Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

Article Posted By: Nya

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

This amazing and inventive Halloween mantel is actually quite elegant. It’s the amazing work of Nya, author of Freckles Chick, for our Halloween Style Challenge here on The Home Depot Blog. We sent her a mystery box of Home Depot Halloween decorations to get her started, and she did the rest.

Nya gathered items from nature, including tree branches and butterfly specimens, added a little black paint and an eye-catching optical illusion, for a fun and unique Halloween mantel display.

Halloween Mantel Ideas

I’m so excited to be participating in this year’s Halloween Style Challenge! Truth be told, I’ve never decorated for Halloween before, so this was a scary challenge indeed. To me, Halloween brings to mind scary/spooky/creepy decor (whereas fall calls for more of a harvest look). Calling upon my love for Edgar Allan Poe’s dark narrative “The Raven” as a starting point, I brainstormed ways to put a different twist on it. I’ve always viewed the Victorian era as having its own brand of intriguing creepiness, especially in regards to their hobbies, collections, and pastimes. So a Poe meets Victorian Cabinet of Creepy Curiosities look was my aim in decorating our mantel for the Halloween Challenge.

As our mantel can be seen from our front window and it was only August when I did this (plus our neighbors are also nosy friends), I definitely got a few texts asking if I was redecorating our whole house this way.


Black Branches with Ravens

A couple of years ago, I gave our fireplace a mini facelift by painting the tile surround black, which made for a nice backdrop for Halloween décor. I replaced a mirror that normally decorates the mantel with a big branch (it had fallen from one of our trees) that I spray painted black. I hung it using fishing line (finally, a benefit to having a husband who loves to fly fish) and a clear Command Hook. A couple of craft store ravens (actually crows) perched on the branch and peering down completed the eerie look.

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities


Creepy Curiosities

Continuing with the “creepy curiosities” idea, the mantel was draped in black tattered cheesecloth for a neglected haunted house vibe.

I scattered a few items that could pass for oddities across it:

  • A very realistic resin skull atop books
  • A bell jar displaying butterfly specimens (craft store butterflies spray painted black)
  • A sea fan I already had that fit right into the creepy look
  • Faux finger-like coral
  • A handful of metallic gourds that arrived in my Halloween Style Challenge mystery box

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

I also gave a couple faux white pumpkins a slightly sinister look by dripping leftover Behr black paint on them.

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

This mantel called for a few candles to cast a moody glow on everything, so I was thrilled to incorporate some flameless pillar candles. Their melted wax edges make them look like traditional candles, and they operate on a timer for convenience.

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities


Levitating Candles

Raise your hand if you’re a Harry Potter fan! *raising mine high and proud* Candles “floating” in midair are so easy to achieve and were my favorite feature of all.

I strung lightweight battery-operated candles (already had on hand, sort of like these LED candles) using fishing line knotted around the flame part of each candle. Then I suspended them from Command hooks adhered to the ceiling. The effect is a bit spooky, even causing a “What the –!” double take on my part the next morning.

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities


Bronze Urn and Eek! Spiders 

Fallen branches are such a great, free way to Halloween up a space. I gathered a few more from our backyard, and spray painted them black. I arranged them in a bronze urn topped by the dramatic wood curl wreath sent to me in one of the Style Challenge mystery boxes. It added that perfect pop of Halloween orange.

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

I have a somewhat irrational fear of spiders; to me they’re scary. I even got goosebumps sticking these plastic spiders on to the mantel legs… but I pushed on in the name of this Style Challenge. #brave

Halloween Mantel: Creepy Curiosities

That wraps up my Halloween mantel for this year’s Style Challenge! Thanks a bunch to The Home Depot for inviting me to participate! I had a ball with the whole concept, and I have a feeling that I’ll be decorating for Halloween here on out.

Anything to get the neighbor-friends talking ;-)

Nya is a talented crafter and DIYer (and humorous writer) who favors simplicity in her style, along with colors and textures from nature. Freckles Chick is where she writes about style and decor and the humor and inspiration she finds in everyday life. She lives near Denver, Colorado with her husband and daughter.

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