August 13, 2012

Guest Mantel- illistyle
Hello again 52Mantels Readers! I am so excited that Emily invited me over today. I am April from I blog about my adventures living on the island of Roatan off the north coast of Honduras, crafts, recipes, and other fun. Today I wanted to share my Truly Tropical Fantel with you. A couple of months ago I told my husband I was so bummed that we do not have a mantel in our rental in Roatan. He thought that was ridiculous because we live on a tropical island, no one needs a fireplace (or heating device of any kind because we are sun-baked year round) therefore no one needs a mantel. But, a girl wants what a girl wants. So the hubby, in all his awesomeness, helped me to create this faux mantel, or "fantel." (BTW, I checked with Em, "fantel" is a technical term, straight from the mantel-authority herself.)

Tropical Fantel -

We started with a large piece of genuine Roatan drift wood that our landlord had in his burn pile. Salvaged! It has a uneven edge on the front and great weathered texture. It is very "island rustic chic". (Sadly, that is not a technical term, I am not an expert.) My husband got some brackets and drywall anchors, along with some screws from the local hardware store and had this beast up in no time.
The painting is an original Britteny Bennett. Her island art is my absolute favorite. This painting is huge, about 15" w x 30" h. For me, it's a forever piece because I adore it. I find that pieces I adore I will make the rest of my decor work around. What I love stays. What I like gets rotated, and what I do not like should not even come through the door. But, enough of my design philosophy. Back to the mantel.

Tropical Fantel hand carved boat -

The Gold Brush Vase is an homage to Henry Allen. I made it with cheapo paint brushes, an old jelly jar, and gold spray paint. It actually can hold flowers, but my darling little one decided that all the flowers in my garden were free for her picking and left me none for this photo shoot. But her joy was totally worth the sacrifice. Here's a tutorial for you.

The small boat is hand carved by a dear friend Mr. Samuel. He is over 80 years old and walks every day. He carves these boats by hand and sells them to tourists. This boat did not have his name on it, but I asked him to paint it on as the name of the vessel. I adore this little boat. It is authentic island artwork. You should totally come visit me and we can go see Mr. Samuel and he can make you one too.

Tropical Fantel coral and gold drip candle holders -
The brain coral was used as a door stop in our first rental and I absolutely love it. What says Roatan more than coral? (We have the second biggest reef in the world & as note to all my green friends: I did not pluck this from the sea. I did not damage the reef for this. In Roatan the coral has been here for years, the island itself has loads of coral under the ground from thousands of years of natural occurring factors... a road in Roatan is even "paved" with coral, so don't get all crazy k?)

The Gold Drip Candle Holders are super easy to make. I simply took canning jars and a gold paint pen and went to town. You can find a detailed tutorial here.
What's your favorite part of the Tropical Fantel?
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Thank you SO much, April!! My favorite part is a toss-up between that beautiful painting and the Samuel boat. And, maybe just the fact that you have the only mantel in Roatan! I have to add that I think the term fantel was actually coined by Karah from The Space Between. I simply adopted it as my own :).


  1. Looks very holiday-like! And I'm a sucker for new words like fantel! =) xo Anja


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