spring-mantel

Dear Jane Austen,

You had me at hello.

Truly.

How did you know how much I adore novels written about England in the 1800’s with dukes and earls and estates and governesses and tapestries and English garden parties and afternoon tea with cucumber sandwiches?

It’s like you wrote them just for me.

And Mr. Darcy?

Seriously?

All cool and calm and totally autocratic with a sleek gray exterior….but ready to sweep a girl off her feet in an English gazebo in the rain with amazingly styled curly wet hair and an immaculate waist coat.

Reclaimed-wood-project

Who doesn’t love Mr. Darcy?

Really.

I mean….you did a good job with Charles Bingley and his winning smile, perfect manners and that incredible wavy hair…..and even the most scrupulous of readers has to admit that George Wickham does look dashing in his military uniform.

*sigh*

But in the end…it always comes back to Mr. Darcy.

 

It was a Pride and Prejudice kind of day when I created this mantel with its reclaimed wood art.

A little romantic.

A little gray.

But definitely worthy of cucumber sandwiches, afternoon tea….

…and a walk in the rain with an immaculate waistcoat. 🙂

Reclaimed Wood Spring Mantel Art

Reclaimed Wood Spring Mantel Art

 

Step 1:  Find a couple of old fence posts

Pick them up from the pasture.

Don’t have a pasture?

Lowe’s will do.

Dig around until you find a few that look like they have been at the party too long with extra weathering.

reclaimed-wood-project-how-to

Step 2:   Cut fence posts into small rectangles

Cut rectangles 2 1/2″ wide by 4″ long.

Mark a point in the center of the top of the rectangle.

Make two diagonal cuts from that point to form the “roof” of the house.

Repeat step 2 to make 9 additional houses.

How-to-make-a-reclaimed-wood-project

Step 3:  Cut strips of fence post

Each strip is 36″ long and 2 1/2″ wide.

We used eight strips to create the piece we created.

Cut a smaller board and attach to all the strips of fence post to create a wood rectangle.

fence-post-project

Step 4:  Hot glue the houses to the board

Flip the board over so the front side of the boards show.

Place the houses where you want them on the board.

I placed them approximately 3 inches apart.

Hot glue in place.

Spring-mantel-with-flowers

This is such a fun project.

Who knew an old fence post could turn into a work of art?

Even though snobby Caroline Bingley would probably turn up her nose at it.

Pride and Prejudice.

Emma.

Sense and Sensibility.

Absolute perfection….each and everyone.

Jane Austen….just in case no one has told you this in the last one-hundred years….

….you are such a rock star.

Comments

  1. Image for Laura Laura

    Love this. I used to make bird houses out of old fencing. I was apparently cool before it was even cool. (well, I like to think I am cool). Hugs, Laura

  2. Image for gina gina

    So funny! Once, I had all the girls at work watch the Pride and Prejudice BBC mini series (before Hollywood got to it) and each of us started talking with English accents and pretended to be different characters. At work! Of course I was Elizabeth. This went on the whole week the mini series aired! Have read all her books...more than once!

  3. Image for Robin~All Things Heart and Home Robin~All Things Heart and Home

    Sometimes I finish reading your posts and realize I'm smiling from ear to ear and I didn't even know it! What a gift a smile is :) I love your spring mantle art! so charming and makes me think of flowers growing on picket fences. Thank you for the smile this morning dear one xo Robin

      1. Image for Eileen Eileen

        That's exactly what I thought. I can't get a feel for what it really looks like without seeing the full mantle. It's like just seeing a picture of Darcy's Roman nose........can't tell if he's a guy I'd want to meet on a moor late one night or not.

  4. Image for Heather Heather

    I really enjoy your site...always so entertaining and full of great inspiration. Thank you! Btw, did you know that you can weather new wood? I followed steps I saw on Pinterest and it works...soak steel wool in vinegar 24 hours, brush onto new wood, and voila, weathered wood!

  5. Image for Donna Donna

    Like your project. It makes a really nice backdrop for the roses too. Love the English stories. Do you read Julia Quinn? I think you would like her . You are so creative. I will have to look for wood.

  6. Image for Donna Donna

    Did you put paint or put any finish on the boards? Also, I don't know if I asked you before because I deleted a bunch of my emails, but could you tell me where you found the beautiful lights for your kitchen? And by the way, you are such a good storyteller you should be a author.

  7. Image for Mrs. C Mrs. C

    Great minds think alike. BEFORE I read your post just now...when I clicked on the link posted in FB...my mind was already conjuring up my comment..."You had me at RECLAIMED WOOD!!!" Honestly, I couldn't click fast enough when I saw your post title. :D And then I read, and what to my wondering eyes should appear? But your opening words..."You had me at hello..." And then Jane Austen, Mr. Darcy. I do believe it's a Jane Austen kind of day. Too breezy, too cool to be outside, but just right for turning on one of my favorite Jane Austen movies while I piddle around the house, and dream of taking a trip to Lowes to find some of those aged fence posts, to do something incredible with. The end, my novel (comment) is now complete. :)

