With the holidays arriving at lightning speed, you will want to make sure your fireplace is clean and attractively appointed for company. Make sure you have your chimney cleaned by a professional for the safety of you and your family.
You can easily make your mantel ready for fall with simple natural branches, leaves and gourds you can pick up around your property or buy from craft stores. Large leaves like Magnolia are perfect for dramatic statements. Warm metal colors are all the rage in décor; so with a can of spray paint you can make your leaves and branches into a floral bouquet or sculpture that will reflect the beauty of the firelight and bring visual warmth to your space. Light and airy tumble weeds will cast interesting shadows to your mantel too. Just walk around and see what catches your eye, and imagine it in a warm gold, brass, or copper tone.
You might try covering a piece of foam board with a fabric, lightly textured paper or just paint, add it to a very large frame and place it on the mantel . This project will work nicely if you have brick above the mantel to highlight your natural sculpture. Adding some votive candles or a pair of low wattage lamps will aid in casting shadows without the competition of the brick behind it. Since this is a temporary backdrop, you will not have to sacrifice your brick.
Mirrors work well above fireplaces if you have something of interest to be seen in the reflection, as well as reflecting light from candles and small lamps. Use some large glass cylinders and fill them with a string of tiny white lights; fill around the lights with nuts, pine cones, berries or colored glass ornaments. Using various sizes of glass containers will add interest to your composition. You can elevate similarly- sized containers by placing them on books or paper wrapped boxes, keeping in mind the theme you are wishing to express. You will need to hide the cords by tacking them close to the wall and covering them with greenery from your garden; juniper branches work well and do not dry out as quickly as softer stemmed plants do.
If you are considering masking the brick behind your fireplace with a frame covered in fabric or paper, don’t be shy; go bold, and remember it is only temporary; the holiday season is a good time to experiment. You can take a very dramatic color and go from the mantel top to the ceiling with your color and see how you like it.
Foam board is lightweight and easy to work with; it can be cut with a utility knife, and your fabric can be wrapped around the edges giving it a finished look. There is no need for a frame if you want it to extend all the way to the ceiling. There are a variety of 3M products intended for temporarily hanging things on walls without damaging the wall surface.
A mantel that is already painted is perfect for a change of color at the holidays. Mantels usually are not so large that the project can’t be done in no time and repainted after the holidays.
If your fireplace has no mantel, you can easily affix branches to your brick work with small finish nails and wire or museum putty, found at craft and home centers.
Just imagine a change, then think of ways you can incorporate your ideas into a simple but different look-- just for a little while.