- view all thumbnails
Lure guests to the table with a sprightly fall centerpiece. Weight a small pot with stones, then fill with florist's foam. Stick a freshly cut tree branch into the foam, then place the pot in a jute sack with a drawstring. We paired our tree branch with small floral arrangements made of roses, millet, kale, leaves, and berries.
Set a festive tone with a string of Indian corn garland. This symbol of bounty adds color to any setting and is easy to create with twine. Insert eye hooks into the tops of corn cobs. String onto twine, alternating with cornhusks looped over the twine and glued together.
Fresh apples are a stylish and seasonal way to anchor tablecloths and napkins. Simply use an awl to pierce a channel through two apples, and thread twine through the bottom of one and the top of the other. Leave enough twine to hang over the edge of the table 6-8 inches. Tie a twig at each end to keep the apples from sliding off.
Fill a tray with fall gatherings to celebrate the season's bountiful harvest. Include items with plenty of texture, such as pecans, dried corncobs, and wheat. Display the elements in rustic tins and sleek glass jars, which add a nice contrast to the natural finds.
Display freshly fallen leaves. Position single leaves, either pressed or fresh, in small glass vases, and place them on various surfaces around the house. (We used old lab beakers -- look for them at antiques stores.) The best thing about this sweet and simple display is that when the leaves start to crumble and brown, you can easily replace them.
DIY Tip: To press leaves, place them between layers of newspaper and under a heavy stack of books. Let the leaves dry for a couple of days. Then, to enhance their color, iron the leaves between pieces of waxed paper, using a pressing cloth to keep wax off the iron. Pressed leaves also can be purchased at local crafts stores.
Dress up your furniture with cozy items in seasonal colors. Here, a wicker chair is draped with a warm orange throw, and a maple leaf pillow sits comfortably on top. Perk up a plain pillow by enlarging a leaf using a copier to make a pattern. Cut the pattern out of wool felt and attach it to the pillow cover using iron-on fusible backing. Blanket-stitch around the edges.
Artfully arrange fall items on a bookshelf or in an open cabinet. Sit platters on their sides, fill vases with colorful flowers, and pile bowls with mini gourds to create a diverse display. Try heaping small items, such as acorns, bright berries, and sweet gum seedpods, into glass bowls. Adhere a dried fern frond to a platter with spray adhesive to embellish a simple platter.
Lure guests to the table with a bright and blossoming fruit centerpiece. Collect acorns or another type of nut or seed, and hot-glue them to the outside of a tightly woven basket. Next, line the basket with plastic or foil, and place a block of florist's foam inside. Pile fruit inside, keeping it in place with wooden kabob spears. Add dahlia blossoms in rich fall colors and fresh sprigs of crabapple, bittersweet, or mountain ash berries.
Create potpourri balls to fill any room with fragrance, texture, and color. Start with plastic foam crafts spheres. Hot-glue the potpourri elements around the balls. Overlap the decorative pieces to completely cover the foam. Display the balls individually in glass vases or on decorative plates, or together in a large bowl.
For an easy-to-make mantel display, hang brightly colored fall leaves on S-hooks (used for jewelry making and available at crafts stores) and string them across a slender red silk ribbon. Tack nails to either end of a colorful, empty frame and suspend the ribbon loosely across the center, tying it to the nails on either side of the frame. Complete the display by spreading a branch full of bright berries across the length of the mantel and setting petite gourds atop eggcups.
Fill a collection of crocks or jars with a branch or two of fall berries or leaves for a rustic and easy centerpiece.