Minimal Fall Mantel Ideas

Do you love when the weather changes and there is a chill in the air? I find it hard to decorate for fall when it’s still in the mid 90s. Now that it’s finally cool in Dallas it’s time to break out a few things to make it feel a little like fall.

simple fall mantel

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars or hours of time giving your home a touch of fall. Here are some small ways that you can decorate your mantel for fall.

If you don’t have a mantel, the same ideas will work on any flat surface, a table or bookshelf. Pick one place to do some small seasonal decorating on a budget. It will make your home feel like it’s almost time for Halloween, fall and cooler weather. You don’t have to decorate a lot, even just a few small touches will do the trick.

What Makes Great Fall Decor

What gives a space a fall feeling are the colors of fall. Fall decor can be anything that has an earthy tone. The colors of fall are the colors of the outdoors, rich browns, creams, warm yellows and orange. If you hate orange, you don’t have to decorate with orange to get a fall feeling. You want to incorporate things from nature that remind your eye of the changing season.

My recipe for fall has four ingredients: fall foliage, copper, candles and wood. Fall foliage can be a bales of hay or a sprig of cotton, fall leaves, a bundle of wheat or a dried wreath. For the wood ingredient I like to use any accessory that is wood like a wood tray, wood paddle, wood frame or a wood box.

I like to use copper, because it’s orangie (but not bright orange). And finally, candles give it that warm glow, even if you don’t light them.

Where to Find Fall Decorations

Maybe you don’t want to spend a lot of money on seasonal decorations. I know I don’t like to spend much when it’s something that I only use for a few months a year. If you really want to save money you can get all your fall decor from the great outdoors. You can break off a branch from a fall looking tree or get some dried leaves or use dried flowers.

My favorite places to find inexpensive seasonal decor are Target, Etsy and flea markets. I love going to flea markets just to see what’s there. It gives me so many ideas even if I don’t buy anything.

It’s a little trickier on Etsy because you have to know what you want to buy or it can take a long time. For example, it’s a great place to go if you know you want a wreath, you can shop for “fall wreath”.

Fall Foliage

If you don’t want to gather it from nature (as I don’t) you can buy faux branches for between $5 and $10 that you can reuse every year. I like the faux branches at Target and Pier1. They are inexpensive and nice looking. You would be surprised what a difference even just one or two sprigs can make in a prominent place.

copper accessories

Because copper has a warm tone to it, it’s a very fall looking material. Copper used to be prohibitively expensive but now you will find very affordable copper at Target and everywhere at flea markets. I found the copper kettle at an “antique” store in Arkansas for $15 and the copper mugs at Target for $10 each.

wood accessories

I have a few wood boxes that I inherited from my mom. These give me the touch of wood that is part of my fall recipe. I also have a large wood mirror (but that sucker is too heavy to move seasonally).

I sound like a broken record, but I love Target, Etsy and flea markets for wood accessories. Flea markets are probably the best places to get a bargain.

Candles for fall

I’m not sure if anyone else has this problem, but my husband HATES candles. He thinks I’m going to burn down the house so I have them, but they are very rarely lit. The new faux flicker candles look so real you will be fooled, especially the ones that are made of real wax vs plastic. They are widely available on Amazon at reasonable prices.

I found the candle sconces at my fireplace at a flea market. They were painted white, but I used graphite chalk paint to make them black. Regular candle sticks are easier to find. I like to use black or wood to keep the fall feeling.

What Next

If you want to make your mantel or tabletop look like fall, try following this simple fall recipe. All you need is four elements to make your home feel like autumn: A spring of fall foliage, a piece of copper, wood accessories and candles. This combination makes the space feel cozy and in season.

simple fall mantel

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