Price My Mantle

I wanted to join in the last time the illustrious “Nester” had her “Price My Space” party, but I realized that there wasn’t one room in my house that was “done” enough to exhibit. They are all works in progress. I’ve made a lot of progress since the last party, but thought I would have to pass on this one, too, until I realized I could share just part of my room, and the part I was working on today is my mantle.

The mantle is the first thing you see when you walk into my home. I have a double fireplace between the large formal living room (supposed to be formal dining, but I’m not about to cover up the fireplace with a big table, and who wants to eat with their back right next to the fire?), and the more casual family room on the other side. I’ve posted a few pictures before, and keep tweaking it, so I can guarantee it won’t look just the same the next time you see it, especially with holidays around the corner (yes, I just said that!).
I played with an asymmetrical set-up for a little while, but it looked odd to me, not to have the frame centered with the tapering dry-wall. Anyway, after fiddling around with it a bit today, I decided I can live with this arrangement long enough to “Price this Space” for you.
1-The most expensive thing on the mantle. I bought this vase along with two others that are even larger from my friend who was moving for about $60 for all three. Then she gave me a boat load of stuff (like some of the paintings I’ve recently featured) for free. So it is hard to put a price tag on this particular item. No more than $20.
2-My very cool soapstone candle holder I bought in Ouro Preto, Brazil, 12 years ago. I have no idea what I paid for it. That was a long time ago. And you have to calculate exchange rate. ?
3-This tin is not in it’s permanent location. I actually bought three of them for about $5/each from The Lakeside Collection. They are supposed to go in my cove above the front door, whenever we get around to borrowing a tall ladder (and BSB overcomes his fear of heights.–Don’t tell him I said that!)
4-Free. Wedding gift. Actually, it is the candle I picked out when I took back the heart-shaped swan candle someone gave us for our wedding and exchanged it for this one. It was more “us.”
5-I don’t really think this will stay here for long later. It is a frame we had lying around. (At what point does something count as free? We might have originally paid money for it, but who can remember). I was experimenting with stain on it, and wanted to test the color next to the wood of the mantle (incase I get brave enough for that project), and decided I should try decorating with the empty frame, like I’ve seen all over blogland. I’m trying to highlight the candle with it.
6-I blogged about this super-cheap work of art when I threw it together for Nester’s 10 min makeover project. It landed in my bathroom. My neighbor decided it belongs out here. I’m not sure about the silver frame in this room, but I love the rich texture and color of the wallpaper. This is less than $3. The frame was free, and I used a little bit of a roll of wallpaper I got on clearance from Lowes @ $3. Yes, I am cheap!
7-This H is a fairly recent purchase (meaning I can remember it) from Khols. They were new in our area and I had a coupon in the mail for $10 off any purchase of $10 or more. I think this was on a good sale at around $5. I got this and a really cute white headband with a giant flower (that my daughter proceeded to bread a very short time after), for just a couple of dollars.
8-Free again! (That’s my favorite price). This ostrich egg was given us by a friend who’s relatives owned an ostrich farm. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but I’ve since decided it is kind of cool and should be displayed. Especially after visiting an ostrich farm in California this year, where they were selling eggs like these for around $20/ea. I’ve put it on a small pedestal candleholder that I can’t tell you much about.
9-I can’t remember the exact price, but these mercury glass candleholders were an after-Christmas clearance purchase from Target. I’m sure they were at least %75 off, and I love that they aren’t terribly seasonal. Maybe $10 for both (or less)? The black tapers weren’t very cheap when I bought them from my sister who was selling Partylite candles 6 or 7 years ago. I bought them for halloween candleholders, but again, not so seasonal.
10-I blogged about my moss topiary here. I’m going to say it was about $2. That was just for the moss at Walmart. The rest of the stuff I had on hand. The form would normally be expensive, but I had it left over from my sister’s wedding 6 years ago. See! There are benefits to not being a great purger–a.k.a being a packrat.
So, if you don’t count anything that is more than a couple of years old, I am going to put the total cost of this mantle decor at about $37.
Oh, and here is one more thing not to tell BSB. I want to see if he notices. I took all of the jackets off of all of the books in that room, so I could arrange them by color. Again, I’m sure there will be more tweaking to follow, but I love that there is less gleam coming from the bookshelves and a little more cohesion.
Don’t forget to check Nester’s party for other priced spaces!
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  1. I love organizing books by color. First I do general subject and then color. It makes the space look great. I love your mantel. I want a mantel especially for the holidays.

  2. Bethany Kartchner says

    gorgeous set up! I'm amazed at what you do!

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