How to decorate a fireplace mantel for fall - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

How to decorate a fireplace mantel for fall

Updated: Oct 31, 2014 03:59 PM / Denise Torres / Denise Torres
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By Alexandra Kerr

As the weather begins to cool and your family gathers around the living room fireplace, create a beautiful autumn mantel design to welcome the changing of the seasons. Richly colored leaves, inviting fall scents and classic harvest pumpkins make this mantel design as fun as it is stylish.


One of the classic icons of fall, leaves make the perfect, living room fireplace, mantel decoration. While it may be tempting to simply grab a handful of brightly colored fallen leaves from outside, natural leaves often crumble and can leave a mess around your home. Opt for fake, craft leaves available at craft, retail and home improvement stores. Ways to use leaves on your mantel:

Scatter single, loose leaves down your mantel, made to look like they gently fell from a tree. Be sure to mix up the colors (if they are multi-colored) and arrange them in slightly different positions to appear natural.Place large leaves under candleholders, small clocks, vases or other small accessories on your mantel.If leaves are not loose, and attached to faux branches, gather the branches together like a flower arrangement and place in a clear glass or autumn colored vase to place on one end of the mantel.Be careful not to set leaves too close to the fireplace opening, as fabric may catch on fire, and plastic can easily melt in high heat.


Another fall standard for decorations is the pumpkin. This gourd is easily styled to fit any home theme, from casual kid-friendly, to formal or Cape Cod nautical. Selecting the correct size of pumpkin, along with color, shape and finish ensures your fall decorated fireplace mantel blends perfectly into your home. While you can use real pumpkins, after more than a week, they can become soft and lose their shape. Try decorating with plastic, fabric or glass pumpkins to have a mantel design that will last year after year. Ways to decorate your mantel with pumpkins:

Very small, orange pumpkins are the most common form used for household decoration.Place one small, orange pumpkin next to a candle or clock.Place a line of small orange pumpkins down the line of your mantel.To include your children in the process of decorating the mantel, let them paint faces on the pumpkins, or paint the whole pumpkin in yellow, brown, green or gold autumn colors.Taller, thinner pumpkins make great end pieces for each side of the mantle.Painting your pumpkins white, or finding certain varieties of pumpkins that naturally occur in white, allows them to easily blend in with modern or nautical themed home styles.


Candles always make a beautiful addition to any mantel, and fall is a great time to use scented and colored candles to enhance the decorative theme. Finding scents that match the season, and are enjoyed by you and your family is a crucial first step in decorating your autumn mantel, as you don't want to fill your home with a smell that would bother anyone. Try buying small, tea light or votive sized candles in some autumn scents to check which ones you prefer before buying larger sizes. Ways to decorate your fall mantel with candles:

Pick candles in colors like brown, tan, gold, orange and dark green.
Some of the best autumn scents include pumpkin, wood scents, mulled cider and a variety of brand specific fall themed blends.
Use darker colored, rustic looking candleholders and lanterns for an autumn harvest theme.
Tall, thin candlesticks work well in formal living rooms, while thicker, tall candles offer a stylish and dramatic look.
Small tea lights or votives can be slipped inside glass or ceramic pumpkin decorations to mimic the look of jack-o-lanterns.


Autumn garlands are a great way to use leaves, acorns and other natural decorations without having them loosely scattered across your mantel. Holiday and seasonal garlands are widely available at craft stores, common retail stores and home improvement stores. Consider using one of the following garland styles for your autumn mantel:

Yellow, orange and brown leaf garlands stretched from one end of the mantel to the other.
Garlands designed to look like branches or vines, with a mixture of acorns and leaves.
For a minimalist look, find garlands without any leaves or additions, and simply appear to be dark brown vines that would often be seen in nature throughout the fall.


You don't need to completely remove all the items you currently have on your mantel to decorate for fall. Pick specific pieces to remain on the mantel and incorporate them into the theme. Leaving some of your normal accessories will also help blend your home's style with the seasonally themed decorations. Work some of these common mantel accessories into your fall setup:

Clocks are a common décor piece placed on the mantel, and can easily have leaves placed around them, vines draped over them, or a small candle placed next to them in a contrasting color.
Existing candleholders can be used if they are in darker, autumn colors, or covered with leaves or pumpkins.

Decorating your mantel for fall is a fun, simple process that beautifully incorporates the colors, scents and symbols of autumn into your home. Using warm tones likes brown, gold, green and tan mimics the colors of the changing leaves, while garlands and pumpkins bring the season inside.

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