Fall Mantel Decorating – Step by Step Tips

It is official.  This morning we woke up to 39 degrees outside.

It is fall.

So, I thought I would share my fall mantel decorating today, since that is the one thing that makes it feel officially like fall to me.

Fall Mantel Decorating

I thought I would also share how I put it together as well –especially since it was pretty easy and quick this time.  At the end, I am also going to share some resource ideas for gathering up similar items.

Step 1

I started with an old wood frame with some burlap fabric stapled onto the back (there is also some twine running across because this was being used as jewelry organizer.  I left it because I kind of liked how it looked).  Using a burlap ribbon, I hung a grapevine wreath.  After it was in place, I simply tucked in some dried hydrangea, some feathers and rested some pine cones.  Nothing is glued or attached, so I will easily be able to use the wreath again.

I purposely set the frame to the left, off center.  Somehow, for my eye, that makes it seem more balanced.

Fall Family Room Mantel

Step 2

I found this lantern at Homegoods.  I loved the rustic finish and the clear glass panels.  I simply filled it with more dried hydrangea, some faux white pumpkins and tucked a few feathers at the back.  I placed it next to the frame.  The larger size balances well with the frame.


Step 3

I then layered in the pumpkins.  The two beige pumpkins are just paper mache.  I originally was going to paint them, but liked the way they tied in with the burlap – and not painting them is even easier!

The pumpkin on the left is ceramic and I placed it under a glass cloche.  I also added the small grapevine pumpkin next to the lantern.


Step 4

Next, I layered in the three gold mirrors – on the back right (filled in the space behind the pumpkins) and on the left and right of the frame.  By adding the gold frames, it added a little more elegance and another color to balance out all of the golds and blues.


Step 5

This is what I call the “tucking stage”.  I simple tucked in feathers and a few hydrangea in different spots.  I put them all in, went back a few hours later – and took some out.  I experimented a bit to see what didn’t look like too much (I hope!) and was balanced.

And then, the final step – one of my favorites – I tucked in a few vintage brass and crystal doorknobs.  Kind of the like the jewelry for the outfit.


I kept the whole room in neutral fall colors with blues and browns.



Here are some thoughts on locating similar items for your mantel (or shelf, or table – whatever you have) if you would like to create a similar look.

The frame – mine is from an auction, stored in my basement and then used as jewelry organizer.  Frames can easily be found at yard sales, vintage shops, etc.  However, if that is not your thing, head to a craft store with a coupon in hand and pick up the largest one you can afford.  Grab a small run of burlap fabric while you are there and you have it.

The lantern – As I said, mine is from Homegoods – but you can find similar ones in a lot of places.  Craft stores and major retailers like Target have a good selection.  Don’t forget to look in the outdoor department as those can sometimes be larger.  However, the best place to look is in your own home.  Do you already have one that  you could repurpose for a short while on your mantel?  I always say, shop your own home first.

The pumpkins – the paper mache and grapevine pumpkins are from a big box craft store and can be easily be found – the best part is at this time, most of those stores are already discounting their fall items (because Christmas is already in – aaahhh!!!).  The ceramic pumpkin was a gift, but I happen to know it was from the Hallmark store.  Most home stores carry similar type items – however – you could also just pick up a white fake pumpkin from the craft store or paint another paper mache one a creamy white.

Glass Cloche – My opinion on glass cloches – if you find one a good price, buy it!  They can be expensive.  However, when I finally got mine, I found I have used it a ton and moved it around.  Here is a link to the one I purchased.

Gold Mirrors –  Mine are vintage, found at an auction years ago.  However, a great alternative would be picture frames with pretty scrapbook paper inside them.  Or, buying a small mirror and painting the frame with gold paint.  Large craft stores seem to have pretty regular sales on frames.

Feathers – Feathers can usually be found pretty easily at craft stores.

Hydrangea – So, there are two easy ways to get these if you don’t already have some growing in your yard.  One, make friends with someone who does and pinch off a few.  Two, go to the craft store and pick up some silk ones.  Sometimes, in this case, it is better to spend a little more for the ones that look real – they can be found.  And if I may suggest, plant an Endless Summer Hydrangea plant next spring – you won’t be sorry – they graced my tables all summer and now will be with me all fall and winter.

