I was decorating the fireplace mantel in my living room last week for the fall season. I knew I didn’t want to change things too much from how I styled it over the summer since I liked the way it was decorated.
When it comes to decorating my living room for the change of seasons, I call my decorating efforts “restyling”. It’s all about keeping the basics and changing up a few decorative accessories. I also don’t buy “ready-made” decor; instead I like to make it myself.
I am a DIYer at heart. It started when I was a kid and wanted my Barbie doll to have pierced earrings. That wasn’t a thing you could buy at the time, so I made my own by using beaded end straight pins. In high school, I wanted a monogram on my tote bag and sewed it myself. It wasn’t perfect, but I was very happy with it. And that is all that matters – it is mine and I like it.
Before becoming a blogger, I worked in retail display. I had to come up with creative display ideas to promote the merchandise in the store where I worked. I enjoyed having to come up with creative ideas on a daily basis using only what was available in the store’s prop room.
Do you follow the Magnolia Home blog and watch the seasonal videos? Perhaps you have seen that they show how the display crew comes up with decorative ideas and then executes them to get the Magnolia Market at the Silos ready for each season. I love watching these videos. It is exactly what I used to do before starting this blog.
When I come up with ideas such as I do for my mantel decor every season, I first go up to my decor stash to choose a few items. Then I go into my display mode. I begin to play and move objects around until I like what I see.
Sometimes my playing takes me to my studioffice to change the paint color of an item or add a ribbon or embellishment of some kind. When I do this, I am in my element. It is not work, just creative time.
For my fall mantel this year, I pulled out three small chalkboards that I saved after we used them at my daughter’s wedding last year. I also found a clear glass wine bottle I saved from the recycling bin.
On the chalkboards, I normally would have simply drawn the words – It’s Fall Y’all with chalk (I live in the south now).
Unfortunately, the chalkboards were cheap and the surface slick and shiny and they didn’t take chalk very well. I could not get my chalk lettering to be vivid so I opted to make chalkboard looking printables on my computer. I then printed them out to place on top of each chalkboard. It was very easy.
About 28 years ago, I came upon a glass cabinet door in curbside trash. It was intact and I loved that every mullion was in place. I grabbed it, painted in navy blue and have been using it in different ways to decorate my house ever since.
At first I leaned the 3 chalkboards against the glass cabinet door and added the bottle, white pitchers, faux stems and dried stalks. I left the mantel like this for a day, but felt something was off.
I didn’t like all the white space above the frames. I thought the chalkboards would look better if they were centered on the mullions on the glass cabinet door.
I went to get Command Brand Strips from my studioffice to hang the frames from the center horizontal running mullion. I didn’t have enough so instead I used good ‘ole hot glue to attach the frames.
Hot Glue Tip: When using hot glue to attach a hanging object:
- Make sure glue is very hot.
- Apply it in a thick glob/dot, not a long thin line.
- As soon as you apply the glue, press the frame onto the wall or in this case the wood mullion on the cabinet door. Hold for a few seconds and then release.
These frames are lightweight and have now been hanging for a week. I love hot glue!
When it comes time to change the mantel decor for Christmas, I will simply snap the frames off. When I do this, some of dots of hot glue will be on the back of the frame and some or all may be on the cabinet door. Since I applied them in a glob/dot, I will be able to peel the glob off and leave no damage.
Any loose paint on the cabinet door might come off and I will have to touch up the cabinet door, but I am OK with that since who knows how I will next use the glass cabinet door.
Having a stash of decorative accessories, craft supplies, and a computer handy makes it all possible.
How to Use The Free Fall Printables
I used framed chalkboards to add the words It’s Fall Y’all. I used glue dots to attach each printable right over the chalkboard so it would still look like a chalkboard.
If you don’t have chalkboards, you can use any frame that has cardboard or glass in it. I will show you how to do this below.
- Window sash or glass cabinet door with mullions
- 3 chalkboards with wood frames or picture frames with cardboard or glass inserts
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks or Command Brand Picture Hanging Strips
- Free printable .pdfs: It’s / Fall / Y’all (below)
- Tape or glue dots
- Paper cutter or scissors
- White chalk
Chalkboard fall printables:
Print the free printables. Use your printer’s interface to size them before printing to fit your frame.
- Once ink is dry, rub the side of a piece of chalk over the paper, then gently rub a soft cloth over the chalk to soften the look to better resemble a chalkboard.
If using a frame, place the printable on top of the frame’s glass or cardboard and then reattach the back of the frame.
A faux chalkboard…. shhhh… no one will know the difference.
Restyling my mantel and living room for fall may take some effort, but it is worth it as I would miss not seeing fall colors and textures that make snuggling up by the fireplace on a fall afternoon with a soft cuddly blanket and a warm cup of apple cider that much better. :-)