Nature-Inspired Ideas for Fall Decorating

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


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wheat bunches up staircase
1/21
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.

2/21
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.

3/21
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.

4/21
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.

5/21
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.

6/21
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.

7/21
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.

8/21
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.

9/21
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.

10/21
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.

11/21
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.

12/21
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.

13/21
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.

14/21
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.

15/21
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.

16/21
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.

17/21
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.

18/21
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.

19/21
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.

20/21
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.

21/21
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