  8. Image for Angela Angela

    Pride and Prejudice is one of my favs!! I, too, think waistcoats should be brought back and top hats too and of course I love a man in uniform as I watched mine in one for 26 years.....but, I digress! Wonderful project (as usual). Have a fantastic day rock star!!~~Angela

  9. Image for Lani Lani

    I've got some perfect pieces of wood that I can reclaim for this project! Love it! Thank you so much for inspiring us with your easy and fabulous projects. Love each and every one of them! Hugs & Blessings ... Lani Simply Fresh Vintage

  10. Image for kelly@mysoulfulhome kelly@mysoulfulhome

    I am laughing because I have a pile of of the tops ("houses") of a fence ~ nicely weathered I might add, sitting in a corner of my yard behind some bushes. More weathering and awaiting inspiration. Knew these bits were too darling to toss. I love your art, but I have a plan for mine that has been bouncing around in my head. Thanks to you I will put those "houses" on my To Do List ( TDL ). As you know, my TDL is very long right now, but I will get to them! xo, Kelly

  11. Image for Barb @ The Everyday Home Barb @ The Everyday Home

    What???? They were written for you? And here all along, all of my reading-life - I thought they were written by me. One of these days, I will lead a group of us on a "Jane Austin Trip Thru England" to see all of the castles (etc) that inspired her. I really have been wanting to do this for quite some time. I have seen a few but want to see more!!!! xxoo

  12. Image for Linda Adams Linda Adams

    Hi Karianne, I like this project. I may not be around for a while I'm on my way out to find those old fence posts. I know you mentioned that Lowe's carries them but I like the idea of using weathered wood. Thanks for sharing. Joyous Wishes, Linda

  13. Image for Regina Regina

    I had THE most lovely response typed out, and apparently the server decided to "reset" while I was typing . . . typing . . . Now I'm going to be thinking of Mr. Darcy (the Colin Firth edition) and fence posts all day . . . What a burden . . . ;) Love the mantle art!!! I'mwith the others - I want to see a bigger picture! (I'm a big-picture kinda girl, you know . . .) Have a great Jane-Austen-grey day!

  14. Image for Gee Gee

    Luv it! The little points on the bits of fencing reminds me of bird houses. That was the idea you say... oh ok. Gotcha. Sigh... yes Victorian Era British Romance dramas... yes please. Again, and again.... Ok, now I'll never get the laundry done. Hugs, Gee

  15. Image for Patty/BC Patty/BC

    Ah, Jane Austen - definitely a huge fan! I think I have read about every book about her, one day I will get to England and visit her cottage. Love your old fence art and it's little cottages/houses. So sweet, yet rustic at the same time. Perfect backdrop for a Jane type day. Have you ever done the quiz on which Jane Austen character you are? I turned out to be Marianne Dashwood : )

  16. Image for Aunt Lou Aunt Lou

    Oh, please, please. please include Northanger Abbey! I know the heroine is silly and the hero merely kind, but it is the funniest of all Jane's farces, in my never humble opinion. :)

  17. Image for Colleen Colleen

    I often feel a little weathered like I've been at the party too long, haha...seriously though, I enjoy reading your posts every day and it's a fun escape during my busy work day. I too would like to see a larger picture of this project....pretty please :)

  18. Image for Cris Sanchez Cris Sanchez

    You didn't mention Persuasion. I love them all, and I can read her books over and over. and your project looks great!

  19. Image for Norma Perkins Norma Perkins

    But. . . .have you read "Mr. Darcy's Diary"? It helped me to understand him so much better. I like the wall art project, but I don't happen to have a pasture with a treasure trove of weathered fence boards around my house! (LIGHT BULB MOMENT!!) However, I DO happen to have some weathered wooden pallets hanging around. Now, if I could only find a crow bar and hammer. . . .

  20. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Oh I do love this post and the roses in front of it. I noticed my small clusters of white creamy roses are now in bloom so I'd better get going. Maybe this year ill just steal my grandson's blocks that are triangular?!! Just kidding. I wont steal from babies to do my DIY....But I do love your mantle!!!

  21. Image for Terri Terri

    Karianne I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now. I am soon addicted! You have made me laugh and cry. I love your projects and am in the process of making the word search chalkboard now. Thank you for sharing your stories and your creativity!

  22. Image for Julie S Julie S

    Whenever someone rhapsodizes that much about Jane Austen, I always have to check if they've read Georgette Heyer's 20+ mostly Regency era novels. She wrote excellent, historically accurate, non-trashy romance novels (I mean maybe there are a couple kisses at the end!) that are soooo soooo good. They've started to reprint them, too, so you can find them outside of ebay now!

  23. Image for Carol Carol

    I have to agree with Julie S, I love Georgette Heyer also. I read her as a teenager because my mother loved anything British and I read anything my mother read. I tried to pattern myself after several of Heyer's great heroines. They are reprinting them and can get them on my Nook and iPad. I love reading the comments as much as the blog. I now know there is a way to weather wood so I just need to go buy some on Saturday.

  24. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Oh you gotta love that Mr. Darcy! (I think Tom Hanks said that in "You've Got Mail")....love those days of true romance and castles...Your reclaimed wood art work is great Kari..and the cute flock of birds are so cute among the flowers...

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