Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Free Valentine's Day Mantle & A Cardi-garland

I decided last night that it was time to switch the mantle from Christmas to Valentines Day. I needed a change in color. But, since V-Day is not a major holiday, we did not want to spend a bunch of money on decor,  rather using things that we already had in the house. Including the ever intriguing "Cardi-Garland"

First things first, was to switch out the apothecary. I didn't want to empty our Winter themed apothecary as it is still winter and it could be used somewhere else in the house, so we grabbed our shorter one.

After scouring the house for pinks, reds, and whites, I kindly asked Nate in the least nerdy way possible if he had any Siths I could borrow.

He looked at me and said, "You want my Siths?"

And I sighed and said, "Yes. Yes, I do. I love you, and V-day is about love, and you love Star Wars, and Siths are red, so yes, I want your siths."

He giddily ran off to grab his Sith action figures and some extra red light sabers. I, meanwhile, went digging for some red and pink necklaces/beads I had floating around.

With our powers combined, we made a Sith Apothecary.

Cause we're nerds like that.

I also grabbed one of our engagement photos, a vintage camera and a Valentines Day wreath I had bought in the dollar section of Target last year.

It was still looking a little short, so I took one of our black frames, a piece of construction paper and wrote, "Like a Belrog- Smoking Hot"

Because again, we are nerds, and who says Lord of the Rings and Siths can't co-mingle. You sayin' that Sauron and Vader don't hang out on weekends? Bitch, please.

It was coming along nicely. But the top of the mantle was looking a little plain. It needed some texture. This is where the Cardi-Garland comes in.

I had seen a million t-shirt crafts on pinterest, but unfortunately, Nate and I make our Goodwill donations every year around Christmas and had already gotten rid of all of our t-shirts we don't wear on a regular basis.

I have however, lost some weight, and I had a red cardigan that was old, stretched out, and didn't look very good on me anymore. I decided to turn it into a garland. If people can make scarves out of t-shirts, who the hell says that I can't make a garland out of a cardigan?

To make the garland, I cut one sleeve off of the cardigan. I then cut off the cuff and began to make about 1/2 inch strips out of the sleeve.

I also totally did this in my chair while wearing my doggy pajamas and watching the Colbert Report.

I then stretched out all of my strips between my hands to make them more like elastic bands. When I stretched them out, I wrapped them three times around my four fingers to make little tight circles. 

Once I had my circles, I used the pieces of cuff to tie them together.

After repeating this with all of my strips, I was left with a garland! I have decided though that you could keep going to make a scarf, or you could even make rows of them for a modern take on a yo-yo quilt. Which I'll probably do at some point, because it sounds textural and awesome.

I hung it up on the 3m decorator hooks I have attached to my mantle, and we were left with this!

Much more balanced in my opinion.

I even lit the candles to check out our ambiance.

So that is our free, nerdy and upcycled Valentine's Day mantle.

This may be my favorite mantle yet, and I don't know if it's because it didn't cost me anything, or if after 7 months I'm finally getting used to decorating a glorified shelf.

The garland took me about half an hour to make- so start ripping your sweaters apart. Plus, immediately after I cut off the sleeves, I looked at Nate and said, "NateNate, I need a new cardigan."

He raised his eyebrow at me and said, "Really? Why do you say that?"

Oh, Nate, you own my heart completely.

Because you're like a belrog. You're smoking hot.

Linked up at:
Our Fifth House


  1. i love that garland, and I think you're right- it would make an amazing cardigan throw blanket.

    also, your penmanship is LOVELY.

  2. I spent a good minute staring at your mantle trying to figure out what a "Balroc" is. No dice. Thanks for the explanation.

    The Cardi-garland is genius. You've been on fire this week!

  3. Sexy. And you're right. Star Wars and LOTR have perfect reason to mingle.

  4. Running off to Google "Sith" and "Belrog"....I'm still clueless. LOL The cardi-garland is fantastic; great idea, girl! I love valentines day decorations and you did a great job making do with what you have around the house!

    1. Ha! From a non-nerd view, a sith is like...a bad jedi. Like Darth Vader. And a belrog is the big flaming thing that Gandalf was all "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" to in Lord of the Rings. I am putting pictures up on facebook for clarification lol

  5. I, for one, will never tell you you can't make a garland out of a cardigan. I think that's my favorite part. Also the free part :) (I was having trouble getting this to post. I hope I didn't just send it 14 times)

  6. FREE DECORATING!! Gotta love it!!
    I made a 'winter' wreath for M. with an old green sweater and white snowflakes......

  7. Very sweet! I love the old camera and the garland. It's always fun to dress your home up for the holidays!


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