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Simple Sea Glass Summer Mantel

Mantels are such a great focal point in our homes to decorate for all seasons and today I have a simple sea glass summer mantel. I love decorating my mantel, changing the look, the colors, and the style. Are you a mantel addict?

Do you have a hard time with your home decor this time of year? With July coming to an end, I wanted something soft and natural for our mantel. This sea glass summer mantel will carry us through for another month until it’s time to start fall decorating.

Last week, when my daughter and son were in town, they helped me totally clean out a closet in one guest room and the upstairs linen closet. The purpose was to create a closet devoted to storing my home decor accessories in one place. (Future post)

I found accessories I had forgotten about. That included several sea glass~looking vases and jars I haven’t used in a long time. Why not bring them downstairs and use them in a simple summer mantel?

Simple Sea Glass Summer Mantle

What is sea glass? Former teacher that I am, I looked up exactly what sea glass is. Technically, sea glass is made from bottles, jars, and glass that have been discarded, fallen into the ocean and are tumbled over and over to form colorful gems with a smooth, frosty finish.

Most of us don’t have access to real sea glass. Fortunately, we can either make or purchase items that have the look of sea glass. I have done just that with plain glass.

I have been fortunate to find vases that have the frosty, soft green/blue hue of sea glass. Those were hiding in the closet and just needed to be brought out into the light of day.


Right after the 4th of July, I took down all the red, white and blue decorations. Since then, I’ve had blue and white accessories on the mantel. Now it was time for a little summer mantel update.

blue and white vases on white mantel

All these vases came from Home Goods and At Home a few years ago. You can find them in just about any home decor store. They have spent time previously on our mantel, the hearth, and our coffee table.

While the kids were upstairs packing to go home, I brought all my sea glass~looking vases downstairs and dusted them off. Then I added them to our mantel. These vases evoke the light summery feel that I love.

This set of three vases in different shapes has beautiful color and an ethereal feel.

summer mantle

I first added back the tall gold~tipped candlesticks, which I bought right at a resale shop for $50 right after we moved in our home. They have short white candles. Then I added two gorgeous deep aqua (or turquoise) candles from Target to the spindle candlesticks that I bought a few years ago at Ballard & Blakely, one of my favorite local stores. Yes, that candle is slightly crooked; it just won’t sit straight.

summer mantle

I balanced the other side of the mantel with this soft blue vase that is one of my favorites. It looks like powdered sugar has been dusted on it.

summer mantle

Next, I added my stack of stenciled hardback books. Here’s how I made them.

summer mantle

I love that the books are in keeping with the color scheme, but give a horizontal line to the otherwise vertical elements in the arrangement.

TIP: A mix of vertical and horizontal in any arrangement creates interest.

books and vase

There is symmetry in the tall candlesticks, but the different number of sea glass vases, the different shapes, and the variation in color provide the contrast that creates energy and interest. The books add a sense of whimsy.

summer mantle


Although the sea glass vases added the softness that I wanted, something was missing. The mantel was just a little too neutral. IT needed a pop of color to balance the soft sea glass-looking vases.

What was missing? Flowers. I texted Sweet Shark and asked him to stop at the grocery store on his way home from the Y and pick up yellow flowers. He did a pretty good job.

summer mantle

He said that they called the flowers pom~poms, but they really are mums. I could have, should have, done a better job of arranging them. Although they were heading in different directions, I was taking my daughter, granddaughters, and son to the airport at the same time.

summer mantle

Here’s the final, rush~out~the~door simple sea glass summer mantel.

summer mantle

Confession: I didn’t even take the time to put water in the vases for the photos!! I asked Sweet Shark to put the flowers in a regular vase with water. Hopefully, they wouldn’t die while I went to the airport and ran some errands. Sweet man that he is, he followed directions and the flowers were just fine when I returned home.

If you don’t have any colored glass jars, you may like to try tinting your clear glass jars or vases. Here’s the tutorial I shared.

If you need an idea for a simple sea glass summer mantle, I hope this one has inspired you. It’s the perfect end of summer mantel. We call those the dog days of summer. The next time I update the mantel, it will be for fall.

pin for later graphic in blue

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  1. Yep, those yellow flowers were the perfect final touch! Your mantel looks so pretty, Carol! Pinned!

  2. Love those tinted jars and how you’ve styled them on your mantel. Everything is so colorful and summery. And I’m always a sucker for antiques so those spindle candlesticks are fantastic! Thanks for a great tutorial and joining us today.

  3. Carol, I was blown away when Cindy sent the pic too, since my shelf basically already looked like that! Great minds just think alike, I guess! Lucky you for getting to get to go to Haven; it’s on my bucket list to go to a conference!

    1. Kaite, that’s what I love about them ~ the color and the finish. FYI, I’m getting can’t deliver messages for your email address.

  4. My gosh Carol!! I love your mantel. You created this spot on and grabbed all the inspiration from our challenge. I just love the green bottles you have they are beautiful and with the yellow flowers. WOW! Love it!

  5. Love, love, LOVE your mantel, Carol!!! I hope you had a wonderful time at Haven ~ I know a few people who were going this year and I’m sure they had fun meeting you!! I love all the sea glass bottles you have here and those aqua candles ~ really pretty!!! Pinned a bunch of photos for you. <3

    Happy summer and get some rest. Sound like your trip was fun!
    Barb 🙂