Halloween Mantel Makeover

A Halloween fireplace mantel makeover from Farmhouse38.comLet me start by saying that our living room mantel situation is and always has been kind of the bane of my existence. I am a big fan of the fireplace. In fact, this is the first house that we’ve even had one in (and we had to put it in) and I was SO excited for that mantel to decorate! But you know what I am not a big fan of? The TV hung in prime position over said long-pined-for fireplace mantel. It really sucks the focal point joy out of the focal point, ya know? But, unfortunately, in our teeny little house, there is just no other place to put it. Trust me, I’ve tried. Oh, the brain cells I have lost thinking and rethinking the floorplan to get that darned TV off my fireplace. To no avail. So…BEHOLD: giant, glaring TV.

Now that I’ve brought your attention to it and it is all you see, let’s ignore it and look at the mantel, shall we?

A Halloween Mantel Makeover at Farmhouse38.com

The ‘Before’ mantel. Or let’s just go ahead and call this the ‘Usual’ mantel.

The ‘usual’ mantel decor tends towards a little bit of a mess; a rather haphazard collection of objects and books that I’ve really only stuck there temporarily. This is because we aren’t actually finished building our mantel ‘situation’. The intention is, and always has been that we will be building shelving all the way up to the roof on both sides of the fireplace. But we just haven’t gotten around to it. For six years. It’s on our list for this fall…but until then, let’s Halloween it up in here a bit, shall we?

A Halloween fireplace mantel makeover at Farmhouse38.com

Ah yes. Much bettah.

First and foremost, I needed to get those bookshelves handled. I’d been wanting to swap out my odd assortment of coffee table books for a display of my antique and reproduction book collection. It just so happens that the jacket covers on these books play towards a much more somber color story. Perfect for Halloween.

Vintage book collection at Farmhouse38.com

I love vintage books (and vintagey-looking books), and they are rather inherently haunted-mansiony, don’t you think?

And then, of course, I had to have some miniature bunting…

Simple, miniature halloween fireplace mantel bunting at Farmhouse38.com

Bunting is always essential. This is just black and white grosgrain ribbon bits hot-glued to white, cloth-covered wire.

And an odd assortment of bottles, lanterns, candlesticks, and mercury glass.

A Halloween-styled mantel at Farmhouse38.com

Halloweeny odds and ends.

My “fresh picked” sign above the TV is now replaced with a handmade “Nevermore” sign, with a few accent wall spiders (plastic spiders just stuck on with earthquake putty).

DIY Halloween Nevermore chalkboard sign by Farmhouse38.com

This sign was a snap to make: a reclaimed piece of MDF board coated in spray chalkboard paint. Then, using the Farmhouse38 Sign Painting method, I transferred the lettering and then colored them in with white grease pencil for a permanent ‘chalk’ look.

A tree branch spray-painted black is a perfect perch for craft store crows. I love how the clock face kind of winds up looking like a full moon. I meant to do that. Yeah, totally.

Halloween Mantel Decor at Farmhouse38.com.


Underneath the tree branch is one of my favorite little things: my terrarium that I like to mess with every season. Time for a tiny Halloween scene!

A Halloween terrarium featuring tiny skeletons, a tiny graveyard, and tiny tillandsias at Farmhouse38.com.

Tiny skeletons emerge from a tiny graveyard amongst tiny tillandsias.

The rest of the room has gotten Halloweened, also.

I swapped out some of our more colorful throw pillows for darker tones:

Throw pillows and misc. Halloween decor at Farmhouse38.com

The lefthand pillows are from Pottery Barn and the green stripe is from Ikea. I don’t remember where I got the cute, framed Trick-or-Treat embroidery, but it is one of my favorite things. Another craft store crow sits on top of the mirror.

Chalkboard black-painted pumpkins with black glittered stems at Farmhouse38.com

A simple coffee table centerpiece of tiny punkins painted matte black with black-glittered stems.

