How to update a mantel for spring in just a few easy steps using what you have to highlight the fresh flowers of spring, plus a quick DIY topiary idea to add height to your mantel.
Our mantel had been sporting it's winter pared-down-after-Christmas look for a full two months, so it really needed a simple update for spring. And by simple, I really mean it.
I'm craving a clean, airy look lately, which included removing all the items that have lived on top of the bookcases flanking the fireplace for the first time ever (which you can see in the past mantel decor at our seasonal decor gallery).
That freed up the white pitchers that usually lined the bookshelves to be used in a basic, neutral spring mantel that would allow seasonal flowers to be the focal point. For a little more dimension and interest, I added a pair of topiaries, which work to bring in some spring green, too.
It was a fairly quick update that used some basic steps that work with any items, so I thought I'd share them with you guys to show that updating a mantel doesn't have to be complicated (unless you want to flex your creative muscles and take more time!).
How to Update a Mantel for Spring in 5 Steps
- Set the background. Usually a large item works nice as a background: a mirror like the vintage window-turned-mirror I'm using, a painting, chalkboard, or other larger unique item (like this burlap coffee sack attached to a piece of plywood). Sometimes a 2-3 medium-sized pieces overlapping works, too.
- Add 3-5 repeating elements of roughly the same size. The white pitchers shown are classic, but you can also use mason jars, small vases, interesting jars, or candles. If using items that won't hold flowers, make sure your center item is a vase or jar that can hold them.
- Add taller elements. Vases, topiaries, feathers in jars, candle sticks or other decorative items add height and interest. They can be symmetrical like the topiary forms above (see the simple DIY for these below), or not, but mixing in at least one taller item adds dimension.
- Bring in a fun surprise. Like the DIY upholstery webbing spring garland I'm using or a printable banner with words for spring or Easter, or a even a wreath hung from the mirror.
5. Plan for fresh flowers. That's one of the beauties of spring, right? So make sure to have something - a favorite vase, large pitcher, mason jar or other container that can hold the daffodils, flowering branches, tulips, and peonies that will be blooming over the next few months.
Simple DIY topiary how-to:
- Find some basic, cheap terra cotta pots (these were about $2 each) and white-wash them with any white paint you have (both house or craft paints will work) that's been watered-down to a cream-like consistency. I simply rubbed the white-wash on with a t-shirt rag so I could wipe any extra off as I applied it, but a foam brush would work with a dry rag to wipe.
- Line the painted pot with plastic (for leakage protection), fill with potting soil and plant with ivy. You can root ivy fairly easily in water a week or so before planting or buy potted ivy with longer trailing stems.
- Add topiary form and wind the longer ivy pieces around the form.
- Finish by watering well and covering the plastic and soil with moss.
You can see from this wide shot how it looks with the cleared off side bookcases. I'm loving the breathing room and focus it creates on the mantel.
I'm kind of surprised I never thought to leave them empty before - I've always spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do with them!
So, a few items + a little bit of time = a fresh spring mantel that's flexible enough to last through the season. What's not to love?
Have you updated your space for spring yet?