rinse off not just the frost but also the words in case I want to use the window for a different theme later in the year.  Liquid chalk is perfect for that process.  I created stencils using my Cricut (cricut.com) and some stencil blanks.  If you don’t have a Cricut or another cutting machine, any letter stencils from the craft store will work.  If you’re super creative, you can go rogue and freehand a design on your windowpane using the chalk markers.

hand-painting on a glass window with a chalk marker
Putting the letters on my window

And Now for some Snowflake Ambiance

Cozy Candlelight

The days are very short during the long Michigan winter, so it was important to have some cozy light represented on my winter snowflake mantle.  Who doesn’t love beautiful candlelight on a cold winter night when cozying up by the fire?  Candles aren’t always the perfect answer in my house, though, because I have 2 cats.

In particular, I have one Sphynx cat, Scarlett No’Hara, who is a bit naughty.  I’m just sure she’s part monkey and part parrot because she loves to climb and get as high as possible in the room.  We often find her perching on top of shelves on the wall or walking across the banister 20 feet up on the balcony overlooking the family room.  Also, because she is bald, she is constantly heat-seeking.  You can see how a heat-seeking daredevil cat does not make a great environment for live candles. 

Sphynx Cat looking Cozy under blankets
Scarlett No'Hara plotting her next act of mischief.

But I am not willing to give up the look of a real candlelit mantle, so I was tickled to find that they actually make real wax candles that work with a remote.  They even light up and flicker like real flames and turn themselves off after a specific number of hours according to your needs.  So I sprung for a set and have them lining up the whole scene to give that warm and cozy feel.  You can pick up your own set of remote-operated candles HERE.

Cozy candlelit fireplace mantle with snowflakes and a frosted window
Doesn't it look so warm and cozy with that beautiful candlelight?

Nothing Cozier than a Good Read Under the Snowflakes

If you are feeling wealthy, you can pick up some cute painted books with hand-drawn winter trees on the spines from Etsy.  It was about $60 for the set.  I couldn’t quite justify that, so I created my own DIY.  I went to my bookshelf and found a few books about the right size for my mantle.  I got myself a roll of plain white craft paper, which I know will come in handy when my son has an art project or my grandson wants to draw.  It was also the perfect size for homemade book covers.

If you have a lighter colored mantle and want to go with an earthier look, you can also get the paper roll in brown.  I laid the book down on the paper and traced it along the top to show how tall I needed my paper.  Then I cut the cover a few inches longer than necessary to fold it around the inside of the cover.  Once the books were covered with paper, I used a fine tip Sharpie to hand draw the trees on the spines.  I particularly love this little touch because I can easily recycle the paper covers and put the books back on my shelf when the mantle comes down.  And it sure wasn’t $60!

Winter books covered with white paper and cozy hand-penned trees
Homemade paper covered books for a fraction of the price!

The Personal Touches

When I put the whole look together, it felt like it was missing a little pop of something, so I pulled out a couple of lanterns I had in my stash to give a little contrast.  I also put one of my favorite metal snowmen up for a bit of cheer.  Isn’t he sweet!?  I love that he lights up!  If you don’t happen to have metal lanterns in your stash, I’ve placed a couple of links below with different sized lanterns.  Be sure when you are putting your display together, you use various heights to keep things interesting!

Putting It All Together

I am having so much fun putting my mantle together for each month, but these ideas are not only great for mantles but great for any area of your home where you{d like to put together a seasonal display.  A cute little side table pushed up along a wall space would make a perfect area for this kind of décor.  Keep your eye out at the resale shops or for someone getting rid of an old piece of furniture, and you can add a personal touch to any area in your home!

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