How to Decorate a Fall Mantel Using a Handmade Paper Wreath

The “Raven Wreath” I made at Mill Spring Makers Market. A big thanks to Prudence Greene with Sweet Tea Bohemian for teaching me how to not only make this awesome wreath, but for also getting me out of my creating comfort zone!

It’s finally sweater weather and hot coffee time here in Northeast Tennessee, which means I can finally finish decorating my house for fall *happy dance* I’ve had a really hard time getting in the spirit of all things October because the temps have been warm + there’s currently only a hint of autumn colors.

I started decorating my front porch on the first day of fall, and I honestly tried to check off my pumpkin to-do list, but it was too warm. Nike shorts and a cute tee just doesn’t get me in the mood like flannel does *wink*

Now, that’s enough chatting about the weather! Let’s grab a good cup of coffee, sit a spell together, and talk about how to decorate your mantel for fall.

The colors of fall spice up an all white mantel.

Decorating my 1920s era mantel is a challenge. From the mirror to the overall height of the entire fireplace, I struggle. Whatever I use has to be “custom” fit, and there’s lots of putting up and taking down before the right balance and look is achieved. Normally, I would head to the local flea markets looking for rusty treasures and things that remind me of my childhood back in Mississippi, but this year I wanted to challenge myself to do something different. To do something outside my creating comfort zone. I had no idea what it would be until I saw a class for making a wreath out of paper leaves. I signed up and waited patiently for the wreath-making day to arrive.

A Raven-inspired centerpiece by Sweet Tea Bohemian

Before we could make our wreaths, we had to cut lots of leaves. I thought it was going to be a boring task, but it was actually fun and a little relaxing. While we cut, we chatted about everything from our human children to our fur ones. We were disconnected from our phones and connected by our paper leaves.

Supplies for the stylized fall wreath

Step one is all about cutting the leaves from different colors and weights of paper.

For step two, we wrapped our wire form with burlap and glued down the ends using a hot glue gun.

Using a hot glue gun, we attached our leaves to the burlap. Prudence gave us tips on where to place our leaves and how to fold our leaves to give them more dimension.

Working hard on our wreaths at Mill Spring Makers Market in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Showing off our handmade goodness! Kati, you rocked making your wreath! Keep making those keepsakes for your home *hugs*

I was so excited and proud of the wreath I made I rushed home without stopping to get coffee! I just couldn’t wait to hang it on my mantel. It was an awesome feeling knowing I had made it. Which I know sounds crazy because I’m an artist who creates daily. However, in all of my years of crafting, I’ve never made anything like the The Raven Wreath. And y’all know what? It felt good to get out of the comfort zone, more like a rut *wink* And y’all know what else? It was so much fun getting out of the studio and connecting with other makers *big smile*

I used a Command hook to hang my wreath.

Once the wreath was up, everything else just came together. I added two paintings-one of sunflowers in a pumpkin by me and the other of pumpkins by an artisan who sells at one of the local flea markets. After a run to The Fresh Market for mini gourds, tiny pumpkins, and colorful corn, my mantel was complete.

The handmade fall garland by Allison Lacey is a playful addition to my fall decor.

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today! I hope you’ve been inspired to try a new craft and to decorate your fall mantel with handmade goodness.

Click here to find out more about Sweet Tea Bohemian. To keep up with the classes offered at Mill Spring Makers Market, click here.

Do you have a favorite handmade fall decorating tip? Tell us all about it in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

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The Fall Home featuring Gracious Designs

These collectible, one-of-a-kind pumpkins created by Carolyn Tomko are available at Gracious Designs in Johnson City, Tennessee.

These collectible, one-of-a-kind pumpkins created by Carolyn Tomko are available at Gracious Designs in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from DIY projects to fabulous places to visit and shop. Today on the blog, I am getting us all ready for my favorite time of the year by sharing my experience at the “The Fall Home” decorating class at Gracious Designs in Johnson City, Tennessee. I had such a fabulous time attending this class, and I am totally ready to get my porch and home gussied up for fall, y’all *wink*

Outside Fall display at Gracious Designs--which is located in a wonderful old home on Knob Creek Road

Outside fall display at Gracious Designs–which is located in a wonderful old home on Knob Creek Road

Last Thursday (September 10), Cassie Kitzmiller of Gracious Designs gave a fabulous presentation about how to make your home grand for fall. She chatted about everything from pops of traditional and nontraditional colors to touches of whimsy. One of my favorite items that she presented to the class was the battery-operated candles. To be honest, I thought the candles would look hideously fake–but no…they were beautiful and very realistic! The “Moving Flame” candles by Liown come in a variety of sizes and colors–and did I mention how pretty and realistic these candles are!?! I know! I can’t help but to repeat myself because I still can’t believe it *wink* These candles can be used on mantels, in centerpieces, and even tucked in places that “real” candles cannot be tucked *smile*

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Speaking of candles, Cassie chatted very excitedly about adding lights to your home–especially for fall because the days are getting shorter and touches of glimmering lights just warm up the home–especially those dark little “holes” and corners. She challenged all of the class attendees to go home and look for those dark spaces and to fill them with light–from battery-operated candles to lighted branches.

Lamps are a great way to bring soft light into the home and to fall arrangements. Another great way to decorate for Fall is to add texture--layers of texture to your displays.

