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Rustic Chic Fall Mantel

You know it’s officially (almost) fall when the mantel is all decked out in leaves and pumpkins and burlap (oh my!).

And of course Oliver too.

He’s always hanging around up there.

oliver the deer fall mantel

I’m describing this year’s mantel as ‘rustic chic’ because it’s got all the rough textures I adore like straw, burlap and old paper.  And of course rich autumn colors like dark walnut, burnt orange and creamy white. Plus a little bit of bling thrown in for good measure.

aka design fall living room |

How to Get the Rustic Chic Fall Mantel Look

To make your own rustic chic fall mantel, you’ll need an assortment of fall decor items. My collection has taken several years to build up because I buy pieces here and there, one or two at a time.

For example, last year I bought two faux pumpkins (like the white one in the basket) instead of buying real ones. It cost a touch more than buying real ones of course, but the huge bonus to buying fake is that I can just pack ’em in a box and reuse them year after year.

So where do you begin?

The rustic chic mantel design is all about layering – just like what we all do with our outfits in the fall and winter.

fall mantel aka design

  1. The first step is to hang two differently shaped banners across the front of the mantel. If you want to use three or just one, that’s fine too. Secure the strings on top of the mantel with a little scotch tape. Tuck in any extra string in back. Click here for fall banner tutorial
  2. Lay a length of faux fall foliage across the top of the mantel at the back to give some fullness to the layers. These can be picked up at the dollar store, Walmart or Michael’s. Clearance sales are a great place to look for the next year.
  3. After that add in the ‘big’ pieces – such as the basket with large white pumpkin, sliver-framed print (available from Dear Lillie here) and mercury glass candlesticks. This is where it’s important to balance both the bling and the height on each side.
  4. Then it is just a matter of filling in the empty spaces with pumpkins, signs, candles and faux berries, etc. Click here for mini barn quilt tutorial, here for burlap wrapped vase and here for string art star tutorial.
  5. Paper leaves can be attached to white space on the wall using sticky tac to mimic blowing leaves. My leaves were cut out of Kraft paper on my beloved Silhouette.
  6. To get the best looking display, step back frequently to see how your design is shaping up. Don’t hesitate to move things around if it doesn’t look quite right the first (or second or even third) time around.


Click here for the harvest sign tutorial

For more of our mantels click here or for more fall crafts click hereOr come back next week for some fall vignette ideas and a free fall printable to get your home all cozied up for fall.

autumn living room rustic chic

Have a happy labor day weekend, friends!

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Student love

I found my style and was able to bring our small space together by creating a cozy and inviting home...

Danae C.

I loved the lesson on color theory, and also THAT YOU TOLD US EXACTLY WHAT ORDER TO DECORATE IN!

Erica L.

My ah-ha moment was when I realized how much time and money we have spent in the past couple of...

Cheryl P.

I love your easy process to determine my style. I've also learned that my style has changed over the years and seasons...

Sheryl R.

Your explanation of paint colors was the light bulb moment for me! Your explanation would have saved us from painting...

Pat Jensen