Decorating, Halloween, Holidays

Fall Starts the END of September. Pass it on. Halloween Mantel 2014

*I recently migrated my blog and some of the pictures didn’t make the move. So please excuse the words where pictures should be. 
DIY bloggers who start decorating for fall on September 1st are why people get angry at DIY bloggers.
This is the same mentality as getting mad at Hobby Lobby for putting their Christmas crap up in July.
Or Target putting out school supplies in June.
Two days after they get out of school for the summer.

In all honesty, I did put up OUR Halloween/Fall stuff on September 18th.
A full five days before the official start of fall.
But I listened to my “Summer Tunes” playlist whilst throwing the fall all over the house.
So that makes it OK.


I don’t respond to Pumpkin Lattes but a peanut butter cup shaped like a pumpkin does it for me.
It was like THE Seinfeld episode.
I threw my money on the counter and said I’M OUT.
And started dragging up my orange and black bins from the basement.
With peanut butter on my breath.
I know.
I am weak.
Forgive me.


I have been sharing all of my decorating with you here since 2010 but my favorite decorating season by far is Halloween/Fall.
You can see my fall decorating from each year here:


 Fall Mantel 2010

2011 and 2011

 Fall Mantel 2011

2012 and 2012

 Homemade Fall Mantel 2012


Fall Mantel on the Cheap 2013

Wow, it is fun for me to look back at how my style has changed over the years!
I hope it’s fun for you.
Just lie to me if it isn’t. 
Something about the colors of fall works really well with my house.
Maybe it’s all the yellow and green I have going on in here.
All the other seasons seem to clash with my choice of color.
Maybe I should just create yellow, green and orange decor for the other holidays.
Nothing says Christmas like an orange tree.
With green lights.


Here is my interpretation of autumn.
Said in my best decor/fashion/trendy blog voice.
Kind of a mix of Tim Gunn and Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly. 
pumpkins in a basket
A basket of pumpkins.
As you do.
Doesn’t everyone have a basket of pumpkins in their home?
This is a flea market basket filled with pumpkins I have amassed over the years.
You totally want a basket of pumpkins now.
Don’t you?
fabric pumpkin
A fat pumpkin sitting with the remotes like its no big thing.
I got this from a friend a few years ago.
I like to think it enjoys a little Naked and Afraid.
With a snifter of brandy.
I need to get a life.
I know.
fall mantel on a budget
Every year I say, “I think I love this mantel best.”
That’s a lie.
THIS year’s mantle is so much better.
By the way, I bought nothing this year to create this.
In fact, I haven’t bought a fall item for my mantel in probably three years.
cool fall mantel

The candlesticks are from Goodwill four years ago.
Spray painted horribly but it’s all good because it works with my freaky, creepy Halloween theme.
The banner was made for me by a friend of mine a few years ago, the flowers, pumpkins etc, I have had for years.
Oh, wait! I did buy that mirror glass pumpkin last year.
So I lied.

fall leaves on a mantel
Those fake leaves have seen their share of, well, lots and lots of Halloween candy.
And bad costumes.
And a drunken bonfire here and there.
These bad boys have been around since Seinfeld was still on regular television.
fall leaves and berries on a mantel
I have a thing for white pumpykins.
I have a thing for calling pumpkins, pumpykins when no one is around.
fall berries on a mantel
See those balls?
Those are from the Christmas aisle at Hobby Lobby.
Here is a tip: you can go outside of the fall aisle to look for fall decor.
And since Hobby Lobby has had Christmas up since Kim Kardashian was still single, there is lots to choose from.
I worked “balls” into a fall post.
I can see the true DIY bloggers have left the room at this point.
They probably left after the first sentence.
fall mantel on a budget

I love fall in this room.
Christmas decorations look like they are faking it in this room but Halloween makes this room its bitch.
I lost a few more of you, didn’t I?


fall mantel
Let’s move on shall we.
To the other side of the room.
neat bookshelf made out of a baby's crib holds Halloween books!

The above are our Halloween books on the “bookshelf” I made out of Ellie’s crib rail.
Here is the tutorial.
All I did was spray paint it.
So I didn’t really “make” anything.
But let us just say I did because the DIY bloggers left the room.

fall children's books
We love books in this house.
Scratch that.
I love books in this house.
Oh, Ellie loves looking and reading books with me.
Annie used to but now says “I don’t like to read outside of school”.
And Mike never reads.
Unless it is memes on Facebook.
Then he reads.
When I pull these fall books out, Ellie goes nuts.
I won’t see her for a good hour, she pages through all of them, some make noises so I can hear her from the other room.
It is exciting seeing things that are put away for most of the year.
To clarify, we have books all over the house year round.
Just not ones that sound like coffins opening or doorbells ringing.
But that sounds like fun, so maybe I will leave them up year round.
burlap wreath for fall

The wreath my friend Rebecca made me a few years ago.
It moves around from year to year.
I love having it in the kitchen because I don’t really decorate in here.