A Halloweeny collection of thrifted brass candlesticks with glittered black candles at Farmhouse38.com

My odd assortment of thrifted brass candlesticks look very fun with black, glittered taper candles.

A Halloween floral centerpiece of black silk flowers in a silver urn at Farmhouse38.com

An all-black floral centerpiece sits in the middle of our table. And hey…what’s dropping out of the light fixture?

Faux spiders dropping down from a light fixture for Halloween at Farmhouse38.com

Spiders. Spiders are dropping out of the light fixture.

Faux spiders hanging out in a light fixture for Halloween at Farmhouse38.com

Oh. Oh there’s more spiders.

Halloween spider surprise on the inside of a light fixture at Farmhouse38.com

Surprise!!! There’s a lot more spiders. (cheap plastic spiders rings–with ‘ring’ removed–hot-glued to small magnets and stuck to the metal fixture).

Gosh darnit, I love me some Halloween.

A Halloween fireplace mantel makeover at Farmhouse38.com





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13 thoughts on “Halloween Mantel Makeover

  1. FarmMamma October 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm Reply

    Oh MY GOD>>>>>>> I love it all…. and then I saw the lamp with the spiders and got so grossed out I couldnt look at it again! So effective but I hate spiders like that and all together “dripping” out of the light fixture.. ughhhhhhhhhh (but love it)

    • farmhouseK8 October 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm Reply

      LOL!!! My work here is officially done! 😀 Happy Halloween!!!!

  2. Susan M. October 15, 2014 at 6:48 pm Reply

    So Halloweenie and I’m totally going to steal your spiders in the light fixture idea. My grandson is going to be beyond himself!!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • farmhouseK8 October 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm Reply

      Aww, thank YOU, Susan! Enjoy! 😀

  3. Kylee Baumle October 15, 2014 at 7:23 pm Reply

    Those spiders inside the light are FABULOUS!!!!!

  4. Jenny Meier October 15, 2014 at 8:30 pm Reply

    This is better than pottery barn, can’t wait for Christmas!

  5. Julie @ Garden Delights October 15, 2014 at 9:19 pm Reply

    Just. No. No to the spiders in the light fixture. I’m now having nightmares! BLUGH!!!! (Seriously, they’re awesome. The entire scene is so amazing, Kate. The spiders, though, have totally freaked me out. EWWWWW!!!!) You did all this…while I spent three days making one stupid craft. Good grief. Could you come be my neighbor? PLEASE???

    • farmhouseK8 October 15, 2014 at 11:50 pm Reply

      I accept! Yes! I WILL come be your neighbor! As long as craft hour includes plenty of wine!

  6. adventurejennie October 16, 2014 at 4:03 am Reply

    I share your disdain for the “mantle” situation. I have been trying for the past year and a half to create the perfect setting on the mantle in my own house. It has improved ever since I painted the fireplace, but I am still not satisfied with it. Just like your house, there’s really not a lot of space to do a whole lot with it. I really like your shelving around it too. That would be so nice to have.

    You’ve done an amazing job and your house is adorable. You gave me some ideas for my own. I really like your blog.

    • farmhouseK8 October 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm Reply

      Oh, thank you so much for the kind words! Good luck with your situation–at the end of the day I just have to be grateful that we even have the fireplace–I was so sad without one in our last house! 😀

  7. home, garden, life October 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm Reply

    Kate really like the quiet of the Halloween decor. The other was too busy for the small space. Good job and love the tree branch. You have SO MUCH patience than I…Happy Halloween! My only decor is a French heirloom pumpkin sitting at the front door. Boo! Pats to the four-leggers. Diane

  8. taitaichien December 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm Reply

    If I live in a house so organized like yours and everything decorated with so much passion, I swear I would never go anywhere. I would never care to spend expensive trips to foreign countries. I loved your lamp with graveyard inside. Did you make it?

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