Tutorial: 3 Easy DIY Fall Mantel Projects

In Mantel Decor by RichsHomeLeave a Comment

In our last post, we showed you how to design a simple, festive fall mantel.

Fall mantel decor

Today we get into the nitty-gritty – we’ll show you exactly how to create each item displayed on our sample mantel. You’ll learn how to create three items:

  1. Stacked herringbone pumpkins
  2. Shabby-chic reversible mason jars
  3. Washi tape pumpkins

Project #1: Stacked Herringbone Pumpkins

Stacked herringbone pumpkins

The first step in creating DIY stacked herringbone pumpkins is to get some Styrofoam mini-pumpkins at a dollar store. We found the skull (which we used for our gothic-glam Halloween mantel) in the same bin and gave it the same spray paint treatment with an off-white color that had a nice chalky finish. The nice thing about the herringbone pumpkins is they can go with a Halloween theme, generic fall, or Thanksgiving.

Pumpkins spray paint and skull

Pro Tip: to make your three pumpkins stackable, make sure you buy pumpkins you can remove the stem from. Two of these pumpkins are stemless making them easier to stack on top of one another.

Spray painted pumpkins

If you do use Styrofoam materials, you’ll probably need a few extra coats of paint, as Styrofoam is pretty absorbent.

To create the herringbone effect, you’ll need a paint pen.

Paint pen and white pumpkin

To do three pumpkins, we used about one and a half of these paint pens. We used copper, but there are all kinds of colors available. We like this metallic finish because it goes with a wide variety of designs.

To start, paint vertical lines all the way around the pumpkin.

Painted pumpkin step 1

Rule of thumb for free-handing these lines: err on the side of keeping your lines farther apart. Too close together and things start to look over-crowded.

Your herringbone lines come next. Start at a center line and draw your diagonal lines out from there in inverse directions—forming a point at the center line. Work out from there, trying to keep your lines spaced evenly all the way around as they will need to meet up with your original lines.
Repeat on all three pumpkins.

Painted pumpkin step 2

Pro Tip: you don’t need to push as hard as you think you’ll need to with the paint pens. The harder you push, the harder you’ll make it. Keep light pressure, especially if you are working with Styrofoam.

Once your pumpkins are decorated, simply stack them and hot glue them together. We also colored the stem of our top pumpkin copper, but that’s up to you. It could be left white.

Fall Mantel 5

This one is not a quick project as it does take some concentrated time to get all those lines drawn, but it’s incredibly easy.

Project #2: Shabby-Chic Reversible Mason Jars

Our reversible cut-out mason jars are next, and this project is a little more laborious, but we love the final product.

Fall mason jars 2

On the other side of the jars, the same jars spell the word “NOEL.”

Noel mason jars

Along with our reversible burlap banner, these jars are great staples to make a simple transition from fall to Christmas décor.

Thankful Banner

The first step of this project is to find a pattern and a font you want to use. We used the Foglightenboom font and found a free printable chevron pattern on Pinterest. We went with red and gold because that was an easy combination to make work both for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

F on paper

We used regular printer paper, since scrapbooking paper can be a little heavy to use with this project. Print your word and patterns, then trace the letter on the patterned paper and use an exact-o knife to cut the letter out from the center of your paper:

F cutout

Center your letter on the flat part of a mason jar, making sure you have it situated vertically on the jar so the paper covers at least part of the neck of the jar. It doesn’t matter as much if you have a lot of extra on the bottom, but you don’t want it to go too high or too low on the top of your jar. Once you have it situated, use mod podge to stick it on really well.

F wrapped around jar

Because you’re working with a cylindrical shape, the paper will fold over on itself on the top and bottom, and that’s fine. Start brushing from the flat center of the jar and the paper will naturally fold itself into a sort of gathered fold around the neck and the bottom of the jar.

After your get the first side done, let it sit and dry thoroughly. You can move onto your next jar and do the first side of all four or wait a few hours and come back when the mod podge is clear and dry.

When it is dry, simply repeat those steps on the other side of the jar. Your two sheets of paper don’t have to match up exactly, but if you cut your second sheet of paper down to the right size before you trace your letter, it makes it easier to be more precise with the second side.

After both sides dried, we wrapped twine around the neck of the mason jar. You could use burlap or any number of other decorative strings or ribbons.

F on jar with wrapped lid

The nice thing about using a “topper” is that is hides the awkward transition where your paper ends at the top of your jar so you don’t have to worry about being too precise with your paper placement. We just dabbed some hot glue on the spot where our string ended and tucked the end away.

Here’s the N on the reverse side of our “F” jar:

N on jar with wrapped lid

When all your jars are finished, place tea lights inside and enjoy the cozy glow of your finished holiday project.

Fall Mantel 4

Project #3: Washi Tape Pumpkins

Our final project is the washi tape pumpkin, and it is almost too simple to require a tutorial.

Two taped pumpkins
We bought a package of washi tape (decorative masking tape) on Amazon. There are lots of colors and patterns to choose from.

Start by placing the end of the tape at the base of the pumpkin’s stem, and wrap it all the way around the pumpkin, finishing at the opposite side of the stem.

One taped pumpkin

Turn the pumpkin 90 degrees and repeat. Then again at 45 degrees.

If you want these to last forever, you could cover the whole pumpkin in a layer of mod podge. We didn’t because we want to be able to change it up in years to come.

There you have it! Three simple, versatile crafts to take your mantel through the holiday season in style.

In our next tutorial, we’ll show you how we transition this colorful fall mantel to an understated winter wonderland mantel.

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