Wednesday, October 3, 2012

15 Frugal Ways to Decorate for Fall

fall decorations in my home this year

My favorite season has arrived! I just love fall, and I try to make the most of it while it's here. Some of my favorite things about fall include the following: chilly days; gorgeous leaves; creating a cozy home; hot tea; visiting pumpkin patches; going on long, country drives; crocheting a soft, warm blanket (which I'm doing right now for my soon-to-be-here baby); baking sweet breads and cookies; listening to audio-books; getting a new candle in my favorite fall fragrance; taking lots of pictures of my kiddos; spending time with my precious family; and decorating my home for fall!

Decorating for fall has become a tradition for me. I used to just skip over it, but since I enjoy decorating and love the fall season it just makes sense! :-) My boys really get into it too, and they love seeing the pumpkins all over the house.

However, I never have very much money to spend on fall decorations (especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner)! So, since you might be in the same boat as me, I thought it might be helpful to share some ideas on how to decorate frugally. Here are 15 different ways you can bring some of the fall season into your home...use one or all of them!

1. Subway art for fall--This is about the easiest and cheapest way to start your fall decorating! Just print off your favorite subway art and put it in a frame you already have (or buy one for $1 at Wal-mart or a dollar store). There's tons of free printables all over Pinterest, but of course my favorite is the one Lauren created for our blog last year. It prints out as an 8x10, and it's just beautiful! Print it HERE.

                                                                           Source: via Audrey on Pinterest

2. Thrift store finds--Yep! You have a reason to go thrifting (as if you needed one). :-) I have found several cute fall-themed candle holders (four, just in the last couple weeks!). Candles are an easy way to "cozy up" your home and bring some of your favorite smells of the season in-doors!

3. Spray-painted wooden letter/s or vinyl letter/s-- Whether you decide to spell out F-A-L-L or you keep it simple with the first letter of your last name, using wooden or vinyl letters are a fun and cheap way to spruce up some of the decor you already have. I ended up getting a big B and spray-painting it gold (good color for fall). Then I just attached it to my framed fall subway art with glue dots (that way it's not permanent and I can easily take it off later if I want to). Your local craft store will have letters in all shapes and sizes, so go check them out!

4. Dollar-store leaves/berries--I love all the local dollar stores! They are great resource to use for seasonal decorating on a budget. Find some small bouquets of fall leaves and add them to vases you already own. Instant color!

5. Create leaf or pumpkin silhouettes--Yes, you can easily do this! Just find an online picture of a big leaf or pumpkin (or whatever), print it out, then cut out the picture to create a stencil. Trace it on the scrapbook paper of your choice, cut it out, and either frame it or glue it (like I did). Tutorial coming up soon on how I made my leaf silhouettes!

6. Dollar store candles--Again, candles are a cheap and easy way to add the feeling of fall to your home. Here, I show 3 little, orange candles on a shelf. I think I got 6 in a package for $1!

7. Raffia, straw, or burlap ribbon-- These are definitely the textures of fall, and they really add a nice touch to things you already have around the house (think pictures, frames, wreaths, and candlesticks). I used dark brown raffia on my leaf silhouettes.

8. Baskets/crates--I love baskets! I got this big, apple basket at a thrift store for $3.50. I've also seen old crates at flea markets for a few bucks. I decided to use mine to store cozy blankets in my living room!

9. Potpourri, acorns, pine-cones, etc.--I found a big container of this gorgeous potpourri at Hobby Lobby a few weeks back and I bought it using a 40% off coupon (came out to around $7). There were the woven balls, big nuts, berries, and several other natural elements in pretty, themed colors of red, wheat, and brown. Just beautiful and it all smells divine! Use it to fill vases or jars. Or if you don't want to spend any money, how about going on a country walk/drive and collecting bits of nature (kids would love to help with this!) like pine cones, acorns, leaves, and even  those big, green horse apples that are falling off the trees right now? One of my friends gave me that tip last Sunday! She picked several of these horse apples off a tree and used them in her fall decorating, and I must say her pictures are beautiful! I would've never thought to decorate with those! She said they even smell wonderful. (Thanks for the awesome tip, Saralin!)

10. Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins--Of course, you can't have fall without pumpkins! :-) I love all the ways people are decorating pumpkins these days. You can spray-paint them, mod podge lace or paper on them, monogram them, and of course carve them. Or you can just leave them in their natural, orange color. The sky is the limit! Be creative!

11. Frame scrapbook paper--Another frugal idea! Just pick up some cute, fall-themed scrapbook paper and use them in frames around your house. Simple, yet pretty.

12. Spray-paint an old frame a new color--Okay, I really, really like spray-paint! It has revolutionized my way of decorating. A couple years ago I found a huge wooden frame in a not-so-pretty color. I find frames like this at yard sales and thrift stores for just a few bucks all the time! I have spray-painted the frame in the above picture 3 times now (silver, black, and caramel latte). Using an empty frame as a back drop to a wreath or flower arrangement is a great way to make a big statement piece in a frugal way.

13. Big floral centerpiece--This is the one thing I splurged on this fall. The vase was 50% off at Hobby Lobby ($15) and the fall stems/flowers were also 50% off (came to around $15 as well). So, for this large centerpiece for my mantel, I spent a total of $30!! And it's something I can use again and again. The vase is lovely and I can use it year-round. Definitely worth it!

The last two ideas I didn't actually use in my own decor this year (although, I still plan to). But, they're such great ideas that I wanted to go ahead and include them in this post.

14. Paper pumpkins--I've seen several cute pumpkin crafts around blog-land. Here are a couple of my favorites!

                                                                           Source: via Audrey on Pinterest

                                                                         Source: via Audrey on Pinterest

                                                                       Source: via Audrey on Pinterest

15. Felt leaves added to pillows or wreaths, or made into table runners--Sew or even glue big felt leaves to a throw pillow or wreath, or sew several big leaves together to create a table runner!

                                                                             Source: via Audrey on Pinterest

                                                                      Source: via Audrey on Pinterest

So, I hope you can see that there are lots of ways to add the beauty of the fall season to your home decor without spending tons of money! I have a lot of other ideas on my Fall Pinterest board if you want to check it out!

One other quick tip...if you're having trouble getting started, think about what colors and themes you want to use in your fall decor. You don't have to limit it to reds, golds and oranges! I've seen all sorts of non-traditional colors used. I even used a light aqua blue in my decor this year, and it goes really well with oranges and reds. Don't forget whites, creams, browns, and greens! Anything will work.

I'm silly, but I created 3 somewhat different fall mantels this year because I couldn't quite decide what I wanted. I started with this first. At this point, I hadn't spent any money. Just stuff I already had and repurposed for fall.

But, I couldn't quite decide if I should use orange and blue or instead use red and blue, so I tweaked it and came up with this 2nd mantel (here, I spent the $30 on the big floral centerpiece, $7 on the potpourri, and few dollars on the little, red candle holders.

Finally, I decided I really wanted to add in pumpkins, simplify the top of the mantel, and bring back in some orange. Oh, and spray-paint the big frame to caramel latte. :-) This is my final, fall mantel and I love it!

 So, you see? Don't be afraid to start! You can always keep tweaking until you get something you love!

What about you? Any more ideas you could share on how to decorate frugally? Which of my fall mantels is your favorite? What are your favorite things about fall?

Blessings, friends!!

Melissa, over at The Inspired Room, is doing a Fall Nesting series for the next several weeks. I'm linking up there. Go check her out!

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  1. The fun is in the tweaking! Take 3's the charm!
    Happy Fall!

  2. Oh wow... so many fantastic ideas! I love fall and fall decorating! :) Love the blues and oranges with your fall mantel!

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