As you see, this is not the Holy Grail of mantels. After some thought, I decided not to spend $100 on wreaths (I needed several for both, the bannister and the mantle) and ended up deciding to make good use out of the free trimmings from Home Depot.
I was able to get some cuttings from the base of some trees (which I'll talk about another day) and a WHOLE BUNCH of trimmings that I cut to use for the mantel and as vase filler(s). The trimmings at HD are great--I would think other stores that have trees would make them available as well, but I know for sure they're free at HD. You can use them for door swag, bannister swag (PK featured one I loved here), centerpieces, mantels, and the list goes on. If you're looking to dress up your house for free, check HD.
(I'm sure you love my wonderful photo editing)
I decided not to go crazy and spend a whole bunch of money (I don't have) and instead used what I did have around the house. The 2 empty lanterns came from Target 2 years ago and had yet to be used, so I put them to good use filling them with pinecones from my backyard and sparkly black ornaments I already purchased.
I was going to add glitter to the pinecones, but to be honest, I just didn't feel like it with so much to do around the house, so I went for the rustic (read:free) look. :) One thing I have learned this year is that black doesn't show up well on a green tree and may be best suited for a white one next time around. I'm not quite sure when I'll be buying a white tree, but maybe on an after Christmas sale . . . one day. Something came over me, and I decided that I didn't want to keep going and pulling out more and more stuff (which I do have) to keep trying to "deck the halls". I think these halls are about as "decked" as they're gonna get at this point. I did my table (still need to have the burlap runner cut, but it doesn't qualify as a Christmas item since it will be used all year) and have a little extra for my entryway, but "that about it" (as Jay-Z would say). I wouldn't quite say that I have the holiday blues, but I am in the midst of preparing for a good bit of company, and my sister will be staying with me for an extended time, so I'm preparing for some changes and that's where my energy is focused. On another note, here's a peak at some things I picked up this weekend. The best is yet to come . . .
I heart Goodwill. (Help me, Lakeitha!)