Fall: my favorite season! Admittedly, autumn here in Florida lacks the spectacular foliage and delightfully chilly air enjoyed by those in northern states. This makes me rely all the more on décor to evoke that Fall atmosphere in September. Okay, so Fall does not officially arrive until September 22, but I'm so ready now!
Now, don't spend big bucks decorating for fall. It's really not necessary, and I also think it goes against the spirit of the season a little bit. Isn't autumn a time for celebrating the simple abundance of nature, above all else? With that in mind, let's take a look at budget-friendly ways to gussy up your house and yard for Fall.
First up: do buy at least one largish pumpkin
. For a $10 or $15 investment you'll get weeks of big-time Fall attitude for your front porch.
Second, if you can spare a few more bucks, buy a bunch of Indian corn
. You can hang it indoors or out and, unlike pumpkins, Indian corn lasts for year after year. Just be sure to store it in a zip-lock bag the rest of the year to keep the bugs away.
Third, if you have any cash leftover, do buy a handful of tiny mini pumpkins or gourds
. They look so delightful clustered together for a dining table or coffee table centerpiece. Potted mums
are nice, too, and only cost a few dollars each.
Okay, but that's it! The rest of my suggestions are free or require just a dollar or two down.
When you're walking in the woods or your yard over the next few weeks, bring a tote bag. Use it collect leaves, pine cones, acorns, seed pods and anything else that catches your eye.
Use these items to decorate your home. They look great piled in bowls or large canning jars, or scattered on bookshelves. Really special large leaves pop even more if you rub them with moisturizer
'till they shine. You can also experiment with spray painting leaves or other objects with silver or gold paint.
Wrap large leaves around a jar, empty can or vase, and tie with raffia.
Use the container as a pen or kitchen utensil holder for the season.
Dried grains and fruits
look beautiful, too. For example, fill a glass jar with wheat or cracked corn and nestle a candle inside. Or pour cranberries inside an old wineglass
and add a red votive candle.
Autumn Leaf Candle.
Take a large pillar candle and blow dry it with a hair dryer until the wax is softened. Next, gently press some autumn leave into the sides. Instant autumnal flair!
Fall Terra Cotta Pots.
Bring some terra cotta pots indoors and trim off the faded foliage of summer annuals. Spread moss on the surface of the soil and top with tiny pumpkins, gourds or apples. For extra fun, hollow out these objects and place votive candles inside.
Carefully hollow out a pumpkin and use it as a flower vase. Yes, it is waterproof so you can add water, or just use it to hold a bunch of dried flowers.
Budget-friendly Wreaths. Buy a cheap straw wreath at a craft store and embellish it
with pine cones, leaves and other found objects. Use twist ties or a glue gun to attach these odds and ends.
Picture Frame Wreath.
For zero dollars down, use an old picture frame, sans glass and backing board, for your wreath
. Oval, rectangle or square: it doesn't matter which. Just decorate it with ribbon, leaves and whatever else catches your eye.
Now for the front yard! Ask for free or cheap corn stalks
at your local farmers market or roadside stalls. Corn stalks look very pretty tied in bunches on a front porch.
When did scarecrows go from being made from scratch to being "Made in China"? Reclaim an old family tradition and create a homemade scarecrow
this year. Use old clothes stuffed with newspaper and an old pillowcase for the face. Finish it off by tucking raffia or straw around the cuffs and pockets.
More Uses for Leaves.
Instead of bagging and trashing your yard's autumnal leaf deposit, add them to your compost or leaf mulch pile. Leftovers can be used in an easy display for your front yard. Just arrange baskets or a wheelbarrow full of leaves in your front yard near the street.
Shop for bargains.
Sometimes the décor you really want must be purchased. Maybe you don't have the time or inclination to make everything yourself. I understand! So, you must learn to bargain shop. Right after Halloween and again after Thanksgiving, go shopping for Fall items on clearance. Stash your finds for next year. Come next September, you'll be so glad you did!