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Nature-Inspired Ideas for Fall Decorating

Bring fall's best accents indoors with these easy nature-inspired decorating projects.

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    • Simple Staircase

      Bring harvest flair to a staircase with bundles of ornamental grasses (available fresh at some flower shops and dried at many crafts stores).

      How to Make It
      -- Bunch one or more types of grasses or wheat and secure with a rubber band.
      -- Tie to every other baluster with raffia.

    • Fall Leaf Wall Art

      Bring the beauty of fall to your walls with felt leaf shapes.

      How to Make It:
      -- Buy felt leaf shapes from a crafts store.
      -- Cover the back of a shadow box with scrapbook paper. Attach felt leaves to paper with glue.
      -- Add a decorative stick pin and nips of ribbon to complete the look.

    • Modern Leaf Art

      Make a work of art out of leaf silhouettes.

      How to Make It:
      --Create your own leaf stencil. Draw it freehand, or you can trace and actual leaf. (To enlarge the leaf, you can scan it or use a projector.)
      --Cover a blank artist's canvas in a color of paint or fabric of your choice.
      --Cut large leaves out of patterned fabric
      -- Glue leaf cutouts to a painted or wrapped artist's canvas.

    • Mushroom Wall Art

      Give plain walls personality with a large woodland wall display.

      How to make it:
      --Using mushroom stencils (available from the link below), cut out shapes on fun fabric. To enlarge the mushroom, you can scan it or use a projector.)
      --Iron fabric onto fusible webbing, available at crafts and fabrics stores.
      --Adhere shapes to wall using Mod Podge, available at crafts and fabrics stores.

    • Field of Mushrooms Dresser

      Wake up a secondhand dresser with a magical mushroom pattern.

      How to Make It:
      --Paint an old dresser with a base coat of silvery blue latex paint. Let dry.
      --Cut different size mushroom shapes from contact paper, click below for a stencil. Attach the shapes to the dresser in a graphic arrangement.
      --Paint a second coat of bright, light green paint over the first coat.
      --Carefully peel off the mushroom cutouts to reveal the shapes.

    • Naturally Savvy Storage

      Turn glass storage jars and old florist vases into a set of pretty cylinders.

      How to Make It:
      --Print color copies of detailed seedpods, leaves, and mushrooms.
      -- Curl the papers inside the glass containers.
      -- Line them along a mantel or shelf for an eye-catching display.

    • Seasonal Tags

      Add a touch of nature to a cabinet, dresser, or doorknob with these tags.

      How to Make It:
      --Cut out pictures or make color copies of seed heads and glue onto the back of jewelry frames (available at crafts and jewelry supply stores).
      --Hang at intermittent intervals from string or twine.

    • Embellished Throw Pillow

      Punch up a plain pillow -- and a plain room -- with a leafy design.

      How to Make It:
      --Start with a beige or cream-color pillow.
      --Create a large foliage stencil from contact paper and attach it to the material using tape and/or straight pins.
      --Spray the pillow with bright green fabrics paint. For straight, tidy lines, tape off the edges of the pillow.
      --Let dry and remove stencil.

    • Seasonally Stamped Pillowcases

      Count acorns and leaves rather than sheep as you drift off on pillowcases dressed for the season.

      How to Make It
      -- Buy inexpensive cotton cases at a discount store.
      -- Stencil the motifs with fabric paint.
      -- Follow the instructions on the paint container for setting and washing the finished design.

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      Page Holder

      A bit of ribbon and a couple of acorns are all you need to fashion a fun homemade bookmark.

      How to Make It
      -- Satin ribbon offers a pleasing counterpoint to the more rustic acorn. Use a needle and coordinating sewing thread to gather the ribbon ends.
      -- Attach the ribbon to the acorn stem with a dab of hot glue.
      -- Hide the ribbon end with wrapped thread.

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      Buttoned-Up Hand Towels

      Humble leaf-shape wooden buttons in the colors of fall foliage announce to your guests that autumn is your favorite season.

      How to Make It
      -- Stitch buttons onto purchased hand towels with matching or contrasting thread.

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      Two-Step Candle Centerpiece

      Turn a simple votive candle into a sophisticated display by adding nature's bounty.

      How to Make It
      -- Set a candle in an amber glass holder and ring the outside with moss, oak leaves, acorns, and red berries.
      -- Add sprigs of seeded eucalyptus (available at floral shops) for its fragrance and fresh gray-green color.

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      Fungi Tablecloth

      Dress up a table with a playful tablecloth.

      How to Make It:
      --Cut a drop cloth to the desired size and hem the unfinished edges.
      --Arrange mushroom stencils (available from the link below) in a random or graphic pattern and attach to the drop cloth using double-sided tape.
      --Spray bright fabrics paint over the cloth, let dry, and remove stencils.

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      Fresh Table Runner

      Dress up a sideboard, tabletop, or dresser with a fresh table runner.

      How to Make It:
      --Start with a plain, purchased table runner.
      --Add a custom design with an intricately cut self-adhesive felt design from a crafts store.

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      Falling Leaves Rug

      Take an ordinary outdoor rug from basic to awesome with a simple stencil design.

      How to Make It:
      --Choose an outdoor rug with a short, tight nap.
      --Make your own stencil by tracing a shape onto poster board or stencil material
      . --Cut out the stencil and pin or tape in place on the rug. Using good-quality outdoor paint and a small roller, roll paint over the rug.
      --Remove the stencil, then reposition and repeat until you're satisfied.

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      Greeting Tree

      Although the trees are losing their leaves outside, you can hang them back up inside for a welcoming entry display or party centerpiece.

      How to Make It
      -- Anchor sculptural branches (we used manzanita from a floral shop) in a decorative pot with florist's foam or rocks, and cover the top with moss.
      -- Decoupage color copies of gathered leaves onto small cards and tie to the branches.
      -- Ask guests to inscribe lines of their favorite seasonal poems on the backs of the cards.

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      So Easy Table Runner

      You may have trouble keeping the piles of foliage outside in order, but these leaves march in perfect rows across a table runner.

      How to Make It
      -- Use a stencil or rubber stamp and fabric or crafts paint to decorate a plain linen cloth.
      -- Keep the job easy and the rows evenly spaced by cutting nine leaf designs into one 8-1/2-x-11-inch piece of stencil paper.
      -- Follow instructions on the paint container for setting and washing the finished design.

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      Effortless Pumpkin Centerpiece

      A single pumpkin set in a purchased wreath made of preserved oak leaves makes a bold centerpiece for a dinner party or a charming front porch decoration. The wreath can be stored and reused next year.

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      Homemade Acorn Wreath

      Greet guests at your door with an acorn-covered wreath.

      How to Make It
      -- Using a hot-glue gun, cover a small wire or cardboard ring with moss.
      -- Add acorns to the moss-covered ring to create a miniature wreath. If necessary, secure the acorns to their caps with glue.
      -- Hang in a window, from a doorknob, or on a chair back.

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      A-Maize-ing Wreath

      Add fall flair to a plain door with a pretty wreath.

      How to Make It:
      --Start with a purchased twig wreath, red silk leaves, and miniature Indian corn (husks included)
      --Secure leaves and corn with wire or hot glue.
      --Hang and enjoy.

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      Next Slideshow Decorating with Natural Elements

      Decorating with Natural Elements

      Once limited to flower arrangements and random shell collections, bits of nature (and nature-inspired objects) now rule the roost. See how to get this trendy, organic look in your home.
      Begin Slideshow »

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