3 Really Unique Things to Add to Your Fall Mantel

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Looking to freshen up your fall mantel? Check out three of my favorite unique things to bring texture and character to your fall mantel decor!

Mantel…mantle…I discussed the history of it HERE.  But no matter how you spell it, they are FUN to decorate!

And if you don’t have a mantel, don’t worry!  You can take these same ideas and use them for different spaces, such as bookshelves or entryway tables.

Fall is an especially fun time to decorate.  Believe it or not, I only have a couple bins of fall decor and part of that is party things for the kiddos that I’ve used for school events over the years.  One thing I love about fall is that the colors lend themselves so easily to mixing in the old and new, blending in the vintage patinas I love, and finishing it all off with natural elements.

While there are about as many ways to decorate a mantel as there are mantels in the world, I like to think of each styling as an opportunity to create something fun and different.  I like to think outside the box a little for my mantel styling but there are literally so many great ideas out there.  In the comments, be sure to leave your favorite thing to use on your fall mantel and we can all inspire each other!



Here are a few of my favorites:

3 Unique Decor Things to Style Your Fall Mantel

#1: Try stoneware on your fall mantel

Last week, I shared crocks and stoneware for my Friday Favorites.  You can catch a tour of some of my favorite pieces on my Instagram highlights too.

I always love finding and using great vintage pieces.  When I came across a set of vintage crocks and pottery pieces on the World’s Longest Yard Sale, they were just too good of a deal to pass up.  I love how they all looked together and there is something about the warm, earthy tones of old pottery that blends beautifully with the fall color tones.

When I hear “vintage crock”, I tend to think of the really huge ones (which are also fantastic for fall and winter decor) but definitely do not work on a mantel.  They can be beautiful for a hearth but the small ones can add a lot of texture and dimension to the mantelpiece as well!

Working with the decor triangle concept of decorating in three’s, I used three of the pottery pieces on my fall mantel this year.  I used some vintage books to vary the height of two of them at one end and used the third one as a book end on the other side of the mantel.


Mixed with more traditional elements, such as brass candlesticks, the vintage crocks and pottery pieces can really add extra depth and character to the mantel styling without being overwhelming.  Since they are most often found in neutral tones, they can easily complement a range of fall color palettes.


If you do not have a mantel to style, try using some crocks, stoneware, or pottery on a bookshelf.  They are usually heavy enough to make great bookends and can add a unique shape to an otherwise boxy space.

Check out this post for more shelf styling ideas for fall too!


I left my crocks empty, but they can be a great opportunity to put a cute fall stem too!

The great news this fall is that vintage-style pottery and crocks are trending.  If you don’t have vintage ones, you’re in luck!  There are some really budget friendly ones available. I  particularly love the pretty fall tones of THIS ONE and the neutral color of THIS ONE can blend anywhere and be used year round!

Also keep an eye out at thrift stores and flea markets.  You may find a great piece!  If you don’t like the color, try painting it for an afternoon DIY!

#2: Try dried gourds on your fall mantel


They are my favorite natural element to use in my fall decor!

It’s true.  I have two big trash bags full of them that I store carefully in the attic and if I find more that I love this fall, I’ll have no shame in adding a third bag!  There are so many fun ways to style them all around your home for a really natural look.

I also love that dried gourds add a great touch of fall color and patina without being too “perfect”.

While I love using real pumpkins, they can get expensive and dried gourds are a great option instead of having real pumpkins coming out my ears (and out of my wallet) when it comes time for fall decorating!

There are different kinds of dried gourds and lots of different sizes (which is why I like to have lots of options…haha!)  They look pretty laying in a bowl or basket or used on tablescapes.  I created a DIY centerpiece and used several of my large gourds and dipper gourds like THESE and THESE!


For a fall mantel, I like to use some of the medium and small gourds to set on or beside a stack of vintage books, line them up as a focal point, or tuck into an arrangement like I did with my French lavabo last fall!


No matter how you style dried gourds on your fall mantel, it will be beautiful!  That’s what I love about using them; you can style them elaborately or simply and they are beautiful.  Dried gourds are a perfect way to get a soft, organic look for your fall decor.

#3 Try adding some brass quail on your mantel.


Why?  Let me try to explain!

So I actually did a google search to try and get some kind of scientific reason why I think of quail as a fall bird.  No luck. Haha!

I guess the main reason is because I grew up in Kansas and the quail hunting season always started right before Thanksgiving.  What can I say?!

The more decor-related reason must be due to the soft, neutral colors and warm tones of feathers.

Too much of a stretch?!

Just trust me.

The cute, little brass quail will bring a lovely combination of vintage, nature, and metallic element that will blend beautifully with fall decor!

They make the perfect “shelf sitters” and I love to set them on or beside a vintage book, nestled with some brass candlesticks, or tucked under a cloche.  A vintage brass quail is a great item for a fall mantel because it can be that “unexpected” structural element that really completes a mantel vignette!

I hunt for quail a little differently than some of my fellow Kansans on Thanksgiving weekend.  I look for them at antique malls, flea markets, and thrift stores. I rounded up some really beautiful ones for you online too, and you can find them HERE and HERE!  I especially love that cute family of four!

Now it’s YOUR turn!  I’d love to hear your favorite things to use on your fall mantel.  There are so many wonderful options out there: fall garlands and stems, vintage books, vintage art, signs, baskets, mirrors…the list could go on and on!

What’s your favorite OR what would you like to try differently this year?

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  















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