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10 Fall Mantel Decor Ideas for a Festive Fireplace

Welcome autumn indoors with these gorgeous fall mantel ideas. See how to style a mantel for fall with natural elements, easy DIY projects, and other budget-friendly ideas.

By Jessica Bennett | Better Homes & Gardens | Updated September 15, 2021

There's nothing quite like curling up next to a fire on a crisp autumn evening. To make your home feel extra cozy, add seasonal style to your living room with these fall mantel decorating ideas. Showcase classic fall colors in your mantel decor or try a monochromatic arrangement of autumnal accessories. Embrace traditional patterns and materials, like plaid and burlap, or go modern with a minimalist display. Whichever style you prefer, we'll show you how to use items from around the house, natural elements, and simple DIY projects to create beautiful fall mantel decor that won't strain your budget.

CREDIT: KIM CORNELISON

1. Colorful Fall Mantel Decor 

Gather an assortment of accessories to create a colorful, layered display on your mantel. This arrangement includes mini pumpkins, gourds, branches with acorns, seasonal flowers, and taper candles in an array of colors. Varying the sizes and shapes of your fall mantel decor creates a more visually interesting effect. Metallic vases, trays, and other vessels add depth and a shimmery touch.

CREDIT: WENDELL T. WEBBER

2. Elegant Fall Mantel 

This sophisticated fall mantel idea will last from September through Thanksgiving. A large rectangular mirror serves as the backdrop for a striking burgundy wreath made from stems of sumac. Decorative gold orbs and glass vases filled with seasonal grasses dot the mantel below. Although this fall mantel decor is simple, the rich colors of red and gold make it stand out.

CREDIT: EDMUND BARR

3. Farmhouse Fall Mantel Decor 

Let farmhouse style inspire your fall mantel decor. Here, faux white pumpkins nestled inside a rustic wood box and positioned atop a salvaged column offer an elevated twist on rustic style. Sprigs of faux fall leaves tuck between white pillar candles on the mantel. Skeletal spider decorations and ghoulish-themed art nod to Halloween but are easy to swap out as autumn progresses.

CREDIT: KRITSADA PANICHGUL

4. Metallic Fall Mantel 

Create fall magic by combining rustic burlap and dried wheat stalks with gilded accents. Pumpkins and nuts partially coated with gold spray paint add sparkle to this fall mantel idea. To make the hanging branch embellishments, hot-glue twine to nuts and tie onto branches. When choosing pumpkins and gourds, look for some that are about a third of the height of your tallest cylinder for dynamic heights.

CREDIT: KRITSADA PANICHGUL

5. Cozy Fall Mantel Ideas 

Repurpose items from around your home to create inexpensive fall mantel decor. Old cable-knit sweaters and leftover yarn, for example, can be used to wrap cylinder vases and create a garland of yarn balls. To recreate this cozy mantel decorating idea, cut the sleeves off old sweaters and stretch them over vases. Shop at secondhand or thrift stores for good deals on used sweaters if you don't want to cut any of your own. Fold the edge over the rim, securing the top and bottom with a little double-sided tape or hot glue if needed. Add a pop of color by filling the containers with branches of fall foliage.

You can also create a soft and simple yarn ball garland for a cozy fall mantel. Wrap foam balls of various sizes in neutral yarns, securing with pins as needed. Push a sharp pencil through the center of each wrapped ball to create holes. String balls on a length of cotton clothesline rope, pushing rope through the holes with a wooden skewer; knot the ends.

CREDIT: JAY WILDE

6. Simple Fall Mantel Decor 

Don't want to store a bunch of fall decor for the nine months when it isn't in use? Look into accessories that can be recycled or composted at the end of the fall season. Head to your local pumpkin patch or grocery store and pick up some small pumpkins and gourds. Line a few up on your mantel for a subtle touch of fall. Accentuate the display with a vase of fresh leaves and other greenery clipped from your yard.

CREDIT: KRITSADA PANICHGUL

7. Plaid Fall Mantel Decor 

A trio of vases serves as the centerpiece on this fall mantel. Try wrapping inexpensive glass vases or storage containers with old belts and plaid shirts to create your own cozy fall mantel decor. Fill them with pumpkins, bittersweet branches, and dried hydrangeas, then surround the vases with additional gourds and faux leaves to round out the look. Arrange birch logs in a wicker basket below to hint at crackling fires to come.

CREDIT: JAY WILDE

8. Easy Fall Fireplace Decor 

Don't forget the rest of your fireplace when decorating your mantel for fall. Take advantage of a non-working firebox by filling it with fall accents, such as a gathering of pumpkins in various sizes and shapes. Pumpkins are great for fall decor because they can stretch from September to Thanksgiving. To save money, opt for realistic-looking faux pumpkins instead of the real thing so you can reuse them year after year. If your fireplace is functional, keep the fall decor on the hearth or off to the side to avoid a fire hazard.

CREDIT: KRITSADA PANICHGUL

9. Fall Wreath Display 

Make a statement on your fall mantel with a single impactful accent. Hanging a large fall wreath or framed print above your fireplace is an easy way to decorate your living room for the season. Add some greenery and other small items to bring everything together. To add interest, vary the scale of your fall mantel decor by pairing mini pumpkins with a vase of tall branches.

CREDIT: JAY WILDE

10. Traditional Fall Mantel Decorating 

Create a gorgeous fall mantel using classic autumn elements. To build your own DIY fall wreath, start with a simple grapevine wreath and tuck in layers of wheat, faux fall flowers, leaves, berries, and more. Round out this traditional fall mantel with classic motifs like leaves, pumpkins, and an adorable garland of acorns. Create a warm glow with LED pillar candles.

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