Decorating a Mantel with Vintage Halloween Decor

Decorating a Mantel with Vintage Halloween Decor

For many years, I didn’t have a lot of vintage Halloween decor. It’s much rarer than vintage Christmas decorations, but I’ve been slowly collecting bits and pieces over the years. But one thing I did have from my childhood was one of my favorite children’s Halloween books. So, I decided to assemble my spooky bits and bobs to use as Halloween mantel decor.

And if you’re wondering where I’m going with this, well…this is definitely a departure from my normal upcycling tutorial blog post. An experiment, if you will. 

Anyway, this is my beloved book.

Childrens Halloween books as part of Halloween mantel decor

It’s in near perfect condition because it would be stowed away with our Halloween decorations each year. Either way, it seemed display-worthy for my mantel.

From there, I layered and arranged everything else I had gathered until I was happy with the display!

Vintage Halloween decor on a fireplace mantel

All of my vintage Halloween decor is older, thrifted, or upcycled. So, while this may not be an upcycling tutorial blog post, it certainly celebrates all things secondhand.

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Children’s Books and Door Hangers as Vintage Halloween Decor

First, I’ll take you across the mantel from left to right.

Vintage Halloween post cards and door hangers as mantel decor

The vintage Halloween postcard of the little witch is authentic, and was my very first purchase of vintage Halloween decor. It seemed SO expensive at the time, but in retrospect, it really wasn’t that bad. 

You may recognize the candy corn from this upcycling project of mine

The chain candlestick (there’s a pair) and the mantel clock (which is VERY broken inside) were thrift store finds. I found one of the door hangers through a favorite Etsy shop.

Everything else came from various antiquing adventures, including a second children’s Halloween book! I was nervous that it would be a bit inappropriate or off-color of a book, but the story is quite sweet and charming!

Vintage Ouija board as Halloween mantel decor

Next, moving towards the center, I used a vintage Ouija board (thrift store find) as the mantel’s centerpiece. It rests in the hinge of a vintage book to keep it from sliding off.

And it also helps keep some of the Halloween door hangers in place, as well!

Vintage Halloween decor with children's Halloween books

As my tour of vintage Halloween decor continues, get a load of that black cat door hanger. She is HUGE, about 22″ tall! 

And you can see another couple of vintage serger cone projects here, as well as a very peculiar oddity that I’ll show a closer-up below.

Children's Halloween books and vintage black cat decor

Finally, the far right side of the Halloween mantel. That old pharmacy bottle was an antique store find, and inspired one of my first Halloween blog posts many years ago!

The only piece I don’t remember finding/getting is the bathtub planter with the three black kittens. My mind is a COMPLETE blank, but it’s definitely a vintage piece.

The third children’s book and the tall black cat statue were thrift store finds. I did, however, add the glass eyes to the cat statue.

Hidden Secrets of My Halloween Mantel Decor

In order to get the layers and height, there are a few secrets hidden amongst the vintage Halloween decor. 

For instance, there’s a tall, skinny brass candlestick behind the mantel clock. And it acts as the perch for the jack-o-lantern door hanger.

How to display the vintage Halloween decor on a mantel

I also tucked the upper right corner of my vintage Halloween postcard behind the hinge of the clock face to hold it in place.

The green children’s book is wedged behind the mantel clock to hold it upright and closed. This allowed me to use it as a perch for a smaller door hanger.

Halloween door hangers as mantel decor

You can kind of-sort of see it here, but there’s actually another book hidden behind my copy of “Two Too Many”! It’s not the perfect height, but ultimately, I used it to hold up another vintage Halloween postcard.

One of the legs of the candlestick holds it against the wall.

Vintage curiosities and oddities as Halloween mantel decor

And thus we come to the strangest little oddity. A metal cast of someone’s finger- likely someone named “Andersen”, based on the embossed name.

It was a bizarre, but inexpensive find at a now-closed antiques shop in Cashiers, NC.

I’m telling you, it was the COOLEST shop, and even the actor Leslie Jordan would shop there. I think Leslie would get QUITE the kick of our little finger oddity, don’t you?

Decorating a Mantel with Vintage Halloween Decor

And that, my friends, is it! My Halloween mantel for this year.

Vintage Halloween cards and door hangers as mantel decor

I love that it was inspired by a childhood treasure of mine, one that I cherish to this day.

Decorating a mantel with vintage Halloween decor

And, it was truly fun to hunt for other children’s Halloween books to include along with the rest of my vintage Halloween decor. Assembling everything together with the Halloween door hangers, vintage postcards, and other quirky finds was a delightful change of pace for me.

Don’t worry, though. This was just the briefest of aberrations for my blog. I’ll be back to upcycling projects the next time you hear from me, I promise!

But I’m curious- did you enjoy this decorating post as a change of pace? Or would you rather I stay in my upcycling lane? Let me know!

Speaking of which, here’s a fun collection of upcycled Halloween decoration ideas to kick off your October right!

