26 Fall Mantel Decorating Ideas for a Festive Display

Timeless Outdoor Mantel
Photo: Helen Norman

Snuggling up by the fireplace with a cozy blanket and a warm cup of apple cider is much better with an attractive mantel display. A festive fall mantel can turn your house into a home. Imagine your next family gathering with all of your guests surrounding beautifully arranged decor and the roaring fireplace dancing in the background. Designed for creating last memories, the family room or outdoor fireplace you adorned will be the perfect background to capture the moment. The decor you choose can be classic and timeless or change every year based on your creative whims, but this list of fall mantels has inspiration for everyone.

01 of 26

Hang a Burlap Banner

Burlap Banner Mantel
jane.com / Pinterest

Burlap banners wrapped across your living room mantel give the display a full, festive, and fun look. Just start a cozy fire, and you're all set. Make sure to hang the banner low enough to have a draping effect but high enough not to obstruct the view of the fireplace.

02 of 26

Try a Vertical Planter

Vertical Planter Mantel
Angela Darrah / Pinterest

Enjoy the wilderness in the comfort of your own home with this vertical planter. This decor is an earthy twist on the traditional fall mantel with a mixture of leaves, moss, candles, and wooden accents. The Halloween skulls look more sophisticated next to this modern display.

03 of 26

Accent with Candles

Candle Accent Mantel
@downgracelane / Pinterest

What's the best way to add a delicate and warm accessory to a fall mantel? Add some fall-scented candles, of course! Make sure to mix-and-match styles and sizes for an effortless look.

04 of 26

Let Fall Flowers Sprout

Fall Flower Mantel
Shelly B Home & Holiday / Pinterest

A mantel covered with stunning, fragrant flowers is a great way to liven up your space, especially when the weather begins to drop in temperature. Try an elegant arrangement or unique plant container for an extra pop of color. Classic fall flowers like mums or sunflowers always make a statement.

05 of 26

Silver and White Mantel

Silver & White Mantel
HGTV / Pinterest

Silver and white aren't just winter colors! The mixture of wooden accents, metallic pumpkins, and painted pinecones creates a modern look. Repurpose your favorite vases or ceramic pitchers to hold lighter wood branches or even DIY an arrangement for a fun fall craft.

06 of 26

Go for Pressed Leaves

Leaf Pressed Mantel
BH&G / Pinterest

Sometimes, less really is more. Complete your fall mantle with a sporadic combination of gorgeous yellow and orange pressed leaves displayed in glass frames. Your party guests won't want to stop looking.

07 of 26

Add Some Turquoise

Orange & Turquoise Mantel
DIY Showoff / Pinterest

Orange has staying power as a fall color staple. Turquoise can be the unexpected complementary color pop to energize your display. Establish a neutral space to offset these bold colors.

08 of 26

Barnyard Elegance

Southern Chic Mantel
Thistle Wood Farms / Pinterest

A crafty Southern-inspired mantel is complete with barnyard boards, backyard sticks, and autumn foliage. The neutral palette of this rustic space allows it to stay displayed for many months. By the time the Christmas season begins, you might never want to change this look.

09 of 26

Get Spooky

Halloween Mantel
Sweet Something Designs / Pinterest

Use some of your favorite Halloween decorations to make a festive fireplace mantel. This decorating display is ideal for any planning a Halloween party because you'll only need to set it up once. If you have a mirror or hanging artwork about the fireplace, drape some scary gauze over it to make your house look haunted.

10 of 26

Use Reclaimed Wood

Fence Post Mantel
The Olde Farmhouse / Pinterest

This display is sure to turn a few heads! Repurpose an old fence section for a fall fireplace mantel idea. Reclaimed wood adds a rustic charm to the area without much clutter—galvanized metal pairs well with this farmhouse look.

11 of 26

Try Chalkboard Art

Chalkboard Mantel
@erinscraftdays / Pinterest

As the season transitions from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas, so can your chalkboard mantel. The adorable setup is super easy to update to coordinate with the holidays. Write your favorite quotes or song lyrics on the chalkboard, or make it a family activity by adding details designed by everyone. A black and white color theme works well with this idea.

12 of 26

Stick to Harvest Colors

Harvest Color Mantel
FavoreStudio / Pinterest

This fall mantel idea is sophisticated and stylish. Just use red, orange, and brown hues to create an elegant display of harvest colors above your fireplace. The white-brick fireplace will highlight the season's best colors.

