According to the calendar, fall doesn’t officially begin until the end of September, but that’s much too late for my taste. September 1st marks the first day of autumn around here.
That’s because September 1st is the day I decorate my house for fall!
Never mind the fact that it’s still hot as blue blazes here in South Georgia, I can enjoy my autumn-themed decor and pretend the mosquitos and gnats aren’t swarmin’ just outside my door.
For the sake of honesty, I’ll need to let you in on a little secret, tho…I’m decoratively challenged.
Up until a few years ago, my idea of decorating was hanging family photos wherever the previous tenants had left nails in the wall. And it never even crossed my mind that I should consider doing anything differently. Then one September my sister suggested that I get a pumpkin or a scarecrow for my front porch. What? Why?! I mean, I knew about decorating for Christmas, but fall? It had never even occurred to me. That’s when I started noticing other homes. (Yeah, no one’s ever accused me of being overly observant.) Seeing all of my friends’ homes beautifully bedecked in fall finery served to inspire me (and, I’ll admit it, provoke me to a bit of jealousy).
Well, years later my house still doesn’t look like the homes that served as my inspiration. *Sigh*
But, I’m proud to say that I’m no longer content with plain-Jane either. Purposely working with the limited ability that God’s given me I have managed to create my own little version of an Autumn wonderland. I’m sure no one will ever use the phrase “beautifully bedecked” to describe anything in my house, but I can say with confidence that it’s peaceful and enjoyable.
Do you take the opportunity to celebrate the changing of the seasons by putting out a few decorations? If not, I’ve compiled a few ideas that will hopefully get your creative juices flowin’.
Helpful Fall and Autumn Decorating Concepts…
Start small if you have to, but start. Don’t let intimidation hinder you from jumping on the decorating train. It actually took me longer to get started than I care to admit. I allowed the overwhelming thought of, “Where the heck do I start?!” to paralyze me with inaction. Overcoming that concern and purchasing my first front-porch pumpkin got me going. If I can do it, so can you!
Be creative. Of course, buying stuff at the store is the easiest way to go, but why limit yourself to someone else’s ideas? Think about what you already have at home that you can use. One of my favorite decorations is a cute little picture of fall leaves with the words “Happy Fall, Y’all!” spelled out in pretty autumn colors. I made it myself by copying and pasting an image of leaves from the internet onto a blank Word page, typing out the cute saying above it, and printing it. It was perfect for a picture frame I found at a yard sale. It only cost me about $1 to make, but the sense of accomplishment was pretty amazing for this less-than-creative girl!
Don’t compare. This one’s tough for me, especially since (as I’ve mentioned) the majority of my friends and family are beyond gifted in the art of creating beautiful spaces. Seriously, the homes of most of my loved ones could be featured in decorating magazines and I’m all like, “Look at my homemade picture frame thing!” But I can tell you from personal experience that you’ll be much more content if you can embrace your own creativity without comparing.
Shop wisely. There is no shame in hittin’ up the dollar stores and thrift stores. You can get a whole buggy full of stuff for what you’d pay for one pretty door wreath at most stores in the mall. Hold off until the end-of-the-season clearances to shop the major retailers. You’ll score some great finds for next year at literally a fraction of the cost. 75% – 90% off signs are my favorite!
Store carefully for re-use. Store your decorations so you can use them again. If you pack them carefully they’ll look as good as new for years to come. By carefully preserving what you have and adding a few new items each year, you’ll have a look that your family will enjoy without breaking the bank.
Fall and Autumn Round-up – Ideas from Friends!
Check out these other great ideas for frugal, easy fall decorating and living. Most of them are supplied from friends who share at our weekly Coffee and Conversation, every Wednesday, or blogging buddies from Facebook :-). Enjoy!
Fall Decor Shopping Guide (for the non DIYer) – Timeless Creations
Fall Porch Decorating (inspirational!) – The Home I Create
10 Items for a Productive (and cozy!) Fall (unique and fun!) – AmberUninhibited
Faux Caramel Apples and Dreams of Fall – So Much At Home
Easy Fall Ribbon Wreath – Of The Hearth
DIY Sweater Pillow – Reuse, Grow, Enjoy
Twig Centerpiece Craft – Reuse, Grow, Enjoy
Candle with Burlap and Leaves – Happy Deal, Happy Day
3D Fall Pumpkin Garland – WhiteHouse Crafts
Welcome Fall Planter – WhiteHouse Crafts
How to Decorate Your Pumpkin: A Guide for Every Skill Level – PersonalCreations.com