I typically browse blogs and pinterest to get inspiration before I plunge into some form of decorating and holy moly did I develop some serious fall mantle envy!
My absolute favorite and the main inspiration for my current mantle was this amazing light, bright, and fall foliage inspired mantle from The Frugal Homemaker from last year.
Although I could never cover up the floor in front of the fireplace as it's one of Bears favorite napping spots!
I also love this simple, chic mantle scattered with fall leaves and faux pumpkins and acorns from Adventures in Decorating in 2012.
I've also been crushing hard on this thanksgiving/fall inspired mantle on my houzz page since 2010. I love how earthy and natural all of the elements are. You can see the details at It's the little things that make a house a home.
All of these gorgeous bloggers welcoming spaces made me yearn to officially decorate (since the last time was just a half hearted rapid-fire decorate before Shaun comes home and asks me what I'm doing type of styling.
Joann Fabrics has a store nearby that is closing and almost all of their fabric is 50% off with fall decor and other miscellaneous things being 33% off. I decided to swing by after having lunch nearby with a friend to see if I could snag some great fabric for my chairs I'm planning on reupholstering as well as some discounted fall flare to spice up my home. When I arrived, this was the sad state the store was in:
The entire place looked like a crime scene (and some of it smelled like one too). It looked like a scene from a post apocalyptic zombie movie. I half expected a filthy teenager cowing behind a rack of tattered vinyl to jump out at me with a crowbar. Thus the reason I never got a cart (you gotta be fast on your feet during the zombie apocalypse)
Even though the place was a sad mess, I still found some nice fall things to help with my decorating urges and although I found a fabric I liked for the chairs, I'm hoping that it will be discounted again in the future as even being 50% off you have to buy the entire bolt.
So this is what I ended up with when I got home. I will admit that I didn't straighten up the mantle before I snapped these pictures as I had already steadied myself on a wobbly stool (not smart kids, don't do that) to snap the pictures before I realized the decorative spray was a little wonky. But you get the gist, right? The thing is, out mantle is pretty large, it's taller than me by a few inches and is about 8 feet across. Thus why I always end up shoving a bunch of large bulky items up there to counter mass of the thing. Shaun hates bulky stuff. In fact, he hates decor stuff in general. Did I tell you when we first started dating he didn't even have a coffee table? Just a sofa, the chair that came with the sofa and a tv. He was perfectly content with that, so you see my struggle with decorating the house.
I would have preferred to have a few leaf garlands sprawling all over the top of the mantle but for Shaun;s sake I kept it simple and just had the two hanging over the ends. They were both originally $7.99 and were 33% off so I managed to snag both for around $9.
The pitcher I typically use for sweet tea, but since I have another one, this one would sit in the back of a cabinet hiding away from everyone and I thought that was just a shame. I threw a dollar tree leaf garland around it and shoved some brownish wheat type stuff I got last year inside of it to give it some height. The wine bottles are, well, wine bottles that I spray painted white and wrapped with some leftover burlap and brown sack ribbon I had from my front door wreath. I got the red berry spray from AC Moore who is converting to an outlet so it ended up costing me $.50 each.
The grapevine balls were another thing I snagged at Joannes at $5 for both. The wreath is leftover from a few years ago and I threw another dollar store garland around it to get my fall foliage fix in. I made the fall banner with some chevron striped burlap I got at Joannes for $1.
The pumpkin bin was from AC moore and I think I got it for $4, the one above it lights up with little twinkly lights and it's from last year.
So I guess you could say I got to decorate the mantle for around $20 this year with the use of some older stuff I had, up cycling some old wine bottles and getting a few things on sale. I'm pretty happy with my $20 mantle, although Shaun still insists it's too much. I can't wait to have a fire in the fireplace, sipping hot cocoa and being snuggled up under a blanket on the sofa. So what do you think? Too much stuff? Should I tone it down for Christmas? (yeah right, like that's gonna happen)