Fall Walk Mantel

Don’t pack away your pumpkins after Halloween. Combine them with fresh flowers, seasonal accents and natural elements from your backyard to put together a lasting autumn mantel, says floral designer Marsha Snyder of MEWS Designs. Snyder, along with daughter Jessica Mann, created this warm and textural mantel using items collected from a jaunt through the crisp outdoors. Branches, acorns, pinecones and moss become decorative accents when displayed in simple glass vases set off with bright blooms. Transition the mantel from fall to Christmastime by replacing the branches with greenery, acorns with cranberries and pumpkins with ornaments.

Manage Your Mantel:

Vary the heights. Staggering individual items on the mantel keeps the eye moving across the display.

Strive for balance. The height of the acorn tree on the left complements the cross of branches on the right.

Add in lots of texture. Rough burlap ribbon, soft moss and crisp leaves add depth to the design.

Mix fresh and faux. Using real flowers and berries next to craft pumpkins elevates the whole look.

DIY: Filled Vase

1. Take a walk through a neighborhood or nearby park. Bring a bag to pick up colorful leaves, acorns, small pinecones, berries and moss. If you have pets or children, Snyder recommends checking to make sure the berries are not poisonous. You can bake acorns at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to kill any bugs living inside, she says.

2. Use a Mason jar or clear cylinder — found at dollar stores or craft stores.

3. Trim flowers to 4-inch stems and insert into filled water picks.

4. Fill the vessel with items from your walk. Mix the elements together, or use a single type, like
acorns. Top vase with flower and accent with moss and leaves.


As blooms begin to wilt, sub in new flowers for a quick update without reworking the entire

Bonus DIY: Acorn Tree

1. Find a pretty tree branch, the size you want to use for display.
2. Gather empty acorn tops.
3. Purchase small pom poms in a variety of colors that will fit inside the acorn tops.
4. Using hot glue, put a dab of glue inside the acorn top and push the pom pom inside.
5. Put hot glue on the acorn top and stick to branch.

Contact: Marsha Snyder, Mews Designs
(919) 368-8662

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