Total project cost: $36
Fall is in the air and those crisp mornings mean it’s time to bring out all the gorgeous fall  decorations. The rich red, rust orange, and golden ocher in sprays of leaves and mums  remind us that cool nights, cozy blankets and heart-warming family gatherings are on the  horizon. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace mantle, rejoice because it will now be put  to good use!
Decorating for fall is truly one of my favorite things to do. I live in a coastal, southern town  and wouldn’t move for anything. But while the rest of the country get excited about pumpkin spice drinks, I’m wondering if I can get that on ice. My fall doesn’t start until  November, but that doesn’t mean I have to wait until then to make it feel like fall in my  home! So with giddy anticipation, I dragged out my boxes of decor and got to work  ushering fall home. With the help of my friends at, this year I was  able to create a fall mantle that I absolutely love.
Before you get to see the final result you have to endure the beginning.
This is what I  started with. It was perfectly adequate, but was in desperate need of attention, not to  mention a deep cleaning after being neglected for 3 months.
So what was wrong with it? The whole thing was just boring and had miscellaneous items just thrown up there. Plus that massive black hole in the center just took up too much attention. Side note: Please try not the stare at the black stain on my pretty white paint. My husband gets carried away with his fires once in awhile. I’ve tried scrubbing that soot with bleach and it won’t budge. But, I figure that just means it’s a well-loved fireplace and not just for show!
When I saw this Mustard Pip Berry garland at , I knew I had to have it. My entire mantle redecorating project was designed around it so I was excited to see it arrive in the mail. Pulling it out the package, I was a little skeptical. It was very dense and flat and looked a little short.
But then I started working with it and it was wonderful! The individual stems could be bent any way I wanted so I got a lot of movement out of it and was able to strategically move stems to fill in blank spaces around other decor items. It kept it’s shape nicely and was actually quite full and the perfect length when I was done filling it out.
This is what it looked like after I was done shaping it. Much better. 
I then weaved a plaid ribbon in and out of the garland and down the sides of the mantel.
Now I have to let you in on a little secret. It’s ok to mix high-quality pieces and low-end bargains. I found that ribbon at a dollar store. I literally paid $1 for it!
Here’s another tip. I’ve seen (and used) those cheap garlands at the dollar store and they just aren’t worth it. They fall apart over time and don’t have nearly the fullness and real look that you need. So pay a bit more for the big pieces, because they will be noticed and you will be so much happier with them.
After getting the base of garland and ribbon down, I added a “Give Thanks” plaque and a red vase with flowers on the left and used ceramic pumpkins on the other side to balance things.
But something seemed a little off. I realized the silhouette was pretty flat and I needed to add some drama. I threw a couple of faux twigs and leaves in a vase to bring in some height and asymmetry. Viola!
On the hearth , I got rid of the magazine, a.k.a. dust collector, and moved the floral arrangement back a bit and added another one in beautiful reds and oranges along with some smaller pumpkins. On the other side of the hearth, I grabbed some logs and threw them in the basket and put the lantern in front with a few more pumpkins to tie the whole project together. Adding logs in the fireplace also made the whole space feel completed.
So here’s the finished fall fireplace overhaul. Design hearts rejoice! It’s got color, texture, balance and rhythm. I’m very happy now to see such a warm greeting every time I walk in the room.
I would love to see all your pretty fall mantles so feel free to leave comments and your photos below!
Resources for this project: 

Garland from LaughingMooseGifts: $30.78

Ribbon from the Dollar Store: @ $1.00

About the Author:


Sunshine Menefee is a self-proclaimed interior design nut with a degree in her favorite subject. Practicing for more than 10 years, she has worked on many different types of projects in all budgets. Every project and every client are unique and she loves to work with them all.

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