Kentucky Derby Inspired Mantle

One of my favorite memories with my sisters happened a few years ago. My middle sister hosted a Kentucky Derby Party that everyone still talks about. We searched for months to find just the right hat and outfit. We tasted several mint julep recipes until we thought they had been perfected. We hung out all afternoon and had a really great time. The roses growing outside my office window are finally in full bloom. As soon as I saw them this morning I started thinking about that fun day with my sisters and how that event inspired my Kentucky Derby Mantle last year.


Here’s how all of the details came together:

I started layering the mantle with white frames. I painted these frames different shades of white. I never appreciate how many shades of white there are until I have to decide what color to use. I must have bought at least 5 different pots of paint in various shades.


I liked the look but there was something missing so I decided to line the backs of the frames with chicken wire. I used a staple gun to attach the wire to the frames. It didn’t add a lot of color but it did help add texture and I think that’s what it was missing all along.


I still have this leather horse it’s currently in my office. The smaller version has long been sold but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to put this one in my booth. I decided this would be my centerpiece on the mantle.


I grabbed two silver trays to hang inside the medium size frame. I placed a plate hook on the back of each tray. Once the tray was secure, I ran a piece of black ribbon underneath the plate hook and tied the ribbon to the frame. I left some pieces of the ribbon long in the front because my Mom likes the “curlicue.” I was happy with the silver trays so I decided to add an ice bucket filled with white hydrangeas and a monogrammed pewter mug.


To balance the ice bucket, I added a silver child’s cup, a monogrammed pitcher and brush.


Even now as I look back on these pictures, I think the scale of the tray behind the horse needed to be a little larger but I like the way it makes the horse stand out. Perfection is totally over rated any way.

Many blessings,


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  1. I can hear the bugle alert now 🙂 We never would have thought of doing a Kentucky Derby mantle – super creative! Love all of the elements that you used – you know we are super fond of silver AND we will be happy to take the leather horse off of your hands 🙂
    Vicki and Jennifer recently posted…Thrift Tray Makeover…My Profile

    1. You guys are the sweetest! Thanks so much for your kind words, Coco

  2. Perfection is right! Love your derby inspired mantle!

    1. Thank you bunches, Angie, I really appreciate it! Hugs, CoCo

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