Monday, December 6, 2010

Photo Wreath & My Christmas Mantel

The boys got a snow day today, so it seemed like a good day to hang our stockings.  I'm so very late putting this mantel together this year.  It feels like this year has been so much busier, though I suppose it's possible I've been doing a bit more blog reading than in the past. :)

As soon as I saw this photo wreath in Country Living, I knew that I wanted to make one of my own.

I loved the idea of visiting the past to decorate my mantel and I loved the black & white, and sepia photos used in the Country Living Wreath.  With this as my inspiration, I delved into my photo files for pictures of Christmas past.  Looking through the photo files was really fun.  It's funny how pictures of Whirling Dervish taken so many years ago look so much like Snuggle Bunny today.  I grabbed a few pics from each year and even through in a couple of the boys sleeping in the Philly airport last year.  Fun Times.

I chose to make my wreath with black & white photos that had one little pop of color.  I opened up each photo in PhotoImpact and used the Duotone effect to create a slightly sepia toned black & white photo.  I then used the charcoal tool to color in one item to accent.  In this photo, it's SB's shoes.
I arranged the individual photos on a blank sheet and printed them out.
I then cut out each photo with my paper trimmer leaving a thin border of white around each pic.
Next I cut out a circle of cardboard to attach the photos to and wrapped it in foil.  It doesn't have to be real pretty since it'll be covered up with the pictures.
I began attaching the photos with glue dots making sure not to cover up anyone's face while overlapping the photos.  Glue Dots are acid free and will not degrade the photos.
To give some depth to the wreath, I elevated a few of the pictures with some foam squares.

I hung the finished wreath over my mantel.  The finished project looks like I have way more pics of SB than WD, but it's just that all of the young pics of WD look like SB.  I swear I don't love one more than the other.  With the last decade of pictures taken in digital, we don't look at old pics as much as if they were in albums.  I highly recommend taking a look through your digital pictures.
Underneath the picture wreath, I set up my stocking holders and laid a garland out on the mantel.  I always use floral wire to firmly attach the stocking holders in place.  My kids are past the grab a stocking and get bonked on the head stage, but even so it's a smart idea.  Their stockings are awfully heavy Christmas morning and I wouldn't want them to end up on the ground.
I sewed the boys' giant stockings for them each from one of those felt kits that comes with all of the embroidery floss, felt, sequins, etc.
Even our cat gets a stocking at Christmas.  This one I freehanded.
and After
Thanks for popping in and checking out my Christmas Mantel and check out all of the other Christmas fun at Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday, Centsational Girl's Christmas Craft Link Party, and The Lettered Cottage's Mantel Party.


  1. This is beautiful! I love the pop of color in each photo

  2. That is such a wonderful idea. I find Christmas makes me so sentimental, what a lovely time of year to be able to look back on some great memories. Plus it's so personal! Not just another ordinary wreath. :)

  3. That is a fabulous idea! Love it.

  4. What a creative idea for a wreath. A bit of work in the photo editing, but so worth it!

  5. Looks perfect for the season and goes even more exciting for the family with the photos.


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