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Coastal Summer Mantel

After taking down my patriotic summer mantel, it was time to redecorate the mantel to enjoy for the rest of the summer. My coastal summer mantel is a nod to the classic summer beach vacation.

Coastal Themed summer mantel with a lantern holding a blue candle with a starfish tied to it, starfish, shells, coral, and small jars filled with sand and white votive candles.

Why a Coastal Mantel?

Most southern families consider a beach vacation to be the vacation that is enjoyed in summer.

Growing up, we went to the Outer Banks every summer and I’ve continued to vacation there just about every year since I was ten years old. 2018 and 2019 are the only two years that I’ve missed since 1979.

Summer reminds me of going to the beach, so to celebrate beach season, I decorated our mantel with a coastal theme.

Coastal Themed Summer Mantel

For my patriotic mantel, I had a 1943 framed poster hanging over the mantel. That was taken down and replaced with the antique mirror that usually hangs in this spot.

Coastal Themed Summer Mantel

I made a beautiful shell wreath to hang on the mirror, but made the mistake of hanging it with a suction cup hanger.

About ten minutes after hanging the shell wreath, it crashed to the floor and broke into pieces. I may make another, but for now I’m going with an unadorned mirror.

Coastal Mantel Decorating Ideas

I decorated my mantel with lanterns, shells, starfish, coral, and sand filled jars with votive candles.

I had most of what I needed in my basement, but I did make my first trip to Hobby Lobby since February to buy blue candles and the filler that I used in the dough bowl on the fireplace hearth.

Use Lanterns

I prefer a symmetrical mantel design and anchored each end of the mantel with a lantern that I made a few years ago.

Coastal Themed summer mantel with a lantern holding a blue candle with a starfish tied to it, starfish, shells, coral, and small jars filled with sand and white votive candles.

Each lantern holds a candle embellished with a starfish.

Coastal Themed summer mantel with a lantern holding a blue candle with a starfish tied to it, starfish, shells, coral, and small jars filled with sand and white votive candles.

I glued the starfish to a section of thick twine and then tied it onto each candle.

Coastal Themed summer mantel with a lantern holding a blue candle with a starfish tied to it, starfish, shells, coral, and small jars filled with sand and white votive candles.

Add Candles

Along the mantel are four small Mason jars filled with sand and a white candle.

Coastal Themed summer mantel with a lantern holding a blue candle with a starfish tied to it, starfish, shells, coral, and small jars filled with sand and white votive candles.

These candles won’t be lit because our dog is the only person who regularly relaxes in our formal living room.

Summer mantel with a jar filled with sand and a votive candle with a clam shell and an oyster shell in the background.

Use Coastal Items from Nature

All of the shells, coral, and starfish that I used to decorate my mantel are things that I’ve had for many years.

Everything that I used was either found on the beach or purchased in a shop at the beach.

Gold mirror over a mantel decorated with a coastal theme.

On either side of the mirror, I leaned two large starfish against the wall.

Starfish leaning against a mantel with a Ball jar filled with sand and a white votive candle.

In the center of the mantel, I displayed a barnacle encrusted mollusk shell that I picked up on Kure Beach in North Carolina.

Barnacle encrusted mollusk shell on a coastal themed summer mantel.

More shells along with coral and a sea biscuit line the left side of the mantel.

Summer mantel with starfish, shells, sand dollar, coral, and a lantern holding a blue candle.

My parents bought the sea biscuit for me when I was a young girl.

I used to use all of these things in science class when I was teaching. A student gave me the pretty coral.

Coral, scallop shells, and a sea biscuit on a coastal themed summer mantel.

More shells and coral decorate the right side of the mantel.

Summer mantel with shells, starfish, and small jars filled with sand and white votive candles.

One of my neighbors once had boxes and boxes of shells at the end of her driveway with a “Free” sign on them.

I can’t resist anything free, so her shells came home with me.

The oyster shell and clam shell were in one of the boxes. I found the coral pieces on a beach on Kauai.

Clam shell, oyster shell, and coral pieces

Use a Dough Bowl

To decorate the hearth, I filled a dough bowl with decorative filler that I found at Hobby Lobby along with a starfish and sand dollar.

Dough bowl decorated with a coastal style

This is a similar filler that found on Amazon. I really like this filler and I’ll be able to use it for decorating in many seasons.

I added a starfish and sand dollar to add a coastal touch.

Dough bowl decorated with woven spheres and a starfish and sand dollar.

Final Look

I’m very pleased with how my coastal mantel turned out and after I finished decorating the mantel, I decorated the rest of the room with the same theme.

Coastal Themed Summer Mantel

Don’t miss seeing how I decorated this room with coastal style for summer using vintage family pieces.

28 Comments

  1. Gorgeous mantel, Paula… I always love a beach theme! The light colors on your mantel blend perfectly with the blues in your room. Also, that pretty dough bowl makes the perfect container for beachy finds. Now I’m ready for a vacation!
    Shelley

  2. I love this Paula – how fun to use things that have such nice memories! Too bad about your shell wreath though – I would have loved to have seen that – and how no fun to clean up! I love your beautiful mirror as is anyway! 😉 Your home is beautiful and thanks for the coastal inspiration!

  3. I wish I had your creativity and energy to swap out my mantle. I can get it to look semi-seasonal. Fall and winter are easy. Spring and summer – eh, same look for months on end.

  4. I love using starfish in My Wee Abode! Love all your coastal touches on your summer mantel! Pinned!

  5. Very pretty mantel–such a bummer about your wreath. Thanks for sharing with us. I don’t have a mantel, but have a set of shelves that I also have decorated with a coastal theme. I agree-it just says summer to me. One of my favorite things on my shelves is the little sand pail I played with as a girl.

  6. Your mantle is beautiful, Paula and reminds me of vacations in Cape Cod when I was a little girl. Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s, you are being featured on my blog Tuesday evening.

  7. Paula, your mantel holds lots of coastal charm and good memories. I like turning to nature to decorate the home. It’s always refreshing to see. Thanks for sharing at the FWF party.
    Hugs,
    RR

  8. I love your simple and elegant coastal decor. The little candles in the jars are so perfect and easy! I am happy to feature you once again at this week’s AAH link party. Thanks for always sharing such inspirational posts!

  9. I LOVE every element of your summer coastal mantel. For some reason, those little mason jars with sand holding the the votives is my fave! So simple, and so coastal! Pinned, and I’m featuring you at Tuesday Turn About tomorrow! Hugs, dear friend!

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