A lot of people don’t even start to think about seasonal decorating until the holiday season, but there are lots of inexpensive ways that you can celebrate the arrival of fall as well! By incorporating natural elements, reusing items that you might already have, shopping strategically, and taking on craft projects, you can create a cozy autumn atmosphere in your home without breaking the bank.
EditSteps

EditUsing Nature

  1. Replace summer flowers with fall leaves. If you have vases that you typically use for flowers, consider swapping flowers for branches with colored leaves. If you live in an area where colorful autumn foliage is common, you can easily just find a branch in your yard or neighborhood to use.

    • Before bringing anything from outdoors in your house, spray it down with water and let it dry inside the garage or another sheltered space. This minimizes the chances of bringing any bugs into your home. [1]
    • Don’t remove branches from anyone else’s yard. You always want to be respectful of other people’s property!

  2. Preserve fall leaves with decoupage. If you are able to collect some colorful fall leaves, you can preserve them by brushing a light layer of decoupage or a related product over their surface. You can then adorn your table or mantel with these leaves without fear of them drying, losing their color, or breaking. [2]

    • Decoupage refers to an art form that involves gluing paper to other surfaces, but it also commonly refers to the type of sealant that is used to do this.
    • Mod Podge is a popular brand of decoupage, as it functions as a glue, sealant, and finish all in one.

  3. Feature pumpkins in your decor. Pumpkins are an integral part of fall decor, and you can usually find them at grocery stores for relatively cheap! There are several ways you can creatively incorporate pumpkins into your fall decor.

    • Remove the insides of the pumpkin and fill them with your favorite seasonal flower. Taller pumpkins work best for this, but the shorter ones can work too if you cut the flower stems short.
    • Carve or paint them to make them one-of-a-kind. You can add your own designs to the pumpkins, or simply change their colors. White, gray, and other neutral-colored pumpkins can make for chic accents on a front porch or mantel.
    • If you’re not keen on the mess involved in carving pumpkins, consider buying fake ones! They’re a worthwhile investment, because you don’t have to replace them year after year.

  4. Use a tree branch as a table centerpiece. If you stumble upon a particularly interesting or pretty tree branch, consider using it as a table centerpiece! You can lay it length-wise on a table, and then arrange smaller pumpkins, gourds, corn husks, etc. around it.

    • Remember to sanitize the item before bringing it into your home. Rinse it down with water and let it dry.
    • Don’t break a tree branch off of a tree for this purpose. It’s best if you happen to find one that has already fallen.
    • Don’t place lit candles near a tree branch centerpiece, as this is a fire hazard.

EditRepurposing Items You Already Have

  1. Turn tiered cake or serving platters into fall centerpieces. You can arrange small pumpkins, gourds, leaves, ribbons, and candles on serving platters that might have once featured a wedding cake. These can then function as table centerpieces, or they can be added to an entryway table for a beautiful autumn welcome into your home.
  2. Use scarves in fall displays. Knitted or patterned scarves that you are not planning on wearing can be featured in mantel or other fall displays. Scarves that are shades of brown or that feature a plaid pattern work best. You can weave them around pumpkins, vases, or other decorations to soften the look of an arrangement.
  3. Write a festive fall quote or message on a chalkboard. If your home has a chalkboard or whiteboard, you can write a quote about autumn or a festive message on it. There are so many poetic quotes from literature about fall that can help brighten a room. Some examples:

    • ”How beautifully leaves grow old! How full of light and color are their last days.” - John Burroughs [3]
    • ”Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald [4]
    • ”Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” - Emily Brontë [5]

  4. Make a fall potpourri. Beyond the physical appearance of your home, you can also create classic fall scents by making a quick potpourri with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. A potpourri is a mixture of food items and spices that is meant to perfume a room. This can lend to a more warm and cozy feeling in your space. [6]

    • Potential ingredients for a fall potpourri are orange peels, apple slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
    • Put everything in a pot of water on the stove and let it simmer all day, refilling occasionally with water. Enjoy the delicious smell it creates!

EditGetting Crafty

  1. Use free printables. There are so many free fall printables online that you can use to decorate your home. When you find a quote or a design you like, you can feature it in a picture frame or affix it to a piece of unfinished wood, giving it a rustic fall touch.

    • A simple online search for “fall printables” yields hundreds of results; Pinterest is another great source for these.

  2. Make a fall wreath. Your front door will be the prettiest one on the block with a homemade fall wreath. There are so many potential variations of this project. You can use leaves, corn husks, apples, berries, foliage, pumpkins, flowers, pinecones, ribbon, or fabric to adorn your wreath.

    • You’ll need to buy something that you can use as a frame for your wreath. This can range from a foam ring, a wire ring, or even a pool noodle! It just depends on the weight and shape of what you plan to attach to the frame. [7]
    • If you know that you’ll want to reuse your wreath year after year, then the best move would be to purchase fake flowers, foliage, or an artificial version of whatever you would like to use on your wreath. Then you won’t have to worry about your wreath decaying over longer periods of time.[8]

  3. Create your own fall garland. People typically associate garlands with the holiday season, but you can quickly make one for fall as well! Tie twine around pinecones, and even attach flowers to the twine using bits of wire hot-glued to the bottoms of the flower heads (in place of stems).

    • This project could be adapted to use leaves or other fall items that are light enough to be tied to a string. [9]

EditShopping Smart

  1. Take advantage of post-season sales. Craft stores typically sell a lot of seasonal decor. However, once the season passes, they need to clear out their inventory to make room for the next one. This means big sales!

    • Visit craft stores at the end of fall (typically late November, early December) to see what kind of discounts they’re offering, and then store any treasures you find for next year. [10]

  2. Check out your local thrift stores. You can easily find old picture frames, vases, candle holders, and containers for very inexpensive prices at thrift stores! These items can then be seamlessly integrated into a fall display.Advertisement


    • Seasonal decor also often shows up as well -- it just might not be in the right season. Shop at thrift stores year-round, and don’t be opposed to snatching up a fall wreath that you find in January. You can save it, and bring it out when the time comes! [11]

  3. Visit your local dollar store. Dollar stores typically offer seasonal decorations at very low prices. These decorations are often pretty small, and they wouldn’t look great by themselves, but they can be integrated into larger displays. Small candles and faux gourds/vegetables can be used to fill empty spaces in fall displays or wreaths.
  4. Buy decor in neutral colors. Of course, the classic fall shades of yellow, orange, and red do have a certain charm to them. However, if you are looking to buy fall decorations, choosing neutral colors means that you can reuse certain pieces throughout the whole year. Shades of gray and white often complement natural items nicely. [12]

EditTips

  • Try to designate an area where you store your fall decor. If you have space to keep items throughout the year, you can reuse them again and again, thus saving money in the long run!

EditWarnings

  • Fall decor is definitely fun, but avoid cluttering up spaces with too many decorations.
  • Do not place any lit candles close to wood decor or other flammable pieces.

EditSources and Citations

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