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Free Fall Decor and Printables

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Decorating a fireplace mantel can be done practically for free when you repurpose items and use free printables.

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.

DIY fall mantel decorating ideas using repurposed items

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.

Storage shelves in attic

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.

craft room in house

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.

It's Fall Y'all decorated mantel

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.

affordable fall mantel decorating ideas using repurposed items

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.

Much better!

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.
How to hang photo frames on a window.

These frames are lightweight and have now been hanging for a week. I love hot glue!

How to hang a picture frame on a window

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.

supplies needed:

  • 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
Free fall printables 8 x 10 for the home or farmhouse that say, It's Fall Y'all.

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.
Print out of free fall chalkboard printables for Fall

If using a frame, place the printable on top of the frame’s glass or cardboard and then reattach the back of the frame.

Free fall printable that says Fall in a wood 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. :-)

Free Fall Printables that say It's Fall Y'all
Free Fall Printables It's Fall Y'all on a white mantel with fall decorations around it.

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11 Comments

  1. I so agree with you about centering the chalkboards. The extra white space above would have driven me totally crazy. Your ideas are always inspiring and you are no doubt the most talented DIY blogger I follow. Looking forward to seeing what you do with that mullioned door frame for Christmas.

  2. Love the print outs and the ‘chalk styling’
    I must admit, I don’t decorate for the seasons at all, but I do enjoy seeing what you do for each of them.
    I have 2 windows/cabinet doors with old wavy glass in them. The old white paint on one of them looks pretty rough. It never occurred to me that I ‘was allowed’ to paint it. The other is plain beautiful old wood. Blue would be very nice.

  3. Very cute! My style is not as farmhouse as yours however I love the look. I also re-style instead of making major seasonal changes. I moved some wood elements to the coffee table vignette and moved a few other pieces from one place to another. The changes are subtle but the give a nod to the change of seasons. In Southern Ca our September “fall” weather means highs in the 80’s so I’m not ready to toss the fur throw on the sofa!

  4. Thank you for the cute printables. I wouldn’t have thought to rub the chalk over the printed paper! Mind blown ? . I’m going to try it ?. I like to decorate like you…it may take a few try’s before I am totally happy with the look.

  5. I like very much your fall decor, it’s simple and different from anybody else. These days everybody is decorating with neutral colors, to me that is not Autumn, thank you for being different.