Our gas fireplace is HUGE! It sticks out into the room, so it has the potential to be a sore thumb...and it was until I mustered up the courage to paint it black! All of the woodwork in our house is in the oak family and painting real wood used to terrify me...like it was sacrilegious or something! However, painting my fireplace and mantle was one of the best decorating decisions ever.
My favorite project on my mantle is the gray "m" art and sweater sleeve vase. The gray material was up-cycled from an old gray sweater that I never wore anymore. I cut the sleeve off and put it over a cheap glass vase and stretched the back fabric over a piece of plywood. For the "m" I made rosettes from some scrap black fabric that I had.
Check out the vignette on the side of my mantle. I took the glass out of a silver frame and filled it with yellow fabric leftover from an upholstery project. Then I made a large flower out of ruffled strips of denim and glued it to the fabric. I love mason jars, so I filled this one with shells and sand dollars collected on our beach vacation last year. The little nest was inspired by my cousin's etsy shop GracieLuv. My nest is no where near as cute as hers are, but I still love it.