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All architectural ornaments used on The Joy of

Joseph’s New Appliques

woodworking ornaments

They came in and I’ll have to say is, wow, the resolution is amazing.

— Joseph, The Joy of Moldings reader

I agree, Joseph. And you can’t go wrong with the beautiful urns and swag ornaments you chose to use in your design.

Please send us some pictures of your completed work, I’m sure my readers would just love to see what you’ve created!



resin fireplace corbelTraditional Style

After looking at many corbels used during the American Colonial and Federal architectural periods, I finally settled on this resin corbel for Greg’s fireplace mantel.

It’s made by a company called Outwater Plastics, makers of all kinds of affordable architectural details — some great and some not so great.

But this corbel is great

And you can use it not just on fireplace mantels, but on door and window surrounds, underneath ceiling beams or even crown molding corbel returns.

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resin corbelTraditional Style

Resin corbels like these are an excellent addition to the architectural details you design and install in your home.

The detail resolution on this one in quite nice, even rivaling some plaster corbels. Just look at how nice the acanthus leaf pattern lays on the front.

But the great benefit of resin corbels is their durability and price.

This resin material is like very dense rubber, so you don’t have to worry about destroying the whole thing if you drop or bump it. I even shot 18 gauge brad nails into this one.

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wood corbelsTraditional Style

After working so hard to build a beautiful mantel or entablature, you sure don’t want to skimp on the quality of corbel you use.

In this case I found some perfectly good, hand carved corbels at my local lumber yard.

Granted, it’s a very, very nice lumber yard in an upscale part of town (Rochester, Michigan), and the price was surprisingly good.

But if you can’t find any locally, you can find plenty of them online. And I mean plenty.

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Architectural Ornaments: To Paint, or Not to Paint

bisbee historic architecture

Architectural ornaments, like these rosettes on the facade of a historic building in Bisbee, do not always get a detailed coat of paint like the one on the left.

And the same holds true for the appliques you install on your door and window surrounds, or any other place you want to add ornament to.

This example should give you some idea which direction you want to go on your own moldings — to paint or not to paint!


Architectural Ornament-7652

Scroll and Leaf Center Applique

architectural ornament

Working up VALANCE BOX-103 rough draft with this scroll and acanthus leaf applique.

An applique perfect for the center of a door or window entablature (see it applied to a swan’s neck entablature here, fifth picture down), a fireplace mantel center, or a window valance box/pelmet.

Applique Specifications

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Test Painting A Ceiling Ornamment Gold

woodworking applique onlay

Woodworking appliques are beautiful in simple white. If you feel bold though, add a splash of color.

[This is part of our Our Molding Makeover.  See all updates here.]

I thought I’d paint the center of this applique gold to see how it looks up against our blue ceiling border.

Come take a look and tell me what you think!

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Architectural Ornament-7251

Acanthus Rosette, Rectngular Applique

applque woodworking onlay

This applique would also look nice in the capitals of a door or window entablature.  The capitals of a fireplace mantel would be another great place.  The details you need to order this appliqe are right here.

Applique Specifications

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Architectural Ornament-9334

Violin & Lute, Ribbon & Frond Musical Instruments Applique

ornate front door trim molding

This woodworking applique is perfect for the center of a door surround or fireplace mantel.  Here are the details you’ll need to order one for yourself.

Applique Specifications

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Nonce Orders. Why There’s a Lizard in the Architecture

column capital nonce order

A regal column capital and a regal horned lizard make up this Tucson, Spanish Baroque facade.

This may be my only chance to seamlessly combine my two greatest passions — architectural detail and wildlife biology — into one post.  And do it without contrivance.

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