Before we get too deep into the holiday season, we’d like to point out one unfortunate tradition. As the leaves change, the pumpkin spice lattes make their appearance yet again and party planning commences, it appears that our wallets grow thinner as our waistlines expand. While we’ve yet to come up with a solution for holiday weight gain that doesn’t involve giving up cookies, we’re always looking to save money during this notoriously pricey time of year. One way to do this is by adding a dash of DIY flair to your holiday spirit. And there’s no place better to start than by creating a beautiful fall centerpiece that utilizes items you already have. Here’s how:
Why do people waste so much money on buying stuff made of fake leaves when there are perfectly good ones on the ground outside? Spend some time in your backyard or local park and use your imagination instead of your wallet. Items like autumn leaves, branches, acorns, pine cones, bark, wheat and stones will look lovely in mason jars, fishbowls or scattered amongst candles. And if you’re living in a region where the weather doesn’t get much cooler than 70 degrees (Lucky you!) and traditional autumn supplies are not available in nature, embrace it! Bring those succulents and cacti from your porch inside and look for orange and red flowers to give them an autumnal look.
Before you throw out or store your Halloween costumes and decorations, try looking at them differently. A pumpkin (real or fake) can work as an autumn centerpiece well past October. Set it on a wood slab with candles or arrange it amongst acorns and flowers. If you’ve got a few of them, spray paint one in gold or silver—très chic! That Halloween costume you’re not going to wear again might have a piece of fabric that you can use in your centerpiece. Look for bows or velvet and lace. These can be glued onto vases or jars and will look so homey you’ll forget that they once adorned a vampire costume.
Nothing says autumn like apples. Just the word conjures up memories of baking pies and apple picking. If you’ve got a few in your fridge, these can look great in a wooden bowl, vintage tray, tiered cake stand or some other dish you never get to showcase. Garnish them with acorns and something green to tie the look together. If you happen to have gourds, these can make a lovely addition or alternative. You can even transform one into a candle holder by carving a place for a tea light to sit on top.
Life is not Pinterest—it’s way more interesting than that! Don’t pressure yourself to make your fall centerpiece look exactly like the one you saw online. Get creative. Think about what makes you you. What defines you? What do your friends and family know you for? For example, if you’re an avid reader, a stack of vintage books arranged with candles and other odds and ends can be the perfect cozy touch. If you’re ultra glam, drape a strand of fake pearls amongst the branches and leaves or add a piece of costume jewelry to give your rustic autumn decor some sparkle. You can even use treasured photos of the family and friends who will be joining you around the table to make your memories the center of the meal and the conversation.
If you’re still short on inspiration and are feeling tempted to break out the wallet, take a moment to relax, have a warm cup of apple cider and go for a stroll amongst the autumn foliage. You just might find that it inspires you to create something great.