13 of 26

An Apple Orchard

Apple Orchard Mantel
Pretty Handy Girl / Pinterest

Using apples instead of pumpkins is an excellent approach to creating a non-traditional fall mantel display. Apples are perhaps a less referenced fall crop, but adding crisp fruits lining across the mantel is the quintessential autumn decor. The apples coordinate seamlessly with the harvest hues to harmonize the overall design.

14 of 26

Mix Unexpected Elements

Chestnut & Squash Mantel
Ryan Benyi / Pinterest

Dried squash and rosy chestnuts make this mantel display beautifully minimalistic. It's a timeless design using unexpected fall elements. Choose earthy colors that can complement a floral bouquet or other decor stored on the mantel.

15 of 26

Collect Vintage Frames

Vintage Frame Mantel
HGTV / Pinterest

Hanging vintage picture frames in various styles and sizes on the wall above your mantel adds an antique touch. The collection of mix-and-match pieces makes the space a comfortable, casual display. Use decor sparingly on the mantel so the frames can be the focal point.

16 of 26

Woodsy Mantel

Woodsy Mantel
Keith Scott Morton / Pinterest

This understated display highlights the natural beauty of the fall season. If you're hoping for a woodsy and classic fall-inspired mantle idea, this is for you. Add pine cones in with the wood logs for a visually electric mix.

17 of 26

Switch it Up

Orange & Berry Mantel
Robbie Caponetto

Oranges and berries are a delightful combination. They add a bit of variety to the typical fall mantel while staying true to the season's spirit. Adding pine cones or needles to the display helps balance the traditional elements from the new additions.

18 of 26

Display Holiday Photos

Holiday Photo Mantel
Landeelu / Pinterest

This stress-free mantel display keeps those beloved family photos in plain sight. Replace the photographs displayed year-round with more fall-inspired family images. Having this mantel may even inspire a new family photoshoot so you can change it with the seasons.

19 of 26

Spell it Out

Lettered Pumpkin Mantel
Greg Sargent / Pinterest

If you're hoping to be more crafty with your mantel display, a DIY project can be in your future. Create a lettered pumpkin display, find, purchase, or create letters to adhere to the pumpkins. Surround this word art with autumn leaves, and you'll have a masterpiece.

20 of 26

Keep it Timeless

Timeless Outdoor Mantel
Helen Norman

You can never go wrong with timeless fall decor. Flaunt your fireplace and mantle by trimming it with pumpkins, leaves, and gorgeous greenery. When you hear the fire crackling next to your new display, you are ready for your first mug of hot cider.

21 of 26

Craft Paper Flowers

Paper Flower Mantel
lifeisaparty.ca / Pinterest

Crafting a paper flower mantel display might take a little work initially, but this unique display will reward you with applause and praise. This fun activity can include the kids, or you can take a professional approach by learning how the experts fold these beautiful representational crafts. Either way, you will have a personal touch on your mantel.

22 of 26

Recycle a Wicker Basket

Wicker Basket Mantel
Thistle Wood Farms / Pinterest

It's an adorable solution to a common problem–too many wicker baskets and not enough places to put them! Hang a shallow wicker basket above your mantle with a few pieces of greenery and watch as it transforms into a lovely rustic design. The neutral background creates an empty canvas for your autumnal decor.

23 of 26

Add Rustic Wreaths

Rustic Wreath Mantel
Zillow / Pinterest

Wreaths aren't only for the front door. Try hanging a harvest-inspired wreath above your fireplace mantel for a complete rustic feel. The wreath can stay through winter if you switch out the trimmings.

24 of 26

Revitalize with Color

Vivacious Color Mantel
Holly Charlesworth / Pinterest

Fall mantel decorations don't always have to include standard harvest colors. Lively and vibrant mantel decor could be the statement your living room needs. Switch the traditional garland for something that coordinates with your existing room for a more sophisticated approach to holiday decor.

25 of 26

Focus on Artwork

Neutral Pumpkin Mantel Decor
Van Chaplin

Instead of looking for the perfect harvest garland, try finding a piece of artwork that harmonizes with the room while bringing festive energy to the space. Using neutral-colored pumpkins allows for more focus on the painting above the fireplace. Try finding art to enhance the calming effect of the fireplace, as most look for comfort when sitting near a fire.

26 of 26

A Coastal Compromise

The Paxton Mantel in Thomasville, GA
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

If you live near the ocean, decorating with traditional harvest leaves might feel a little inauthentic. Remedy this by swapping pumpkins for another classic food–an orange. Adding a hint of festivity to a mantle can transform it into a holiday centerpiece without overloading it with decor that does not match your home.

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