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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DIY Faux Mantel Update

I have been absent over here for a couple of weeks.

Maybe you didn't notice ; )
Being a single (home schooling) mom with three kids still at home comes with a weight that is often impossible to bear alone. But guess what? Jesus knows that, and He never asks me to bear it alone. It's my own self-imposed weight I lug around! 
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says that rest and relief are always available through Him. You wouldn't think I'd need to be reminded so often, but apparently I do! 

The amplified Bible says it like this:

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. {I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.}
Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls."

Pretty awesome, huh? I sure like the idea of blessed quiet for my soul. 

Sometimes I have these comical daydreams about Jesus dealing with me like this:
I'm dragging around this horrendously heavy bag of rocks. I'm whining and crying about how heavy it is, and how hard it is to carry. I can't do this! Then I catch a glimpse of Jesus standing nearby, smiling and shaking his head at me. As he moves toward me, I have this sudden realization of how ridiculous I look! {for the millionth time}
He stands in front of me and holds out his hands and says, "Come on, Jeanette. Hand it over". 
And then he tells me to go rest, and someone will be by shortly to rub my feet. Ha! I just added that last part to my daydream :) 

So you wanna see one of the projects I've been working on recently? 

A while back I showed you the mayhem going on in our living room. This is how the creative process usually works for me. Get an idea. Pull together ALL the potential things I could use to build/create what I'm thinking and eventually something is born out of the crazy mess. 

This time the idea was to create a more substantial faux mantel for our little electric fireplace.

In the past I've used the backdrop I made from a faux brick panel trimmed out with pieces from an old crib panel.

I've even tried my chippy vintage door for something a little different behind the fireplace. 

I've used various things for the mantel shelf, including old drawer fronts and pieces of barn wood. 

Last fall I went pretty rustic with the mantel area, using part of a pallet as the base for the nature inspired theme. 

And here's the newly reconfigured faux mantel! Yes, this did come together out of that pile of random stuff. 
If you've been around here for awhile, you won't be surprised to know my mission was to create the faux mantel using materials I already had, and without spending money. 
If you are new here, I hope you'll find some inspiration to create something unique for your home with more imagination than money! 

You may recall the large garden gate wall hanging I created last year. It was time for a change (many months ago) so I dismantled it and the pieces have now been used for the mantel. (I'll share the details in another post)

A few weeks ago, I picked up two of these old wire baskets, and two ironstone dishes, like the one on the left, for .25¢ each.

Old paper, ironstone, rustic wood and metal... a collection of my favorite things. 

The photo in the antique round frame is so precious to me! All four of my kids together on the beach in San Diego (over four years ago) when my parents rented a beach house for all of us. We arrived as dusk approached, and were immediately drawn to the water's edge to take it all in. 
Best vacation ever. Eldest is married now, and that toddler who was afraid to dip his feet in the water is now a very tall 7-year-old! 

Above the mantel I hung an antique piano panel that I've had for many years. 

The pieces that form the "hearth" are parts from a vintage door and a random white chippy piece of wood (found in this shape), all picked up curbside. 

The rest of the living room is still in progress, but almost finished.
These photos are really deceiving in that they make the space in here look much larger than it really is! 

My living room is tiny, and I'm still working on how I'm going to arrange the sectional (known as the "brown beast"). I would love a new rug for this room, but it's not in the budget, so we'll see what I can come up with. The wheels are always turning...

I love knowing that even in a rented house, I can work to create a home that has the feeling I love without making permanent changes, and without spending a lot of money. 
I hope someone will be encouraged by that! 

Maybe our next home will have a real fireplace. For now, I'm really happy with the look and feel of my "new" faux mantel. I appreciate you coming by to take a look! 

I promise I'll share more about what's happening with our family in the coming weeks. For now, could I humbly ask my praying friends to lift us up as it comes to mind? There's so many big decisions to be made that will affect everyone in my family, and I would appreciate prayers for wisdom and clarity about how to handle things. 

Thanks so much, friends! I'll share the tutorial for how I created the mantel in a future post, and I would LOVE to stay connected with you over on Facebook! {sorry I don't have the technology needed for Instagram yet} 



Sharing over at
Sundays at Home at Thoughts From Alice
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours
What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House
The Scoop at Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Vintage Inspiration Party


  1. You are always in my prayers. That someone you hope to inspire is right here.....I have always found you to be an inspiration and creative dynamo. The most impressive part is how you do it without spending money. Love that!

  2. Dear Jeanette
    So beautifully written and truly I have followed you since the beginning and to see how faithful Christs love has been is a blessing to read. You truly inspire my heart with your perseverance and boldness in faith. What a gorgeous love filled home you have created. My love and prayers to you always xoxo Kate

  3. Oh goodness, everything is so have been busy! I'm new to your blog. I simply love what you have done with your home. You really have a way with pretty arrangements! Thank you for being such a great inspiration!

    Jane xx

  4. Oh Jeanette, i only explain my connection to you and your words as being directed by the almighty. You are in my prayers, praying for a lifting of your burdens, praying for a heart filled with joy, and praying that stability in a settled home is what you are blessed with.
    Listen to that small voice and don't let mans junk get in the way, because God is so much bigger then mans junk Amen! :)
    I think of you often and how much we have in common, just know that God is going to strengthen your heart giving leading you to the path you need to be on, I am standing in faith here that all is going to work out... Take time to rest in his calm, let your days inspire all you share. I adore what you have done here with your home, it has a Jeanne d Arc Living feel to it, in the best image of reimagining your pieces to what it has become. I too have the smallest of living rooms, and I really don't mind at all, it allows me to create a cozy feeling as you here are doing.
    I love all the natural tones of shades of whites, it serves you well, and what a restful place to teach in.

