If you’re following me, then you know I enjoy upcycling and adding a personal touch to my home. We purchased an old, mistreated mantel off Craigslist a couple of years ago and I’ve been trying to find something to fill it ever since! I needed something kid friendly and something that could easily be removed if we need to use the outlet that is inside the inner square of the mantel. My decor is very earthy but neutral. I like to find a way to incorporate nature somehow. So branches, specifically birch, were my number one choice for the inside space of the mantel. But where I live, there are no birch trees. And I’m not about to shovel out $300 for up to 6 branches-that’s just crazy! And I don’t think branches from the woods will do anyways since my two little ones will most likely beat each other in the head with them. So I did what I always do, pondered-what do you already have that you can use for this? What would resemble branches but can be easily removed and won’t cause harm to the kids…pool noodles!
I had 8 pool noodles left over from my Candy Land themed birthday this year and they weren’t being used in the pool so it was the perfect idea. And while by themselves, they proved to be very colorful, that’s not quite the color scheme I’m going for haha. I had a roll of shelf liner left over from when we moved into our house 3 years ago and like the pool noodles, it has just been lying around taking up space and collecting dust! The pattern I have resembles tree bark so it was perfect. I realized later that 8 noodles wouldn’t be enough to fill the space in the mantel so I headed to The Dollar Tree and bought 6 more. At this point, I didn’t care about the $6.42 I had spent (I’m a penny pincher guys). When a woman is on a creative high, there’s nothing stopping her from riding it until the end. Nothing. It’s like…must.finish.project. OR ELSE!
I’m pretty pleased with how it turned and it coexists beautifully with my earthy decor theme. Best part, it’s custom-made. No one else has it!
It was pretty simple to put together-here’s how I did it:
Things you will need:
Use your serrated knife to cut each pool noodle to fit the space inside your mantel.
I numbered mine so I would know where each pool noodle went. This helps if your mantel or floor is not level.
Again, this is really colorful and I love it but it’s not going to work for me, haha.
Cut and cover the pool noodles with shelf liner.
Add a strip of clear packing tape over the liner seam for added security.
Spread multipurpose paint (Wal-Mart 88 cents!) in a thin layer with a craft sponge. Repeat until you reach the desired shade.
And we’re done!
I hope you enjoyed this DIY and it gave you inspiration for those leftover pool noodles you may have lying around!