8 Fall Mantel Ideas We Love for the Season

Deck out your mantel with autumn leaves and pumpkins galore.

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Chilly fall evenings are upon us, and all I can think about is snuggling up with a cozy blanket and sipping on hot cocoa by the fireplace.

But first, to make that comfy setting complete, we must think about cleaning up the fireplace and dressing it for fall. Nothing feels more at home to me than a seasonally decorated mantel and a crackling fire underneath. And once you spruce up the fireplace, it's time to start decorating. Get those creative juices flowing by these gorgeous fall mantel ideas:

Vintage Frames

Tasteful Autumn Mantel Display

Tasteful Autumn Mantel Display

Pumpkins and sheaths of wheat, backed by a display of open frames, have a decidedly fall feel with the addition of a dried artichoke wreath and family name initial. Design by Cailan Matthews

The wall above the fireplace deserves some love, too. Consider mounting a collection of open frames in different styles and sizes. You can even attach a small wreath to fit inside one of the frames. Select seasonal produce, such as pumpkins, to decorate the mantel and fill in with strands of wheat to complete the look.

Burlap Banner

Thanksgiving Fireplace Decorated for Fall

Thanksgiving Fireplace Decorated for Fall

Find other focal points in your home to liven up with autumn decor. Concentrate especially on rooms that adjoin the dining room, like the living room. Here, a burlap "give thanks" banner brightens up the stone fireplace, while textured wreaths and fruit-filled apothecary jars are beautiful accents.

A fun, festive banner adds a little something extra to the mantel. Here, a burlap banner perfectly complements the collection of wreaths and fruit-filled apothecary jars. Nothing finishes the design quite like a cozy reading nook.

Vertical Planter

Indoor Vertical Planter

Indoor Vertical Planter

Hang this vertical planter on a wall, dress up a bookshelf or add life to your mantle decor. This wine crate will hold nine 4” plants, but floral designer Angela Darrah chose to only use five. She filled the remaining four cubes with mosses, kiwi vine and white mini pumpkins.

Photo by: Angela Darrah

Angela Darrah

Bring the outdoors in with this gorgeous vertical planter. The repurposed wine crate features mini white pumpkins, mosses and kiwi vine. Faux leaves and candles tie together the design and add the right dose of ambience.

Vibrant Color

Fall Mantel Decor

Fall Mantel Decor

For a simple way to spruce up your mantel for fall, Holly Charlesworth of My Sister's Suitcase suggests placing cinnamon sticks in mason jars and hanging them above the fireplace. For a splash of color, she created a bouquet of vibrant fall foliage and lined the mantel with bright green apples.

Photo by: Holly Charlesworth

Holly Charlesworth

A more contemporary approach to decorating, this mantel idea boasts vivid colors of blue, green and red. Hanging on either side of the sunburst mirror, Mason jars filled with cinnamon sticks infuse the space with the smell of fall. Apples instead of pumpkins are a nice approach to get that fall feel without being completely traditional.

Traditional Decor

Traditional White Mantel With Red Flower Decor

Traditional White Mantel With Red Flower Decor

Employing an array of complementary colors, floral artist Philippa Tarrant envisioned a simple and elegant homage to autumn. The five-flower arrangements echo the floral pattern of a classic fireplace while the square vases mirror the wall relief.

Fall flower arrangements line a beautiful mantel with small gourds filling in each empty space. Simple and symmetrical, this design is a stunning and timeless choice for fall.

Silver + White

Autumnal Mantel Decor

Autumnal Mantel Decor

A mix of white and metallic pumpkins, pinecones and a dry erase board top this wooden mantel, proving that silver and white isn't just for winter decor.

Autumn Leaves

Fall Mantel With Autumn Leaves

Fall Mantel With Autumn Leaves

Yellow leaves entwine wall of white fireplace.

Photo by: iStock/FavoreStudio


Yellow and orange leaves intertwine the mantel and pop against the all-white backdrop. Fall foilage is a simple, yet gorgeous way to bring in the outside elements. You don't have to go all out with your decor. In this case, less is more.

Lettered Pumpkins

Fall Mantel With White Pumpkins and Leaves

Fall Mantel With White Pumpkins and Leaves

Pumpkin painted with the words give thanks resting on fireplace mantel with colorful fall leaves.

Photo by: iStock/Greg Sargent

iStock/Greg Sargent

Visit your local craft store to easily recreate this mantel. Use real or faux white pumpkins, letter stickers, a small wooden plank and fake leaves for the wreath. If you're feeling extra crafty, try out this faux calligraphy hack to letter the wood plank and pumpkins yourself.