    Thank you for loving my art, it was a blessing to send it to you.
    The fire surround and mantel is perfect, I also long for a fire place, perhaps my next move :)

    Your post touched my heart more then you know. (Tears)

    Through him all is possible.


  5. You inspire me for sure. My goal is always to spend as little as possible. I'm a homeschooling mom, too, so I know it can be a bit overwhelming at times. But it is SO worth it! I have had to rely on my faith quite a bit in the past year so I appreciate your situation and love the Bible quote you chose. Lately I have had to remind myself to give it over to God. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    xo Kathleen

  6. I love this latest mantle and fireplace surround. It looks real. I think it is the best one so far. I appreciate that you are open about your faith. So many these days are intimidated into keeping their faith separate from their daily lives. Know I am praying for your decision making. I pray that God will give you clarity in His will and peace in the decision. I know the struggle to make a Godly decision that is right for all concerned. I lost my husband on Good Friday and have had to make major decisions since then. God has plans for you and he will reveal them in His time. I love your daydream. That is how God speaks to me as well. Mine greatest sin is impatience. When I get in a hurry God gives me a vision of me running down the road dragging Jesus by the hand. Oh how that brings me up short. May you find peace and rest in all your decisions. Someone far wiser than I said, "Where the desires of your heart and the needs of the world come together, that is where God is calling you." I try to remember that in all my decision making. Sorry for being so wordy. God bless you and yours. Debbie

  7. I love the faux mantel and how you have decorated it! In fact that whole room is just lovely!

  8. Praying for you. Of course you were missed. The start to the school year is always a busy one. I'm sorry that you are struggling with other things as well. I love your mantel. It is just too cute. Blessings to you!

  9. I've been following your blog since Spring & I am thankful for it! I feel blessed when I get to see the beautiful decorating you create. You show that is possible to create beauty without spending lots of money. As a former single mom, I can understand & appreciate all that you are doing. God has shared with me just now that He will reward your faithfulness. He knows your heart's desires, He knows your every thought, He hears your prayers. He doesn't waste one precious thing, continue to seek Him & acknowledge Him. He is right there beside you. He says, "well done child, well done".
    You & your loved ones are in my thoughts & prayers!

  10. I have been following your blog since this past Spring. I feel blessed to be able to see the beautiful ways you decorate. You show that you can create beauty in your home on a limited budget. As a former single mother, I can say I understand & appreciate all that you are doing. I know that it isn't an easy road, but what a comfort to know you are not walking it alone. God just shared with me some words for you. He will reward your faithfulness. He wants you to keep trusting in Him. He knows your heart's desires, He knows your every thought, He hears your prayers. He says that not one thing is ever wasted, He will see you through this time. He sees all that you are doing and He says, "well done child, well done". You are His precious child, & He loves you! Know that you are never alone, He is there with you always in all ways.
    I will be keeping you & your loved ones in my thoughts & prayers.

  11. Your living room is gorgeous any way you arrange it. I love your new faux mantel and the beautiful vignette you created, especially the basket with all your precious treasures. I will definitely be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  12. What a wonderful space. The attention to detail is just glorious.
    Modern Home Interior Design

  13. Oh Jeanette,
    I just found your post - I LOVE your spirit to see the benefits in the thingies, in which others would not see the special magic. This to bring to life I love too - please more ;)))
    Huggies from Germany, Méa who loves little tattered and battered "patients" as well :)))

  14. This is my favorite configuration yet! You did a wonderful job -- I love how it makes the stove look bigger. I also have a little stove like this, now I wish I had a place to make a surround like you have for it. The mantel display is gorgeous too, love all the different elements together.

  15. You're the queen of faux fireplace creativity, Jeanette! Love your new one. :)

  16. I am truly amazed at all that you do get done in addition to being a homeschooling mom. I wonder if you sleep? :)

    Have a blessed day dear one.

  17. I love the way your mantel turned out and how you've accessorized it! I'm visiting from Tweak it Tuesday. :)

  18. Your mantel looks great! I love those little stoves in front of mantels, it is my favorite look for a fireplace!

  19. This is my first time visiting your inspirational blog. I came by route of Burlap Luxe's side bar. Your faux mantel is lovely, your creative spirit shines brightly in your photos and writing.

  20. You're amazing. I'm tired just looking at all these different versions. I love seeing where your creative juices take you. And I can relate to beginning with a lot of chaos at first.
    hope you and the kids are adapting well to the new school year.

  21. Just checking in to see how you are.

  22. I miss you, dear Jeanette. I hope all is going well. Praying for you.

  23. It's so pretty!! and thank you for the idea on how to style that basket! I found one in the Spring & it's been in my shop ever since because I couldn't decide what to do with it - I love your mantel!

  24. Have not seen you in awhile. Hope you are doing okay. Hugs :)

  25. Missing you dearly,
    All is well I hope, and praying that the days ahead of you treat you kindly.

    Hope to see you soon dear.


  26. Just checking in with you Jeanette, we haven't heard from you in awhile. Hope things are going, OK, and that you're just busy with kiddos.

  27. I like your simple faux mantel. It looks simple enough to make as a "moveable" piece as I need one in my booth and found your blog via Google.

    1. Yes, it is pretty easy to move. Sounds like it would be a good project for you :) Thanks for stopping by! I'll pop over to your blog to say 'hello'.


  28. I love your ideas I got a electric stove I'm going to try and build a surround out of recycled stuff :-)

  29. I love your ideas I got a electric stove I'm going to try and build a surround out of recycled stuff :-)

  30. What are the dimensions of the faux surround you created? I want a similar setup in my bedroom but, like you, it's a small space and what you created looks perfect for my space. All of the pre-made things are too big. :-( Thank you!!!

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