Monday, September 24, 2012

My *Grave* Fall Mantel Decor & Distressed Mirror Tutorial

I'm getting in the spooky spirit with my uber creepy mantel decor that features something straight out of a graveyard...
 Yep, those are actual grave markers along with an antique iron widow's peak.  I imagine you might be thinking "Say what?!?" and no we didn't go grave robbing, we actually got these two years ago at Junk Bonanza

The booth vendor informed us that they were from Iowa and the markers were used temporarily until an actual headstone could be placed permanently- hope that was true.  So yes, they are creepy but Alex and I like that kind of authentic creepy-ness. 
Before we get into all the decor details, I have to share a quick tutorial with you! 
When I started planning out my decor I thought distressed antique looking mirrors behind the grave markers would look perfect. But sadly, I didn't have any or know where I could find them so I started to think of how I could replicate the look DIY style. 

I started with some old mirror squares from Ikea in our basement along with black and gold cans of spray paint.  I thought it'd be easy and I would slowly spray paint near the bottom so it would have a kind of ombre look.... that didn't work out on the first try :) I ended up ruining one of the mirror squares (thankfully had more in the basement) or I guess you could call it my practice round? Whoops!
Anyway, I learned to spray from a distance of two feet and to barely press the spray paint trigger so that the paint will kind of splatter out.  The splatters are what will give it that faux antique/oxidized look.
  Once the mirrors dried I got the mantel set up!  I placed both mirrors behind each grave marker. 

 On the ends I added white pumpkins, gourds, and skulls inside antique light bulb covers.

 In the center I placed our antique widow's peak with white pumpkins, gourds, and moss (which tied back to our dining room decor too!).
 Perfectly spook-tacular mantel decor!
Lastly, in case you are a bit more curious about the grave markers (like I was when I began writing this post), here's some more information I found online-  the markers belonged to a 17th century organization called the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, also known as "The Three Link Fraternity."  FLT stands for Friendship, Love, Truth.  Back then, it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind, thus going by "Odd Fellows".

Interesting huh?  I love learning the story behind my antiques :)

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What do you think of our spooky mantel decor?
Do you like the DIY distressed mirrors?

I have one more DIY Halloween decor project and our sunroom pics coming up!  Love having lots of fun things to share in the next few days and weeks!

Joining Kate's Linky Party over at Centsational Girl!

4 comments:

  1. yes, well, as long as your creepy is the authentic kind, lol. what a great mantle, i love how you used the whole front and bottom to create this spooky vignette.

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  2. I'm excited to start decorating! Thanks for the cute ideas :)

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  3. I LOVE IT!!! The creepiness is awesome, you did a great job on your mantle. I love the mirrors and the sculls in the antique light covers, you have a lot of unique and cool pieces!
    I thought you might be interested in a toot I saw awhile back for antiquing mirrors :) I haven't tried it but it seems pretty simple.
    http://www.vintagerevivals.com/2010/11/anthropologie-acid-mirror.html

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