Sep 11, 2012 - Open House, Recycle & Reuse    21 Comments

Fall Mantle {A study in neutrals}

It’s that time of year to take down all of my summer beach decor and get in the mood for fall.  For this fall mantle I wanted to keep things on the simple side.  I have a habit of adding a lot of stuff at different layers and levels in order to create drama (examples HERE, HERE and HERE).  Not this time.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Mantle for Fall

I decided to go with neutrals and keep it clean and tidy.  My family room is two-story and has a grand fireplace and mantle.  This was by design, I wanted a huge space to decorate so this mantle fit the bill when we designed our home 8 years ago.  It does create a problem sometimes since the space is sooo huge, it is easy to dwarf the decor.  This layout started with this European mount elk skull and antlers.  I found them on our local KSL classifieds (similar to Craigslist) for only $75!  That is cheaper than a fake cow skull from Z Gallery that I’d been eyeing (found HERE).   Realizing that it would be dwarfed on my large wall, I brought in an old pallet that’s been gaining “patina” in my side yard for the last year.  I screwed an L bracket to the wall and then to the pallet to secure it in place and began layering.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Mantle for Fall

First up was the skull.  Then I took some old art work that my husband had in an office a few years back and replaced the art with photographs of Native American’s.  I hung them symmetrical but slightly off the pallet for interest and to get the proportions that I was after.  To fill up the hole below the skull I tried several different items, but alas books stacked (kind of repeating the frame and mat of the photos) hold an aged water pitcher.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Mantle for Fall

Bonuses of using a pallet for your mantel:

  1. Only one screw into the wall.  Everything else is nailed right into the pallet creating no “new” holes in your walls.
  2. No commitment.  I love the whole pallet wall look, geeze I did almost the same thing in my guest bath, but I don’t necessarily want another permanent pallet wall.
  3. Adds texture and depth.  I love how the light of the sconces plays off the different levels.
  4. Fills a huge space.  There are many different sized pallets, so find one that fits your space.
  5. Adds a great “natural” woodsy feeling and is perfect for a neutral color pallet.
  6. Free!  Keep your eyes out, I’ve found a lot of pallets for free on the side of the road or on Craigslist or KSL Classifieds.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Mantle for Fall

To me, it doesn’t get much more Fall than antlers, Native Americans, and warm neutrals.  Happy September to you too!  (And a shout out to The Cavender Diary for the inspiration for the Native American photos)

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Mantle for Fall

Check out the mantle with the new family room layout and Shipping Crate coffee table:

DIY Shipping Crate and Sherpa Coffee Table

Linked Up: Tatertots & JelloFunky Junk InteriorsCrafty Scrappy HappyThe Shabby NestHome Stories A2Z, DIY ShowOff, Remodelaholic


  • love your style….browsed through your summer and chirstmas mantle pics…i have the same obsession, switching up the whole house each season. so question, are you switching your couches too? the summer mantle has that cute couch that you added burlap to and the fall mantle, (which i love, did i say that already? skull, native americans and a pallet?! awesome) has the leather couch. also, do you do a halloween mantle? torn between putting up fall decor now or waiting a couple weeks and just doing halloween….then i switch to thanksgiving, then christmas, then winter, yada yada, it’s crazy, but so fun! thanks for the inspiration…gotta get me a pallet!

    • Stephanie, In my ideal world, I’d have 4 seasons to decorate for…Summer, Fall, Christmas, Spring (still looking for a Spring feel I love). I switch curtains, furniture, mantle displays and decor from every room of my house so it appears to be new and fresh. I usually try and wait to do Fall till October, but I couldn’t control myself! Thanks for reading! And happy decorating.

  • Simply amazing. I really need to live next door so you could help me decorate. Maybe one day:) or at least in the same state

    • Jonie,
      Please, please move next door to me! We’d have so much fun, I promise.

  • Amanda,

    I LOVE every bit of it! The pallet is just plain clever, great wood element. Those Indians are hung exactly as they should be…..and if someone breaks into your house and steals those horns… was me.

  • The pallet idea is genius. I see a whole lot more of my art in my studio all of a sudden… ;-)

  • Great job on your mantle! I love layering and you have multiple layers, it’s great. Such a great transition display for this time of the year. Thank you for sharing! Jane Gianarelli

  • Clever arrangement…I love the balance.

  • I simply adore this..the pallet , the art the skull…everything about it…I too tend to make my mantel with a lot of items on.. after seeing yours I feel like changing mine again…thank you for inspiring me and helping us inspire at our first linky party…I appreciate so much…xo Lucy Craftberry Bush

  • That is sooooo cool!

  • HI MANDY!!

    Amazing job! I’d feel right at home! Having a Native American sister rubbing off on ya? ;0) Love it!

  • Your mantel is EPIC!

  • Love it. You managed to evoke fall without the typical fall accessories. Feels fresh.

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  • looking good

  • nice post

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