I love Halloween! I really do. It conjures up warm and fuzzy memories of trick-or-treating in a small town, homemade costumes, cool evenings, bonfires and crunchy leaves. To get ready for Halloween, I’m starting off a Spooktacular September series with some fun DIY decor ideas, easy no-sew tutorials, giveaways and free printables. Hope you’ll enjoy it!
I’m kicking off the series with what my friends and I think is one of the trickiest things to decorate. Mantels are always a bit intimidating to style, especially if you have a large or awkward mantel. So I’m sharing my favorite tried and true tips to help you get started and confidently put together a fun mantel for Halloween or any other holiday.
Get inspired. Check out your favorite magazines and peruse Pinterest to get some ideas from awesome bloggers. If you’re having trouble figuring out what you want to do, it is always a great place find some inspiration. Pin the mantels you like, study the details and then check out your supply of Halloween props or hit your local Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, JoAnn or home decor store for a few focal point pieces to make your own unique mantel.
Start with a large focal piece. It should be about two-thirds the size of the mantel itself. This can be a piece of art, or in my mantel’s case, a vintage window pane picked up from a flea market. Then comes the fun part of layering on additional elements in complementary colors or themes.
Follow the rule of three. Always try to group items in small groups of three with a large, medium and small item in each group. Groups of three are pleasing to the eye and add interest. Pumpkins, jars or candle sticks are great for this!
Add some framed art. It compliments your theme and colors, and adds visual interest. Art doesn’t have to be expensive. There is a lot of great and free art out there. Mix up the orientation, thickness or style of the frames. I added three framed pieces of art (one is a freebie below!) and two prints from The Graphics Fairy. The frames are all black, but I used different weights and styles to keep it from being too matchy-matchy. I stocked up on these frames from Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off.
Add your props. Throw in a few objects that compliment your theme, bring symmetry to your styled mantel and fill in any gaps. I used Paper Mache letters from Hobby Lobby I spray painted black and then glittered while the paint was still wet. Very inexpensive and adds big impact. I also added some paper bat silhouettes to bring symmetry around the mantel, a Halloween banner and a few random props like a spooky rat and a giant jar of sequined beads. Also, be sure to throw in something personal. For my kids, that haunted mansion on the right is something they love to see each year and my middle daughter loves owls, so they always make an appearance.
One great thing to keep in mind with a traditional orange and black color palette is that sticking with traditional orange pumpkins helps you easily transition into a Thanksgiving mantel. You can swap out the the bats for leaves, remove the Halloween props for some acorns and gourds, and then add some Thanksgiving or Fall-themed art for the next holiday season.
To be honest, I will probably revisit my Halloween fireplace mantel several times, adding or removing objects here and there, but right now I am actually pretty happy with this one for once. And now we really are excited for Halloween!
Download your free 8×10″ Halloween Art by Three Little Monkeys Studio