Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign


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Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

Get stencil from HERE

“I’m going really minimalist this Christmas”, I said to myself about 2 weeks ago.

I was in the middle of this big purging spree, and I got most of my surfaces either bare or one thing on them. I didn’t recognize myself!

So when I fired up this idea for the mantel, I laid out the rules early… “Ok me, just this sign. That will be enough.”

Famous last words…

So, I had this project in my head for quite awhile. In fact, it’s why I designed the Christmas Trees stencil.

I visioned this black long horizontal sign on my mantel with just a row of white Christmas trees with falling snow in the sky.

But when I started playing with the stencil, bigger ideas started to emerge…

What if I piled up all the trees into one BIG tree and lit the sky up with lights?

And then it morphed to, “Why don’t I just light up the trees?!”

I couldn’t wait to get started.

So I rummaged through my wood stash, but nothing felt right.

Then my eyes fell on to a beat up bulletin board which happened to be the PERFECT size.

Could that work? It was time to find out…

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What I used:

(this post contains some Amazon affiliate links below)

Cork bulletin board – 24 x 36

Christmas Trees stencil from HERE

Fusion Mineral Paint’s Coal Black and Casement
(look for a local merchant HERE)

Stencil brush

White mini lights

Drill and drill bit to fit lights


Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

How-to:

1. Coat out a bulletin board with black paint.

I grabbed my fav Fusion Mineral Paint in Coal Black, then painted over the bulletin board using a brush.

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

2. Stencil the image along the bottom of the bulletin board in white.

I positioned the stencil to sit at the bottom of the sign, then stenciled the images in white – Casement.

Once I got the image along the bottom, I saw it finished clear as day. This WAS going to work!

Note: I didn’t have the mylar stencil in yet when I made this project and used a prototype instead. It’s that new! I’ll be sure to add a photo of it once it arrives.

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How to stencil:

  • Load your stencil brush
  • Offload most of the paint onto a rag. Your brush should be dry to the touch when you stencil.
  • Tap the paint through the stencil until completed.

You can learn more about How To Stencil HERE

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3. Tape off a shape of a large tree all the way to a top for a stencil guide.

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

4. Stencil random trees inside the taped area until the tree shape is filled.

This was fun! I just used one tree here and another tree there and even made some shorter ones by using just the tops and some bottoms. Worked great as fill-ins. Make sure you stencil in the top tree before filling up the entire gap to ensure you get it nicely centred.

Now, if this was on a pretty black boarded background, this would be an amazing sign as-is! Made me 2nd guess my beat up bulletin board choice, but I knew it wouldn’t show up the way I planned to use it anyway.

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

5. Drill holes inside the trees, then thread in white mini lights from behind.

This part took a little trial and error. 

The first mini light was larger than the rest, so I’m glad I didn’t pre-drill all the holes in one fell swoop! 

I teamed up an appropriate drill bit (I think 5/16th worked) for the lights to ensure a snug but do-able  fit.

Holes were first drilled into one tree, then the mini lights were slipped through the hole from the back of the board. The lights were pulled out forward enough to completely clear the warmth of the light. I wanted to ensure this didn’t end up being a fire hazard.

Happy to report, the board doesn’t even get warm. WIN!

Caution: Add lights at your own risk.

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

6. I worked horizontally along the trees to ensure the lights reached all the holes in each tree. (kinda like working zig zag)

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

At this point, I leaned the sign against the wall and stepped back to get a better look.

Well I’ll be… how cool is that?!

I finished up, then screwed two reclaimed wood planks on either side of the board to frame it.

And then it was time to try it on the mantel. A perfect fit!

But… it looked too bare by itself.

Ohhhh, I tried to be minimal. I tried it with just lights and then with twigs. But once I brought the Christmas trees into the room, the fireplace mantel cried for a little greenery to marry it all together.

Of course. NONE of my Christmas mantels have EVER been minimalist! Quite the opposite in fact. They are all over the top.

So much for my minimalist approach…

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

How I arranged the sign

So I scavenged outside until I clipped enough twiggy and evergreen branches to make an impact.

I positioned the sign in place first, lined up another plugged in string of lights along both sides of the sign, threw in a red train lantern, hung up the stockings, then started positioning the branches where desired.

They were then spritzed a little with spray snow, and this was the result…

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

Get stencil from HERE

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

Well, hello there illuminated Christmas Trees mantel framed out in white chippy boards and nestled into a pine tree forest haven of branches! You are the perfect size and cast the most amazing glow at night!

Sitting in all those branches, it does work with the rest of the room. Or what will be in the rest of the room soon. I’m excited to get my ‘Christmas tree forest’ in place now!

Oh yes… I have a big non-minimalist vision there too… 

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

The fur, white and Buffalo Check I used in last year’s Christmas home tour worked perfectly for this year’s theme. They were filled with newspaper to beef them up a little.
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Above is a short video of the process.

Music: Beyond the Line by www.Bensound.com

Illuminated Christmas Trees mantel sign on a bulletin board with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils and Fusion Mineral Paint

Get stencil from HERE

Over the top Christmas mantel 2018… CHECK!

And now I’m officially plugged into the Christmas spirit and am ready to steamroll this place, filling up every square inch!

When you are a collector, it’s my belief we turf things in order to allow room for new things.

That minimalist approach ended rather abruptly, didn’t it?


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Categories: Christmas, DIY, Junk Drawer, Old Sign Stencils, Reclaimed wood projects, Seasonal, Signs
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  1. Love your project…I don’t have a mantel but could prop it up on my porch.
    Thanks for the idea and process. Merry Christmas

  2. Really pretty! Like the colors and the texture of the bulletin board under the dark paint. Your Mantle/fireplace arrangement is stunning, simple and warm.

  3. Gotta love your new mantel sign,looks great. Few years ago we made trees and drilled holes for lights., trees look great out in front yard in winter especially with snow in yard, hopefully by end of this week. It’s cold enuf lately,am ready for snow. Sure do love your new sign,looks great over mantel with lights. Happy winter

  4. A favorite for your mantel. And bah hum bug minimalism at Christmas. But no worries. Your mantel is lovely. Your touch is just right and love those rustic white boards on either side of the lit Christmas trees. Your mantel is just right for all kinds of décor. Have a wonderful day Donna!

  5. Well ‘ya know…. I absolutely love this. But I have to ask myself why I didn’t think of it? I have added lights behind pictures at Halloween parties by poking out the eyes etc, but for some reason another holiday didn’t occur to me, thanks for solving that. I do have about the same size unused bulletin board hanging in a random spot in the garage. I might be able to do something yet before my arm’s in a sling. It looks fabulous for sure!

  6. This is stinkin AMAZING! I love it…the white on the black, with the lights. And the whole mantle scene you created-absolute perfection! You’ve got your groove back, lady!Keep that drill handy!