An Autumn Craft & Mantle

When I saw this sign and a tutorial over at Ella Claire, I knew I wanted one.  Mine is a little different, but the full tutorial can be found at the link, since I can't take credit for this beauty.  I used my Kreg Jig to butt 8 boards up together, and I measured the length to match the width, so I had a big square.  Then I saved and uploaded the template to www.blockposters.com (the template is from the tutorial, and she so graciously shares it for free!) to get the size I wanted.
Then I painted the whole thing with acrylic paint by Apple Barrel in Antique Parchment.

And then spot painted with some left over blue, it was by Valspar and the color was Vintage Blue.

Like this!

After that, it was a bunch of sanding, then I traced the template with a pencil to leave the indentions in the wood.  Then I painted it all.  For the word Pumpkins I used Folk Art Lipstick Red, and shadowed with Apple Barrel Golden Sunset.  Apples was done in Apple Barrel Melted Chocolate.  Hayrides was done with Folk Art Pure Orange.  The arrow was done with the Melted Chocolate and outlined with the Golden Sunset.  Then, I measured and lightly drew a border around it, and painted it with Folk Art Coffee Bean.  Then, I hand sanded very lightly just to rough up the letters and edges a bit.  The last step was that I decided to stain it a little bit, so I watered down the brown paint (a lot, it is supposed to be very watery), and used a sponge brush to wipe it on, and a paper towel to wipe it off. 
And voila!

Here it is all set up on my mantle for fall!  I am in love with the way it turned out, I also made a quick Autumn banner out of burlap and braided twine to string across the front.  I cut out some large letters using my Cricut to trace onto each piece with a black sharpie.  After I braided and braided the twine, I hot glued each piece to it, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Easy and cute!


On the hearth, I added some candles, pumpkins, and pinecones. 

Remember those clearance lanterns from Big Lots, I painted them black, and hung them above the mantle from garden hooks from Lowe's.

Candle holders now holding pumpkins.  The lanterns worked there so well.

A vase of leaves completes the other side.

It's definitely my favorite Autumn mantle to date.  Oh, and notice our new accent wall around the fireplace.  We did that recently too.  It's a paint by Valspar called Hotel St. Francis Fawn.  It matches our couches very well.  We also painted the dining room the same color, so it kinda ties it together and breaks it up too, since the dining "room" is actually a space between the living room and kitchen/den area and not really a defined room.
I really like it, we added some extra long curtains to the sliding back door, and it gives it a more elegant look and fills the large space over the door with the 9 foot ceilings.  I love how Kojak photobombs a lot of my photos.  Oh well, he's a handsome boy, I guess he figures he should be seen.

Ok, now that you are all probably tired of looking at a million pictures, I'll wrap this one up.  I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post.  I took a much needed break, and we went on vacation, and about a million other things.  I will be back with vacation pictures, and some Christmas crafting very soon!  I love fall, and am a little sad it took me this long to get this post up.  I was down to the wire because, now all my fall stuf is put away, and most of my Christmas stuff is out, so I had to get this one in there before anything else, and before Thanksgiving in 3 days..can NOT believe that it is so soon.  Ok, for real.  This is the end now.