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.

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.

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


September 24, 2013 — Laura Putnam