I Already Changed My Mantel Because I am A Crazy Person

It killed me not to have these done in time for the Mantel Party yesterday.  So I’m linking up to my own linky.

Every time I paint a room, my boys beg to help.  This time, I was prepared. I bought a $10 pack of 8×10 canvases from Michaels Craft Store and let them go to town.  Because I am a control freak and wanted to be sure I could easily incorporate these paintings in our family room, I predetermined the color palate–just like I did way back when.  Some of you will accuse me of child abuse for doing this, however, unless I wanted to hang 6 canvases of red and blue and black NASCARs above my fireplace, this was the only option.  Trust me.

We had already painted the canvases with a color a little lighter than our wall color–it is the color I used for the stairwell so it’s in the same family but not as dark.  They painted those the other day.  Painting the background is important so there isn’t any white space.  White space on a canvas makes me crazy.  Again with the control.

They didn’t complain once about the colors, and I told them to do whatever they wanted, mix the colors, splatter the colors whatever.  See how uncontrolling I am?

And yes, they do have plenty of their own paints, crayons and colored pencils in all sorts of colors that don’t go with our family room decor.  I locked them all up someplace and threw away the key.  Kidding.  Their bedrooms and playroom looks like a rainbow and a circus and club penguin had a baby and that baby is their domain.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Here are most of them, the lighting is horrid but you get the idea.  I think I might have hung them a little low, but since I used upholstery tacks the hole is so tiny and it’s easy to move them up if needed.  Using my boy’s artwork in our home is a fun and inexpensive way to make a memory.  And they love walking into the room and telling their friends that they painted the “pictures” even if it’s not a NASCAR.

PS, I’m experimenting with window mistreament fabric and styles, please try to ignore.

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  1. Did you mean there was any other way than to give them the control colors?

    I mean, NASCAR might have worked w/ your scheme.


  2. you might just be a little crazy
    but you’re obviously a great mama!

  3. This. Is. Brilliant! When I’m doing (ooops, I mean the kids) a major school project, I try to limit them a bit as well. It helps them focus on what I want (I mean what they want) to accomplish. ;-)

    • yes, I love it when I, I mean they get one of those assignments, it’s so fun to do, I mean help them complete it.

  4. Genius, that’s what I say. I loooooooove abstract art, and I loooooooove that your boys contributed to this mantlescape, and I looooooove the colors you’ve chosen. Your home is just so warm and inviting. *sigh* No wonder we all love Nester !

  5. The boys pictures look great! I was looking at the photos before I read what you wrote and and was thinking those are some great prints I wonder where she got them. This is the type of thing that they will take with them into adulthood, that thier mom had them create somthing for the decor. I can’t wait to do this with my kids, they are on spring break next week. Oh and I am so jealous. 25 cents for the coral that is so not FAIR! I really want to come down to yard sale in North Carolina. Thanks faor linking up to your own party love all your great ideas that I get to plagarize.

    :) Michelle

  6. charity says:

    Love it. love it. love it! Can a one year old paint? :)

  7. After seeing all the great ideas from yesterday…I changed mine a bit too!!
    Love it!!
    Enjoy the day!

  8. I was so excited about the mantle party yesterday because I never seem to know what to do with mine so I enjoyed taking a peek at everyone’s. Then I had to laugh when I read the title to your post today. I love what your mantle looks like and love the boys’ artwork. It looks great!

  9. Have I told you lately that I love you?

  10. I’m suffering from house and decorative envy right now. I’ve been slowly trying to make my house a home and make it pretty on a budget- we’d even started a kitchen facelift by painting and putting hardware on the cabinets…. but sadly, we had a leak and now my kitchen floor is being torn up and my cabinets are in the living room…. and I’m feeling very uninspired and excited about my house. But. I love the creativity of the mantels I’ve been seeing and am going to try to think about what I could do once my house gets put back together.

  11. To be honest…now that my kids are in college and I miss them…I actually have pulled out some of their artwork…just because it made me smile then…and it makes me smile now.
    Keep the art work…joy is what brings a smile to the face…not perfection.
    Loved your post.

  12. Your boys’ art is awesome. I should do that–my kids love to paint and maybe they’ll leave the stuff on their walls alone if I hang their own creations. You’re so smart.

  13. This is a fabulous idea! I definitely need to remember this for when we have budding little artists in our home. I adore the idea of letting children contribute to the spaces in their home (even the “fancier” ones)…with some parameters, of course. (wink)

  14. I love using my kids artwork in rooms as the main focal point. It is bright, colorful, and best of all brings personality into the room. Now that my girls are all grown up and out on their own, seeing their creations hanging around the house makes me smile and it makes me feel like there is still a little part of them hanging around. I think your boys are budding Picassos. They are going to be creative like their mom.

