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Poe Inspired Mantel & DIY Fall Scrap Sign

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

 I’m usually a warm colors, traditional fall mantle girl.  Not this year. I wanted something with cooler tones and some personality. Enter the Poe Inspired Mantel.
The black & white pumpkin and the raven are both from Hobby Lobby.  (My daughter claims it’s a crow, but it’s a raven to me, heck it even squaked “Nevermore” the other day!) I was thinking of getting sticks for the vase, but I saw these peacock feathers and they just screamed “AWESOME” so I went with them and some spoooky branches.  The owl is adorable and will become a permanent part of my decor somewhere.
I still really struggle with having the TV above the fireplace because it cramps my decorating style, but it’s definitely the most practical.  Sorry, for the BTR promo… when you have 4 kids, sometimes you gotta let them watch tv so mommy can take blog pics.  Who knows, maybe BTR will want to be featured on our blog? Ha! (If you don’t know BTR, then you clearly don’t have an 9yr old)
In addition to finishing my fall mantle, the babies and I (perhaps at 2 and 4 they’re not babies, but we call ’em that) did a little fall craftin’ with some scrap particle board.
DIY Scrap Fall Sign
Nothing fancy about this wood;  I think the builder left it.  It’s really poor quality particle board, but I saw its inner beauty! Well…actually… I was just glad it was free.
My famous paint can shot (can something be famous just because I declared it so?)  I just used some leftover paint that Nate left here.  Oh, who’s Nate you ask??  Umm, just my pal Nate Berkus.  We’re tight.  (hahah!) This paint did come in the Nate Crate though.
Did you know that Jess and I like to paint topless?
KIDDING!! I let my kiddos do the painting…  you thought I was a hoochie for a second there didn’t you?
We did a very rough base coat.  I didn’t want it 100% covered.  Then it was time to stencil the letters and I needed to get it straight, so rather than take 2 minutes to find a ruler, I just used a scrap piece of paper and a piece of chalk to make some guide lines.
The stencil I used was the Helvetica font and I got it for $7.99 at HobLob.
I love these little bracket symbols.  Jess and I probably over use them, but we can’t help it.  They’re cool.
Some of the letters require a little work.  First, stencil in the shape as is…
Then, you need to fill in where the plastic was for support.  I just used two little pieces of painter’s tape.  It fills in nicely as you’ll see in the finished product.
DARN my lack of planning. LEAF PILE was too long… I had 2 options… pretend “AF PILE” is a cool, family inside joke, or come up with a plan B…
I went with plan B.  I painted over the AF…
and decided that a visual would work.  Kaden ran outside and picked out two leaves that he liked the most.  I pressed them on the wood and did a light stencil around the edges to create the shape of the leaf
I’ll be the first to admit:
1. This is not a fancy-schmancy masterpiece
2. It’s really hard to read.  (Fall sorta looks like “fail”… The hubs was confused why I wrote the word “pile” until I explained it… and yes, there is a P missing from “pumpkins” for the sake of space)
However, even with all its quirkiness, after a final light sanding, I was really happy with the finished product.
I think it’s a fun, personal addition to our front porch.
Sure, it’s no crazy-cool subway art, but for $7.99 it’s cute and kept me and my kids busy making it for at least an hour.  That scores one in my book!
So, do you have any junky wood sitting around that you can make a cool family sign with?  Give it a try and let us know how it turns out.
P.S.  I have to confess, there are many things I wanted on this sign that didn’t fit… Starbucks and Pumpkin Spice Latte just to name a few!
The Lettered Cottage
Linked up to: Stories of A to Z

The comments +

  1. Sarah says:

    I love your mantel… the Poe theme is a great idea! Happy Fall!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Really cool fall stuff! Great ideas!

  3. fabulous-the bit about af pile being a family joke was adorable! i haven’t seen that poe thing on pinterest, that is funny, and where did you get that fabulous owl!!

  4. I LOVE your themed mantel and Poe is sooo perfect for the Fall! It could be that I am also an English/Spec. Ed teacher and Poe has always been one of my favs both in the classroom and personally. Hmmm…I’m inspired to jazz my fall mantle up a bit!

  5. Kate says:

    This is great! I’m going to try it out. Love the blog.

  6. Candice says:

    Very cute!! I LOVE that outdoor sign. I’m so going to do that with my kids. Great idea!! Here from The Lettered Cottage.

  7. Love the sign! And I’m so glad that I’m not the only one with boys who like to “help mom paint” with their shirts off 🙂 Great project. Found you on the A to Z link party. Thanks!

  8. Lizette says:

    Very fun! Great job!

  9. Pam says:

    That is so cool. I need to buy me some letter stencils. I try to get all fancy and free hand it and then never like how it looks. And yes, I know BTR. Sort of wish I didn’t though.

  10. So cute! I love the mantle and I lurve the sign…o and the owl …I die I have a thing for mercury glass owls as of late.

  11. Coffee Mom says:

    Great unique Poe theme and I love the sign, punkins and all!

  12. WhyCuzICan says:

    Nicely done Monica! Love the sign and it DID remind me of subway art (nice!) and the Poetastic mantel is…well… Poetastic!

    (Yes, I think it’s a raven too)

    Visiting from Centsational Girl’s Linky Party today {It’s Fall Y’All}
    Smiles and thanks for sharing,
    ~Suzanne in NW Illinois

  13. MegEsch says:

    I LOVE your fireplace! Is it real or faux stone? Was it original to the house, or an add-on? Could you share the name of your contractor? Any details you could provide would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

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