More Fall Decor Ideas

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Freshen Up the Front Door

Piles of pumpkins and gourds along with potted croton and mums give this cheery front porch, featured in HGTV Magazine, maximum curb appeal. Copy a few of their clever ideas — like adding vinyl house numbers to a tall pumpkin — for a similarly festive look for your home's entry.

Photo By: David A. Land (styled by Elizabeth Demos)

(Safely) Fire Up the Fireplace

Honestly, who doesn't love to curl up next to a roaring fire on a chilly day? As inviting as it is, put safety first. Before lighting the season's first log, have the chimney and fire box inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep. Get 15 more fireplace safety tips. Design by Sarah Richardson

Add a Farmhouse Feel

Freshen up your front porch for fall with our 11 ideas for making it a cozy, welcoming place to hang out and enjoy autumn's cooler weather and colorful scenery. 

Warm Things Up

Take a cue from designer Sarah Richardson and give an open, soaring space (even one as massive as her living room) a snug, welcoming feel by swapping out pillows in lightweight summer fabrics, like linen and cotton, for luxe velvet ones in rich, fall shades. Add a few coordinating throws and get ready to cozy up by the fire.

Photo By: Stacey Brandford

Make a Ribbon Rose Wreath

Craft a cheery touch of fall for your front door with a moss-covered wreath form and autumnal ribbon roses that look complicated but are actually a snap to make. Learn how to make your own

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Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Add Woodsy Charm With Firewood

That's right, firewood isn't just functional, it's also decorative, as Fixer Upper designer and host Joanna Gaines proved in this rustic living room. Be sure to remove any leaves or small twigs and give the cut branches a quick brush-off with a broom to eliminate any bugs or spiders before bringing the firewood indoors.

Easily Craft a Rustic Tray

Air-dry clay and paint are all you need to make a rustic tray that's perfect for corraling candles and fall accents or as part of your Thanksgiving table setting. It's an easy and inexpensive craft project for adults and kids alike. Learn how to make your own

Boost Curb Appeal With Seasonal Color

Fall is the time to fill window boxes and gardens with showy white, purple or fuchsia ornamental cabbages, pansies and English ivy to add a cheery pop of color that will endure winter's frosty temps and beautify your landscape into the early spring. 

Add Fresh Flowers

Nothing brightens up your home for the season like vases filled with fall flowers. Sunflowers and alstromeria are great choices because they'll remain beautiful for up to a week. The trick to keeping blooms fresh is to remove all leaves below the water line and change out the water every few days.

Create a Grand Entrance

Fall marks the start of the holiday entertaining season making it a great time to spruce up areas of your home where guests gather, like the foyer. Touch-up scuffs on stair risers and add an entry table large enough to display a few decorative accessories. A pair of occasional chairs or long bench provides a spot for guests to remove boots or just sit for a chat. Image courtesy of Thibaut

©Image courtesy of Thibaut

Stack a Chic Topiary

Hit the craft store for faux white pumpkins and greenery to craft this stunning topiary that'll brighten up your front porch from the start of fall till it's time to swap it out for holiday decorations. Best of all: the faux materials ensure that this topiary will keep its good looks for many falls to come. DIY Network shares the step-by-step instructions

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Put Memories on Display

With the imminent arrival of friends and family for the holidays, fall is the perfect time to root through boxes of old family photos, pop them in a frame and create a gallery wall so everyone can enjoy a sentimental stroll down memory lane. See more images of this home, featured in HGTV Magazine

©Lucas Allen

Cozy Up Dining Chairs

Sometimes style wins out over comfort when selecting dining chairs. With Thanksgiving (and then Christmas) entertaining on the horizon, fall is a great time to tackle that uncomfortable chair issue once and for all by adding a comfy pad and coordinating pillow. If your chair seats are a standard size, check online decor sites and catalogs for readymade cushions that match your decor. If your seats are an unusual size, DIY or having them custom-made are your best bets.

Spice Up the Guest Room

If cooler fall weather also means hosting weekend guests, swap out lightweight summer bedding for heavier linens in rich fall shades, like pumpkin, russet or gold, as design diva Candice Olsen did here. Changing just a few key pieces is an easy way to refresh a bedroom's look, plus your guests will appreciate bunking in such a well-appointed and cozy room. Get more tips for readying a guest bedroom for company.  

