The fireplace mantel – a focal centerpiece, a gathering spot and the heart of a home. If you are lucky enough to have one, they can be such a joy to have. It is one of my favorite spots in our house. It keeps me warm on cold chilly Wisconsin nights, it’s a place to gather with family and it’s extremely fun to decorate (especially for the holidays!). I’ve been slowly accumulating Halloween items in the anticipation of decking out my mantel for the spookiest night of the year and it’s finally ready! I originally wanted to share my frightening finds but thought it would also be nice to also explain some basic design principles to make sure your mantel is done up just right.
1. Repurposed Door
I like to save items I think could “live another life”. I hate clutter and I’m not a packrat but I also hate tossing items that can be repurposed. We moved last year and had to get rid of an old giant entertainment center (it was a beast!) Most of it was junk but I saved the doors. I thought it would be the perfect backdrop for a fireplace mantel. The height of the door was a great center structure to “build” my arrangement off of. I dismantled the door hardware and gave it a couple quick coats of black chalk paint. It was perfect!
Here is is the door before painting:
2. Handcrafted Pumpkin
As an artist by trade, I have a real respect and love for handcrafted items. I love to support local artists whenever possible. My husband and I found a Wisconsin chainsaw artist that makes incredible wood cravings. We fell in love with a whimsical Jack-o-lantern 🎃 and had to bring him home with us. Aside the door frame, it would add just the right color and height to my grouping.
Every haunted house needs some eerie candles, right? Candles and Halloween seem to be a natural fit. I found some mercury glass candle sticks on a clearance table at TJ Maxx for $5 a piece. Hope could I pass that up? I love the thrill of a good deal! I picked out 2 different candle stick heights to create visual interest.
The candles I picked up at World Market. I love the spooky skulls. They add a nice vintage feel. Again, I chose two different height candles to keep visual interest.
Note: When picking out items it’s important to think about size, item proportion and color. If everything is the same size, the same height, the same color, the same texture, it will dull your design and make your arrangement visually unappealing.
4. Holiday Wreath
One word, Target! This jewel of a wreath was a steal for only $20. I really like the metallic balls and thought they would compliment the mercury glass candle sticks. The mixture of Halloween colors tie the whole arrangement together.
5. Mini Pumpkins
Little Jacks are my favorite! They are very versatile in Fall decorating and they last all the way through the Thanksgiving season. I bought a ton of little guys and alternated orange and white pumpkins on both ends of my mantle to create symmetry.
6. Wooden Sign
A vintage-style October 31st sign made of wood and burlap was another great find. Can you believe it was only $3? Target’s dollar area. ( Yes, I know. I spend too much time at Target. 😆) I thought it was just the right size to layer in front of the door frame. Layering items instead of aligning items adds dimension and depth to a grouping.
7. Flag Banner
I might sound like a broken record but – Target. This year they had an amazing selection of inexpensive Halloween decorations and I totally took advantage of it. I strung the flags across the mantle to breakup the hard horizontal line on the wood mantel. The shape the banner makes and frames the whole arrangement and helps move your eye from one side to the other. I love using banners. They are so easy to make and add a great look to a fireplace.
The Finished Product
Here it is! The finished arrangement. I’m so excited my Halloween mantel turned out. It’s just what I pictured! I loved using a mixture of items — repurposed, handcrafted, new items and some fantastic steals. It’s all about make your space yours and ending up with something you love to look at. It’s all about making your space — uniquely yours!