Lamps are a great way to bring soft light into the home and to fall arrangements. Another great way to decorate for fall is to add texture–add layers of texture to your displays by using soft linens and natural elements like pinecones and branches. *fall decorating tips from Cassie Kitzmiller

One of the easiest ways to decorate the home for fall is to add pops of color–from bold oranges to fiery reds. But did you ever think to add shades of rich purple and metallics? Cassie challenged the class to go home and “shop” for metals and nontraditional colors to use as accents. For example, add deep purple hydrangea blossoms to a traditional fall wreath for a touch of the unexpected. She also encouraged using hydrangeas throughout your home for fall because these blossoms are more than a spring/summer flower.

How sweet and easy is this little arrangement!

How sweet and easy is this little arrangement! Don’t have the time to make it yourself? No need to fret! Head on over to Gracious Designs for all your fall decor needs and more.

Decorating the home should always be fun and fabulously you. Make it personal by adding in fun, whimsical treasures that you adore–if you love frogs…find fall frogs. Tuck little birds into your centerpieces, bring the outdoors inside with leaves and branches, put clay pumpkins on your bookshelves…whatever suits your fancy! But remember to have fun with it *big smile* Thanks, Cassie, for all the wonderful decorating tips on how to make our homes grand for fall.

I am totally crushing on this everything in this picture!

Gracious Designs has everything you need for the home for Fall, y'all.

Gracious Designs has everything you need to gussy up your home for fall.

Here’s a quick recap of what I learned from Cassie about making the home grand for fall:

  • Accent with Color–from traditional to nontraditional colors, don’t be afraid to use bold pops of color + add a new, nontraditional color to your fall palette (think mauves and purples).
  • Layer with Texture–use linens, natural elements, metals, and pottery for a variety of textures.
  • Add Mood and Movement with Lights–from lamps to battery-operated candles, add lights for a touch of glimmer and twinkle.
  • Create an Inviting Space with Fragrance–from potpourri to soups simmering on the stove, the sweet smells of the season invite us all to sit a spell with a good cup of apple cider.
  • Don’t Forget the Whimsy–from one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pumpkins to cute, little birdies, make your home you with things that you love and that make you smile.

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Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about making the home grand for fall. Stay tuned for a special post about local potter Carolyn Tomko, my top fall fragrance picks, and more.

To learn more about Gracious Designs, click here to check out their Facebook page.

To learn more about Gracious Designs and their free decorating classes, click here + click here to like them on Facebook.

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Re-decorating Hathorn Hall’s Front Porch + Dining Room Sneak Peek

IMG_8040Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living. If this is your first time visiting, we would like to extend a warm Southern welcome *smile* The rules of SSL are simple–grab a good cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea and sit a spell with us. That’s it *big smile*

Today on the blog, we are chatting about several things–from a sneak peek of Hathorn Hall’s dining room to the front porch fall decor I had to replace and fix due to some severe and blustery weather.

Now, it is time to sit a spell and enjoy the randomness of today. To be honest, most of my days are random and scattered, but that is perfectly okay because I am alive and kicking *cue Simple Minds*

The dining room is inspired by my love of New Orleans.

The dining room is inspired by my love of New Orleans. Stay tuned for the details on paint, fabric, and more *smile*

I cannot wait to tell y'all all about the wine rack/buffet table that the hubby built + why he had to build it.

I cannot wait to tell y’all all about the wine tasting table that the hubby built + why he had to build it.

A wider shot of the dining room. Can y'all guess what the hubby and I named this room?

A wider shot of the dining room. Can y’all guess what the hubby and I named this room?

A couple of weeks ago, we had a bit of severe weather here in Northeast Tennessee. The wind was terrible, and it took a toll on my cornstalks and other front porch fall decor. After the storms had all passed, I got busy with salvaging and re-decorating. Check out the original post about the fall decorating here. I did not want to invest too much into the project because I did not want to take from my winter plant or Christmas budgets.

The cornstalks on the front columns did not survive the winds. I just added new mums and called it good *smile*

The cornstalks on the front columns did not survive the winds. I just added new mums and called it good *smile* Notice the blue cooler–I finished the re-decorating and clean up just a couple of hours before we had a Saturday Football party *whew…cutting it close*

I am still loving my metal jack-o-laterns from my sweet friend in Mississippi. I will probably replace them with real pumpkins after Halloween. Y'all know how much I hate pumpkins *wink*

I am still loving my metal jack-o-laterns from my sweet friend in Mississippi. I will probably replace them with real pumpkins after Halloween. Y’all know how much I hate pumpkins *wink* Notice that I did salvage the corn from the cornstalks and used them as “filler” for the pots + a few of the corn “leaves”–are they called leaves? Hmmmm….

I was super relieved  that the cornstalks framing the front door survived.

I was super relieved that the cornstalks framing the front door survived.

Cute scarecrows + candy dispensers in the parlor = fun stop for guests

Cute scarecrows + candy dispensers in the parlor = fun stop for guests

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about the sneak peek of the dining room + more fall decorating. I really do love this time of year. Fall puts on the best color show *smile*

Stay tuned for more Fall Foliage Reports *smile*

Stay tuned for more Fall Foliage Reports *smile*

One more photo from the mini adventures the hubby and I had this past weekend.

One more photo from the mini adventures the hubby and I had this past weekend.