Fall Artwork and My Mantel Reveal

I know that I am a little late in sharing my Fall mantel and many have already moved onto Christmas, but I LOVE Fall and I want it to last as long as possible. It snowed here Sunday and luckily it melted by the next day. I am not ready for winter to rear its freezing head.

As usual, I love to decorate with things I already have and pull in things from the outdoors. I also created a custom art piece this time which I will share a tutorial for today.


fall mantel decor

I chose not to grow pumpkins in my garden this year (I can’t really remember the reason why) but I am lucky to have a neighbor who had almost his whole garden covered in them.

Fall mantel decor and DIY art


And what is a fall mantel with out some fall leaves? I snipped a few off our tree in the backyard. The small pine cones are also from out back but the large one was one my dad brought home for me when I was small.


 I am obsessed with using books. They added much needed height to that side of the mantel. The brass pheasant has a story all its own and you can read about it in my first mantel post ever.


The large white frame above the fireplace is actually housing our TV. But when we have company or are not watching TV I like to cover the television up. In the past I use a piece of foam core board that I spray painted with chalkboard paint. It is light weight and pops in and out easily. And I can stick it behind the fireplace when I am not using it. You can see what I mean by looking at my spring and summer mantels.

But for fall I wanted to try something new. So I bought the thinnest plywood (1/8 inch). It comes in 2 foot by 4 foot pieces at Home Depot and is super lightweight. I used my jigsaw to cut it to the right size.

Then I stained it with my “go to” color of Dark Walnut by Minwax.


I did two coats of stain. Once it was completely dry I used my Silhouette machine to cut out leaves. If you do not have a vinyl cutting machine you can buy ready made stencils at crafts stores or make your own using X-acto knives. I have done similar projects using all three methods.

I mixed up some craft paint since I didn’t have orange and got a few foam brushes.


I placed the vinyl “stencils” where I wanted them on the board. I was going for mt take on a pile of leaves getting blown away. Then gently sponged the paint on. Then I smoothed it out with downward strokes. Most needed two coats. I purposely only used one foam brush for the red, yellow, and orange paint. When I was up the canyon taking some family and senior pictures, I noticed that most of the leaves were multi-colored. You certainly don’t have to do it that way but it was easy to blend them and added another dimension to the painted leaf.


Let the paint partly dry before taking the vinyl off. If you take it off immediately you may smear it and if you wait until the paint has dried all the way it will peel some of the paint off.


The leaves that were all the same color lacked a little something so I grabbed a fine tipped small brush and added some veining to them.


Once it dried all the way I popped it in the frame over the TV!

Fall mantel with DIY art!

Happy fall y’all!!!

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  1. says

    This is the coolest thing! I love it! Would you please consider linking it to my Friday Favorites at http://imnotatrophywife.com I have a thing for leaves, so you had me at the beginning!! laura

  2. says

    Okay, just re-read this post! This is soooo cool how you cover the television when not in use! FYI.. i found a great leaf stencil at Home Depot which is a paint sample in the shape of a leaf. It might be Behr, but it is at Home Depot! laura

  3. cmct says

    Love it! You always have an eye for pulling things together into a pleasing arrangement. Thanks for focusing on Fall. I’m not ready for winter, and I don’t want to think about Christmas yet. Seems like our leaves have only just started to turn, so we’re finally getting to enjoy some color. Painting leaves looks like so much fun; I could get lost in that.

  4. Lucinda says

    Your leaves look so realistic…I actually thought you’d gathered real ones. I think I need to make something similar for my Fall h̶o̶a̶r̶d̶ collection. I love all things fall!

  5. Debbie Lorson says

    I love the leaf picture! I am a leaf collecting kind of girl. I need to save this idea for next Autumn. THANKS FOR SHARING!