Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy 10th Mantel

As you know, I've been working on a little surprise for Imani.

I finally finished it yesterday, so when Imani came home from school, she was welcomed with this.

I got the idea from Kami at No Biggie, who created a birthday mantel for her daughter Avery.  I loved the idea of honoring your child by decorating the mantel.  After all, we decorate the mantel for Valentine's Day, Spring, Winter, Fall, and other special occasions, so why not dedicate this space to your most precious loved ones?

First, I started by creating these flower balls last weekend after seeing them over at House of Smith's.

Then, I inserted dowels and placed them in a white pitcher.  I wanted to create a feeling of celebration, like balloons, but aren't these so much prettier?  They're kind of a cross between balloons and flowers so I'm calling them ballowers! 

I also purchased these little wedding favor boxes from the dollar store (12 for $1).  I stenciled numbers 1-10 on them and Jason helped me color them all in.  The best part is that each little box is filled with a small gift for Imani (her favorite candy, money, little treasures).  I then stuffed each box with pink or green tissue paper to add some color to the mantel and tie in the ballowers.

I put a paper clip on each box and found photos for each year of Imani's birthday parties.  I took the photos to Wal-Mart and scanned them in on one of those nifty little photo machines and turned them into black and white photos with black and white borders.  Each photo was 28 cents to reproduce.  I don't have a photo printer or I would have just done this at home.  Any giveaways for photo printers out there?

In retrospect, I should have picked pictures that were all horizontal, because I'm not liking that three pictures are vertical, but it'll have to do for now.

I left the last photo in color to make it stand out more, since we are celebrating the 10th birthday this year.

Notice Imani's wearing a Justin Bieber t-shirt in the photo?  That's the theme of this year's party that is taking place tonight!  Oh, and did I mention it's a sleepover?  What an oxymoron, because I'm sure there will be NO sleeping taking place.  Someone tell me what I was thinking when I agreed to this party?!

I also added a Happy Birthday banner that I made.  I bought the banner at the dollar store and separated the pieces (another idea snagged from Kami at No Biggie -- she's got some great ideas so definitely check out her blog).   Jason spray painted the letters white and then I applied glitter glue.  Once they dried, I added polka dots in the colors of the ballowers.   I strung some ribbon across the mantel and attached the letters with good ole fashioned clothespins.

Finally, I added one of the only professional photos I have of Imani above the mantel and her little lamb that she slept with since she was a baby.  I included a glittery "10" with the lamb, but as you can see, I didn't glitter the sides of the numbers, which I should have :-(

Here's the whole mantel again.

Imani was psyched to have a mantel entirely designed and decorated just for her.   She still doesn't know there are little surprises in each of the boxes. 

Her actual birthday is Monday, and we'll probably leave it up for a few days after that before I put together the Valentine's mantel. 

Linking Up to:

The Girl Creative

The DIY Show Off

Today's Creative Blog



Show and Tell Green


  1. Darling, Stephenie! I love it! So happy to hear you loved my mantle. Thank you for the nice shout out!

    And Happy #10 to you girl! Have fun celebrating!

  2. You are such a sweet mom! I love the idea of a mantel showcase. Each detail is so cute & it looks lovely. I hope she has a wonderful birthday!!

  3. Stephenie I wish you were my mommy. So beautiful, meaningful and well thoughtout. I'm sure she loved it (and be sure to show he this post 10 years from now!). You've inspired me for the next kids birthday, better start planning.

  4. Love this...I agree with Jamie can you be my mommy! What a great idea!

  5. That's adorable. What a sweet idea. I like how you used a store-bought banner, cut it apart, sprayed it and decorated it in the colours you wanted. The whole thing is fantastic. Now you have some great photos of it too. Good luck with that 'sleep' over.

  6. that is so awesome! I'd love someone to decorate a mantle for my birthday and I am much older than 10~!!! that is so awesome!

  7. What a great idea! I'm sure she was really surprised. Good luck with the sleepover tonight. Sounds like there will be some napping going on tomorrow at your house :)

  8. I love the Mantel! As I am sure Imani did when she first saw it. The flowers are amazing!
    I love the fact that you put so much love in this mantel creation, and used photos from each birthday Imani had. Imani is lucky to have a mom who loves her so much.
    Hope the sleep over went well....have fun!

    Love, mom

  9. Stephenie,

    I am just catching up on posts I missed the last two weeks. The mantel is beautiful. I'm sure it made your daughter feel very special. The flowers you created are so sweet and I love that you featured each year in her life. I agree with your mother, Imani is lucky to have you for a mom!

    Your Friend,

  10. this is so sweet!! awww lucky little one :)


  11. Very cute, the polka dottied banner, and the ballowers are just perfect pop of color...I decided my mantle to my Hubbs on his birthday too....

    Cat @


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