Door knobs – these are vintage and I am not there is a replacement for them.  Most vintage shops will have them tucked here and there.  Personally, I am such a huge fan of them and use them year round.  Sometimes gathered in a bowl, sometimes on my holiday tables, and always tucked on a side table or my mantel.  If you don’t already have one or two, keep your eye out and starting collecting some – I don’t think you will regret it.

If you would like to see the rest of our fall decorating, please click here.

So, what do you think – do you like having the step by step information?  I would love to know your thoughts.


Thanks so much for stopping by and wishing you a great day!

Sharing at Thrifty Decor Chick

fall decorating ideas


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26 thoughts on “Fall Mantel Decorating – Step by Step Tips”


  1. Good Morning, Laura! What a great post, I loved it! And, of course, pinned it;) Giving us step by step information on all the vignettes in your home could keep you very busy but I, for one, appreciate it. Making a trip to Michael’s today, can’t wait to see what I can find for my mantel and kitchen and dining room tables which all need a little bit more of fall love. Have a blessed day!

  2. Your mantel is beautiful. So peaceful and serene. I love the blue/brown color scheme. I have some of the Endless summer hydrangeas. I think I need to find a better location in my yard for them. Better to move now or in the spring??? Do you cut yours back each year??

  3. Just visiting for the first time. I love the softness of your look. It’s so inviting. And the doorknobs are **the best**. Thank you for such a lovely post and allowing me to visit.


  4. Thanks so much for the step by step. I have basically had the same mantel in my front room for 25 years and it’s time for a change! This will be a great start. Thanks for sharing and i love your blog.

  5. I see an book in your future: Laura, The Mantel Whisperer 🙂 As usual, it is beautiful. There were so many gorgeous homes on your tour, and not to take anything away from them, but your home truly speaks to me. I feel as if I could move right in and not change a thing. XXOO

  6. I LOVE your mantle!! The colors are just ME!!! I have always been a blue/white girl and Hydrangeas.. my FAV!! Thanks for the step-by-step! Very interesting to see how someone else puts things together, as I am not much of a decorator myself, but know what I like when I see it!! Thanks again, and happy fall!

  7. I keep repeating myself, but love your decorating style. Enjoyed the tips. This mantel is so pretty and a bonus that so much was shopped in your own home. Your blog is the blog that inspired me a few years ago to start doing a mantel every season. I have my mantel cleared and dusted as I type – ready to decorate!

  8. So lovely. I love the colors and the whole room looks so cozy, such a beauiful space. I always look forward to your mantels always awesome. I’ll be on the hunt for that lantern.
    Have a great day..

  9. Your mantel is absolutely enchanting!!! I love every single layer. I am going to obtain info on purchasing a hydrangea bush. I have always loved them. Thank you so much for the step-by-step tips. They are such a great help for non-talented people such as myself.

  10. Soooo pretty! Color scheme a refreshing change of pace. One polite criticism: When looking at the room from afar, I don’t care for the large void above the mantel, all the way to the ceiling. I would flip the large frame vertically, but keep everything the same, placement-wise. Your armoire decor draws the eye up, and then I see the empty mantel wall. Thank you for all your ideas. A lovely home.

  11. Gorgeous mantel. I am a huge fan of cloches, hence Cloches and Lavender, LOL. All the accessories are so beautiful. Enjoyed the step by step instructions too.


  12. Laura,
    Yours is one of the prettiest fall mantels I have seen this year (and I have seen a lot of them!). I love the blues and browns, such a nice change and yet still very fall looking. Great job!

  13. Laura,
    I would have never thought about using a vintage glass doorknob on my mantle but it just makes everything sparkle! Love everything about the beautiful colors you used for your fall mantle especially since I have never been much on traditional orange and yellow. We are heading to the big Texas antique week in Round Top next week so I am adding vintage door knobs and glass cloches to my list. I am also looking for some small antlers to use during Thanksgiving and Christmas for my mantle.

  14. I love your fall mantle, Laura. I like the natural colours and elements and the soft blue hydrangeas. Thanks for all the tips on how to layer and where to ‘shop’. I don’t have a mantle or fireplace but I do have an open bookcase by the stairs that I decorate. I just wish it had a ‘wall’ so I could add a mirror or painting. Have a great day. Pamela

  15. I’m going straight home tonight and redo my mantel – this is the perfect inspiration i was looking for – thank you!