Upcycling Projects and Halloween craft ideas

Craft on!


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Decorating a Halloween mantel with vintage door hangers and postcards

Halloween door hangers and Vintage Halloween postcards on a mantel

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. I love seeing collections, and this one is very cool. Thanks for sharing!

  2. You were inspired by your fav book & I thought back to mine. And there it was! Old Black Witch! My mom would make the blueberry pancake recipe in the back. As an adult, I searched used book & thrift stores but could never locate it. My mom found it online for $22 and surprised me with it. I LOVE your mantel & your website.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      What are the chances!!! Believe it or not, but that was a thrift store find on my first thrifting adventure after moving to Charlotte! And thank you so much for your kind words- I sincerely appreciate it. XOXO

  3. Loved the decorating post, as it is always interesting to see your thrifting thoughts in “action”. As usual, your end result is amazing!! Thanks for sharing…

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Jenni! I always get nervous when I veer off-course…you’d think I’d have grown thicker skin by now, LOL.

  4. Hi, I enjoyed the tour of your mantel! You should do more of how you style your home with your thrift finds and repurposed creations. Very interesting how you styled your mantel.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Elaine! I never did that in our old house because it was so small, cramped, and generally cave-like with its darkness. This house is much more amenable to that, so I’ll definitely be thinking of ways to blog about decorating for sure.

  5. So cool, I love your mantel!!


  6. How fun! I love vintage or even vintage looking Halloween. Sort of reminds me of my childhood, I suppose. Loved your books. I think displays should be meaningful and not just what is currently offered on the shelves of big-box stores! Hugs, Sandi

  7. penney helms says

    This mantel is awesome! Since you included some upcycling projects, I think you should definitely continue doing this when you have a chance.

  8. Stephanie M. says

    I found your post refreshing and inspiring! I’m off to the attic for an adventure! Thank you!👍🏼👍🏼

  9. I love seeing your decorated mantle. I like this kind of ‘veering off’. I tend to be too sparse when I put things on my mantle but seeing all this stuff together is so eye catching. Also makes me remember the items I had growing up and the jack o lantern that I carried for trick or treating. I think it must have been paper mache. That would have been in the 40’s, My mother saved everything for us and I had it once but don’t know what happened to it.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Those paper mache candy buckets are hard to find these days! What an amazing piece that would be if you could find it, eh? And thank you for the kind words- maybe I’ll do another one of these at Christmas time!

  10. Rebecca Payne says

    So cute. I like the old books you displayed.

  11. Molly Tomaszewski says

    Wonderful!!!! Love it!

  12. Great posting of vintage Halloween. Really enjoyed this one.

  13. I loved seeing all of your Halloween treasures! Seeing how you styled everything by altering their heights, etc. was very helpful. I just loved that finger, though! Back in college (’73), when we had to work with high temperature plastic for making hand splints, we had to make a plaster cast of our hand first to form the plastic on it. Wonder if that was the reason for the finger??? Or just someone’s art project?

  14. Elizabeth HugginsThompson says

    I absolutely LOVED this post. You’ve curated a completely cute collection of vintage Halloween. The Big Pumpkin and Big Cat door hangers are so reminiscent of my childhood. The Ouija Board is the perfect central anchor. (My mother caught us playing with the Ouija Board late one night and was so upset and threw it out. Really get story and memory attached to that one!) The finger is funny, funky, creepy, quirky. The perfect addition. Great job. Love your arrangements and style.

  15. I really enjoyed this! I’m on my way now to shop my collections and decorate my mantel. Thank you.

  16. I enjoyed this article very much and would like to see more.

  17. Mary Loveland says

    You do a wonderful job with Halloween! Love your books and that postcard is a huge surprise. Still have a Ouija board myself….

  18. Coco Burns says

    This was so enjoyable so do this again with whenever the inspiration hits. I especially liked the descriptions of your pieces and I would most certainly have a finger in my collection too if I saw one. A couple of weeks ago I was in a thrift store in Alabama and I saw someone who looked just like you, even down to the jaunty hat like you’re wearing in your picture. I thought “aw-w-w, you have a thrifting soul sister in NC and you don’t even know it.”

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Oh my gosh, that’s so wild about my thrifting twin!!! I love it. And thank you, Connie, for the encouragement!

  19. Susan Celestian says

    Fun stuff! I always like to see how to display the vintage finds. Happy Halloween!

  20. Carol King says

    This is so awesome! I love the all the vintage stuff. Reminds me of my childhood, too.

  21. Deb in Oklahoma says

    LOVE THIS! We had some of those paper door hangers when I was a kid–how I wish I still had those. But this mantle is just so much fun. A good thing about upcycling is being able to your collection of holiday decor. Authentic old Halloween decorations can be pretty creepy, so if you find any, grab them when you can. This just made me smile today.

  22. Thanks for sharing your very cool mantel decor! I especially love the cat book, chain candle holders and the tall black cat sculpture. You have inspired people.

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