With the colorful autumn season upon us, most of us get an inner urge to fill our homes with beautiful natural items that will warm our hearts during the cold months ahead.
This year, instead of spending large amounts of money on decorator items from department stores, why not use the very materials that are in huge abundance all around us.
I like to suggest that you grab a basket and take a long walk around your gardens and through the woods, and gather lots of things that remind you of fall. We call these items “Fall Findings.”
Here are just a few ideas that you can use to decorate your home for pennies using these free found items!
1. Bring in some of your terracotta flower pots & remove the spent summer flowers. Level out the top of the soil with an old fork. Then, lay some moss across the top of each pot that you gathered from your walk in the woods. Hollow out some apples, gourds, or small pumpkins & fill with small candles! These decorative displays will light up any fall table!
2. Go out & collect some beautiful leaves with the kids & use them for these great decorating ideas.
– Wrap leaves around a glass canning jar & tie with raffia ribbon. Use them for candles, pencils, kitchen utensils, etc.
– Press leaves between pages of heavy book to dry & make framed prints for Christmas gifts.
– Use a solid color shirt & fabric paint to make beautiful new designs! Take several different shaped leaves & paint one side of the leaf with fabric paint (you can use slightly different colors for shading). Gently press the painted side against your shirt, remove leaf & allow to dry.
– Make your own decorator drapes for under $4! Buy cheap fabric or sheets ($2 – $4.50), and use the leaf painting technique described above. Small grapevine wreaths make wonderful natural tiebacks!
– For an elegant look, spray paint leaves with gold or silver metallic paint. There are so many ways you can use these leaves! Here are a few examples:
– Add them to floral arrangements.
– Use as a placement tag for a dinner party (use a metallic pen to add the person’s name for a personal touch).
– Hot glue onto grapevine wreaths.
– Hot glue onto a grapevine swag to drape over cabinets or curtains.
– Line a glass plate with them & add a candle in the center. The glow of the candle will reflect off the silver or gold paint on the leaves.
– Hang them around pictures with picture hanging putty for a temporary display.
– An elegant fall wreath idea – buy a grapevine or twig wreath ($1.50 – $4), decorate with findings from your walk.
– Decoupage leaves onto natural papers to decorate picture frames, journals, or scrapbook covers!
– Give garden containers, walls, cabinets, etc. a slight appearance of falling leaves! Tape a leaf onto the object you’d like to decorate. Spray paint around the leaf. When you remove the leaf, you only have the outline remaining. You can do this in different patterns to create different effects.
– Give your walls an old cottage look! Use a left over tile, or buy some discontinued tiles natural colors work best). They only cost about .50 for a 12 inch tile! Spread some plaster mix (very cheap mix in the craft section) on the back of a leaf & press it onto the tile. Now you have a leaf imprint. Allow to dry, then rub natural paint colors on the leaf print area. These look wonderful framed in a shadow box frame. I’ve seen these types of frames at my local $1 store. This only takes a few minutes & gives a big decorator look for pennies!
Make several & give them as gifts!
3. Use sticks & twigs and gather them into a swag shape. Tie with floral wire and add fall findings or a nice ribbon bow.
* I used this idea for a breakfast nook in our home & I just love the way it turned out! I gathered some vines from the garden, used some wire to hang them up around the ceiling, then added a few white birds here & there – that looked like they were sitting on the branches.
You could choose, as I do, to leave this up all year round. For each season I add different decorative touches. For example, during the Christmas season, I use paperclips to hang up our Christmas cards. Simply punch a hole in the upper corner, insert the paperclip, and hang from the vines. Little white lights also add a great touch!
4. Make a natural twig candle holder. Put a rubber band around the middle of a glass. Insert twigs under the rubber band until the entire glass is covered. Tie raffia ribbon around the rubber band to cover it up.
I hope you & your family have “piles” of fun!