Bringing That Spring Feeling Inside

In my neck of the woods, spring blossoms are beginning to burst forth from their sleepy winter buds.  The sight of these hopeful, sweet flowers on my morning walk, lift my spirits from their winter doldrums.  They make me feel happy to be alive, and grateful to be given the blessing of yet another spring.  I wanted to find a way to capture that feeling, a way to bottle it up, to bring it home with me, to inspire me.  I hope what I came up with, inspires you!

The chalkboard is the DIY portion of this spring mantel, so it is where I began.  Out to the shed, where I found a piece of reclaimed wood from some old cabinets.   The chalkboard was going to be hung on a pallet wall mount, which was a previous DIY project, so I based my measurements for the chalkboard off of that.

I measured out an 18 x 18 inch square, grabbed my sawhorses, and the worm drive Skilsaw.  The worm drive is the saw for this job for a few reasons.  First, it doesn’t bind or snag.  Second, it pulls itself through the wood making it very easy to guide, and it leaves a nice clean cut edge.

Make sure your board is stable before you begin cutting and take your time.  After the board has been cut out, give it a light sanding with a palm sander.  My board was already pretty smooth, so I opted for 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the flaws and edges.

Time for the magic, the chalkboard paint.  You can find chalkboard paint at any hardware store these days.  It’s available as spray paint or, in gallon form.  My board is already primed, lucky me!  If your board is not, the chalkboard paint will adhere better if you apply a primer coat first.  Add a light first coat and allow to dry for an hour.

While I was literally waiting for paint to dry, I moved onto the second portion of this spring mantel.  With pruning shears and vases in hand, I walked my landscape looking for branches and flowers that were beginning to bloom.   As I cut, I choose branches that needed to be pruned anyway.  Either because they were blocking a pathway, or hanging too low.

From my yard, I collected branches from a flowering plum tree, a crab apple tree, a witch hazel bush, a rosemary plant, and a black currant.  When I brought the branches inside, I added them to different sized Ball mason jars.

I wanted to add something other than branches, so I dug up some mini daffodil bulbs and a pink Primula from my garden.  I placed the whole root ball/bulb directly into the mason jar.  This is only for temporary display, not a long term planting situation.  I also cut some adorable purple and white crocus’.

Back to the chalkboard.  After the second coat of paint had cured, I added a picture hook to the back of the chalkboard and hung it up on my pallet wall mount.

For the finishing touch, the kids and I came up with words that reminded us of spring and wrote them on the chalkboard.

I cannot wait to watch all of the blooms pop from the warmth of my home.  I hope this simple display inspires you to bring a little touch of spring inside your own home.

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