Nature-Inspired Ideas for Fall Decorating

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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