5 Inexpensive Ways To Decorate Your Home For Autumn

Dated: 10/13/2016

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Mother and daughter are having fun in colorful autumn nature

With the turn of the calendar to October comes the start of the fall season. The leaves change color. There's a crispness to the air. And many people want to reflect those changes by updating some of the decorative elements in their homes.

Sure, you could head out to a home decor store or a hobby store and buy lots of different decorations. But why do that when the elements of the season – and a bit of planning – can provide you with tons of interesting decorative elements for almost no cost at all?

Here are five simple decorative projects for your home that cost just pennies and will put your house into the spirit of the season.

1. Collect bright leaves – for example, maple leaves – and spread them about. Trek through your neighborhood and collect brightly colored leaves. The orange and red leaves from maple trees work great for decorations, but many other types work well, too. Look for clean, flat ones that require little effort to bring into your home. Natural leaves typically don't hold up to much cleaning, so look for ones that are already in good shape.

Once you find a bunch, bring them home and make a centerpiece on the kitchen table. Place a few dozen below a small pumpkin from your garden (or the mason jar idea from below). Try hanging the remaining leaves all over the place, taping them to windows and putting them under the corner of drink coasters.

2. Or use those leaves in a beautiful and crafty biology lesson. This tactic, picked up from a family friend, turns those found leaves into a classy and beautiful fall decoration that doubles as a bit of a botanical journey. Pick up some blank 4-inch-by-6-inch or 5-inch-by-7-inch cards from a hobby store. Take some of those found leaves and affix an example of each leaf type to a card, leaving some space at the bottom. Use this tree identification guide from ArborDay.org to identify which type of tree the leaf came from. Write that tree type with your best calligraphy along the bottom of the card, so that you end up having, for example, a card with a maple leaf that says "Silver Maple" or just "Maple" along the bottom.

You can use these cards as part of a wall decoration by alternating them on different sides of a simple fall leaf garland from a decoration store. You can even make a garland at home out of twine and leaves.

3. Make a gorgeous banner out of an old book, some leaves and a piece of string. Using old paperbacks in home decor is a great way to transform books that are no longer readable (thanks to missing pages) into something beautiful. One way to do this is tomake a banner out of the pages by cutting them into a banner or ribbon shape. You can hang these pages from a piece of string for a nice, all-season decoration. Add a nice kick of autumn decor by gluing a leaf on each page.

4. Or take the pages of a dilapidated paperback and make a "paper pumpkin." Another great way for using old paperbacks for autumn decorating is to simply turn them into paper pumpkins by cutting each page into a slightly pinched half-circle (think of half of a slice of a pumpkin) and taping or gluing the page to a central dowel. Once you have a bunch of pages, press the edges against an orange stamp pad to give the whole thing a great orange look. You can even add a stem or leaf made out of green construction paper to finish it off.

5. Paint mason jars with earth tones and use them for simple flowerpots and pen holders. If you have any leftover mason jars from summer canning projects, one great way to put them to use is to paint them with earth tones and use them all around the house. Just buy a couple of bottles of earth-toned spray paint from the local hardware store – a nice brown color and a pumpkin orange color are perfect – then sit the jars upside down on a piece of cardboard outside and give the jars a coat of paint. Let it dry, then coat it again. Repeat the process one more time for a third coat.

After that, use these earth-toned jars to hold things around the house. Put some fall flowers in one of them for a table centerpiece, or put a votive candle in another for a mantle decoration. They look simple, rustic and classy.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that the beauty of the season is found in the outdoors. Bringing those elements into your home doesn't have to mean opening your wallet. Often, it merely means opening your eyes and your creative spirit. Good luck.

By Trent Hamm at U.S. News

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Mark Ross

For Mark Ross, founder of Ross NW Real Estate and professional real estate broker, real estate has always been the career of choice. During his 25+ years in the industry, Mark has gained experience in....

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