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Simple Solution for Christmas Decorating and the Giant TV over the Mantle

This is a not a lifestyle or decorating blog.

Mostly that is because my decorating and lifestyle could best be described as “something has gone wrong.”

I have good ideas but the place is pretty much a perpetual mess and a hodge podge of not-quite- finished projects

But for Christmas I decorate.

Well, actually, for the Christmas party I decorate – I’m not sure I’d do it if a bunch of people weren’t coming over.  But I do enjoy it and this year I solved a long standing dilemma.

While I love my big TV, it’s place of honor over the mantle kinda kills any holiday mantle decorating. what-to-do-with-the-tv-at-christmas

(yes, the orange Loony Toons monster lives there year round)

I’ve tried various solutions but never quite been satisfied until this year.

It was super simple and though I’m quite sure I’m far from the first person to think of it I was pleased with it and  I think came out looking pretty festive.

I just took a  large box and cut it down to match the dimensions of my TV  -creating a “cover”television-cover-up-idea-for-christmas

After “wrapping” it I just placed it over the front of the TV along with some other boxes and, viola! festive mantle!holiday-mantle-tv-cover-up-by-cheltenham-road

Now this is a case where my sister Paula would have come in handy as she is a package wrapping genius – all of her gifts are truly works of art – you almost feel bad opening them (well, let’s keep it real here, “almost” is the key word in that sentence).  She would have truly taken this to the next level but I made do with my limited skills.*christmas-mantle-tv-cover-up-by-cheltenham-road

The best part is that, when I remove the cover to catch up on my favorite shows it looks like maybe somebody  bought me a giant TV for Christmas!!!! It’s just what I wanted!  And I know exactly where I’ll put it!dsc_6894


*I’m not as bad as my dad at gift-wrapping though.  The one year he decided to wrap all his Christmas presents by himself he somehow managed to use, not wrapping paper but the extra rolls of dining room wall paper that my mom was saving in case of emergency.  He thought it  ” looked nice and sort of familiar but was surprisingly stiff and hard to fold”

About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

27 responses »

  1. Thank you David – I think you did a beautiful job 🙂
    Merry Christmas

  2. What a genius solution! I love this…. and also feel myself warming to your dad’s gift wrapping skills. Hope you and yous all have a fabulous Christmas. Please keep the great posts coming – I so enjoy reading them

  3. Genius! Fabulously festive mantel idea and you did a lovely wrapping job!
    Love the story of your Dad’s wallpaper wrapping extravaganza!

  4. Looks great, very clever idea! Merry Christmas and keep your dad away from the wallpaper! lol

  5. Chris(MN once but now AZ for the winter)

    I love your idea! I have the same problem. I love my tv over the fireplace but it certainly isn’t “festive” at Christmas. I wonder if I could turn mine into a fake bulletin board where I could post my Christmas cards. Now to go find some cardboard! Thanks!

  6. O. m. g. you are too funny–and your dad too!
    Yes, I’ve seen this trick before but it still looks wonderful!
    Hey~even ‘cross country & away from family during the holidays, I ALWAYS decorate anyway! Just for me! Y’know~ I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my mind! ; D

  7. Brilliant idea! I’m now thinking how I do an all-year-long version to hide the unsightly giant TV. The great thing is we could pull the box off to watch TV but have it hidden the rest of the time. Hmmm…..

  8. chris aka monkey

    I haven’t ever seen a box used like that and think it is genius your mantel is awesome xx

  9. So clever! Beautiful tree, too! I still haven’t found my invitation in the mail… 😉

    (that’s funny what your dad did, though I’m sure at the time your mom wasn’t so happy)

  10. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, I love finding a new post in my emails from Cheltenham Road. Your creativity is inspiring and your sense of humor puts a smile on my face. Merry Christmas from Australia 😀

  11. A mantle anyone would be proud to claim! Maybe you should start another blog … 😀 Have a happy holiday, and … Australia – WOW!

  12. That looks marvellous! And I love your dad story, too funny!

  13. Fabulous! And it looks wonderful.

  14. It looks wonderful and I did need a chuckle so thank you for the story about your Dad using the wallpaper.

  15. Jo Ann Bastanjoo

    I’ve seen the idea before as well, but your execution of it was fantastic with all the other gifts clustered all around! And your mantle is stunning.

    Thanks for all your funny posts this year. You always make me smile.

    From a fellow Buckeye living in Austin, TX.

  16. I haven’t been by in awhile, but, boy, do I love your blog!! It’s always worth the trip!

    Genius tv camouflage (thank you, autocorrect for helping me get that word right, or rather, getting it right without any help from me at all.). You did a great job with the BIG CONCEAL – in a time when it seems to be all about the big reveal! Your tree and mantel looked so festive and gorgeous.

    The chair is totally a keeper, can t wait to see what you do with it. The vanity-turned-two-side-tables is a wonderful idea! Totally can’t wait to see the cabinets your dad built, too.

    I WILL check back in February and apply any needed pressure! 😄

    PS – yay for the rain!!! (from way over here in New Jersey)


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