Five-Minute Fall Decorations | Midwest Living

Five-Minute Fall Decorations

Short on time for fall decorating? Try our easy fall projects you can do in 5 minutes or less once you've gathered the materials. Spruce up your mantel, door, table or outdoor space for the season.
  • Season opener

    Instantly add spark to glass panes in doors or windows by attaching leaves with double-sided tape. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to enhance an entry.

  • Gourd grouping

    Gourd grouping

    A grapevine wreath elevates a mound of striped gourds and pumpkins in a fall display it takes only minutes to assemble.

  • Peppers and flowers

    Add color to your fall table with these fun vegetable and flower combos. Cut an inch off the top of three bell peppers then hollow them out. Stuff them with flowers, color-coordinating to the peppers if you'd like.  

  • Backyard tabletop

    Create a lovely autumn feel for your backyard table in minutes with pumpkins and gourds. Pretty lanterns adds height—plus romantic flickering light in the evening.

  • Cloche encounter

    Pile miniature white pumpkins into a cloche or bell jar, top with a plate and then turn it over so the plate sits on a tabletop. It’s easy and elegant! 

  • Jason Donnelly.

    Fanciful pumpkins

    Fluttering butterflies alight on pumpkins in this attractive fall centerpiece.


  • Naturally simple

    Some still life centerpieces are studied and refined; others look as if they’ve spilled onto the decorating scene with random ease. Perfect for a tabletop or mantel tableau, this medley of pumpkins, stones, moss, ferns and foliage abandons formality for a more free-flowing form.  

  • Clear focus

    Glass vases recede to give a carefully edited selection of blooms, foliage and crabapples center stage. The singular treatment means each flower stands out as a notable specimen. 

  • Golden glow

    Clear glass containers show off both candlelight as well as colorful materials. 

    Nestle a candle in popcorn kernels or other seasonal materials, such as candy corn or colored clear round stones (available in crafts stores). If you prefer, use a battery-powered candle for safety.

  • Set a scene

    A stack of pumpkins and gourds in an unusual stone birdbath highlights an autumn scene. Mums, fall leaves and berries add even more color.

  • Gather

    Borrow a scene from Mother Nature’s autumn show by filling vases with colorful leaves, cattails or sculptural branches.

  • Elegant display

    A single white pumpkin atop an aged urn makes an elegant centerpiece in the dining room or focal point in the foyer.

  • Spread the bounty

    Bowls of gourds, mini pumpkins, apples, bittersweet, nuts, seedpods and the like celebrate the season throughout the house.

  • Gorgeous gourds

    An assortment of gourds and other natural elements fills this simple mantel display.

    We mixed two larger hard-shell gourds with smaller soft-shell gourds (and tucked in a squash, too). Bittersweet branches and maple leaves provide extra color and texture.

  • Simple leaves

    Highlight the beauty of fall leaves with this display.

    Put single leaves, either pressed or fresh, in small glass vases. We used old lab beakers—look for them at antiques stores. Replace leaves as they brown.

  • Owl mask

    Make an owl for a woodland scene with two stacked pumpkins and a mask.

    Resources Animal Faces: 15 Punch-Out Masks by Pierre-Marie Valat (

  • Harvest vases

    Add fall flavor to a tabletop or mantel with cylinder vases filled with nuts and wheat. Roll coordinating scrapbooking paper into decorative cuffs that slip inside the vase.

  • Flowers under glass

    Just flip unused flutes and wine glasses over flower buds for this easy last-minute centerpiece. Place on top of a decorative charger or tray. For a long-lasting arrangement, use artificial flowers.

  • Hanging vase

    A swan gourd makes a natural vase hanging from a front gate or porch railing. Cut a hole near the gourd's neck, then hollow out enough space for fall flowers: mums, black-eyed Susans, Virginia creeper or other favorites.

  • Center of attention

    For a bountiful centerpiece, cover a cake stand with fanned out corn husks. Then pile on gourds, leaves and ornamental corn.

  • Prop pumpkins

    Various-size pumpkins stacked inside lanterns make easy but clever vignettes to place around the house.

  • Serve up the season

    Gather plates of different sizes, compotes, cake stands and candleholders. Prop a pumpkin on each to create a quick tabletop arrangement. White dishware looks crisp and clean.

  • Cover up

    Blankets and throws can act like cool-weather tablecloths, changing the look and feel of a side table or dining table.

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