  1. bedrooms

Warm Up to New Hues

Don't limit bright colors to spring and summer, fall's hues can be playful too — rely on Mother Nature's shifting shades to help you pick your palette. Try a splash of pumpkin orange, mellowed gourd green or the saturated blue evident in fall's clear skies. No need to swap out (or repaint) your furniture for the season, just work in a few colorful accessories to get the look. Image courtesy of HGTV Magazine

Photo By: David A. Land (styled by Elizabeth Demos)

Skirt the Issue

Your dining room is ground central for Thanksgiving celebrations. Help it look its best by upgrading your existing dining chairs with charming skirted slipcovers. Wide ribbon ties ensure they're removable so keeping them clean is a breeze. Learn how to stitch up your own slipcovers

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Cozy Up the Outdoors

Make the most of fall's crisp evenings by creating a small conversation area around a fire pit and add lots of pillows and throws to really boost the coziness factor. Keep a large basket handy so you can easily transport the linens indoors when inclement weather threatens.

Add Some Layers

Fall's crisp weather calls for layering up your wardrobe — put the same idea to work in your home and toss cozy wool, cotton, chenille or even luxurious cashmere throws over furniture in rooms where your family or guests gather. Design by Sarah Richardson.

Create a Wall Grouping With Fall Flair

Shop thrift stores and garage sales for assorted small frames then fill them with fall sentiments, black-and-white photos and pressed leaves. Design by Layla Palmer.

Dress Up Any Space With a Wreath

An inexpensive wreath form, moss and our free printable templates are all you need to create this rustic fall wreath.

Give It a White Wash

Scandinavian decor, which predominantly features the color white in both furniture and accessories, continues to be a trendy look worth trying. White pumpkins and mums are a natural; pair them with a thrifted chair painted bright white for a crisp, clean grouping for your indoor or outdoor space.

  1. white photos

Photo By: ©iStockphoto.com/Stephanie Frey

Bring the Outdoors In

For most of us, fall is the last hoorah before winter's blustery weather truly sets in; enjoy a walk in the crisp air to gather clippings of flowering plants and colorful foliage. Fill small vases with your finds and place them throughout the house. If you're expecting overnight visitors, don't forget the guest room. Image courtesy of Blackberry Farm; Photography by beall + thomas

Make Your Own Marquee Letters

Theater-style marquee letters are trending (read: expensive) but using a few craft-store supplies and globe string lights, you can make your own. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Fall for Trendy Fabrics

Menswear fabrics, like this tone-on-tone houndstooth, are hot for fall. Reupholstering your antique dining chairs to keep pace with trends may sound a little extreme but you can always bring in touches of fashionable fabrics with toss pillows or slipcovers. Image courtesy of Thibaut

No Centerpiece Necessary

A few of our easy-to-create fall leaf streamers are all you need to decorate your Thanksgiving table. Best of all, skipping the centerpiece means there's nothing at eye level to block your view of the other guests. Get crafting to make your own.

Luxe Meets Lodge

The rustic lodge look is a perfect fit fot fall. Blending rustic textures with sophisticated finishes, it's the best of both worlds and can be as formal or informal as you like. This cottage at celebrity hideaway Blackberry Farm perfectly exemplifies the style with a custom-painted wall treatment that resembles sun-bleached pine and luxurious fabrics throughout. Image courtesy of Blackberry Farm; Photography by beall + thomas

Prep for Cold-Weather Guests

For many of us, autumn means both the beginning of wintry weather and a rotating door of holiday guests. Protect your foyer's floors from muddy or snowy boots with an easy-to-clean area rug. Position an umbrella stand near the door so guests know where to stash wet rain gear as soon as they come in. Design by Sarah Richardson Get more tips for hosting holiday guests.

Freshen Up Your Front Door

Variegated croton in saturated shades of green, gold and red surrounded by vibrant mums and pumpkins give HGTV fan gdiveris' front entry a colorful fall pick-me-up. Both plants are perennials and can either be brought indoors to weather the winter or, if you live in a warm climate, planted to add color to your landscape.

Warmly Welcome Guests

Welcome guests to holiday gatherings with a beautifully decorated entry table. HGTV fan Patrick created this autumnal display by placing golden gingko and bittersweet branches in a large sculptural vase. Pears piled in a rustic stoneware bowl, a ready bottle of wine and low dish of nuts are all reminders of the harvest.

Take the Celebration Outside

Weather permitting, move Thanksgiving dinner outdoors. A backdrop of fall-colored leaves and crisp air will provide the perfect setting for the feast. Image courtesy of Stanley Furniture.

