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Vintage-inspired Halloween mantel

Hello Everyone! This is Alice W. of Thoughts from Alice, and I am thrilled to be back with you this month. Today, I am sharing a vintage-inspired Halloween mantel vignette from a couple of years ago. I wasn’t able to share this on my own blog back then because I was busy with a newborn and toddler. I am excited to finally get to share it with you now!

I really love pulling vignettes together by getting creative with what I have on hand. I did this one a day or so before Halloween back in 2012. The traditional orange and black look doesn’t usually work for my style. Instead, I went for an all black and white, vintage inspired “abandoned mansion” theme that year, with some unusual elements thrown in.

I started by draping layers of tattered, sheer fabric over the mantel. These were basically scraps of old curtains that had seen better days but worked perfectly to create the vibe of an old mansion. I tore the hems a little more than they already were to emphasize the look.
An antique top hat was embellished with a black glittered rose and old playing cards. I propped it on a pedestal, to give it some height, in the center of the vignette. To create faux cob webs, I gently pulled apart some polyester fiber fill
and spread it around.
My daughter was enamored with lights back then (and still is), so I included some lighted trees that were actually Christmas decorations. I wrapped them in tattered muslin fabric for a “mummy” look.
I always like to include antique books, old bottles and black birds in my Halloween decor. I added some dried branches to this vignette, for a little crow to rest on.
Old spice jars were filled with various objects like porcelain Frozen Charlotte dolls and doll parts, feathers and Spanish moss.

No old mansion would be complete with candlesticks and the glow of candlelight.

One of my own assemblage thread spool dolls resided on one side of the vignette.

Finally, metal letters spelling out “Trick or Treat” were strung across the mantel, for the finishing touch.

You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money to style a holiday vignette. I never do. You can use what you have and re-purpose items in new ways by letting your imagination run free!

I hope you enjoyed this post and feel inspired to get creative this Halloween. It will be here before we know it!

I’d love to get to know you, so let’s connect!
Till next time…
~Alice W.
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  1. I absolutely adore your Holloween vignettes, especially the one over the mantle! I too am not creasy about the black and orange look but your black and white might just get me off my anti-Holloween-decortaing butt and do something fun and creative. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I love the little spool girl you made. She by herself doesn’t look spooky but when you put her in this vignette she totally looks creepy, lol! Great job!

  2. Jennifer,
    I LOVE the idea you had of repurposing sets of encyclopedias ready to be thrown out. LOVE the look you created and I was trying to follow it. I am not familiar with how to glaze the books after I use the white acrylic paint. I looked it up and its said a clear coat. Hoping you can tell me what you used. I am definitely new to the paint world as you can probably guess. Thank YOU so much for your post!!!

  3. I loved your mantle , don’t have any of those pieces but a spool of thread and it is exactly the display idea I needed1

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