  15. What a fabulous Mom you are!

    The artwork is fantastic. How proud they must be.

  16. Shaunery says:

    Oooohh…dig the mantel. I love the gothic window frame and the kids art work is awesome. Love reading about the process of those dear canvasas. My home doesn’t have a mantle but I have something else that would work as one. Now I’m contemplating three abstract canvasas by my three children…thank you for the inspiration!

  17. love that you included the boys! my girls love painting too!

  18. I love the title of your post. Too cute. Great idea to let the boys paint the artwork. They did a good job.

  19. I LOVE this!!! I also love coming here and reading what you are doing because I am in a “holding” pattern since we are starting to build our new house in a week or two. So I am living vicariously through you! I am usually painting, decorating and hanging things different places! Although I am going to switch things up a bit here LOL can’t help myself!
    Anyway, thank you for this great post and idea :)

  20. Great partners, so creative boys!!!

  21. I love the crazy! And you know how much I adore that you know NASCAR is all caps.

  22. I think this new art work takes the mantle right over the top in a good way! Love the expressions on the boys faces. They look enthused and engaged in their work! Sweet.
    Now I want to hear about the mistreatments!

  23. I like crazy people :). And your craziness paid off. This is GORGEOUS!

  24. I think it’s my fav! Beautiful idea, throw a couple of seashells on it when we get closer to beach time and you’ve got a new look!

  25. I love that! And I love that you had your kids help! That is just so pretty and special.

    I changed mine too. I added more some burlap topiaries and another doily project to the other side. I kind of put it together really fast so I could join your party without as much thought as I could have put into it. It’s fun to change things up!

    Thanks for being such an inspiration!


  26. Very cute, love the way you incorperated the family.

  27. Ok, totally love the gothic window frame.

    My problem, fundamentally, is that my fireplace has no mantle. I want one, really, but to date, drilling giant holes in the brick has frightened us.

    We did, however, paint the world’s ugliest brick a far more palatable color. So at least we have that going for us!

    • ???? Everyone with a brick fireplace and a mantle has had giant holes drilled in their brick. But for most of them it was by some dude before they moved in. That’s the only difference.

      Oh yeah, the other difference is that they actually have a mantel to enjoy!

      DRILL THOSE HOLES! They will be covered up, you have to have holes to have a mantel!

      That’s like saying, I want to paint my walls but the idea of having wet paint on my walls creeps me out. Ummm, it dries.

  28. Forget what we think about this… Your boys… Oh, my! They will remember you for this forever and ever. I would imagine that they adore u to pieces already and memories like these will only grow sweeter!

    Best mama in the world.


  29. I love how your kids helped! I think the personal touch in artwork makes it so much more valuable! Beautiful mantle! By the way…I just gave you the Sunshine Award on my blog! Come over and check it out! :)

  30. What a wonderful idea of incorporating “color-schemed” kid’s art into your deco. I love that. Just might have to give that a try over here sometime, too.


  31. A friend of mine started a business with a home decor company and one (well a few) items made me think of you/your home. Wasn’t sure if you’ve seen this before but I thought I’d share. http://www.athome.com/jump.jsp?lGen=detail&itemID=4125&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=0&iSubCat=0&iProductID=4125

  32. They are just as great as any you would have paid a lot of money for at a home dec or art store and look wonderful on your wall.

    I’ve been contemplating something along these lines but was going to do it myself. You’ve added fuel to my ideas!

  33. I love the title to this post because it means I’m not the only crazy person who fully decorates something and then has the need to redecorate it. Thank you.

  34. flybabymom says:

    Love them! How cool would it be to have at least one to bless everyone who sees it???

  35. This may be the very best idea EVER!!

  36. LOVE the boys’ paintings in the room! They turned out great! (And i don’t blame you at all for the (non) controlling way you handled the color choices, lol!

    By the way…. what color are the walls painted? Is it the famous Tobacco Road color? I have been contemplating repainting my living room & have kept that color in the forefront… The color on these walls is exactly what I had in mind.

  37. We’re working on this now at my house! Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. Super site! Your style is so much better compared to most other writers. Thanks for posting when you do, I’ll be sure to subscribe!

  39. okay, i knew i was crazy about “all things nester”…but when i saw the photo of (i’m guessing, your son) wearing a “texas” t-shirt….well, girl, that forever solidified my nester love. as a UT grad, born and raised in austin, i salute you for dressing your children in the finest of college fashions.

    hook ’em,
    BS ALD ’94

  40. I love the kids’ art! I have been pondering a similar idea using smaller canvases. I want to host a painting party and invite my family and close friends (some nice square number of them). Everyone gets a canvas and uses a predetermined palate to paint whatever they want. The final product would be a collective art piece made by all the people I love.

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