I rarely decorate for holidays other than Christmas, but this year I feel compelled to do more.  My kids are aware and excited for upcoming holidays now.  They decorate at school, and I decided it was time to start decorating at home, too.  Nothing wrong with a little festivity!  I just have one rule…it has to be free!  I don’t want to spend any money on decorations that will only be up for one week a year.

For Valentine’s Day I decorated the mantel in an explosion of red and pink.  I created the mantel-scape with things I had on hand.  I did not spend a dime to decorate.


The first step was to gather all my decor and party supplies fitting for the occasion.  In my party supply cabinet, I found pink and red paper lanterns.  The large pink lanterns were from the She’s Going to Pop baby shower.  I also pulled out one of my footed glass hurricanes (I had to remove the wooden eggs leftover from last spring).


I filled the footed hurricane with Hershey’s hugs and kisses (I may have bought extra for the XOXO Tic-Tac-Toe Valentines knowingly, so I would have leftovers for me to snack on).  Want to know my secret for a very full looking hurricane without breaking the bank on candy?  I use a cheater vase filler.  In the center of the hurricane I place a smaller glass cylinder vase.  Then, I just fill the outside with candy.  It takes half as much candy to “fill” the hurricane.


I shopped my home for decor to use.  I grabbed the Live Laugh Love sign from the bathroom.  See how I made the word art here.  I could not resist an opportunity to use my new furniture feet finials…a little shabby chic is perfect for Valentine’s Day.  I also found a footed grey bowl and a couple of mercury glass mushrooms.


I hung the Live Laugh Love art in place of our normal mantel art.  Then, I played around with everything else until I found an arrangement I liked.  To  add a last bit of dimension, I used some 3m poster strips (I keep them in my party supplies) to hang the big pink paper lanterns on either side of the art.  They add a ton of depth!


Everything was great, but the speaker was still jumping out at me.  I went back to the party supply cabinet and grabbed my trio of footed frames from Ikea.  I used a foam heart from the kids art supplies and attached it to the center frame with double-sided tape.  I printed out an I and U in Type Keys font.  A cute little I heart U to cover up the speaker!


Not too shabby for free decorating!  I think I am going to love changing up the mantel every once and awhile.


P.S. I know the “Live, Laugh, Love” quote is over-used a bit, but it has special meaning to us.  I always liked the quote and we’ve had an inexpensive version on a long white plaque hanging in every home we’ve lived in together (it’s in our current laundry room).  But it became even more special at our wedding.  The beach house we, and our whole family, stayed at for our wedding week had a plaque that said, “Live, Laugh, Love”.  My best friend, and bridesmaid, coincidentally wrapped her wedding gift to us with an ornament attached to the bow.  The silver ornament said “live, laugh, love”.  We have hung it on our Christmas tree ever since.  Anyway, that is the reason I chose that phrase for my DIY word art.




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7 Responses to Use What You’ve Got Valentine’s Mantel

  1. Very nice decor! I love the simplicity of your mantel and that you used what you had already.

  2. Amy Fretz says:

    “Lovely” mantel! I agree with you; I like to be festive but I don’t like to spend money on decorations that will only be up for one week. I never thought of putting a filler vase inside another to make it look full when you fill it with candy or whatever-that’s a great tip!

  3. it looks great! i love how you used everything you already had on hand. i’m in love with the grey footed bowl. it’s right up my alley! i didn’t decorate for valentine’s day, but i have a winter mantel done that i adore!


  4. Gwen says:

    This is perfect! I’m older so I truthfully cannot remember decorating for <3 day!! Making their box, hanging their artwork, going to one of their friends heart day birthday, a friend had a mom and daughter valentine tea each year and we'd all get dressed up and the girls would all be jumping on the trampoline filled with a few inches of muddy water…ah memories!!! It seems like a blink ago yet I have no recollection of my decor!!! I do think even boys notice things. My friend has four boys. She didn't think they noticed stuff like this and her youngest said But mommy I like it when you make it look all valentine-y. And I love the live, laugh, love defense!!!! When you were little country was the rage so I had a half circle custom painted to match my house Welcome Friends made to hang by my doorbell. My Dad and Mom came from out of town and Dad said, Only your friends are welcome? So I thought, well that's not true! Why'd I get so caught up in that catch phrase?!! And instead just say Welcome. Your catch phrase will never go out of style!!! Live! God wants us to give it to us here on earth too abundantly!! Love!!! Love God, love our neighbors, love our parents, love our enemies Laugh yes! Every day! A merry heart does good like medicine!!! So thank you for defending your saying because truly it put a smile on my face!!!! Ummmm now that I think about it, I do believe I have that hanging in one of my hallways…was thinking, oh that’s a bit old fashioned I should update. But not now!!! I’m looking at it with new eyes and smiling. Happy heart day

  5. Pam Zirbel says:

    This is awesome!!! Funny how you said you had to cover up the speaker..hmmm..didnt even see it until you mentioned it! LOL…Love this and maybe I will decorate a little this weekend! We dont have a mantel/fireplace/anything close but an old biggity big flat screen fat body tv!! LOL….guess that will count! Thank you for showing this! Happy Valentine Day!!

  6. lolo says:

    LOVE those candlesticks

  7. lolo says:

    oops just realized they are not candlesticks, but finials.LOVE them even more.

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