I went for an overall nautical/exploring/discovery kind of "theme" (ugh, doesn't that word give you the chills?!). (And remember, the goal of this kind of seasonal decorating is to spend no money, just shop the house for things that will work or DIY some new stuff using things I already have). A couple of items stayed from my winter and spring mantel, like the large grey metal frame featuring a map of the Pacific Ocean.
I also kept the square brushed silver shadow box frame, but swapped out the spring time butterflies for this sea shell print (Stematisches Conchylien-cabinet (1837) - whatever that means) that I dowloaded from Vintage Printable. I love the varying color and pattern on these guys!!
For something a bit more sculptural, I added in this model ship I stole from my mom a while back (plus the big white canvas sails do a good job of balancing out all the white in that frame on the left). I had already painted the hull once when I didn't like the original color, and I just did it again! I wanted some more color here, so I threw a coat of blue acrylic paint on the bottom and changed the red stripe to white. (This thing was probably like $3.99 at the Christmas Tree Shop ten years ago, so I don't mind roughing it up a bit.)
The last thing I added to the mantel are the old apothecary glass bottles I found at last year's Brimfield Antique Show. Usually I leave well enough alone, but this time I decided to try a project I've had pinned for awhile. I made little tags for some of the beaches we have visited over the years and filled each bottle with sand from that specific spot. (I originally wanted to do this using baby food glass jars for Maura's room - the beaches she's been to so far, but this is a good spin off for now.)
The tags I cut out of cardstock and then wrote on them in pencil for a more vintage, used, collected look. At first I tried tying on the tags with jute twine, but it was a bit bulky, and too much brown, and a bit distracting, so I grabbed some sage green thread I had sitting around in a little sewing kit (baker's twine would be cool, but I don't have any of that). Confession - to be honest, only the PEI Canada sand is actually from PEI Canada (brought home in a bucket), the other two bottles are filled with sand from our backyard. They are both beaches close to home that we visit frequently (one down the street, the other down the Cape), so next time we are there I just have to remember to grab some sand and come swap them out.
Thanks for hosting, Layla! Can't wait to browse through all the other summer decor! Are any of you guys linking up? (Your post doesn't have to be about a mantel - it can be a bookcase, table vignette, whatevs.)