©Image courtesy of Stanley Furniture

Turn an Empty Frame Into a Menu Board

With just a few supplies from the hardware and craft stores, you can upcycle an unused frame into an elegant chalkboard to display wherever holiday guests gather. Use your finished chalkboard to display a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner menu or just to jot down notes to family. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Slipcover Past-Their-Prime Chairs

If you're handy with a sewing machine, "new" dining chairs could be yours with just the cost of a few yards of natural linen. A flirty skirt adds a stylish finishing touch. This project is a great way to unify mismatched chairs or give dated chairs a quick update. Get step-by-step instructions.

Use Containers to Spread Fall Color

Container gardening is a great way to add interest to all areas of your landscape any time of the year but is especially beautiful in fall when Mother Nature puts on her last hurrah. Pairing a hardy perennial, like this ornamental grass, with a show-stopping annual like calibrachoa is a sure recipe for container gardening success.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Proven Winners ©Image courtesy of Proven Winners

Company's Coming

Thanksgiving means gathering with your nearest and dearest to enjoy time together lingering over a well-set table. Ready your dining room for fall festivities by polishing the silver and breaking out the good china and crystal. Design by Sarah Richardson.

Create Outdoor Living Space

Turn an underused porch or patio into a welcoming spot to kick back and enjoy the outdoors. Add a weather-resistant rug for comfort underfoot and to visually define the living area. Plants bring any indoor or outdoor space to life so mix in a few containers planted with a mix of hardy perennials and annuals for a splash of color.

Craft a Rustic Woven Runner

Turn trendy upholstery webbing into an oversized table runner than can be rolled up, stored away and used to add an organic touch to your Thanksgiving table year after year. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

Prep for Cold-Weather Guests

The holiday season means lots of visiting family and friends; providing dedicated space to store their cold-weather gear is key. Designer Sarah Richardson added bumpout closets for stashing big items, like coats and boots, and an antique press for gloves and hats.

Photo By: Design by Sarah Richardson

Incorporate Candles

Fill lanterns or tall glass hurricanes with pillar candles surrounded by coffee beans, acorns or candy corn to easily create a charming display for your entryway or front porch. Note: Be sure to keep an eye on the burning candles to ensure the wick doesn't burn below the level of the filler.

Accessorize With Autumn's Hues

A tall vase filled with scarlet maple branches creates a show-stopping fall arrangement in this Manhattan living room. Hints of burnished gold in the leather occasional chair, lamp and pillow warm up this cozy corner. Design by HGTV fan Patrick.

Make It Easy for Guests to Get Comfy

In the living room or den, fill a deep woven basket with plush pillows and cozy throws so guests can grab one if an achy back or chill strikes.

Photo By: John Woodcock Photography

Make-Over Your Mantel

Get crafty to give your living room's focal point a fresh update. For this look, the editors at HGTV Magazine put paint and paper to work to create kicky lanterns and decoupaged pumpkins. For the colorful centerpiece, they simply glued card stock leaves to (free!) bare branches.

Photo By: David A. Land (styled by Elizabeth Demos)

Try a New Twist on Tradition

Shake up your front door with a square wreath featuring colorful ears of Indian corn. Head to your local craft store for materials then assemble this harvest-themed outdoor decoration in just a few hours. Learn how to make your own.

Craft a Mini "Pumpkin" Wreath

Although the tiny orange shapes covering this wreath look like diminutive pumpkins, they're actually putka pods. A great stand-in for mini pumpkins, the dried organic seed pods don't deteriorate, so your wreath can be displayed year after year. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Give Your Front Porch a Cheery Update

Mounds of bright yellow mums bring a happy touch of fall color to any outdoor space. These hanging baskets were created by lining the wire frames with sheets of coco mat, which allows the plants to properly drain between waterings. Mums require plenty of direct sunlight; their location hanging from this front porch provides the minimum three hours a day they need to look their best.

Craft a Glittery Banner

Remind friends and family how lucky they are with this easy, do-it-yourself decoration. Pick up chipboard letters at your local craft store, then cover them in copper glitter. Attach letters to twine with hot glue and hang above a buffet, mantel, entry table or anywhere your home could use a bit of seasonal sparkle.

Decorate With Fall Foliage

Give bookshelves, a mantel or any flat surface a quick fall fix with a sprinkling of autumn leaves. Gather pretty specimens from your own backyard or pick up a pack of the silk variety at your local craft store. Design by Layla Palmer.

