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Make a Statement with DIY Mantel Words

The following post is from Janel of Life with Lucie and Ella.: Make a Statement with DIY Mantel Words

how to make words for your mantel
source: Janel of Life with L and E

Dressing up your mantel a few times a year is an easy and creative way to change up your decor and celebrate each season. If you browse different mantels online, you’ll notice that oftentimes people incorporate words into the decor. Sometimes it is a store-bought decorative word or letter, and sometimes people re-purpose items like Scrabble tiles.

If you have a word in mind for your mantel, like a word of the year, it can be expensive if you have to purchase letters to create your word. You can make your own custom words for your mantel with free and really inexpensive items. Let me show you how!

How to Make Your Own Mantel Words:

how to make custom decor words for your mantel
source: Janel of Life with L and E


  • paint stir sticks – you can get these for FREE at the paint department in the home improvement store
  • paint that matches the color of your mantel – I used cheap craft paint from the craft store
  • paintbrush – a foam brush works well
  • computer & printer paper to create your template
  • cardboard from cereal or snack boxes
  • pencil
  • scissors and/or craft knife
  • cutting mat or other material to protect your work surface
  • heavyweight scrapbook paper – I used a thick glitter paper
  • double-stick tape or other adhesives of your choice
  • hot glue gun & glue sticks


The paint stick will be the base of your mantel word. To help the stick blend into the mantel, paint it to match your mantel. Allow drying completely.

Create a template for your word(s). I made mine on my computer using the font ChunkFive from Font Squirrel. If you want to use “LOVE does” or just “LOVE,” feel free to use the template I created {download it here}. The sentiment is certainly appropriate with Valentine’s Day approaching.

how to make custom decor words for your mantel
source: Janel of Life with L and E

Cut out your template. Trace it twice — once onto cardboard and once onto scrapbook paper. The cardboard will add strength to the letters so that they will stand up. If you use specialty scrapbook paper (like the glitter one I used), be sure that you trace the template backward on the backside of the paper so the pretty side will be on the front when you cut it out.

Cut out your letters. For the cardboard, cut just inside your tracing lines. For the scrapbook paper, cut on or just outside your lines.  This will help ensure that your cardboard isn’t visible when you attach your letters. A craft knife will make it easier to cut out the insides of letters like O. Use a cutting mat to protect your work surface. If you don’t have a cutting mat, just use a piece of extra cardboard.

how to create custom decor words for your mantel
source: Janel of Life with L and E

Use double-stick tape to attach the scrapbook letter to the cardboard letter. Trim any cardboard portions if they are larger than the paper letter.

Repeat the above steps to create all of the letters.

how to make custom words for your mantel
source: Janel of Life with L and E

Place the stir stick on your work surface. Decide on the spacing of your letters and use a pencil to mark where you will affix your letters on the front edge of the stir stick.

Apply hot glue to the front edge of the stir stick between your pencil marks, and press the backside of the bottom edge of the letter to it. Repeat until all of your letters are attached to the stir stick.

Arrange the word(s) on your mantel, and make your own statement!

Related Projects:

What elements do you like to use in your mantel decor?

Janel is a stay-at-home mom of two and a law school wife. Raised in a budget-conscious and do-it-yourself-minded family, she loves seeing something in a store or magazine and making her own version at home for less money. Janel blogs about motherhood, crafts, and recipes at Life with Lucie and Ella.