The $15 Fall Decor Challenge: Neutral Mantle Reveal

Jeanette from This Dusty House challenged several bloggers to put together a fall vignette for $15 or less, by shopping exclusively at thrift and dollar stores. I decided to decorate our mantel. Full disclosure: I'm not much of a seasonal decorator. Christmas, yes. But otherwise, it doesn't really happen. That said, here's what I came up with:

I made my book page wreath a while ago and I decided to keep it over the mantle (still love that thing). Anyone with a few old books and a glue gun can make one, so I don't think I'm breaking any rules here :)

Here's how I spent my $15 to create a neutral fall mantle:

1 - I found these identical white vases at Value Village for 99 cents each. I added Chinese Lanterns from my mother-in-law's garden for a pop of colour and varying height.
2 - These trays are also from Value Village ($2.99 each). To remove the tarnish, I placed them in a baking dish lined with aluminium foil and covered them with a mixture of boiling water and baking soda (add 1 cup of baking soda for every four litres of water). If the item is really tarnished, you'll need to repeat the process a few times (I should have done it a couple more times, but I got lazy).
3 - I was looking for burlap, but all I could find was this burlap-like pillowcase ($2) at the Dollar Store. I also grabbed this lace table runner ($1.25) and then felt like explaining to the cashier that I wasn't actually planning to use it, as-is, in my house :) I wrapped some pillar candles I already had on hand (they sell similar ones at the Dollar Store) with strips of fabric I cut from the pillowcase and runner, and secured it with twine (which I also already had on hand, but is also available at the Dollar Store).

Adam thought my display was too busy with the burlap and lace, so I decided to nix it at the last minute. I'm glad I did, but the decorated candles were too cute not to share. Wouldn't they be great as part of a centrepiece?
4 - Finally, I grabbed this bag of faux gourds and pine cones ($2) at the Dollar Store. I painted the gourds white to go with my neutral mantle theme.

White vases (3)...$2.97
Silver trays (2)...$5.98
Burlap-like pillowcase...$2
Lace table runner...$1.25
Faux gourds...$2


Now that you've seen what I came up with, make sure you check out what these talented bloggers did!


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