Christmas Mantel 2012 … Chalkboard LOVE!

This year, I wanted to do something a little more, well…me when decorating my mantel for Christmas.

I wanted a gigantic chalkboard in the middle, urns with evergreen trees, and real garland this year.
I have a chalkboard obsession, and any of you who have been around for a while know it isn’t going away any time soon.  I’ll try not to bore you with the details, but if you feel like you need a chalkboard fix, you are welcome to check out my Turn a Mirror into a Chalkboard post or my post on Turning an Old Picture Frame into a Chalkboard, there is even a post on How To Make Chalkboard Vinyl Labels…I know, it’s a sickness.
Anyhow, I have been holding on to this old issue of Cottage Living since December 2006, because of the sheer chalkboard envy of this old cottage kitchen.  I think this may be where my chalkboard obsession began…I mean, isn’t it gorgeous?  I’ve looked and looked for something similar for years, and have had absolutely no luck at all…until my friend Angie had a yardsale…
She was selling this huge mirror from an old dresser for $20, and I had to have it.  I knew it was meant to be…this mirror would some how, some way become the chalkboard of my dreams.  Sadly, it took me 3 months to finally start…then I became obsessed.


I used some white chalk paint, and covered the entire thing…wood and mirror both.  I went ahead and painted the wood with an extra coat, then distressed with a sanding block.


Next, I painted the mirror sections with 3 coats of chalkboard paint.  After they had dried overnight, I held a stick of chalk sideways and went over the entire chalkboard.  I lightly wiped it off, then began drawing and erasing, and drawing and erasing some more.  I wanted it to look old and worn, like the chalkboard of my dreams.  This process went on for days, until Matt finally popped in and said I was getting a little crazy with the whole chalkboard thing.  So, I stepped back and said, okay…that’ll just have to do then.  It’s not exactly the same…it could never be, and there isn’t a spot in my kitchen for it, but I have the perfect spot for now…
He helped me lift the gigantor chalkboard onto the mantel, then the decorating began.  I added fresh garland, the  Urns I made for less than $3 each were stuffed with arborvitae clippings from our yard and some old amaryllis, then a few more small details were added.
I think it’s my favorite mantel yet!  I love the natural elements, mixed in with some old family favorites. I even popped some wooden spools and a horseshoe up there for fun…
So, how about you?  What do you think?   Have you done any Christmas decorating yet, or am I just Christmas crazy?
I’m Jessica, a mom on a mission to show other women that you can live well without breaking the bank. I like to share the thrifty, creative ways that I make changes in my home in the hopes that it will spark the creativity in someone else! I love to share DIY projects, crafts, simple recipes and cleaning tips too!


A crafty mom all about keepin' it real...
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  1. 15


    Absolutely fantastic!! I love what you did. BTW, my friend just bought that house that is pictured in Cottage Living! She didn’t get to keep the chalkboard, though. It’s a great inspirational house!!

  2. 16


    Umm.. yeah. I want that. No, really. You better hand it over before someone gets hurt! hehe

    It’s freaking super gorgeous girl. $20??? You scored. It’s fabulous and it looks great right where you put it! Happy Holidays to YOU! You wonder decorating diva.

  3. 22


    ok sister, I think I’ve finally found someone who loves chalkboards as much as I do. I have that Country Living 2006 picture too in my binders of tear sheets. Love your chalkboard, if you ever decide to sell it…

  4. 25


    Stopping by from The Life of Jennifer Dawn and let me tell you I LOVE the chalkboard!
    I too looked for quite sometime for an old school house chalkboard.
    I never did find one and I settled on buying a newer magnetic chalkboard, but yours is stunning and it has re instilled in me the desire to search on!

  5. 26


    AMAZING!! Your chalkboard looks so much better than the magazine version! The whole mantle is beautiful and so homey and personal. You’ve really inspired me to get going with my decorating and crafting. I have Some Harry Potter ornaments to make for a friend and two little grandchildren to decorate for. Great job! :)

  6. 37


    Aw, it was meant to be Jessica. I love that you had such vision when you saw this mirror. It looks perfect now as the chalkboard of your dreams! Great job.

  7. 48


    Looks fab Jessica! I tried turning a mirror into a chalkboard once – epic fail…the paint kept bubbling in a few places! I like the idea of painting it with chalk paint first! Beautiful decorating – so festive!


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