My “theme” this year for fall decorating is simple and cheap. Actually, I wouldn’t even call it a theme. I’m one of those lazy fall decorators that puts up a few pumpkins and calls it good until the Halloween decor comes out. But, I’ve got a crazy simple and cheap project for you to spiff up the mantel for fall. These dollar tree DIY pumpkins are so easy and all you need is paint!
The Dollar Tree is my go-to this year for cheap fall decor. Everything is a dollar. That’s it. Nothing more. So I don’t feel guilty about adding a few new things this year. Like this $3 DIY fall wreath and my fall front porch decor. Easy and cheap. The perfect DIY project for a neutral fall mantel.
And today I’m joining several other talented bloggers for some amazing fall mantel inspiration! Be sure to check them out at the end! Thanks to Carrie from Lovely, Etc for hosting!
DIY Pumpkins for a Neutral Fall Mantel
I found five styrofoam pumpkins at the Dollar Tree for a grand total of five bucks. They’re perfectly lovely and neutral now, but before the makeover, they were not quite so lovely. They needed to take it down a notch in the “in your face” department. But, don’t overlook the potential of something, especially when it’s a buck!
So I grabbed some white spray paint from the garage and gave them a light coat or two. I didn’t worry about covering them completely. However – learn from me! Don’t just use paint. Get primer. The light dusting of paint I put on wasn’t good enough.
My paint didn’t want to adhere afterward. These are styrofoam pumpkins and they are almost waxy feeling on the outside. If I had used a primer, my DIY project would’ve been much easier.
- Spray your pumpkins with spray primer, not just white paint
- Let dry completely
- Lay down an old towel on a flat surface and paint them any color you want
- I had several samples of Fusion Mineral Paint in varying neutral colors. I used Lamp White, Champlain, and Pebble, but you can use any paint you want.
- Since I made the mistake of not using primer, my paint didn’t adhere well. I added in some bonding cream that I had from another paint brand (Old Barn Milk Paint) and it seemed to help. I have no idea if these two products are supposed to go together, so if you’re painting an heirloom, please don’t use this example. But it worked for this. You can see below what happened when I painted the first coat. It didn’t work so great.
- Add two coats of paint. Let dry, and done!
For the rest of the mantel decor, I used what I already had. An old piece of wood to set the pumpkins on, my green bottles and faux flowers from Hobby Lobby, a faux plant, and this super easy and cheap DIY fall wreath!
The framed song is our wedding song that a super talented friend made for me. She wrote all of that by hand!! It’s one of my most favorite items in my house!
And that’s it for my super simple neutral mantel. Nothing fancy and nothing that took tons of time. It would’ve been even better if I’d painted them correctly the first time with primer, but in the end, it worked.
I had two pumpkins leftover so I added them to my vintage tulip crate with some Target dollar spot pumpkins from last year and some random spindles. I threw in my DIY Bead Garland as well.
And I had an old pillow that had a hole in it, so I cut the fabric in two, stuffed each side with old pillow stuffing, and tied it with twine.
Simple, easy, and cheap – that sums up my fall decor this year! It didn’t take much money or time for these dollar tree DIY pumpkins and I’ve got some great neutral decor. If I decide neutral isn’t my thing next year, I’ll just repaint them.