decorating ideas for the fall mantel

I’m here today following my dreams.  :)

Remember the dream?  The one for this blog to be in print.  I talk all about it here.

And, since I’m one to follow my dreams, and I just happen to have a new shelf ready for some new decorations, and I wasn’t blogging last fall … I present to you now a little fall decor.  :)
fall mantel

Fall in July … it’s sure to be the new Christmas in July.  I’m sure of it.  😉

But, really, what’s a girl to do?!?!  The call to action came …
… and I have to give it a go, right!?!?
fall mantelAnd, you know I’m going to try to use what I’ve got.  Even better if I don’t have to spend any money to follow my dream, I say.

I started by hanging one of the stenciled signs I made here above the vignette.  I love the message and the monochromatic shades of cream and tan.  I knew right away I was going to go simple, understated and ‘natural’ if you will.

I then used a couple of the empty frames I had on the one screw gallery wall as a backdrop.  More browns with a hint of gold.
I planted a small cactus from our yard in the ‘peace’ mug, surrounded it with with corn kernels we keep on hand to make stove top popcorn and put a cloche on it.  (If you like it then you shoulda put a cloche on it.)  Adding one more touch of gold to the mix.

While I was in the yard I noticed these red topped weeds … when I was clipping some I’m sure the neighbor’s thought “FINALLY she is getting that mess under control”.  Nope … just decorating my fall mantel, here in Curacao … in July.  :)
fall mantel

The bottle is one from my summer mantel, a beach find … of course.

The basket I picked up shortly after we moved here … it was on sale for about $6.

And the wood thing beside the basket is another beach find.  I do love me some beach junk.  And a few more shades of brown/tan.
I wrapped 2 books in a gold, decorative tissue paper I had in my gift wrap stash and then picked two other books that were black with gold lettering.  I am really liking the more muted color scheme with the one pop of red, or is it maroon … or burgundy?

For some height, I put the corks (yep, more muted, natural looking color) I’ve been accumulating to try to finish the cork board on our message center in an old apothecary jar and stacked it on the books.
fall mantelAnd who doesn’t love butternut squash?  I did buy a couple extra specifically for the display, but we will eat them.  Much to Joel’s dismay.  😉

Oh … and the leaf wreath!  I made a leaf wreath.  An easy peasy leaf wreath.  More shades of brown.  More natural.  More fall decor goodness.
fall mantel

I have a feeling this is just the beginning of the fiddling with decor that will happen on our new shelf. :)

Here is what the listed criteria is for consideration for the magazine feature.

  1. Innovation – Have you ever put weeds from your yard in a bottle you found at the beach and called it decor?  Or planted another yard find in a mug with a nice message on it and surrounded it with corn kernels and put a cloche on it?
  2. Usefulness – I guess I could pop the corn kernels and then read one of the books while eating my popcorn.  Or maybe decor itself is useful.  It helps us feel connected to our home and generates feelings we are trying to portray with the decor we choose. Right?!?
  3. Adaptability to any cottage style – I think so.
  4. Budget friendliness – Ummmm, hello!  Besides the butternut squash, which we will be eating, nothing was spent specifically to put this look together.  I’ve never met a friendlier budget.  😉
  5. Quality of the project/craftsmanship – Have I mentioned that I made the floating shelf, too?  And it’s level.  :)
  6. Quality of the photos – There’s always room for improvement on this one, but I’ve seen much worse.  :)
  7. Entrant follows all party rules – check, check.

And a few more pics just for fun.
fall mantelfall mantel
Update: The leaf wreath tutorial is here.

What do you think?  Print worthy?  Too many weeds for one little mantel?  Just too early for fall decor?

Now, if you’re looking for something that says SUMMER, check out my 10 favorite FREE things to do here in Curacao.

And, I’ve got a couple of fun, and a little out of the norm, things for Monday and Tuesday.  Are you watching the Bachelorette?  Do you know the finale was filmed here in Curacao?  Do you know the show finale is Sunday night?  If you can, check it out … and then check in here Monday and Tuesday to see a closer look at a couple of things you see on the show!!!  I’m wicked excited about it.  :)

In the fall (when normal people do fall decor) I’ll be sharing this project here and at: BNOTP, DIY Show Off, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style and Craftaholics Anonymous.
fall mantel


  1. says

    Karah, you are too fabulous! I enjoyed reading your post. Your “If you like it then you shoulda put a cloche on it” made me laugh out loud. Thanks for sharing your talent and your humor by linking up to The “Autumn Décor” Talent Scouting Party at WhisperWood Cottage!

    • says

      Haha, I’m so glad you got a chuckle … I always so happy to be participating in your inspiring party. Thank you so much for hosting. :)

  2. says

    So i kinda love this mantle… like there’s a good chance that I’ll copy you come September. Hope that’s ok, but if it’s not, then you’re still in Curacao and I’m in SC and there’s really not much you can do about it… so there. :-)

  3. says

    I love your fall mantel! So pretty. And we saw Emily the Bachelorette in NYC at a show when we were there. People were all whispering and pointing. Oh the life of a TV star. :)

  4. says

    Karah your mantle looks amazing! I love the mix of colors..the natural elements with the pop of red and gold. And too funny…we are literally working on old wood stenciled signs right now and now I see you made them before I started reading your blog :) I can’t wait for the finale on Sunday, and I’m pretty sure I know what your post is, so congrats– can’t wait to see!

  5. says

    Check, check, check … send this post to print! I can’t imagine being able to pull off a fall mantle in the middle of July on a tropical island; think your Maine roots are showing {and lovely they are, not like dyed hair roots growing out,} That wreath made from, OK, we aren’t going to focus on what … each leaf is so precisely and perfectly placed and aligned with each adjoining leaf … Martha Stewart must be envious of that great crafting job. I look forward to reading about this mantle in print.

    Robin @

  6. says

    lol! Love Kelly’s comment, I was thinking the same thing!!!

    Love your mantel Karah. Very pretty. That piece of wood reminds me a whole lot of a small sculpture I saw in “the Birdcage” – ever seen that movie? lol

    I’m trying to recover from the lack of a foto friday as well… you sure know how to hit a girl when she’s down! :)


  7. andrea cammarata says

    what a fabulous mantel! kelly — hate to admit it but i was thinking the same thing!!! as always karah — everything you do has heart! hugs to all especially Micro : )

  8. says

    Your mantle is magazine ready. I love the wreath and the frame is perfect!

    Fingers crossed! I think you got this one :)


  9. says

    Oh my GOSH I have been craving fall. It’s my favorite anyway, but we haven’t seen a day under 100 in three weeks. I’m hot, and I’m tired of it… and I can’t wait for everything on your shelf. This was such a feast for my eyes today!

  10. says

    Karah, I read your post a couple of days ago {working on my autumn display too} but saw you little cloche with the cactus on A stroll thru life link party and had to come over and comment. The popcorn is my favorite part! How would ever think of using popcorn as a “base” for a cloche? I guess you would! Love it all.

  11. says

    Your mantel is beautiful. Love the gourd and the cup with the cacti is fabulous under a cloche. I am totally smitten with an apothecary jar full of corks, I filled one too. Beautiful display. Thanks so much for joining the party. Hugs, Marty


Let me know what you think!