Fall Mantel - Let the Decorating Begin!

It's funny, our house has 2 fireplaces, and neither one has a mantel... yet.  A couple of years ago I built some cafe shelves, like those in the Ballard Design catalog, of course for a fraction of the price! I hung them in our dining room, and had great intentions of decorating for every holiday. Well, that quickly changed to every season, that way I'm not wasting time and money on a switch every other week, and we actually get the enjoy it for a while!

This year for our fall mantle, I decided to do a little thrift store shopping.
I had this brilliant plan to spray paint the 18x24 frame Oil Rubbed Bronze. I got about half way done, and ran out of paint! When I went to buy a new can, I decided that the Aged Copper was prettier, so I re-sprayed it. Then when I was stapling the chicken wire on the back, the frame split in opposite corners causing it to want to bend in half. At that point I threw up my hands, and said, "It looks fine as it is!" I still want to clip picture of my boys in their Halloween costumes throughout the year on it.

This tall candle holder was the first of a few thrift store purchases. I loved the shape of it, and the details. For only $1, I thought if I didn't like the finish, I would paint it. That was my original plan, but now I like its burgundy hue with black accents. I had the vine pumpkin from 2 years ago, and it fit well on top of the pillar holder. The squirrel was something my mom and M picked up from Kohls a year or two ago. Who wouldn't love a big carved squirrel? You can't see in the above photo, but behind the squirrel is my galvanized water pitcher from Ikea with some faux flowers in it.
Below that is a collection of thrifted candle holders that I got 2/$1. Again, I was thinking about painting them, but love the natural wood for this display. I took some glass bottles from the best BBQ sauce, wrapped the necks in raffia I already had, and put a stripe of cute duct tape around the body. For some reason the tape was marked at $.50 at Home Depot. I had to have it! I scattered in some faux leaves, that again, I already had. 
Next up is this cute little metal pumpkin. I adore it's curly vines! It was a steal at $2.
And on the far left bottom is yet another candle holder turned moss ball bowl. I love the shape, color, everything... $2! I might never shop at another big box store again. :) Well, as long as other people keep donating great items!
So my mantle cost me about $7 in new items. Everything else I already had, stored in the dark abyss I call my attic closet. Did you check out my super cheap corn husk wreath? Next up, I'll be tackling the outside of our home.

Linking up to:
Thrifty Decor Chick - Fall Mantel Party
House By Hoff - Get Your DIY On Link Party {Upcycled Projects!}
The Happy Housie - Work It Wednesday!


  1. love that squirrel! what a great shelving display. I don't have a real mantle, either, I use a little hall table and tv stand for any decorating.

  2. Isn't fall decorating the best? Love your mantel! So pretty! Thanks for linking up at our "Get Your DIY On Link Up Party"!

    1. Thanks April! I do love fall decor... but it seems to pass so fast! Thank you for hosting. :)