How to Style an Elegant Fall Mantel

No plush scarecrows on this fall mantel display. Use natural materials, seasonal shades, and DIY accents to create gorgeous fall mantel decor.

Welcome the season with a bright, cheerful fall mantel display curated with a minimalist approach. Forgo the clutter found in the holiday aisle and instead add subtle nods to fall foliage and nature with these fireplace mantel ideas. Let the kids get in on the fun by helping you string a DIY garland across your mantel, or design your very own wreath to showcase above. Learn how to create a fabulous fall mantel display complete with harvest motifs and autumn craft projects, below.

Fall Foliage

A full, lush garland is more appropriate for winter than fall, so get inspired by autumn foliage for your garland as the trees start to lose their leaves. Begin the first layer of your fireplace mantel decor with a thin bed of green leaves. Cut from faux branches or the real-deal; faux greenery is easy to come by and looks beautiful, especially against a stark white backdrop. Then add pops of color with a layer of bright yellow, red, and orange leaves. Use the foliage to build up bare areas and artfully drape around larger items. 

Patched Together

A traditional fall mantel may feature pumpkins, but as you stock up on large carving pumpkins, consider all the types of pumpkins available. Smaller options are less expensive and come in a variety of colors including orange, white, and even green. Choose pumpkins that range in size for a layered look, and look for those with long, curvy stems. If kept uncarved, pumpkins and gourds will look great all season long. 

No-Fuss Fall Wreath

Can't wait until winter to hang up your seasonal wreath? No need to wait any longer, because fall wreaths can be just as festive and more appropriate for the cooling weather. Store-bought wreaths work fine, but to get decor that truly matches your display of elegant fall decorations, it's best to make it yourself. By starting with a simple grapevine wreath from your local crafts store, you can build layers of wheat, faux fall flowers, leaves, berries, and more until you have the look of your dreams.

Layered Look

Here's how to style a mantel with garlands: Bring some texture to your fall mantel design by layering two DIY garlands for one cohesive look. We draped a beaded garland across the mantel followed by an adorable string of acorns. By placing the minimalistic beads in back, the acorns are the star of the show. Both of these projects look good on their own, but together, they're festive as can be. Start your fall crafting now by making this garland of beads or leather acorn banner

Fill in the Blanks

Once you have the main components of your mantel set, fill in the gaps with various fall decor items. On the left, we placed simple white pillar candles on top of short white birch logs to complete this fall mantel idea. When working with candles and decor, we always recommend using LED or flameless candles for safety. Balance tall items with layered empty frames, which add subtle rustic style.


  1. not for me. too plain, too cheap, too bland.

  2. Sorry but this is not elegant. It's not even cute. Maybe for 1 st graders in classrooms but not for homes.

    1. Wow, you people are so negative. So it's not your style, get over yourself and move on!

    2. Take out the silly empty picture frames, remove the simplistic "garland", put a little color in the wreath to make it cohesive, and it would be just "OK". I wouldn't want to move all those leaves to dust. You can come up with something much better!

    3. have to agree,seems cheap

    4. Same....i think it's the fat 1st grader acorns

    5. Those were my thoughts exactly!

  3. Any suggestions for a mantel fit in a corner? I need new ideas!

  4. i think this is a great idea for first time home buyers on a budget or for people that don't want to spend a whole day getting their mantel just right. let's face it, not alot of people have alot of time or money to invest in getting the "home beautiful" award. as a small change, i think i would use colored pic frames just to keep the pic frames from looking washed out against the wall. this also gives a great baseline for people not so great with decorating. everyone has to start somewhere!

    1. Good point. Should have had a title other than Elegant.

  5. Wow, what a bunch of haters!!!

    1. I wasn’t impressed with the mantle either. I’m not a “hater”. Constructive critique can provide positive outcomes.

    2. I guess giving an honest opinion is not allowed anymore?

  6. It’s a very simple way to create a fall mantel. I specifically looked at this section to see what it contained. It was a little disappointing. That’s only my opinion, which everyone is entitled to 😐

  7. Elegant is not the word I would use, quick and easy is more like it.

  8. I see nothing elegant here. Very disappointing. You’ve done much better in the past.

  9. Have to agree, fairly cheap looking mantel decor. Have seen much better in the past from your magazine.

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