How To Create A Beautiful Autumnal Mantel Display

 Beautiful Autumnal Mantel 

October 6, 2016

   To those who are observant, the inspiration for beautiful displays is all around us. Let’s walk through just ‘How To Create A Beautiful Autumnal Mantel Display’.

    Lots of times, inspiration is the beginning of a creative project.  This mantel display with pumpkins and gourds was no exception.  Although I liked what was on the mantel before, I really love this display.

   The summer mantel decor was taken down in the beginning of September and the angel, birds, and the fall berries, nuts, and silk leaves were added to the brass urn.  This made a nice understated arrangement.


   On our trip through Southern Indiana, I saw a really nice autumn arrangement at a restaurant where we stopped.  With my phone, I took a picture from across the room.  It’s nice to have a camera ready to record ideas, isn’t it?

   The picture was pretty grainy and not very clear, but you can make out most of the items in the display.   It just looked lovely.   My eye was drawn to it and I was inspired.  

    As we made our way back to Kentucky, I began to think of what fall flowers, pumpkins, and gourds we had stored away in bins.  

  The angels and the birds were removed from the display.   I really liked the blue in the vases against the oranges of the pumpkins so I decided to leave them.   Even though there was not a brass urn in the inspiration piece, I decided to leave it, too. Remember, you shouldn’t follow an inspiration exactly!  It’s an inspiration, not a replica.

    Those 3 pieces and the clock on the wall gave the foundation for the display.  I began to place the larger pumpkins and gourds on the fireplace mantel around those items.   

    Next, the smaller pumpkins were placed around larger pumpkins and the five sunflowers were added.  *The cork frogs helped to vary the height of the sunflowers to the right of each of the vases.

   When placing objects in a display, remember the negative space around those items.  If you begin at the left of the mantel, your eye goes up and down, back up and down again across the entire mantel.  The negative space around the items is interesting, too.  If everything had been placed at the same height, it would be less interesting and the space around the items would be flat.

    The large pumpkin on the right is bigger around but only about 4″ high.  It was leaned against the wall to give more interest.  You can imagine it would not do a whole lot visually if it had been placed upright.  Several of the smaller pumpkins and gourds were tilted and supported by the Spanish moss.

      The display ended up having a triangular composition as indicated by the broken lines.  I think it actually looks better than the inspiration piece.

     Monday, I had picked up a bunch of sunflowers and some curly things that would give a unique look as filler.   The curly part had wire in it so it could be manipulated, but the whole thing together was just too much.  If the pick is too big, you can disassemble it to spread it throughout the entire display or arrangement.

   After removing the floral tape and the paper-wrapped wire holding them together, you can see three stems were left intact.

   Those picks of  ‘curly things’ were added all along the display.  You can see that if the two original picks had been used whole, they would have been overwhelming.

    At first, the plan was to use a few silk mums, but getting them to stand up was an issue.  I thought about styrofoam, floral foam, and thought a small piece of either of those would not be sturdy enough to hold the flower.  Then, I had an idea.  We have quite a few wine corks accumulated.  In an earlier post on “How To Make A Valentine Heart From Wine Corks”, I also shared that I had used wine corks to create small lifts to raise potted plants to the right level in a more decorative container.

*    Fifteen of the wine corks glued together with Tacky Glue worked perfectly! After gluing them together, wrap a rubber band or two around the corks until the glue has dried.   You can see it holds the flower upright firmly.  Dang!  I am going to use that trick again!


   To hold some of the smaller stemmed flowers, gluing five corks together worked just as well.  I even stacked these smaller ones on top of the others for a little more height!


   The cork “stem holder, or frog,” was placed toward the back and to the right of the vase.  It was heavy enough to hold the flower even though I bent it over and leaned it forward.  This worked perfectly!

   Covering up the “cork frog” and the stems of the curly thing with Spanish moss was easy.  The moss was tucked here and there all across the mantel. 

   The space under the urn seemed lacking.  A couple more of the smaller gourds were traded out with some of the other small pumpkins and moved around until I was happy with their placement.


   The stems with small flowers were placed throughout the display to add just a little more interest.

How To Create A Beautiful Autumnal Mantel Display on

   Maybe this will inspire you and now you know another method of “How To Create A Beautiful Autumnal Mantel Display!



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