Everyone’s doing it.

Decorating their mantels for Fall.


But, not me.  Nope.


In order to decorate a mantel, one must have a mantel.

                             It’s one of those details that makes all the difference.


I had a mantel.  Once.

It was lovely.  Of course, I just might be a little biased since I designed it.  That was my Michigan mantel which surrounded my favorite brick, and housed a firebox where we burned cherry.  Mmmm.  So fragrant.

I loved that fireplace.  The mantel too.  On a fall evening I could be found tending the fire, almost sitting in the firebox, to get in close to the heat and ward off the chill.  Great memories.


So what does one do when “everyone’s” decorating mantels and is without a mantel?  Decorate the top of a buffet or sideboard.

I hope you’re okay with my wannabe mantel.


AnExtraordinaryDay.net | Fall Mantle Wannabe | Asters & Amaranth & Squash Vignette in a Longaberger Basket


See that purple flower in the bunch?  That I drove by several times and finally, I remembered my pruners and snipped it.  It’s an Aster.  An extraordinary Aster.  The prettiest I’ve seen along the byways…my favorite place for flower picking.

You’ll see here that I came home with a bit more than just the Aster.  {grin}


AnExtraordinaryDay.net | Fall Mantle Wannabe | Asters & Amaranth Vignette in a Longaberger Basket


This was a super simple little ‘mantel’ arrangement.

Here’s how it all went together…..

It began with my Longaberger Oval Serving Tray Basket.  To it I added a lace thing that’s been hanging out in a drawer.  It belonged to my mom.  Probably my grandmother.  I never remember seeing it used anywhere.  So it was time.

Then I added my “Wan-eta Cocoa Boston” brown glass Mason jar to which I dressed with a sash of burlap and twine.  Next came the Amaranth.  That was a tall stalk of grain that I picked up from the Friendship Farms booth at the farmers’ market and cut to fill the cocoa jar.  (It even came with those lovely lacy leaves, courtesy of some creative insect.)  While at the farmers’ market I also picked up a Heritage Pennsylvania Crook Neck Squash.  Its color was a lovely tonal blend with the Amaranth and the basket, sitting on a strip of burlap I cut from a coffee sack, to make a runner.

All that golden beige and tan loveliness need some zing.  And that’s where that stunning Aster came into the picture and brought life to this still.

Something else was needed.  So I took one of the silverplate candlesticks that belonged to my mom, topped it with a votive candle, and set it in the crook of the squash.


AnExtraordinaryDay.net | Fall Mantle Wannabe | Asters & Amaranth Vignette in a Longaberger Basket


So what do you think?

                  Will this pass for a mantelscape?

                                             Is that even a word?


Happy Fall!


Receive FREE inspiration like this in your inbox!
Sign up Now.


  1. I love that you decorated your buffet. I’ve been longing for a mantle to decorate and I don’t have one either. I think I will go out and get some things to decorate my hutch or table with this weekend.

  2. Rochelle VanDam says

    Love all your no-cost creative ideas……anybody can make their home cozy and filled with fall decor…you just have to take a walk or look in your own backyard….You inspire those that would struggle with taking a chance with a few ordinary things in their own home.

    • Diane says

      Awwwww Rochelle….your words were like a hug to me. 😀 Thank you!!!
      You’re right though….God provides all kinds of beauty for us to enjoy and decorate with….the pizzazz to be added to the common everyday things we already have in our homes.
      Blessings dear friend!

  3. bj says

    Why, it;s just about PERFECT…it is beautiful and mantel or no mantel, you came up with a winner.
    Over from the Mantel Party

    • Diane says

      Oh my, you are too kind. I almost didn’t share it….. Thank you so much!!!!!
      Happy Fall BJ!!

  4. I love how you decorated. I don’t have a mantel either. I did decorate this little shelf I have hanging on the wall.

    • Diane says

      Thank you Heather!! I did notice your shelf. So cute with the big FALL letters! Love that!

  5. LOVE you buffet. that is all you need..no fuss no muss just getting the Harvest gist. I took it easy this year too…believe me.

    • Diane says

      Thanks Debbie!!! Sometimes we get a little carried away don’t we?

  6. Susan says

    That’s so warm and pretty. We have a fireplace but it’s too hot to use, so I light a candle every evening to give it that fall feeling.

    • Diane says

      You’re so sweet Susan! Lighting a candle each evening is a wonderful way to “feel” fall whatever the temperature.
      Happy Fall!!

  7. Stopping over from SITS! Your mantel is beautiful!

    • Diane says

      Awww thanks Andrea!!!
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!!

  8. Decorating your sideboard is a great idea! I wish I had a fireplace too. I’ve never had one, but I know that I would love everything about it (other than cleaning it). Maybe one day soon I’ll have one : )

    Stopping by from SITS! Thank you for sharing!

    • Diane says

      It is lots of fun decorating a sideboard. I’ve only had mine for a month or so and I’m loving it. Hope a fireplace is in your future, too! Thanks for popping by!

  9. Hi there! I came through SITS, and love your ‘mantel’! We don’t have a fireplace or mantel either, and it kills me every Christmas. You’ve found a great alternative, though!

    • Diane says

      I love SITS! Thanks for stopping by Leslie. 😀 I’ve seen some really lovely ‘fake’ fireplaces with mantels. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  10. Ok, I am going to walk out RIGHT NOW and take a pruner with me. I really love what you’ve done! Thanks for sharing!

    • Diane says

      So the big question is…..Did you get out today and find some fall fabulousness in the fields?

  11. Love what you did! Such inviting textures and colors! (Stopping by from SITS)

    • Diane says

      Thank you Melissa! It was so fun to put together.
      Happy Fall!

  12. Babs says

    Hey, I like your “mantel”. I have a mantel , but it isn’t one of my favorite things to decorate. You did a great job and I really like your floral arrangement.
    Babs….popping over from The Polohouse -Favorites on the First

    • Diane says

      You did a great job with your “real” mantel! And those books….what gorgeous covers!
      Thanks for popping by Babs!
      Happy Fall!
      P.S. Your blog’s been hitting my inbox for close to a year now 😀

  13. You don’t need a mantel! You do an awesome job without one!

    I host a weekly link party – Seasonal Sundays – and would love to have join next Sunday!

    – The Tablescaper

    • Diane says

      I’m honored. You are a gifted tablescaper.
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  14. Thanks for joining me at HSH!

    • Diane says

      My pleasure, Sherry. You have a wonderful blog. 😀


  1. […] though.  I don’t have a mantel.  Nope.  You may remember I shared about my Wannabe Mantel here.   Due in part to Melissa’s encouragement I feel confident pumpkinscaping my sideboard. […]

  2. […] few weeks ago I put together this bit of fabulous fall floral frivolity.  You might remember my Wannabe Fall Mantel?  There is something about squashes that exude a sense of comfort and contentment.  Don’t […]

  3. […] might remember last fall I wanted to decorate a mantel for…um… Fall!   What did I do?  Decorated my sideboard. […]

Please Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts!


AMAZON ASSOCIATES DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.