28 Fall Mantel Ideas | Midwest Living
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28 Fall Mantel Ideas

Decorate your fall mantel with gourds, pumpkins, dried flowers, fruit, leaf prints and other seasonal beauties.

Focus on fruit

Gather colorful fruits such as lemons, limes, kumquats and oranges for a pretty display in fall colors, accented by pine branches. Silver ornaments will give your mantel centerpiece extra sparkle, especially as Thanksgiving nears.

Pretty painted gourds

Trade the usual fresh gourds for jewel-tone painted dried ones. Start with dried gourds in varying sizes. (If not available locally, try amishgourds.com.) For crisp lines, apply painter’s tape around the middle of a gourd. Paint half of the gourd with latex wall paint and remove tape when dry. For a drippy effect, pour 14 cup paint into a resealable plastic storage bag. Snip a corner to drizzle paint around the middle of a gourd (like piping frosting). Using a foam brush, carefully extend paint up from the drips, adding additional paint as necessary, to reach one end of the gourd. Pile painted gourds on a mantel or shelf or in decorative bowls.

Fall silhouettes

Highlight the organic shapes of fall with these simple decorations. Showcase bright red, gold and orange leaves in float frames for a truly dramatic silhouette. A tall vase brimming with bittersweet branches adds height to the mantel.

Harvest bouquet

Fashion an easy but gorgeous mantel bouquet with feathers, wheat and nuts.

Fill a vase with nuts or seeds, then use branches, feathers, flowers or leaves as accents.

Gorgeous gourds

An assortment of gourds and other natural elements fills this simple mantel display.

We mixed two larger hard-shell gourds with smaller soft-shell gourds (and tucked in a squash, too). Bittersweet branches and maple leaves provide extra color and texture.

Spell it out

Brown-painted crafts store letters spell out fall in a display for a mantel or shelf. Cover one letter with a glass cloche and elevate two other letters on glass cake plates of different heights. Accent with fall leaves, berries or gourds if you like.

Framed leaves

Make these nostalgic-looking fall decorations in just minutes with a few everyday materials. Print the name of a leaf on neutral cardstock, or use stick-on letters from a scrapbooking store. Glue a pressed leaf to the cardstock. Create a frame by attaching twigs to the edge of the cardstock.

Creepy mantel

We can't resist a little skin-crawling fun! Plastic spiders wander over pumpkins draped in ripped cheesecloth. “Hairy” cording feels a bit like a spider’s trail on another. Add a faux crow, and you’ve set the proper spooky mood for Halloween. 

Stacked gourds

Bring autumn to your table or mantel by showing off gourds in cylindrical vases. Use containers of different sizes, and stack varying numbers of gourds. Add a pretty curving touch with a length of fresh pumpkin vine or another fresh or artificial vine.

Picturesque leaves

For an easy display, combine brightly colored fall leaves with an empty picture frame.

Hang leaves on S-hooks (used for jewelry making and found at crafts stores) or pin to a ribbon. Suspend ribbon from two nails, draping it loosely across the center. Anchor the display with a branch of brightly colored berries at the frame base and setting small gourds in eggcups.

Autumn inspirations

Give a traditional vase of roses a fall makeover by adding red and gold leaves. Put the vase on a cake stand to add height, and scatter a few small pumpkins or gourds on the stand to complete the autumn display.

Harvest collection

Pretty white Lumina pumpkins make sophisticated vases for fall foliage. We used an assortment of cattails, leaves, seasonal berries and orange tulips.

Remove the tops of the pumpkins and hollow out the insides. Place a watertight container inside each pumpkin to keep flowers fresh and prevent pumpkins from getting soggy.

Focus on fruit

Gather colorful fruits such as lemons, limes, kumquats and oranges for a pretty display in fall colors, accented by pine branches. Silver ornaments will give your mantel centerpiece extra sparkle, especially as Thanksgiving nears.

Fall photos

Show off autumn colors in a photo display. Select several photos with varying compositions of autumn leaves, fruits and plants. Emphasize bright fall colors with plain white matting. Rest one or two frames on the mantel and hang the rest.

Simply green

Pots of moss bring a touch of green indoors and work well with both autumn and winter holiday mantel arrangements. We scattered pinecones around the pots for a fall feel. A clothesline along the mantel can hold leaves in early fall; as winter approaches, change out the look by adding mittens or snowflakes. 

Orchard pickings

Display the best picks from an orchard adventure.

Use decorative urns, candlesticks or vases to vary height, and anchor the arrangement with some small plants.

Leaf prints

Highlight the beauty of fall leaves by pressing them in frames. Pick a variety of colors, shapes and textures to include in the frames.

To make the display pictured: Place a leaf between two pieces of glass and secure with colored linen book cloth tape.

Antique assembly

Create a spooky feel with a grouping of old objects, such as books, an old-fashioned clock and a small chest.

We used a cloche to capture a blackbird on a nest and books as a resting place for a seashell. Artificial cobwebs complete the look.

Creepy crawlies

Green hedge apples offer a pop of color and a destination for faux spiders in this Halloween-inspired mix of objects.

Serene and green

This mantel highlights serene green and natural tones. The framed plant sketch ties together both the natural and neutral aspects of the mantel. Rest art on the mantle to avoid new wall holes for seasonal decorating. Potted plants add height and a pop of color.

Gourd vases

Gourds make perfect vases for fall flowers. Subtle white decoration hints at winter's approach.

Cut a hole in gourds large enough to accommodate florist tubes. Once dry, insert flowers in the tubes, and keep flowers watered. Or use dried flowers for a longer-lasting arrangement.

Ghostly frames

Invite framed ghosts to haunt your mantle this Halloween. Candles in votives add flickering light, mini pumpkins fall color.

Nature's best

A nature calendar inspired this scheme. Two calendar pages provide background for the focal point a knotty branch. Green moss balls, candles and vases filled with dried foliage bookend the arrangement.

Fall finds

This simple display features gourds and branches along with a vase in autumnal tones.

Spooky stories

Rewrite an old tale into a new spooky story with Halloween book covers.

Cover old books with colorful paper decorated with appropriate messages and drawings.

Eerie feel

A homemade bat (made from black poster board) gives Halloween flair to this wall sconce. The mirror reflects a black candlestick and candle, while books wrapped in decorative paper add contrast.

Sophisticated decor

Tiered white containers brim with seeded eucalyptus, while a wooden chest and small white pumpkin bring offer interesting shapes and muted colors to this sophisticated mantel.

Seasonal elements

Change just a few mantel elements for an easy seasonal decoration change. Here, a fiery orange vase filled with large leaves brings a big pop of fall color. 

More fall decorating ideas

Click below for more fabulous fall decorating tips.

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