I’ve talked a few times about how we live in a very small condo (that I ADORE), and when we first moved in, we had this awkward spot in the living room that we needed to figure out what to do with. We love the idea of having a mantle, and found one at At Home (formerly Garden Ridge), and put it in that spot! Then we put different-sized lanterns under it to mock a fireplace of sorts, and it’s truly one of my favorite places in the condo!

I like to have fun with the mantle, and have regular decor that lives on it, but it’s also my go-to place to decorate for any and all holidays! And as you’ve even seen on this blog many times, it’s one of my favorite places to take pictures, especially my cake-related posts! I get good light, and the decor makes for a cute backdrop, like with my Easter cake!

Valentine’s Day is no different, and I decorated the mantle for it yesterday! I needed a few things, so I headed to the Mecca…Target, #duh, and found everything I wanted (and more) at the dollar spot! I typically don’t have anything in mind when looking for decor, except I want at least one piece with height, garland of some sort to hang down, something I can group in three, and often times, something I can DIY.

So when I found this thick-sided wood tray close to some cute clothes pins, I automatically thought of turning the tray on its side, and making it into a photo holder somehow. I thought the wood was too plain thought, and rustic isn’t my style, so enter…GOLD GLITTER! I never print pictures (shame on me, I know), so I headed to the photo center and $0.32 later, I had prints from the holiday season in my hands! Seriously, what would we do without Target, yall?!

Here’s what I used:

  • wooden tray $5
  • gold glitter (already had, but I saw small tubes of it at the dollar spot for $1)
  • clothespins $1
  • photos $0.32
  • elmers glue (already had, but $1)
  • foam brush (already had, but $0.50)

Start with the wooden tray, and squeeze a good amount of glue on it. Using your foam brush, spread the glue around, making sure to get all the way to the edge and in the corners. Work quickly so the glue doesn’t dry but if it does, go back over it…no worries! Then dump in the gold glitter, and move it around the tray by tilting back and forth until it’s completely covered. Dump out the excess onto a sheet of paper and put it back in the container!

After that, I cut the pictures in their rectangles (since they printed on one page), and laid three of them out to look at spacing. Once I had the spots I liked, I put glue on the back of the clothespins, and pressed them down onto the gold glitter, wiggling back and forth until the clothespin hit the tray. Let it dry flat for a few minutes, put the pictures in the clothespins and VOILA!

From there, put it on the mantle with all of your other findings, and then rearrange everything 10745539 times! Kidding, sort of 😉 Truthfully, this one was easy for me to do and not mess with too much because of my simple “rules” below…

Tips for arrangements, really anywhere in your home:

  • I don’t like anything in the direct center…everything is offsest
  • Group in odd numbers (like the three votive holders)
  • Use things with different heights (I used the same glue, glitter, and pic idea on the tall chalkboard)
  • Use different colors and even different tones of colors so it doesn’t look too matchy-matchy
  • Find something sentimental…the gold wishbone reminds me of growing up because my siblings and I would always break the wishbone to see who got good luck! (This is the only thing not from Target’s dollar spot…I got it on clearance from Cracker Barrel for $3!)

So there ya’ll go! A completely decorated mantle for less than $25, AND it included a DIY project for less than $10 and took no more than five minutes to do!

Happy Valentine’s Day my loves!