10 Best Halloween Mantel Decorating Ideas

by Beth HunterSeptember 20, 2012

In my last post, How to Create Vignettes in Decorating, I taught you the four basic steps needed to create a gorgeous vignette. With Halloween right around the corner, it is time to put those skills to work! Today we will explore 10 of the BEST do-it-yourself Halloween mantel decorating ideas.

halloween mantels

Mirror or Clock as Anchor Object

In most of the mantels featured today, you will notice that a mirror or clock acts as the anchor object for the entire vignette. The circular shape of a clock or mirror is reminiscent of a full moon and complements Halloween beautifully. Don’t be afraid to borrow a clock or mirror from a different room of the home when creating seasonal decor! Pictured below is my 2011 Halloween mantel, and I “borrowed” the mirror from my master bedroom to create this vignette. Try this tip at home: Tape book pages to the background of your mantel and create spooky trees from rolled craft paper and paper leaves.


If your mirror or clock isn’t frightening enough on its own, utilize removable Halloween decals to “spookify” your space. In the mantel below, I love how decals/stickers were used to spruce up the clock, candle, pumpkin, and other decor. Also notice how seamlessly the family’s photo blends in with the mantel. To create something similar at home, use a vintage photo effect on your family photo before printing and framing. This will give an eerier feel to the picture. For a funny surprise, try hot gluing google eyes on the faces of your family members! (Once cooled, hot glue is easily removed from the glass frame. However, try at your own risk.)


If you don’t have a clock or mirror, never fear because you can make one! The spooky clock below was made using a pizza pan, paint, and vinyl decals. Notice how the decals are also used on the pumpkin and paper banner. If you don’t have a digital cutting machine, you can decoupage pictures, words, and numbers printed from your printer.


This next mantel is a fantastic example of how to take a traditional fall mantel from harvest to Halloween. Notice how the vinyl owl decal on the mirror sets the tone for the entire mantel! The cheesecloth draped on the mirror, the banner, the spiders, and the small Halloween touches create a classy yet spooky vignette. After the 31st, those small Halloween touches can be removed and the mantel can easily transition into the Thanksgiving holiday.


Books, Birds & Banners, Oh My!

Now that you have created your spooky clock or mirror and have hung it above your mantel as your anchor object, you might be wondering what else to include. Might I suggest grabbing a stack of old books, some black dollar store ravens or owls, and some scrapbook paper! Stacks of books are fantastic for giving height to candlesticks and vases in your vignette. Notice how the mantel below is balanced on each side. The objects are balanced in height and the stacks of books help achieve this end.


Adding black birds to your mantel is a chic and easy way to create a fun Halloween vignette. In the mantel below, the birdcage, black feather boa, myriads of ravens, and spooky black owl is enough to make Edgar Alan Poe proud! Use scrapbook paper in black, white, and orange to create a fun pennant banner for the front of your mantel. This is a very inexpensive decoration that adds a touch of whimsy to the mantel.

candice's pic of my mantelsource

With your scrapbook paper, you can also create silhouettes of the entire family and frame them using coordinating scrapbook paper. A large framed monogram as the anchor object is beautiful during any season! However, to make this vignette spooky, be sure to drape some cheesecloth and include some ravens.


Scrapbook paper and book pages can also be used to create paper pinwheels and other non-traditional Halloween decor. Fold paper accordion-style and secure with tape or glue to create playful paper pinwheels.


Creepy Plate Wall

The next two mantels have two things in common. They utilize white and black decorative plates to create a focal point and… they aren’t mantels! You don’t have to have a fireplace to create a seasonal vignette. Any flat surface up against a wall can be transformed into a decorative focal point.

Halloween Decorating 081source

Use inexpensive black and white plates from a thrift store or discount store with black and white decals, paper cut-outs, or paint to create a chic-on-the-cheap Halloween vignette!


Whether you create a spooky mantel with a creepy clock, or a gorgeous plate wall in an unexpected nook, you will be sure to impress the neighbors with your Halloween decorations!

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Beth Hunter

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