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Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2002
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Autumn is my favorite time of year. After enduring a long hot summer, autumn is a wonderful fun relief. With a wisp in the air and a cool breeze, I’m ready for the change of seasons to come. This season to me is a prelude of all the great up coming holidays. It gets me excited and frisky as the weather changes. Autumn, Fall, or Harvest decorating (I call it all three) will begin in our home the day after Labor Day. I have a lot of decorations that are elaborate, but these are the ones that are quick and easy for you to do. I can’t wait so lets get started!

Most of the things I use for decorating in September can easily be carried on through to Thanksgiving Day. Many of my decorations for these next months prior to Christmas will have multiple uses over and over again with some adjustments for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I start preparations for decorating with a very clean pallet. That means removing the usual daily knick-knacks, pictures, and the removal of curtains and the addition of another décor table.

The actual deep fall house cleaning goes into effect for every room in the house. This is the kind of house cleaning that includes those usually overlooked places and awkward spaces that we don’t like to deal with on a weekly basis and keep putting off; washing woodwork and windows are unfortunately involved. As for outside the home, all summer type decorations will be removed and stored for winter. Say bye-bye to the lawn chairs, dad’s hammock, yard art, and the kids outdoor toys until next spring. They will get a coat of paint or a good cleaning and covered well so next year, they will be in perfect condition to take right out and use. Not to worry though; those things will be replaced with lots of seasonal fun stuff now.

The colors involved in Autumn aren’t hard to figure out; just look closely at some fallen leaves and there will be your basic color pallet. Shades of gold, green, orange, red, burgundy and brown used against and with basic shades of natural wheat will set the tone.

Decorating on a shoe string budget for this time of year is so easy. Lots of odds and ends with a harvest theme can be purchased inexpensively at the local dollar store. The trick to using store bought items is to always add your personal touch to them so get your glue gun ready.

Here are some of my ideas to share:

Designate a focal point in your main living area. This should be a place where the eye can be easily drawn to, where you will design your main decoration. This could be on the home entertainment center, a coffee table, a piano, etc. Rather than having one item stand alone, use groupings for a maximum effect to your focal point.

Candles always work well in any decorative arrangement. Have plenty of tapers on hand along with some fat chunky candles in varied sizes. The trick to making a statement using candles is repeating the same color candle in your grouping. Use a strand of amber Christmas lights to thread through your grouping. Looks pretty!

Grapevine wreaths are simple. I'm lucky because we have a little vineyard in the yard, but grapevine wreaths can be purchased nearly anywhere. Just add a few pieces of autumn floral sticks, some raffia, and garnish with a great bow. This can make a nice backdrop behind your focal point.

Buy a roll or two of wire ribbon using any of your leaf colors or pre-made ribbon with an already festive theme printed on it. The ribbon can be used to tie bows on candle holders, lamp bases, grape vine wreaths, and used in floral arrangements.

Gather leaves and wax them the old fashioned way by sandwiching leaves in between two pieces of wax paper and heat with an iron. Use a needle and thread to make a leafy garland to display anywhere. If you happen to have a laminate machine use that instead of waxing your leaves. Then you can use a hole puncher for your holes and thread thin ribbon.

Baskets filled with all sorts of festive things are great for decorations.

Gather pine cones and acorns in a basket bedded with a handful of hay or straw or a cloth napkin. This is a table centerpiece using your ribbon hot glued around the basket finished off with a bow. Weave thin strands of raffia between some of the pine cone layers. Don’t forget to add fresh apples to your basket or some gourds.

Small galvanized pails are great to use. Decoupage some seasonal pictures on them that you can cut out of a old calendar. You can also buy an inexpensive wall paper border with pictures to cut out and use. Fill the pail with apples or treats or use it to hold a floral arrangement.

The dollar store carries great inexpensive ceramic pumpkins and little ceramic odds and ends such as leafy ashtrays. Don’t forget to add garnishes to personalize them and make them your own. I drape some gold kids necklace beads found in the toy department around them and use the ashtrays for candy treats. If you are using jack o lanterns, face them backwards so the face doesn’t show.

Lace doilies look pretty under fall decorations but you can also make your own. Fun fall doilies are easy and quick to make if you purchase a vinyl table cloth that is too big for your table on purpose. Cut off the excess and cut pieces in the shape of a leaf, pumpkin, square, or rectangle and hot glue some of your festive ribbon around the edges. You can also do the same thing with solid color cloth napkins and add an extra touch by rubber stamping a nice leaf, wheat, or pumpkin design on them.

Make some quick and easy table runners to set your focal point on. Speaking of rubber stamping, buy a plain table runner and rubber stamp it with a variety of fall stamps. Baste a small bow on each end to finish it off, or make two holes in the fabric and weave through some raffia and tie into a bow. Iron-on transfers are also quick and easy to use. There are plenty out there in the craft departments to choose from. Emboss with fabric paint. Fun!

Return your important pictures to your decorating space but display them in a more festive frame for the season. I use gold frames with a gold leaf embossed on mine. I also have a couple of 8 X 10 frames that I rag painted for the season combining colors.

