I have a confession to make: I’m not particularly skilled at decor. I value utility. Don’t get me wrong, I love pretty things, I appreciate a beautiful space and styled things, but ultimately, I live here and we’ve got a lot of stuff that needs homes. I have a hard time devoting a lot of shelf space to knick knacks. But I have 2 mantels in my house now and both of them are only half styled. So, I’m going to take it slow and start thinking through more of what we put on those mantels. Today, I’m thinking about the mantel in the family room, which sits about 12 inches below the television and is only about 5 inches deep. I know there are guidelines about height and depth and I feel like it’s pretty hard to obey those rules when I don’t have much room for either. Nearly everything I currently have on there is about the same height, so I think I need some shorter things. This is what is looks like now (and yes, soccer is often playing at our house, even if no one is there watching it):
So, I like all these little quirky elements that are here, but they don’t seem properly styled or connected. So, I think it might need some things and it might need some things taken away. I’m going to start experimenting. And making. I’m thinking about some of the following patterns as options for things I can add to the mantel to add some texture and cohesiveness. (Though, I might just have to invite my sister over for a styling session). Anyway, maybe you’re looking for some handmade decor styling items (aka knick knacks), check out these patterns and tell me which one(s) you’re thinking of making (or which ones I should add to my mantel).
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Ok, this is where I’m leaning right now. Strings of wooden beads have been pretty popular in home decor for the last little while. Probably they’re on their way out, but it’s not like I’ve ever been on the cutting edge of home decor anyway, so it will be new to me! Also, these wouldn’t be wooden beads, they would be strings of crocheted beads! It’s a spin, which makes it relevant again. Regardless of whether you’re looking to make little crocheted balls for home decor or for a baby toy, this Bead Crochet Pattern in 5 Sizes from My Dear Knot is a great pattern to work with!
This is another great contender! I love this Crochet Light Ball crochet pattern from Made by Catarina idea, with the lacy crochet ball filled with little mini lights. Such a fun idea! What do you think?
Ok, I already have a fake plant on the mantel and a real plant (in that super cute cat planter), but I have once before had a real string of pearls plant that I killed, so I’m not sure if I can keep one alive, especially not in this spot. This room sees a fair bit traffic and no one is super careful in my house. I would be super bummed if I managed to keep a string of pearls plant alive and then one of my family members knocked it to the floor. But… a crocheted plant made from this super cute Pointy Leaf Vine Crochet Pattern from Keeleys Crochet might be just the ticket!
Ooooh or I could crochet around a jar with this Crocheted Jar Cover Pattern from ellina and make that into a candle holder or put a little string of battery operated lights in there. I do have a strange hoarding tendency towards jars, so if I could put some to use like this, that would be wonderful! To be clear, I use a lot of them for other useful purposes as well, but I do have a hard time throwing out a good jar! Perhaps I will make a goal of giving gifts in jars for Christmas this year!
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Ok, again, I know I already have plants on there, but what if what it needs–stay with me here–is MORE plants?! I know right? I think it could be what’s missing. Especially if it meant having one of these super fun Air Plant Crocheted Planters made with the pattern by Cosmonaut Llama! Right? That is so fun. I think I need to make one of these.
Ok, look at this. We’re getting closer here… jars, crochet, plants… all in one pattern! This Crochet Mason Jar Sweater Sleeve Candle Plant Cozy Pattern from Deni Made Designs is just the thing. Ticks all the boxes. More plants… more jars. This is a great option.
I also quite like this Farmhouse Candle Cozy Crochet Pattern from Through the Loop YC. It could probably still be used to cover some jars, but I must say it looks pretty sweet on this collection of 3 matching candles.
I just love amigurumi; I’m not sure the family room is where I want to put an anthropomorphic stuffed plant, but it does check the plant box! And it’s little! You can’t find a real Sansevieria plant this small! This delightful Snake Plant Amigurumi Crochet Pattern from Knot Monster sits only 16 cm tall when finished, so it could be just right for my mantel!
Ok, so while not strictly something I would make for the top of my mantel, this Crochet Daisy Garland with Leaves Pattern from Krafty Home Studio could be hung from the bottom of my mantel. It doesn’t really solve my mantel decoration “problem” but I stumbled upon it in my search and I just loved it, so I wanted to share it with all of your
Alright, looking at the dimensions of the Crochet Tray Basket Pattern from The Cozy Knot Crochet displayed here, I’m not sure this exact item would fit on my mantel, but hear me out… perhaps I could make it in a size that would fit on my mantel? What do you think? I’m pretty sure I could figure out resizing it. Also, I didn’t even realize it at first but this pattern also comes with a matching vase cozy! Sweet!
Alright, I know that these vintage patterns are distinctly Christmassy and well, kind of old-lady-ish, but maybe one of the little houses could work? It’s a vintage crochet pattern from Past Pattern Palooza Co and it’s prety inexpensive, so perhaps I could experiment, maybe in a not-white crochet cotton? And get something that could work on my mantel? What do you think?
Ok, back to the balls. See? Like this? In different sizes, or perhaps a string of the same sizes. These Large Size Crochet Balls (there are other sizes, too) from Dalecrest Designs are actually a finished item made of cotton macrame cord and styrofoam balls. I have made similar ones as baubles for my Christmas tree using Bernat Home Decor Yarn. If you don’t crochet or you don’t have the time or materials to make them yourself, these are a great option!
Well, I’m looking forward to some of your feedback about what I should make to put on my mantel. And maybe once I’ve made some shorter little trinkets, perhaps my sister will still come over and help me make it pretty. Grab one of these patterns or pin it for later!