Beautiful Fall Decorating

February 12th, 2013 posted by Kim Tilley

Ah, the glorious colors of Fall! Who doesn’t love this season, with the beautiful leaves, colorful pumpkins and funny scarecrows. Fall is my favorite season. I love to decorate for this time of year because it’s cheap and easy. With so many glorious, natural colors around you, you can’t go wrong. Here are some simple and frugal ideas to get into the swing of the season. I tend to enjoy craft and gardening projects that decorate my home, so many of these suggestions are a bit “crafty”.

Salt Dough

Whip up a batch of salt dough (1 cup flour, 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup water, or enough to make a non-sticky dough) and cut into fall shapes or use a fall cookie cutter (leaves, pumpkins, etc). Bake at 200 degrees, 30 minutes per side, more if item is thick or large. Paint and hang in windows, on a stick “tree”anchored in more salt dough, the sky is the limit! Shape into fall figurines for knick knacks – such Indians, Pilgrims, animals, etc.

Paper Mache’

Combine equal portions of flour and water, soak news paper strips in them. Drape over a form – a balloon, a bottle. Dry and add more layers, using a paste of flour and water as “glue” if necessary. You can make pumpkins, Halloween masks, you name it!

Tin Can Luminarias

Use large, clean cans, such as coffee cans. Fill 3/4 of the way with water and freeze. But not for too long, or the cans will expand. Tape a “pattern” of the hole you want to punch into the can, then punch holes with a nail and hammer. Be careful! Let ice melt in sink, dump out, dry out and paint can, if desired. Put sand in the bottom of the can. Add a candle, light carefully. Arrange several on the ground, lining your walkway or driveway. This is very attractive going up a set of stairs.

Tin Can Ghosts

Recyle and decorate! Step on a soda can (or use a smooshed one). Spray paint it white, add facial features. Hang with string. The secret is to use the top of the can as the “face” with the drinking hole as the mouth of the ghost. Keep the face simple and sweet. You can add paper arms or draw arms/hands on can.

Scrap Fabric Ghosts

Cut a white sheet into squares. Put some polyfil stuffing, balled up quilt batting, or fabric scraps, in the center. Bring edges together, Tie up stuffed part of fabric as “head” of ghosts. Use a marker to add eyes and mouth. Hang from a tree outside or your house or make a “twig tree” to decorate the inside of your house.

Paper Bags Pumpkins

Have your kids color some lunch sized paper bags orange. They can color a face or cut holes for face. Do not put candle in these. If you want to have light coming out of them, use white Christmas lights inserted into a hole in the bottom.

Twig Tree

Using a branch with several smaller branches on it, anchor in a flower pot or coffee can with plaster of paris, salt dough or cement.


Gather acorns, tree “helicopter” seed pods, and other interesting nuts and seeds. Hot glue onto a Styrofoam or straw wreath. Accent with a fabric bow of fall colors (or one or those fall-leaf print fabrics). Tear the fabric for the bow for a “primitive” country look.

Pressed Leaves

Press fall leaves under heavy books or in a flower press. Try to get lots of different colors and shapes. Hot glue to a Styrofoam wreath. Pressed leaves can also be framed, used to decorate a homemade card, or to decorate a table.

Table Decor

Why not make acorn napkin rings (hot glue the acorns to tied fabric strips) and stick in a few leaves with the napkin? Or why not put a beautiful centerpiece on a bed on freshly fallen leaves?


Grow yourself some gourds! Or buy some! They are so much fun to paint, and come in so many sizes. One year I mistakenly planted gourds near our house instead of pumpkins. We had over 40! The vine was gorgeous during the summer, it climbed up our deck. When it came time to cut off the small gourds, we found that we had tall and short ones, smooth and bumpy. We painted the bumpy ones as witches and Frankensteins, and painted the smooth ones as mini pumpkins and ghosts. I kept the faces very simple and sweet. The kids loved getting in on the act!

The Almighty Pumpkin

Ok, fall isn’t fall without pumpkins, so I TRY to grow some every year and I usually wind up with two or three. We put our uncut pumpkins on the porch as decoration for as long as possible, then cut them for jack-o-lanterns a day or two before Halloween. If you have a steady hand, pumpkin painting can be fun too and you can still cook the pumpkin (make sure you wash off the paint though!)


Mums are so easy to grow. Buy some this year and enjoy them for years to come, both in the garden and in your house. I find them to be pretty long lived as a cut flower. Fresh flowers are the ultimate decoration! They are easy to propagate too – just split them into small plants, each with a little bit of root on them. Plant them and keep damp for a week or two. Next year, you will have more mums than you bargained for!

Kim Tilley (22 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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