Who forgot to grow their own mums? Not to worry they are in ample supply, but do add your own personal touches to them. Go outside and cut a few slim branches and twigs off of a tree, spray paint them in a nice glittery gold and add them to your floral arrangement.

Add some pillows and throws in fall colors to couch and chairs.

For your window treatments, buy an inexpensive valance in a neutral color and baste an extra wide deco ribbon along the bottom. Be sure you only baste it for easy removal. At Christmas time just replace that ribbon with a Christmassy one.

There wouldn’t be much sense to fall decorating without some of your home made treats to go with it. This is a fun time for making candy apples and baking lots of apple pies! Display your treats in baskets or buckets that you already decorated.

Let’s diversify for Halloween! Keep what you have going on and add to it. I hope you have kids because there are tons of great Halloween scenes to print off and color from the internet. Select the best ones and frame in cheap frames that you have already spray painted in a great bright orange color to display and rubber stamp a black cat or a ghost around it. If you find any cool monster pictures you would like to print off on the internet, laminate and frame them too and they will keep for years. Got any old costumes? Great! Stuff them and display. Don’t forget to turn those jack o lanterns around to show their faces now. Make bats out of black construction paper, ghosts out of toilet tissue and fix them in your focal point. Now is also the time to drape some instant cobwebs on your focal point for that finishing Halloween touch. Don’t forget to fill up your candy dishes with lots of fun Halloween candy!

Let’s go outside and decorate! The same rule of groupings applies outside for a great focal point effect. Grab a few hay or straw bails and construct a small pyramid with them. Leave a place here and there to add some mums, pumpkins and gourds, fall foliage and Indian corn on the hay bails. Located some corn stalks and use them for the backdrop behind your hay bails. You can also use corn stalks wired to any porch post or tree and add a huge bow about 1/3 from the top for a finishing touch. If you aren’t working with hay bails, display some pumpkins and large gourds at the base of the corn stalks. I also fill up the old wheelbarrow with mums and pumpkins on a leafy or straw covered bottom. I’ll add some leafy garland around the mailbox or entrance, and use festive garden flags here and there. A grapevine wreath is welcoming is a must have for the front door.

Scarecrows are a must have and the more the better! To make small ones use doll clothes and toddler size clothing. For outside, I use anyone’s old pair of jeans, a shirt, boots and old gardening gloves and stuff with leaves or newspapers. Scarecrow heads are a pain and the easiest one I ever made was taking apart an old round pillow and using the round cloth form inside. I used magic markers for the face and raffia for the hair and added an old straw hat. You could also use a piece of burlap or a plastic pumpkin for a head. You can secure your scarecrow to the tree with your corn stalk or sit him on your hay bails. Simple and fun.

The day after Halloween I will remove any sign of jack o lanterns and costumes and some autumn decorations to make room for Thanksgiving deco. We never rush through Thanksgiving just to hurry Christmas. Out will come Thanksgiving decorations which consist of a variety of little pilgrims, Indian figures, turkey figurines with an assortment of cornucopias. I’ll change the color scheme of my candles, move things around to compliment a new focal point, and change out the ribbon I used for fall garnishes. Some of my fall things will remain, but when re-used in a completely different setting with different garnishes, it gives the illusion that I have tons of Thanksgiving decorations. Who knew? Now you know some of my secrets for decorating.

Go forth, enjoy, and decorate your heart out. PLEASE SHARE YOUR DECORATIONS!


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Great ideas and wonderful pictures, would love to see more!!!
Thanks! Those are from last year, I've got tons more but I am waiting to do this year and take all new pics. Waiting mostly on corn stalks and pumpkins so it will be a while.
I don't know where you get all your energy. It wore me out just reading all that last night. I love your pictures, looks so warm and friendly at your place.

I think I will start by decorating my mailbox.
darn it Marty, looks like I am going to be the only one playing, FALL DECORATING with you.
...and I just started. I want to see pictures too. Here are a few pictures of what I have done so far, and BTY~~ the garden picture with the pumpkins is also part of the memorial garden I made for my brother. I love fall weather, favorite time of the year, its so nice and crisp out and the perfect temp. Our trees are just starting to change color. Here you go.. First one is of my fall Charming Tails, 2nd-my spook tree, 3rd-even my house plants get a fall touch, 4th- part of my memorial garden, 5tth- my scarecrows taking a break and sitting. (only because I broke off part of the post to put them in the ground
) I will add more as I do more. We do string, the purpleish-black eerie lights around both decks too, looks cool at night.





I don't know where you get all your energy. It wore me out just reading all that last night. I love your pictures, looks so warm and friendly at your place.
I think I will start by decorating my mailbox.
I put a Halloween tablecloth on the table, so I guess it's a start
Very pretty Marty!! Ah... do you want to come clean my house too??

Corinne, very nice Fall decorations too!

Me... I don't normally do things for Fall.... other than watch the leaves fall off the trees that is.
Good job you guys (I mean gals) on the fall decorating. Would someone like to fly to PA and do mine?

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