Easy Brown Paper Leaves Add Just the Right Touch to Finish Fall Mantle

by Donna
30 Minutes
This year, I've been inspired to decorate my living room and fireplace mantle more than I have a in previous years. Putting together a few decorative projects has created a mantle display that makes me smile every time I walk in the room!
First, I made a stacked pumpkin topiary as festive fall decoration (tutorial here: http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Make-a-Stacked-Pumpkin-Decoration-for-Fall)

Then I made this colorful no-sew banner using artificial leaves (tutorial here: http://hubpages.com/hub/DIY-Craft-Tutorial-How-to-Make-an-Easy-No-Sew-Fall-Banner-for-Your-Home)

But still I felt that my mantle display needed something to fill in the blank area and pull my decorative elements together.
So I grabbed a plain brown paper lunch bag and cut out the bottom of it so I would have a large sheet of paper to work with. I liked using a lunch bag because the paper is thinner, but you could also use a large brown shopping bag.
Then I traced some leaf images that I printed out from the internet on to my brown paper. I used a few different types of leaf shapes and fit them close together on my paper.
I cut out all my leaf pieces and decorated each one with a simple design of polka dots using cotton swabs dipped in acrylic paint. I made each leaf design slightly different and limited the colors I used to only white, yellow, orange and green so they would match my display.
I used painters tape looped on the back of each leaf to place them across the front of my fireplace in a falling leaves pattern. I used painters tape so it wouldn't damage the paint on my fireplace and so the leaves will be easy to remove later. (By the way, we are not using our fireplace yet. If we were to turn it on, I'd remove the leaves on the glass and my banner.)
My husband says I need to put more leaves in the upper right-hand corner under the mantle ledge, but I like how they look now. What do you think?
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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4 of 41 comments
  • I think it is perfect just the way it is! very cute idea! a few leaves on the ground would look nice too but I don't think it is necessary, looks great the way it is!

    • Donna Donna on Oct 18, 2015
      @Roxanne Giangiulio Keilman Thanks so much!! I appreciate your comments and support!

  • Elle Elle on Oct 18, 2015
    I love the fall leaves blowing and it sure doesn't need any on the floor for you to slip on but I have a question about the Spring twig of yellow flowers and the Spring hummingbird. Could you find another fall thing to go in its place. Just saying it is attracting my attention away from the great leaves. No offense meant but you asked.

    • Donna Donna on Oct 19, 2015
      @Elle I agree that our hummingbird sign and yellow blossom doesn't fit completely with our fall theme. But the sign was made by my Dad for us (sentimental value) and it's heavy. So far, we only take it down at Christmas to put up a wreath. The rest of the year, I just try to make it work with the mantle arrangement. It's a work in progress :) Thanks for comments and suggestion!