I love making my house uniquely mine. It took me until August (6 months of living in our rented house) to put pictures up on the walls, because I wanted to make sure that they were where I wanted them to be in relation to our furniture. And it wasn’t until my aunt and mom came in August and helped me figure out the furniture that I finally felt like the house was coming together. There is so much I still want to do but we’re waiting on a number of things, mostly because we are renting.
We have always rented, and because of that, holidays are a great time of year for me. I love being able to put up decorations that I know aren’t long-term. I don’t have to absolutely LOVE them, (although that is the plan), because they won’t be up on my walls/floors indefinitely. Having babies/toddlers does make it a little tricky but decorating for fall can be done!
This post should also have a subheading of Decorating on a Budget, because as much as I love the decorations at Michaels, they are just way out of my budget!
This faux birdhouse was a craft we did at a Ladies’ Retreat one year. They used old boards that had been repurposed (driftwood, etc) and created a slope on the top. They hollowed out a small area and added that cheap moss that you can get at the dollar store (but I think that this would actually be optional). A twig was drilled into it (for the “bird” to sit on) and then we were allowed to add whatever decorations we wanted. A small piece of red checkered fabric, some faux berries, tiny metal stars, anything you could want (or have laying around your house) would work. I have this propped on my front step. I like it. It’s like a cheery, welcome home sign every time I come inside.
I love my fabric pumpkin, too. I made this last year and had it sitting in my hallway in our apartment. I have “Welcome” on it in black fabric paint but its kind of hard to read. These fabric pumpkins are really easy to make. Here’s a great tutorial on them. The only thing I did differently was instead of using twine to make the shape of the sides, I made running stitches from the bottom to the top, leaving a long tail at the top. I spaced the rows evenly apart so that you had sections (like the twine/string would create). Then, after stuffing, I just pulled the stitches as tight as I wanted to shape the side (does that make sense?). I plan on adding real pumpkins to this vignette when we are able to get to the Valley where they are cheaper. Decorating for Fall does not have to break the budget!
This year I added two felt apples. I have recently gotten into sewing felt food. Little Man loves to cook so part of his and his sister’s Christmas present this year is going to be lots of different felt foods (soft so I don’t kill myself if I step on any in the dark!). I’m also hoping to make some to sell. So if anybody is interested get your order in now!
Some other great ideas for Thanksgiving-type, cheap decorations, if you know where to get them, are hay bales (you might be able to pick them up cheap or free even!), corn sheaves (I would love to get my hands on some of these!), and gourds (you can usually pick these up for less than a dollar around Thanksgiving). You can also use apples. They are pretty cheap this time of year (usually), especially if you live somewhere where you can pick your own. Besides simmering the skins to make your house smell amazing, you can also use them as candle holders (see MarthaStewart.com).
Other great, nature items that you can use in decorating for Fall are acorns, tree branches, and leaves.
Leaves always make great Fall decorations and the added bonus is that your kids will love filling a bag with them! I love these mason jars covered with leaves that I found here. There is actually a different blog that uses the same idea here but I think the first one has a better idea. In the first post, she modge podged (glued) leaves to the outside of the mason jar making the inside useable for anything (storing food, etc). I would think you could put a real candle inside these jars (pumpkin anyone?). The second blogger glued fake leaves to the inside of the jar which would allow for their use only with battery-operated tea lights. Leaves are also great to use on your table (just scatter them in the center and add your centerpiece for a nice tableau). Glue leaves to tiles to create your own natural coasters. Create a banner with fabric ones (these you can cut any size and even add letters if you want the words FALL, etc on them).
I’ve also seen some great uses of tree branches in decorating lately. And there are lots of fallen trees around us. Make sure you don’t cut down any small trees just to use in decorations, use only dead wood for your projects. Here is a great blog post on using a thin log cut into varying lengths as a centerpiece for a table. You could also try baking it in the oven on low for an hour to kill any bugs that might be hiding under the bark, just keep an eye on it and don’t start a fire!
I actually love the entire post above (you can access it here again). There is a really cute idea for using small pumpkins or gourds as a tic tac toe centerpiece. Wouldn’t your kids love it???!!
Another cheap “decorating for Fall” idea is to find a free printable, print it off, put it in a frame, and hang it on your wall. You can find them on Etsy for a nominal fee as well (but I’m cheap, haha).
Later in the week we will a great DIY for something you can use to decorate! And keep your eye out for that giveaway I mentioned earlier in the month. =0
Happy Tuesday Tea!