I know you are busy.

I get it.

I understand.

There is football and hot chocolate and craft fairs and shopping and an entire new season of Hallmark Christmas movies just waiting for you to press play.

But can you give me five minutes?

That’s it.

That’s all you need to make a fall mantel like this.

And the best part?

I found the easiest, simplest way to do it with TWO things we all need in our lives.

To make this mantel all you need are these amazing candles and these bittersweet branches.

This set of faux flickering candles.

I ordered them off Amazon a couple of weeks ago. Someone else had recommended them to me and I thought I would try them to decorate with for fall. I love to have twinkling lights and candles in the evening when the days start getting shorter.


Instant cozy.

Let me sing these candles’ praises (along with the 7500 reviews on Amazon).

They come in a set of nine and there are three different sizes. They are battery-operated and the LED light inside the candle flickers. It looks so real when it flickers, too.

My favorite color is the ivory because it’s a clear white and looks SO PRETTY.

The set comes with a remote that you can use to turn the candles off and on.

You can also set them for two hours or four hours. You can dim them or make them brighter and they run on only two AA batteries.

I’ve had them for about a month and turn them on all the time and haven’t had to change the batteries yet.

// faux bitter-sweet branches //

And in amazing news?

The entire set is under $30 right now if you use the 5% coupon when you order.



You these candles’ praises

// faux bittersweet branches //

Once I ordered the candles, the rest of the mantel fell in place.

Here’s how I created it.

Your five-minute fall mantel guide step-by-step.

Step 1: Add a group of three to each side

Do not overthink this step.

Just find three things that you love and add them to each side.

Try to stick with a basic color scheme, but other than that? There really aren’t any rules.

I added a tray a tiny pitcher and a stand to one side.

On the other side, I added a stack of books, a pumpkin in a milk glass vase and a blue and white pumpkin and these faux bitter-sweet branches.

. It’s similar to what I did in the fall entryway.

Here are some ideas for things you could add in a group of three to your mantel:

  • pumpkins
  • vases
  • picture frames
  • spheres
  • stacks of books
  • wood beads
  • pot of fall flowers
  • milk glass
  • blue and white accessory pieces

And on and on and decorating on.

You get the idea. You just need three on each side.

Step 2: Tuck in some fall stems

Find some pretty fall stems that you like and tuck them in.

I found bittersweet (don’t worry they are faux) and just tucked them in and around my groupings of three. Here are somefaux bitter-sweet branches that are super similar.

If this is too abstract of a look you could always put them in a vase.

Again, there are no rules. Here are some budget decorating ideas for fall and some ideas for your fall stems:

  • one large vase full of stems on one side (then add two more things to go with it)
  • two equally placed vases on either side full of fall stems
  • one vase elevated on one side (using a pedestal or stack of books) and one vase lower on the other side with both vases full of fall stems
  • randomly tucking in the stems (like I did here) which works for thicker, substantial stems like this bittersweet–it kind of has a mind of its own and it looks like art with its free-floating flowers

// faux bitter-sweet branches //

Step 3: Add the candles

Once your mantel is set, then add the candles to the display.

I only used one set of candles for this display and I think it works great.

If you wanted less stem and more flickering light, you could always go with two sets and scatter pumpkins and a stem like eucaplytus among them.

I also added the bittersweet to a glass vase on the side table here. You can see the rest of the fall living room here.

Bittersweet is such a pretty fall stem that looks like modern art.

With my fall mantel this year, I love the look of the bittersweet with the abstract painting.

That’s it.

That’s all you need.

Five minutes.

Three steps.

And these candles.

Such an easy fall mantel and TONS of time left over to start on that movie marathon.

I’ll bring the popcorn.

PS Just when I couldn’t get any more excited I just found these candles for Christmas. I ordered them and they came in yesterday. I’ll keep you posted after I’ve tried them.

PPS I wanted to share some of these fun fall decorating ideas, too.

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post

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  1. Image for leslie aquilino leslie aquilino

    I ordered these candles after I saw on your Instagram. Love them!! ❤️🍁oh and the wooden beads you mentioned… purchased 7 !! ☺️

  2. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love the candles-put them on a timer and have beautiful candle light every night. Your room looks beautiful and so welcome.

  3. Image for Peg Peg

    I love the bittersweet!! It's considered invasive here in Massachusetts but it just screams fall to me, with all it's twiggy goodness!!! xoxo

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Yes! I have! I've done two and I am about to do one today at 2:30pm. Here's the link to the other two: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUfnMH_Df_KaC5ds_1hLKbA happy day! KariAnne

  4. Image for Heather Taylor Heather Taylor

    I don't know if you realise it Karianne, but you are colour co-ordinated with your mantel! LOL Love the bittersweet , so simple and elegant but makes a great statement.

  5. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Magical...that's the word that comes to mind when I am lucky enough to even find bittersweet...I'm in Virgina, on the coast, and some years we can get it from the mountains, but not this year. I'm going to hobby lobby. Just love the perfect flow of it. I use it my dining room chandelier and across my Thanksgiving table. And every where else. Love your insights and ideas, Kari.

  6. Image for Delanie Delanie

    Love that mantle! I think blue and orange have to be one of the BEST color combinations ever!! I think I have the exact faux candles…..I’m just needing to put batteries in them…🤦‍♀️ I love your sweater! Would you share where you bought it? It is so cute with those crocheted sleeve cuffs! Thanks for the info and for all the inspiration!

  7. Image for Carol Tucker Carol Tucker

    You're as cute as a button with your big smile!! I'm so impressed with your decor ideas and sharing your home. I look forward to your blogs and love that I can see all your previous blogs within each new blog...great way to keep all your wonderful tips in one place. Thank you❤

  8. Image for Loryl Loryl

    Your mantel looks amazing and I love the candles!! Thank you for stressing that you used faux bittersweet. I cringe every time i see natural bittersweet in a blogger’s home that has pets. Bittersweet is in the nightshade family. I always wanted to decorate with it and used a natural bunch above my cabinets in the kitchen. I thought I was being very careful when I removed it but an errant berry was eaten by our dog. 😱 She went into convulsions and almost had renal failure. Luckily we got her to the vet in time. This was over 20 years ago but I still remember how frightened we were for her. Since then I only use faux decorations. Better safe than sorry.


    KariAnne, I now wish I had a mantel to decorate. LOL. I'm sharing a link on Dirt Road Adventures. Plus. a link to your fabulous new book. I LOVE IT. Thank you so much.

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