Nothing spells progress quite like when your mantel is decorated for Christmas! And this year, my illuminated old windows Christmas mantel comes with a little heartwarming memory story attached.
The fireplace mantel is glowy, snowy, with plenty of greens and a grapevine / pinecone garland to boot! There’s lots going on here, but everything couldn’t have been easier.
How I did it:
There’s nothing too complicated here. But there is an order for the stacking.
1. Place full size Christmas lights along the top of your fireplace. No mini lights this round, I wanted it bright.
2. Stack the windows in front of the lights, leaning them against the fireplace. Lightly spritz the window corners with spray snow as the wind would blow it.
3. Loosely place real evergreen branches around the windows until you achieve the fullness you’re after.
My fireplace is pretty large, so I don’t mess around with scale. Go big or go home around here!
Lots of layers and fullness!
Tips for realistic looking snow:
* First use spray snow, then plastic faux snow placed in clumps, so they really do look wind blown.
* When coating evergreen branches, spray as blowing snow would land. Notice how just the tops are sprayed and not underneath evenly? That’s the key to making this look as realistic as possible.
4. Embellish… I like using fruit for a pop of natural red. Also threw in a few ornaments for a little holiday bling so the light reflected off of something.
5. Flick on your lights, and dig that orange glow! These photos weren’t orange enhanced at all. It really does have an orange glow to them, no idea why. But I love how it resembles a warm, toasty crackling fireplace.
So why old windows? Deep breath…
I no longer have my parents. Christmas isn’t easy when you miss someone you love so desperately. But we make do because we have to.
That window in front is from my parent’s farm. I remember one year finding it in my mom’s garage, gasped and promptly redid her mantel highlighting it. She giggled because she thought it was a little rustic for her, but being the good sport she was, she shrugged her shoulders, said, “That’s very Donnaish!” and left it. For me.
Winter on the farm reminds me of Dad towing us in a toboggan behind the tractor. We had a large circular driveway, so during a snowstorm, we’d bundle up, and he’d tow us around and around and around until we laughed so hard we could no longer breathe.
An illuminated window during winter brings to mind walking into the kitchen after a sleigh ride, cheeks, fingertips and toes stinging with cold, with the fragrance of mom’s homemade hot chocolate simmering on the stove. Every. Time.
Warm, comfort, love, home.
That’s what these windows say to me. And what better time to honour and cherish those sorts of memories than at Christmas?
This isn’t the first time I’ve decorated around my parents. The first year my mom passed, I decked out THIS tree with things from her jewelry box and even made a video.
My illuminated Christmas old windows mantel shines brightly, as if the front porch light is on at the old farmhouse, waiting for all of us to come inside.
Isn’t it a wonder that I love to repurpose as I do?
Just for fun, here’s my Coke inspired Christmas mantel last year.
And today, my home is also part of the Christmas Tour of Homes! Click HERE to visit!
See you tomorrow for Day 11!