Mantel Decorating Ideas For Fall

Many families have Thanksgiving traditions that span generations while others embrace the old and occasionally add something new to spice up their celebrations. We’re pleased to bring you something new to add with this embroidered mantel cloth, courtesy of the Martha Pullen Company. White linen serves as a backdrop for four white linen pockets that are each embroidered with a design encouraging you to “Give Thanks.” Maize linen is used in a gently curved pinstitched Madeira border.October Mantel Cloth 1024x934 Mantel Decorating Ideas For Fall

Don’t worry if your mantel is unusually smaller or larger. Length, width and numbers of pockets are easily adjusted. As to what could you do with those pockets — use them to gather thankful thoughts from family members or to serve as holders for small bouquets. Embroidered pockets can also be quickly stitched onto ready-to-embroider napkins or table coverings. Of course, the embroidery alone can add an updated embellishment on table linens that you already own.


  • Embroidery detail and Madeira Border 233x300 Mantel Decorating Ideas For Fall 1 yard white handkerchief linen
  • 1/4 yard maize handkerchief linen
  • 1 yard white batiste
  • Stabilizer: tear-away and water-soluble
  • Quilting ruler
  • Thread: embroidery, matching all-purpose & water-soluble
  • Needles: 75 embroidery, 70 universal & 100 topstitch or universal
  • Removable fabric marker
  • Starch
  • Pocket template
  • Madeira border template

Click here to download the Pocket and Madeira Border Templates.


Prewash and dry the fabric.

From the white linen, pull threads to assure a straight grain and cut one 21”x43” rectangle and four 10” squares.

From the white batiste, cut one 21”x43” rectangle and four pockets using the pocket template.

Pull a thread and cut to straighten one edge of the maize linen piece.


Starch and press each of the 10” linen squares. Fold each square into quarters and mark the centerlines with a removable fabric marker for the center of embroidery.

Stabilize, hoop and embroider the design onto each of the four squares using water-soluble stabilizer.

Cut away the excess stabilizer and trim any loose threads. Remove remaining stabilizer following the manufacturer’s instructions. Let dry, and then press.

Use 1/2” seam allowances unless otherwise indicated.

With the design centered, trace the pocket template onto each embroidered square using a removable fabric marker. Cut out each pocket.

Align a batiste pocket to an embroidered linen pocket with right sides together and stitch around the edges, leaving an opening at the top of each pocket for turning.

Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press. Topstitch along the upper edge 1/8” from the edge to close the opening.

Starch and press the maize linen fabric. Fold in half widthwise with right sides together and finger press the center fold line.

Unfold the fabric and place wrong side up over the Madeira border template, aligning the center fold to the fold line on the template and the straightened bottom edge to the line for the edge of fabric. Trace the template onto the linen.

Thread the sewing machine with water-soluble basting thread in the needle, bobbin or both. Fold the linen piece in half along the previous fold line and stitch along the drawn Madeira line.

Trim away the excess fabric above the line 1/4” from the stitching. Clip the curves.

Turn right side out and press with a dry iron. Lightly spray starch along the seam line and press until dry. Repeat. Try to pull the piece apart. If it is difficult to pull apart, starch and press again. Open the piece flat.

Place the created Madeira border over the white linen rectangle with the wrong side of the Madeira to the right side of the linen. Match the center lines and the lower raw edges.

Install a size 100 topstitch or universal needle into the machine. Place tear-away stabilizer under the white linen and topstitch the Madeira border in place using a pinstitch (L=2.5, W=2.5) and white lightweight thread. Sew the straight part of the stitch on the white linen so the “fingers” of the pinstitch grab the Madeira border.

Tear away the stabilizer. Baste the two layers together along the bottom edge within the seam allowance.

Place the pockets onto the piece according to the layout below. Topstitch the pockets onto the linen piece 1/8” from the pocket edge.

Layout Mantel Decorating Ideas For Fall

Place the 21”x43” rectangle of batiste over the linen piece with right sides together. Pin well to avoid shifting. Stitch around the edges, leaving an opening large enough to turn.

Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press well. Topstitch around the entire mantel cloth 1/8” from the edge. This will close the previous opening.


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One Response to Mantel Decorating Ideas For Fall

  1. Nancy Jacobs says:

    I just love how just a little sweet embroidery gives home decor a truly elegant look. It is one reason I love machine embroidery so much.

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