Today I'll show you the living room mantle. Remember the "more is more" school of display and home decor, well the same applies to the mantle. I don't display like this all the time as I mentioned in my last post, it would drive my wife crazy and me as well. This is an overall look at the mantle. All of these pictures including the hallway display were taken in the early evening, that is the reason there is an orange cast to the pictures. I liked it and decided to use them as they were.
All of the Thanksgiving items came off of the mantle. I then added the faux silk autumn branches and mini pumpkin stems that I pulled from the hallway Thanksgiving display. These were wired to the front of the mantle.
Dressmakers pins stuck into the top edge of the wooden mantle about 12" apart are what the wire is attached to. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to force them into the wood. Pins are very brittle and can snap when force is applied to them. The trick to pushing them in is to hold the pin in the needle nose pliers about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch from the point; figure the angle that you want the pin to be at and then push in to the wood without bending the pin. It shouldn't break. If the pin does break pull out the piece and start over, your hole will have already been started. Always secure the wire at the base of the pin, as any excess weight will break it off. It is surprising though the amount of weight, relatively speaking that the pin will hold.
Once all of the branches were wired in place I added two strands of mini lights with autumn leaf covers. Old party hats and vintage cookie cutters are tucked in among the leaves. Crepe paper nut cups and plastic nut cups are hung from the branches with wire.
I arranged the large vintage pieces such as the owl cookie jar on the mantle first. An old grape basket and an old orange crate on their sides were added to double my display space.
All that was left to do was to arrange all of the Hallowe'en items into groupings.
The witch in the picture on the right is a 1940's candy container that I got for next to nothing from a Salvation Army Store about 15 years ago. In front and to the right of her is a brass cauldron with a flying witch on one side and three witches on the other, all in relief. Over the years I found items that went with the Hallowe'en collectibles but were not actually made for Hallowe'en. Beside the witch you can see a vase that is in the shape of a gnarled twisted old stump.
The veggie salt and peppershakers went into the orange crate. They aren't Hallowe'en as such but I like to include them.
On top of the crate is a black cat teapot. I managed to find the bottom and the matching top in two separate shops.
The lit ceramic pumpkin is a Hallowe'en florist vase. The flowers are placed in the back compartment. The pumpkin has a light bulb in it that flashes.
I had to be careful not to place any of the candles above the areas in the hearth where the heat from the fireplace would rise. The candles look better when they are not little sagging slumps of wax!
A set of 4 ceramic pumpkin shaped bowls that I picked up about 10 years ago have been filled with some finely shredded cream coloured tissue and used to display the noisemakers. The plastic pumpkin is a lampshade. Eventually I found a wooden lamp base for it. Back in the shadows you can just make out an old fez. For some reason I seem to like it mixed in with the Hallowe'en items.
Here is a larger full-length version of the mantle. On the right hand ledge is a group of cake decorations and cookie cutters.
This final picture is what could be called a dumping ground for lack of a better term. All of the paper items have been placed into this stand. I don't have room to display all of them so they end up here. It's fun to take them out and look at each of them individually. This stand is 3 separate wire stands that I purchased at Homesense. They were displayed standing in each other exactly this way. I liked the look so waited until they went on clearance and bought them. They were bright yellow so I spray painted them black and then wired them back into a tiered stand.