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Accent Your Mantle Decor With a Framed Anchor Piece

Your mantle tends to be the focal point of your house so your mantle decor gets noticed a lot. One great way to give your mantle a pop and set off your style is by having a substantial piece that anchors your look. However, large decor items can cost you some major ka-ching! Instead, I have an easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a stunning mantle and save you from taking a hit in your checking account. Just follow my tutorial of how to make a framed fabric anchor piece. Keep reading to see how easy it is to create for yourself.

Accent Your Mantle Decor with a DIY Anchor Piece

How an Anchor Accents Your Mantle Decor

How to Anchor Your Mantle Decor

Although home decorating is not necessarily my area of specialty, I truly enjoy creating pieces for our home. My ideas usually come to me after I’ve seen something I like either in a store or on Pinterest or Google, then I think to myself, “I can make something like that.”

My projects almost never turn out exactly how I imagined but that is the beauty of it because somewhere through the process they become my own. However, when it comes to home decorating and design I probably don’t always play by all of the “rules”.

So to help us all out here is what the experts have to say about how to decorate your mantle.

Start with an Anchor

I consulted my friend and entrepreneur, Michelle, owner of Hometeam Staging + Design, who has an incredible eye for home decorating. You can follow her on Instagram @hometeam_staging for inspiration. Here’s what she said:

“The anchor piece is typically the largest piece centered on the mantle; something like a mirror or artwork. From the anchor, you can fill the rest of the mantle with other objects of different heights, shapes, and textures to complete it; these can be candle sticks, plants, smaller pieces of art, vases, etc.”

Being the largest piece on your mantle, the anchor draws attention to the area and connects all of the other decor items and brings them together.

Give it Some Layers

You should decorate your mantle in layers. Kim from Tidbits & Twine recommends 3 layers, starting with your anchor and adding two additional layers in front of it. These layers give your mantle a cohesive flow and make it seem like one single unit rather than a number of elements.

Add Some Height

By adding some mantle decor pieces that are taller you are giving your design some weight and dimension. These loftier elements are generally slightly shorter than your anchor but above your other decorations.

Mix in Natural Elements

Plants, floral stems, wreaths, or succulents will all add a softened feel to your mantle decor. It doesn’t matter if they are real or fake (I am not known for having a green thumb) but placing one or two in with your decor is a great way to add life to a room.

Incorporate Asymmetry

None of us have all of our “ducks” in a row in life so neither should our mantles. Using asymmetrical decor keeps your look cozy and relaxed. Jackie from School of Decorating says that the key to asymmetry is to maintain the visual balance of your mantle.

This means that you can use different items to decorate but keep the weight of them similar. For example, you may decided to add a large vase on one end of your mantle and a farmhouse lantern on the other end, two unique pieces, but similar in stature.

Easy DIY Anchor for Your Mantle Decor

What You Will Need:

  • Large frame, either DIY or store bought, in your desired dimension.
  • Piece of eucaboard cut to size (Home Depot)
  • Fabric of choice
  • Spray adhesive

Framed Fabric Mantle Anchor Tutorial

Step #1: Start with a frame.

DIY Mantle Decor: Frame

For this project you will need a large empty frame. Building a frame is a pretty easy and very inexpensive DIY, you can find a good tutorial here. However, I will admit I roped my husband into helping to make mine because I know he is better with the tools than I am and I wanted a custom size. We made mine 32″ x 24″.

Also, if you are building your own frame now is the time to paint or stain it if you wish. This is totally optional and you can simply leave it natural if you prefer.

If its easier to go buy one, the best places to shop are Hobby Lobby or Micheal’s. You can shop sales to get the best deals. Hobby Lobby always has a 40% Coupon you can find on their site and Micheal’s also has regular coupon deals.

Step #2: Cut your board to size.

DIY Mantle Decor: Board for Frame

I used a eucaboard that I purchased from Home Depot. It is very inexpensive and a sturdy surface for your mantle anchor piece. You can cut it to size at home if you have the tools (again my hubby helped me with this) or you can give a Home Depot employee the measurements you need that have them cut it at the store for you.

Step #3: Cut and glue your fabric.

DIY Mantle Decor: cutting your fabric to size

Cut the fabric so that it is just slightly larger than your board. The best way to do this is to lay your fabric out flat and set the board on top of it. Then use your fabric scissors to cut around it leaving a 1″ overhang on all sides.

DIY Mantle Decor: Iron your Fabric

Then, iron your fabric to take out any wrinkles or creases. I forgot to do this initially, but now it is some of the wisdom I can pass along to you 😉 That’s why DIYing is such a fun trial and error hobby.

Next, take your newly cut piece of fabric and lay it over your board, print side facing up. Then pull it back halfway.

Gluing the fabric

Now, with your spray adhesive begin spraying the board a section at a time, starting close to the middle and working your way out. Each time you spray adhesive on a section carefully unfold the fabric and firmly spread it over the board making sure not to allow any creases in the fabric.

Do this until that half is done, then repeat on the other side.

Cutting the fabric edges off.

Once the fabric piece is all glued onto your board you can cut the extra edges off of the sides.

Step #4: Attach the board to the frame.

DIY Mantle Decor: Attching the board to a handmade frame.
Nail on your board.

If you have built your own frame you can simply attach your board by laying it face down on top of the backside of your frame and secure it with small nails.

Attaching the board to a store bought frame.
Add nails to secure.

If you have purchased a frame you can easily fit it into the back and secure it in. To do this I angled small nails into the frame to hold the board in firmly.

Project Complete!

Mantle Decor: Anchor piece DIY

It’s that easy to make your own and there are so many choices of fabric to pick from to fit your style. A few other suggestions are:

  • Paisley print
  • Large floral print
  • Faux leather
  • Faux fur
  • Textured fabric

Plus, you can coordinate your frame color with your home decor.

NOTE: I ended up painting my frame after I completed this project because I decided I wanted a white washed finish instead. Its not something I would recommend because it is more difficult to paint once your board is attached, but hey, that’s why I am here, to work out all the kinks for you 😉

Put Your Skills to Work

With your new “how to decorate a mantle” knowledge and your new anchor piece it’s time to put it all together and add in some other mantle decor items using the advice from our experts above.


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10 thoughts on “Accent Your Mantle Decor With a Framed Anchor Piece”

  1. I just started really getting into crafting this last year or so, and I love this inspiration and idea!
    I’m going to work on my anchor piece this weekend.
    Thank you!

  2. Love this post! I am always trying to figure out how to get that right balance on my mantle and you’ve really hit all the essential elements on the head!

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