Fall is here!

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Lately around here we’ve been cleaning out our closets, truly. I took a large bag of donations over to Good Will just yesterday. While our closet is still a work in progress, it was starting to get a little stuffy in there so I took a bit of a break to “Fallify” our living room, since it’s actually October now and I can let my decorating juices flow freely. And our mantle needed a bit of a refresh anyway, in the form of a seasonal switcheroo!

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So, as you can see, it was looking a little rough, plain Jane, what have you. Just a smattering of photos with a few nick-knacks I had picked up over the past couple of years. It’s way past time for us to switch it up!

DSC_0015First things first, I need to start with a clean slate. Or, an almost clean slate. Our mantle is also home to our center speaker for our surround sound, so that guy gets to stay right there, but other than the speaker, I cleaned house so to speak. I also made sure to give it a quick wipe down with my pal Mr. Clean and his magic eraser!

Since we have a TV hanging above the fireplace, I didn’t want to add anything too flashy or shiny that could distract from the vast amount of TV watching we do in our house. Keep it simple. That’s what I was thinking while I was trying to do this… P.S. This is the first time I have ever had the chance to style a mantle (!!!)

I broke this process down into a few steps, just like styling a bookshelf which I have done plenty of times before. For the next step (the first being clearing off the mantle), I had to decide what my statement pieces were going to be. They couldn’t be too large or distracting since there is a TV on a hinge right above it, but intriguing enough to catch the eye.

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The large vase on the right, we were able to pick up for $6.99 and fill it with some lovely fake pumpkins for another $6.99 (for a pack of 8 or so) from Old Time Pottery. The copper-looking lantern on the right that I absolutely love, love, love, was $13.99 (also from Old Time Pottery). The lantern also lights up and casts some pretty awesome shadows around the room, which I consider to be the sprinkles on top.

Usually statement pieces are supposed to be large and eye catching, but the whole swiveling TV makes that hard to do, so I opted to pick pieces that catch your eyes because of their detail, not their size and I think it worked pretty well for this set up.

duringMy next step was to find items (either out shopping, or from within our home) with similar textures and colors. So in my mantle, there were nice warm tones of orange and copper, with a little bit of green thrown in there (of course!). The books I pulled from our collection pick up on the warm tones in the pumpkins, as well as the yellow candle that usually lives on our mantle. The green vases also pull out some of the green details and tones in some of the gourds as well. I picked them up at Big Lots for $4 and $6 (a steal if you ask me!)

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After I got everything situated where I thought I wanted everything, I add some contrast! And by contrast, I mean pine cones! I picked up some decorative and unscented pine cones for $2.00 at Meijer’s that I wanted to use to bring some contrast to the orange and yellow tones of the books and gourds. I filled an empty mason jar with them and sprinkled them across the mantle in little nooks and crannies.

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Finally, my last piece of advice: just have fun with it! It’s going to be in your living room, in your home, so I think it should reflect you and your tastes. Those ceramic owls up there? Other than being kind of fall-y, I seem to have a small collection of ceramic owls, and I just love them and I want to show them off! What better way than on our mantle?

afterOh! One last piece of advice, you may just want to play around with things for a while before you are set with a particular layout. I think if I do another seasonal mantle update I will do a video, because it’s a lot easier to see how much I played with the items on the mantle before I was set on a layout. Just play with it a bit, that’s all I’m saying.

So. To recap, here are the steps:

  1. Start with a clean slate! Empty off that mantle to get your decor juices flowing
  2. Pick statement pieces! Either large or attention grabbing, or detailed and attention grabbing
  3. Find similar textures and tones! Tie pieces together with similar color and texture
  4. Add some contrast! Either with pops of color or adding a contrasting color to the grouping, think pine cones!
  5. Lastly, have fun! It’s your place, it should reflect you!

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But that’s not all that we did to fallify our place for this wonderful season. During one of our adventures to Meijer, we picked up this paper pumpkin in the Halloween aisle. I was sold. Everything usually has a Jack-o-Lantern face on it, or something “spooky” written on it so when I found this puppy, I knew it had to be mine!

I knew almost immediatly that this little punkin was destined to be one of those awesome book page pumpkin. But I just couldn’t bring myself to deconstruct one of our books, and I wasn’t about to drive across town to pick up a 50 cent book just to tear it apart. So I decided that I would use the next best thing. A newspaper!

projectAll I used for this project was some Modge Podge, a paint brush, some newspaper tearings, and of course my little pumpkin! I basically just followed the instructions on the bottle and applied some Modge Podge to the pumpkin first. I then took my newspaper clipping and layed it over top and using more Modge Podge, I brushed the clipping onto the pumpkin.

PicMonkey CollageI continued this process until the pumpkin was completely covered in newspaper clippings. I didn’t add anything to the stem, since it’s usually the a different color from the pumpkin and thought the brown was just fine. I then waited several hours for the Modge Podge to dry completely. I used a bit of Modge Podge for this and it was quite saturated.

DSC_0074Later that night, when it was completely dry I took a bit of white lace ribbon that I had on hand and tied it to the stem for a final little touch and put it in place.

DSC_0076I love all the little wrinkles and imperfections from the Modge Podge’d newspaper. And the lace just adds a bit of whimsy if you ask me.

DSC_0080Just perfect!

We had one more touch to our little fall-ification around here and that was of course, a real live pumpkin! Although, I’m really not a fan of carving them because they just don’t last, I’m always on the lookout for some simple way to dress up a pumpkin. And this year’s might be my favorite to date.

DSC_0086A simple bow. In green. And, the pumpkin should last longer since it’s not being cut into or otherwise messed with. At least I keep telling myself this because I want it to last for a while at least!

None of this Halloween spooky black, orange, and white. I chose the green because 1) It’s both of our favorite color and 2) It’s a lovely contrast with the orange of the pumpkin. Who decided that black and orange were the only colors for fall? I’ll be over here, adding green to everything, don’t mind me! 🙂

posedAnd then we posed Levi with our MSU gnome. Yes, yes, this really happened.

Maybe some day Josh will let me bring more pumpkins home… maybe some day!

So that’s how we have given our little home a seasonal refresh! Now I’m brainstorming our winterscape….. as I am going through boxes in our over flowing closets… How have you folks been gearing up for the holidays? Any crafting, DIY-ing, or baking going on out there? Some one must be baking something delicious out there, based on the sudden surge of pumpkin recipes that have taken over Pinterest! Seriously folks, I’m curious to know!

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