Photo By: Layla Palmer

Opt for Saturated Shades

This trio of small glass votives filled with bright orange ranunculus and rich red pomegranate seeds adds a cheery pop of fall color to an otherwise dark mantel. Small arrangements, like these, are a great way to spread fall color throughout your home.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Make a Magnolia Leaf Wreath

Wrap freshly cut magnolia leaves around an inexpensive foam wreath form to craft a streamlined, modern take on a traditional fall wreath. The leaves will dry in place and turn a gorgeous coppery hue. No need to take this wreath down when you swap out your Thanksgiving decorations for Christmas — just change the ribbon to match your holiday decor. Get step-by-step instructions.

Add Traditional Touches

A gracious dining room is the ideal setting for an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. HGTV fan BelleInteriors sets the stage with rich colors, antique furnishings and a roaring fireplace.

Whip Up a Felt Acorn Pillow

Basic sewing skills are all you need to turn linen, felt and jute twine into a cute throw pillow for fall. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

Honor Traditions

Derived from Latin for "horn of plenty," a cornucopia is a time-honored symbol of the harvest. Filled with fruit, vegetables, gourds or flowers, it's most often used as a Thanksgiving centerpiece but these decorative baskets also look great as a mantel or foyer decoration.

©Celebrating Home: Decorating for the Holidays and Seasons from Cannon Falls. Published by Watson-Guptill Publications, copyright 2005. Images and text reprinted with permission.

All in the Details

NYC-based designer Patrick gives this reading nook a sophisticated, seasonal update with fall-color accessories. Pumpkin-orange roses, richly colored tapestry pillow and chocolate-brown drapes warm up the space but can easily be swapped for icy winter tones or bright hues for spring.

Decoupage Faux Pumpkins

Give faux pumpkins, leftover from Halloween, a fashion-forward makeover by covering them with strips of trendy fabric. Large decoupage pumpkins are a stylish addition to front porch fall displays while small pumpkins will add a graphic pop to your Thanksgiving centerpiece. Get crafting to make your own.

Opt for Earthy Elegance

HGTV fan Tetbury created this chic table setting using all organic elements for a look that's both sophisticated and simple. A linen tablecloth and napkins, tied with humble garden string, pair beautifully with weathered terra cotta urns topped with moss and tiny ghost pumpkins. A single artichoke at each place setting is a charming additon.

Fall for Autumn's Hues

With its rusty palette and laid-back look, this dining room is dressed for casual fall entertaining. Designer Lauren Liess created the layered tablecloth by topping a linen drapery panel with a vintage russet and orange quilt. Gourds, candles, fresh herbs and a stoneware urn filled with vermillion branches create a fuss-free centerpiece that works equally well for Thanksgiving dinner or any fall get-together.

Craft a Gorgeous Wreath

Add pinecones and assorted faux berries and greenery to an inexpensive grapevine wreath to create a gorgeous fall decoration for your front door. Best of all, you can just add a red ribbon to transition this wreath from fall to holiday. Learn how to make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Sometimes Less is More

In a monochromatic space, just a few pops of fall color are all you need. Design by Melissa Smith

Glam Up Plain Lanterns

Give plain glass hurricanes a glitzy makeover with sheets of copper leaf you can pick up at your local craft store. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

Create a Rustic Welcome

A battered metal jug filled with fall leaves, bright orange pumpkins and a weathered birdhouse on a primitive twig bench create a colorful seasonal display on HGTV fan rowdydad's front porch.

Make a Rectangular Rustic Wreath

Add an earthy touch indoors or out with this twist on a traditional round fall wreath. Dried mushrooms, moss, seed pods and grasses form the base while russet fresh or faux pears add a pop of fall color. Learn how to make your own.

Decorate the Front Porch

HGTV fan dezignrogue makes a good thing even better by adding an assortment of pumpkins, gourds and colorful mums to their Italiante villa's front entry. A wrought-iron bench is a nice addition and gives the outdoor room a sit-a-spell feel.

Craft a Monogrammed Wreath

Give your front door a personalized touch by turning inexpensive craft-store materials into a rustic monogram to take the place of a standard fall wreath. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Create a Rustic Tableau

An oversize primitive tray adds a textural backdrop to this collection of natural elements and European finds in HGTV fan Tetbury's breakfast room. The jugs are Hungarian antiques while the buffet and basket are French finds dating to the 19th Century. A single large sunflower head is a beautiful addition and adds a sculptural, organic touch.

Opt for Sleek, Simple and Stylish

HGTV fan nyclq describes this table setting as, "less is more." Certainly, the look is minimal but it's far from sparse. By limiting the color palette to shades of brown and white, she creates a table that is warm, polished and oh so chic.

Seasonalize Your Decor

Give a plain lampshade autumnal appeal by stenciling it with fall leaves. Our free printable template makes this project is a snap, even for beginning crafters.

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