Recycle and Repurpose for Summer Mantel Decor

2 Materials
2 Hours

I like to change things around on my mantel from season to season and I hadn't really found my summer look....
I wanted to stay away from any fresh flowers or plants because we travel so much during the summer, but I did want to brighten and lighten things up.

Here is the before pic. I loved my hand made magnolia garland from Christmas so much I didn't take it down...just took the holiday out and added a zebra and candle sticks. This was fine for a few months but now that it's really summer, I needed a change.
I like to do projects like this on a zero budget mindset, which means taking things from other places from the house, collected with some "future project" in mind, or maybe something that could be painted.

I was given this really cool mantel clock for a wedding gift quite some time ago. I loved it but I really was over the oak brown color..pretty dreary and out of style. But it had good "bones".
Step 1: I started by taking the face/actual clock apart, so that only the wood base was left. This was easy, most pieces just twisted or snapped apart, then a couple of screws.
Step 2: I used chalk paint and an antiquing finish to give it a worn appearance. The first coat of chalk paint went on pretty poorly, I was a little worried, but after two more coats it was fine. (total 3 coats)
Step 3: Paint on the antiquing finish and then rub in. I used paper towel to work the finish to the desired look. I didn't want too much, so I worked in small sections and removed immediately. The directions said 15 minute window to remove... but it felt like shorter.
This picture illustrates the "small section" description above.
Keep in mind that if you wipe too much off, you can always reapply to get a darker look.
Finished Clock - while the clock was still taken apart, I added a little of the antique finish to the gold rim of the clock.
Finished mantle, decor items used include:
  • Books and glass topiary (reused from another shelf in living room)
  • Drift wood (found at lake)
  • Clock (refinished)
  • Round stick orb (garage sale years ago)
  • Antique vase (family antique hand-me-down)
  • Small turquise lantern (given to me in a gift basket)

Summer mantel

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