The Notebook Inspired Valentine’s Mantel

I’ve had this on my mind since before Christmas…what will I do with my mantel once I take my Christmas Mantel down?  Do you remember that this beautiful chalkboard used to be a big ugly brown mirror?  I wanted to keep my chalkboard up for a while, but it’s very large, and takes up the depth of my mantel.  As I was putting all of my holiday decor down, I started bringing my books back out to place on various tables and shelves.  I was placing a stack of my favorite Nicholas Sparks books on my coffee table when it hit me…The Notebook.  It’s one of my favorite books, and a love story like no other.  I plopped down on my couch and started scouring through the book to find my favorite part…Noah’s final letter to Allie.  There I sat, mid-day balling my eyes out, and I knew this was going to be it…the inspiration for my Valentine’s Mantel!


It’s taken me a couple of weeks to put it together.  I added a little bit at a time while re-reading The Notebook.  I’ve added some things, then taken them away.  It had to be just so…for me.  See, Valentine’s Day is pretty special for me.  Matt and I got married almost 16 years ago, the day after.  Huh?  We waited until the day after so we could have a two day celebration…plus, we don’t have to fight the Valentine’s crowd to go out and have a nice dinner.
Okay…so back to the mantel.  I have these wooden spools that I love, and they stayed there after Christmas.  I had bought a floral arrangement from Trader Joe’s right after the holiday, and kept these little rosettes to dry when the flowers started to wilt.  I simply sprinkled them across the mantel where there we empty spots.


Since Noah’s love letters to Allie were my favorite part of the book, I wanted to have at least one stack of jute tied love letters.  I mean, what is more romantic than old wrinkled love letters?
Since Matt and I have never really been apart for love letter writing to occur, I had to improvise.  I bought a box of envelopes and soaked them in water a bit, then let them dry on my patio table.  They dried nice and wrinkly, so I tied them up with some jute twine and tucked in two rosettes.
See those antique binoculars?  Those belonged to my Aunt Irene and Uncle Dennie.  I had to include them, because in my lifetime, I never knew two people who loved each other as much as they did…
I felt like the mantel needed a little garland, so I strung some white poofs onto some twine, then took these sweet little clothes pins and clipped hearts cut from some gorgeous scrapbook paper I picked up this weekend…I think it was the perfect touch.  I don’t know why, I just adore it!
I took a couple of my sap buckets and tucked some topiaries from Trader Joe’s inside.  I just needed some kind of live greenery after Christmas, and these did the trick.  I rounded out the ends with some Chalkboard Painted Wine Bottles that I made months ago, and proceeded to write out my favorite lines from Noah’s love letter to Allie.  I almost erased it, and started over, then I though…nope…it’s not suppose to be perfect.
I love sitting in my favorite spot on my couch, gazing up at all of the little things that represent love to me…it makes me feel all mushy and sappy, and my living room finally has some character again.  Don’t you feel like everything just looks so blank after Christmas?
Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day?

 This post was featured at iVillage!


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  1. says

    Oh I just love it all! Every little thing you’ve done has so much meaning…that’s what I love most…the meaning! And it’s beautiful to boot…what a lovely job you’ve done!

  2. says

    OOhhh, tearing up here as I read that. One of my faves as well. But then, as I posted on your FB thread last evening.. I luv anything from Nicholas Sparks!
    Luvly sentiment and mantel :-)
    Cheers, Gee

  3. says

    Oh, I am inspired for sure :) This is LOVELY. I LOVE the faux love letters :) CUTE!!

  4. says

    It is so beautiful and romantic Jessica. You are so clever girl. Loved the cotton!

  5. says

    It’s beautiful, Jessica!! So very romantic … such a tribute to “The Notebook,” as well! Love the chalkboard! Thanks for sharing.

  6. says

    Love it! Great idea. Very sentimental and sweet!

    -Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

  7. says

    I love it! I loved the Notebook too…actually everything that he’s written! So romantic.

  8. says

    Love.Love.Love! I DO decorate for Valentine’s day and I love your mantel! You always come up with the neatest ideas! XOXO! Rebecca

  9. says

    I like how it’s really subtle. It does not scream HALLMARK. (like mine tend too) LOL.

    That book is a tear jerker for sure. I read A Walk To Remember. On a plane.
    Yep. Sob crying. Not cool.

  10. says

    This is absolutely STUNNING Jessica!! I’m in AWWWW!!!

    I miss you!! We have to catch up soon! Have a great day!! xoxo

  11. says

    I just love your mantle and all those great detail are beautiful!



  12. says

    I love mushy and sappy. :) Love your idea of pulling sentences from a fave book for your chalkboard! The whole mantle looks great. I’ll be featuring it on the Worthing Court Facebook page tomorrow.

  13. says

    LOVE IT!! One of my favorite movies and such a great idea on the “love letters.” Love that you added that to tie it all in. So pretty and definitely perfect for Valentine’s!

  14. says

    I love your mantel and the back story. I cried my eyes out the first time I watched the movie. I own a copy, but I haven’t watched it in a long time.

  15. says

    What a sweet mantle!! You did a great job and I love the whole room!

  16. says

    This is just the sweetest Valentine display I’ve ever seen!!!

  17. says

    Oh my gosh, Jessica!!!! #1 The Notebook is my favorite book of ALL TIME. IMO, it is the best romance novel EVER. #2 That mantle is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Love, love, love, love, love… Okay, I could go on and on and on with that, but I’m sure you get it. FANTABULOUS!

  18. says

    Very pretty! I love all of the layers. The Notebook is the best!! Here from TT&J

  19. says

    Hi! I am visiting from Think Pink Sunday. I LOVE this idea! I actually haven’t taken down my Christmas decorations over my mantel because I have nothing to put there. I am going to try, and I mean try :) to replicate this. I love the chalkboard – I actually have one in my sewing room that I could ‘borrow’ for a while and I am going to spray some bottles too. Thanks so much for linking this up!
    Kathleen @AlwaysSewLove

  20. says

    Jessica, this is GORGEOUS! Oh my word!! I want to copycat! Loooove the Notebook too :)


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