Fall is indisputably my favorite season, especially since moving to New England in general and New Hampshire in particular. Wifey and I moved here right before fall and in our giddy, gleeful excitement to decorate our very own house, we discovered that there were tons of things in the house, the backyard, and the neighborhood itself that made decorating not just easy but cheap. If you want to get your home autumn-ready without spending a small fortune on festive fall décor items, let me help you with a hack or two.
1. Rake the Yard for Wall Décor
Fall leaves: the special place where home décor and lawn maintenance meet. Even if you don't copy the framed signs and prints dedicated to fall, you can certainly spare a few photo frames to showcase the prettiest leaves you can find.
2. The Perfect Fall Vase
Have a ton of pennies in your change jar? Cupboards overflowing with an abundance of the free vases you get with flower arrangements? Put them together! Copper is a signature color for autumn, after all. Besides, if you're ever seriously broke, you know you have a vase that's worth a few bucks.
3. Turn Toilet Paper into Pumpkins
This is easy, adorable, and somewhat functional. If you get down to your last few rolls of TP, you're automatically saved by the décor – except you have to ruin your pretty handiwork in the bargain, so that's a bummer.
4. Pumpkin Bubble Bath
This is not a fall beauty hack. You will not be bathing in the scent of pumpkin spice. Sorry! (I'm not sorry.) No, this is honestly better. If you want to decorate with pretty little pumpkins and gourds well into November and December, give them a wash and add some bleach to the water. If you keep them inside, they'll definitely last the entire season.
5. The Perfect Fall Potpourri: DIY Edition
You can make your house smell like fall any time of the year, but it's especially nice when the scent matches up with the season. This potpourri is (relatively) cheap and definitely easy. You could add any other fruits that you like and you can probably figure out a substitute for cinnamon sticks, which are the most expensive items in the must-have list.
6. How to Have the Cleanest Pine Cones on the Block
This is actually genius. Baking your pine cones not only gets rid of any pests and bugs that might be living in them, but it fills your home with a fall-friendly pine scent. Pop the oven on at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, leave the cones in for 45 minutes, and you're all set.
7. Preserve Your Leaves for Longer
Fall leaves deteriorate pretty quickly, leaving you with a dried up, crumbling mess. You can keep your foliage bright, vibrant, and perfect by dipping the leaves in Gulf Wax and letting them dry. The tutorial also has instructions for a gorgeous leaf garland, bee tee double-you.
8. Of Soup Cans, Pumpkins, and Wildflowers
This is adorable. If you like carving out pumpkins and planting mums for outdoor décor, you'll love this as well. You can also find a useful function for your old soup cans, so that's another plus.
9. Speaking of Mumkins
That is, speaking of mums in pumpkins – I love these. You can do any seasonal flower you want, honestly, including different blossoms for indoor and outdoor pumpkin planters. It's a great idea if you're better at nurturing flowers than you are at carving pumpkins (me!).
10. A Gourd-geous Bud Vase for Fall Foliage
While we're on the subject of turning squash into décor, you can turn gourds into bud vases. Ditto if you have a butternut squash you know you're not going to eat (every single time).
11. Get Rid of Your Old Vegetables
I'm not sure how practical this is for the long term, but the centerpieces are lovely. Maybe, once your green beans or asparagus are about to go over, you could use the same Gulf Wax trick you use for leaves and then make your festive green centerpieces.
12. Put Your Apple-picking Bags to Good Use
If you spend a lot of sunny fall weekends at the local farm or orchard, picking your own apples, pumpkins, or other seasonal fruits, you probably have a lot of apple bags. You can reuse a lot of them, but instead of storing the rest, create stunning seasonal décor. Make use of dried grasses, flowers, or leaves, too.
13. Sunshine on a Cloudy Day
This isn't so much a hack as a cheap décor trick, but the end result is gorgeous. All you need are fake sunflowers (or any other kind of flowers), a whiffle ball or a styrofoam ball, some string, and a hot glue gun. Actually, nix the string if you don't want to hang them. There are dozens of other things you could do with a ball of flowers.
14. Illuminate Your Front Door, Autumn Style
Some leaves, some scissors, some paper bags … the things you need to make fall luminaries are minimal and the process is easy. The special touch here comes from the leaf-shaped cutouts. You might want to use battery-powered or solar candles, though. Whether you have a front porch, a small stoop, or a walkway, these will look amazing until the first snowfall.
15. A New Take on Apple Candles
So, you know all the apples you brought home in all those bags? How are they holding up? If they've gotten to the point where you know you won't eat them, you could just … turn them into candles. That is, you can turn them into holders for tea lights. How do you like them apples?
16. A New Take on Pumpkin Candles, Too
Well, pumpkin votives, but you get the idea. You do it more or less the same way and they make for stunning displays. Honestly, a mix of apples and pumpkins would be perfect in practically any space.
17. More Décor for Less
Here's a great hack if you ever find yourself with a glut of those plastic dime store pumpkins. Slice them in half and let your creativity go nuts because they make perfect outdoor décor for fall – and no, they don't have to be Halloween-themed, either.
18. Don't We All Have Spare Cinnamon Sticks Lying around?
No? I know, but if you have any that you aren't using or can't use for anything else, this is a lovely idea. The candles are gorgeous and the fragrance is pure fall.
19. Make Use of Your Leftover Canning Jars
Or go out and buy some because Mason jars are still both functional and on trend. I'm going to be honest, I don't love the idea of hanging jars around the house – that is, for my house because it just wouldn't work. However, I love the idea of displaying leaves like this, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say you could just dot the jars around your home instead.
20. Rake the Yard and Make a Bowl
No fake, jake, leaf bowls are ridiculously pretty. You might not want to eat cereal out of yours, but it's an amazing display and it's the perfect candy dish.
21. A Jar Full of Light
This is so pretty. You have the leaves, you likely have the jars, and this is the kind of home décor you'd pay for at Michael's, Christmas Tree Shop, Hobby Lobby, and places like that. Go for it.
You can celebrate the season without spending half your paycheck at any of those places, though. You can probably do it without even leaving the house – well, no, that's not true, but you know what I mean. Going to try anything?