family sign in our kitchen
This isn’t fall.
It is just fun.
And true.
Here is where the DIY bloggers will be missin’ out.
I am including a craft!
Woop Woop!
So for the price of one blog post, you are getting not just ONE but TWO blog posts!!
I thought of this while in the fall extravaganza aisle at Michael’s.
I was all drunk on orange faux leaves, cinnamon sticks, and glass mason jars.
I was so excited!
I thought of a craft, FINALLY.
Until I walked to the register.
And saw one of those craft idea sheets.
I had a better name but I already said b@#$, balls and dammit.
I want to keep it clean.
Let’s just say it was my idea.
That I was telepathically ROBBED by Michael’s.
True story.
You need the following supplies:
black pumpkin for fall

Black pumpykin.

chalk pens rule

Cheap chalk pen .. $3.99.
Long story long…..
I made a craft here and here using a pen very similar.
Someone emailed me about it a few months ago saying was there anything other than the chalk pen to use.
Then a friend texted me at about the same time-ish frame.
I say time-ish frame because in my world things that happen to me in March runs into things that happen to me in August.
And I am all about full disclosure.
To a fault.
ANYHOO, back when I created the above crafts, chalk pens were relatively unheard of/hard to find/ nowhere to be found.
When I found a three pack of them at Michael’s… (said in my best Jerry Seinfeld Newman disdain voice ….are you seeing a trend……) back then, I balked for a second at the $12.99 price.
But they were relatively unheard of/ hard to find/ nowhere to be found.
I think I used a coupon, shuddered visibly at the cash register and mumbled over and over……”It’s worth it. It’s worth it. It’s worth it.”
LONG STORY LONG, I found this one for $3.99.
That was the point I was trying to make.

peanut m and m's in fall colors!

You will also need peanut M and M’s.


black pumpkin craft for fall

So take the pens and start drawing all willy-nilly on your pumpykins.


black pumpkin craft for fall


 Aren’t those pretty?
Little @ signs.
I didn’t mean them to be @ signs.
But I am not artistic in any way.
This is my best.
charlie brown pumpkin for fall

Then I went and ruined it by trying to draw chevron on my pumpykins.

charlie brown pumpkin for fall

It looks like Charlie Brown’s sweater.
Doesn’t it?
A really bad reject Charlie Brown sweater.

Fall decor on the cheap

I don’t do well with blank canvases.
That can be applied metaphorically as well.

Decorating for Fall on a budget

Its OK, I have come to terms with my Charlie Brown pumpykin.
The whole point is that YOU can draw whatever YOU want on YOUR pumpykin!
Just like mine is all mine.
Charlie Brown or not.



black pumpkin

And it’s a lot better than a bag of rocks.

Happy Halloween.

21 thoughts on “Fall Starts the END of September. Pass it on. Halloween Mantel 2014”

  1. You're so crafty and funny, and I really wish I could have all the candy in my house, but because I ate all the cheese, I must refrain from the candy. 🙂


  2. Cute!!! I started putting Halloween stuff up on September 19th and I don't even care. In my house Halloween starts when I start feeling restless!


  3. Fall is my favorite season. But I get overwhelmed with decorating options. And I'm cheap. So I only buy little things here and there, and none of them go together, and my house is a mishmash of crazy.


  4. Let the record reflect that I stayed… even after "dammit, balls and b&#%." . You did, however, almost lose me with @ on the pumpykin. Ha! This post was just what I needed to… feel better about myself… JK…. to start what should be a fabulous day! Thanks for full, funny disclosure! It's what the DIY world needs!


  5. I'm on the hunt for a black pumpkin now! Love your fall mantel!I would love for you to share this post at my Show Me Saturdays (party starts at 7:00 am EST). My readers would love this!~ Ashley


  6. Very cute! I was just thinking today that I need to spruce up this joint and get in the fall spirit. You would be so disappointed by my lack of crafts and decor. Going to at least pull out a pumpykin or two.


  7. hahahaha.. I love this post. Your mantle looks great.. I like them all! : ) I still have a basket of children's halloween books that I bring out during the season.. funny thing , my 23 and 15 year old daughters still like me to read some of them.. we all know the words. Have a great sunday


  8. aaaah! I immediately thought of Charlie (and his lack of balls?) I love the little "boo" frame too! Flat Kari tried to help out on my mantle. I did change it up a bit from last year, but now that we've seen this, we have more ideas! MUST DO MORE FALLISHNESS (not to be confused…at all…with FOOLISHNESS)


  9. Hi Kari!
    First time here in reading your blog! I love your humor, and you gave me my chuckly for the day. That’s supposed to be “chuckle,” but I sort of like “chuckly,” don’t you? I can’t type today either.
    I love that Charlie Brown pumpykin. I’m like you…totally can’t draw a thing, and especially not on a curvy pumpykin.
    Love all your mantels too.
    Thanks for sharing at Sweet Inspiration this week! I totally enjoyed this!


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