Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sylvester McMonkey McBean: A Stars Upon Thars Mantel

What do you do when you normally decorate above your fireplace with presents, but since you're doing a family trip to California next summer in lieu of presents, you HAVE no presents to use, and therefore your mantel is feeling neglected?

You see Cindy's wooden stars and get inspired. That's what.

 {Now that I just uploaded her photo, I'm looking at the way the lines of her star overlap, and if I would've PAID ATTENTION in the beginning, mine prolly would've turned out better. Whatever.}

She bought hers because she's a cheater, so I was on my own for figuring out directions.  I played around with some popsicle sticks before I got too carried away and verified that I could actually MAKE a star shape. It looked doubtful for a few minutes.

 How cute would these be spray painted and stuck on a package?

 A trip to Lowes to get some wood (or sticks, as I call them, which are also made of wood and are therefore THE SAME THING) that I could bang together in a holiday fashion put me back about $8 total (3 pieces of 6 foot lengths at $2 something a piece)

{These were all cut 28 inches long, mainly because I didn't take into account that because they slant a little, the finished shape would be SHORTER than that. That would've required foresight and geometry skills, neither of which I posses. Again? WHATEVER.}

A quick coat of walnut stain to bring out their knot-iness,

and then whacked into place with a hammer. The nailheads were left as is 'cuz it looks more rustic that way, but you could certainly dab on a bit of brown paint to hide them. The plan was for it to sit leaning back on the mantel, but since it was shorter than planned...or not hangs from a nail.

My dusting skills leave much to be desired as well.

Oh yeah, another important tip: some of the cross over lines are gonna have a space because they're laying at an angle, and you won't be able to nail the top piece into the back piece without a gap, so sandwich a little scrap in between the two before you secure it together.

Impossible to explain, but you'll figure it out.

Notice there are only four stockings?

I've picked them up one by one as I've found them each season, but 1.) haven't been able to find enough for everybody and 2.) their quirkiness doesn't really jive with the kinda formal(?) style we've got with the personalized velvet ones that I did way back in 2000. This year the misfits got hung front and center and it's perfect: one for me, one for Roger, one for Grandma (who'll be visiting for Christmas - yipee!!), and one for Mesa. Even though she prefers hanging out with the kid's stockings that got booted to the stairs.

The children are thrilled with the new arrangement: the stockings are hanging in an ideal position for sneaking-a-peek-inside-before-mom-and-dad-get-outta-bed-on-Christmas-morning. And sprinkled in the garland......their own stars.


  1. Cheated? Excuse me? I believe the word you were searching for is SMART.

    Ok, so I cheated *hangin' me head in shame*

    I also wanted to mention that I think it's all kinds of awesome that the adult stockings are larger than the kid stockings and have the ability to stretch even farther. Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

  2. What a great idea. I love your mantel and had to go back and see your presents on the mantel. I think that's just the ticket for me this year as I don't feel like putting up a tree. Thank you!

  3. Your star is so awesome. I love the combo of simple and spectacular :)

  4. The star is great-may have to steal it from ya...we collect Stars since its part of our last name...and we are both astronomy geeky

    Love love love the way you did that "Paris-hang" of pix up the stairwell :) I just learned that fancy fact this year when deciding how to do our hallway pix :)

    California? ENJOY!

  5. so glad you posted this! i love your star and your mantle and your WHATEVER. and i love your stairs and entryway. you seriously have me slightly motivated to finish my stair remodel project that i started in May. slightly.

  6. My husband (a cabinetmaker) tells me off everytime I call it 'wood'. Apparently it is only wood when it is still on the tree - after that it is TIMBER. For god's sake - who cares... him apparently because not once has he let it slide. Beautiful star by the way.

  7. That's a super sweet star! And I'm guessing I never noticed your stairway pics, cause those are awesome. Or maybe it's just because I'm trying to do something like that myself, but not nearly as crafty. So you're comin for a visit huh, yay!!! Would that be this coming summer?

  8. I love the Sneetches reference for the title of this post, I can't believe how many people don't know that Dr. Seuss story, it is my all time favorite of his. Love the star too, and so feel you on the lack of forethought and geometry skills.

  9. Seriously, you never cease to amaze me. And make me laugh! (What's "dusting skills"?) LOL!

  10. Love everything you've been working on! Your home is looking quite stellar for the holidays :)

  11. I am wondering what height that those beauties (stairwell gallery) are hung??? And of course, loving the "stars upon thats!"

  12. @LottieDa:

    The photos go up as the stairs go up, but I just busted out my tape measure and it's 5 feet from the middle of the bottom (starting) photo to the floor. Hope that helps!

  13. Beverlyfarkus@yahoo.comAugust 21, 2017 at 5:50 PM

    I can't get star right unless I shorten one pc of wood. What am I doing wrong?


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