Last week, we featured four different ways to preserve leaves. This week, we’re showing ways to create a few different fall themed centerpieces, using many items you probably already have around your house and yard. These ideas could easily translate to fall decorations anywhere around your home. Thanksgiving is around the corner! Decorate on a dime (and buy a bigger turkey instead).
I’m a big believer in simple, natural decorations. Just walk through your house and yard collecting items, pile them on the table, and arrange them in groups until it looks good to your eye. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Most of these ideas start with two old fence boards I found in our backyard. They take the place of a runner on the table, but the same idea could be used on a mantle or shelf. Any weathered wood would work. It focuses your eye, adds a little height and pulls everything together. You could throw a tablecloth underneath or just lay it right down the middle of your table. I love the rustic, casual vibe.
For all the other items, I just “shopped” my house and yard.
- Pile a bunch of apples, pears, and gourds down the middle of the table. Trader Joe’s sells bags of small pears and apples that are perfect for this. Instant edible centerpiece! I just grabbed some small branches from my yard. And 4-ounce quilted Mason jars make great little votive candle holders. Ack! So cute. Burlap is a cheap table cover, available at fabric stores for around $3/yard. It can be used as a table runner or cloth.
- I collected a bunch of little pine cones in my yard and stuck them in the 300-degree oven until they dried out and popped open. Then I gave them 4 coats of spray paint in 2 different shades of turquoise. Normally I’m all about au natural, but I have to admit I’m crazy about these bright little guys. They are so fun and cute. Now they are sitting in a gray bowl on a shelf near my front door, and they make me smile every single time I walk past them. Totally worth $6.
- Glass containers in different sizes (Mason jars, candle holders, hurricane vases) are one of my favorite frugal, versatile decorating items. They are easy to find on the cheap at Ikea or thrift stores. Fill them with small seasonal items. For fall, I use acorns, seeds, beans, lentils, or Indian corn. Add a candle. Done.
- Oh man, speaking of spraying paint on brown-things-found-in-nature, these leaves! I’m crazy about them. They look so cool scattered down the middle of the table, especially on a dark background. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Keeping it simple doesn’t mean you’re stupid. In fact, during the busy holiday season, it pretty much makes you a genius. Leave the fancy floral centerpieces to Martha Stewart. You can just tumble a bunch of gourds down the middle of the table and call it a day. That gives you more time to spend with the important part: the food. I mean… your family! Pass the potatoes, please.
Green + gold. Is rustic sophistication a thing? According to Pinterest, it is. But you can get this look without harming a single pallet. Just grab your gold leaves in one hand and your fruit bowl in the other.
I kept driving past these gingko trees in Portland and freaking out over the bright yellow leaves (just ask my kids). I love yellow and turquoise together. I know that’s probably so 2014, but whatever. I strive to be a good 2-3 years behind the curve (I highly recommend it).
Anyway, gingko leaves are in their prime right now. So bright and beautiful. Grab a bunch! To keep the yellow theme rolling, I filled the glass containers with cornmeal. And I cut those little wood rounds all by myself with a miter saw! I almost lost a finger, but it was totally worth it. I love them.
You can buy small rolls of colored burlap at craft or fabric stores for $2-3. Just a pick a limited color scheme and go with it.
I have pine cones, in every shape and size, all over my house. I pick them up when we travel, the way some people collect postcards. Every time I look at them, they remind me of special places. I even keep a bag of them in my garage for emergencies, like when my kids want to do a craft project. *insert scary music* Thankfully, I can manage gluing-stuff-on-pinecones.
Going with the rustic, natural decor theme, they work perfectly for Thanksgiving and Christmas, adding some fun texture.
I usually buy those huge packs of tealights from Ikea. They are cheap and last forever. But I am loving the idea of going with flameless candles, like this 12-pack of battery operated Flameless Tea Lights (Amazon). The thought of not having to worry about the candles around flammable objects like leaves and kids is really appealing. Plus, it’d be just one less thing I have to worry about as I slip into my Thanksgiving afternoon nap.
Looking for more simple decorating ideas?
Fantastic range of boards from best recipes and tips for frugal living to gardening and budgeting help.
This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.