Gourds come in all shapes and colors and easily become seasonal vases. Cut a hole big enough to accommodate a couple of florist tubes. Insert flower stems for a unique bud vase.
Add fall flavor to a tabletop or mantel with cylinder vases filled with nuts and wheat. Roll coordinating scrapbook paper into decorative cuffs that slip inside the vase.
Highlight the beauty of fall leaves with a simple display.
Put single leaves, either pressed or fresh, in small glass vases. We used old lab beakers -- look for them at antique stores. Replace leaves as they brown.
Unusual combinations of pedestals and gourds make an easy and novel centerpiece.
White gourds look like miniature sculptures when placed on pieces of old table legs and balusters. Other items to try as pedestals: upside-down bowls, old candlesticks, decorative nesting boxes, Mason jars--use your imagination!
White pumpkins encircled by bittersweet vine and set along an orange table runner create a striking table arrangement.
Small pumpkins and gourds spilling out of a cornucopia create a lush fall look on your tabletop.
Clear glass containers highlight the seasonal beauty of smooth pumpkins and frilly flowers in this unusual--and ultra quick--display.
Fill an assortment of glasses with water and float mini pumpkins along with Teddy Bear sunflowers or other autumn blooms.
Clear glass containers show off both the flicker of candles as well as the colorful materials around them.
Nestle a candle in popcorn kernels or other seasonal materials such as candy corn or colored clear round stones (available in crafts stores).
An easy grouping of seasonal items and colors brings autumn to your tabletop.
Orange and white pumpkins plus yellow chrysanthemums in a sunny yellow container create an eye-catching centerpiece. Elevate some of the pumpkins for added flair.
Fashion a spooky tabletop display that starts with easy-to-make plaster-cloth spheres.
Wrap plaster-cloth strips (from a crafts store) around a balloon, following the directions on the plaster-cloth package. Leave open spaces as you wrap. When dry, remove the balloon and use a crafts knife to cut an opening for inserting the light. Place sphere over an orange or white battery-operated votive. Set your spheres on clear glass cake stands or similar displays.
Put together a colorful outdoor fall display using a sturdy wheelbarrow as a base.
Our wheelbarrow overflows with ornamental cabbage and peppers, ornamental grasses, chrysanthemums, flowering zucchini and other seasonal plants. Fill the wheelbarrow with soil and insert the plants loosely, or tuck containers into the wheelbarrow, making sure to fill in the gaps with more plants.
This easy-to-make ornamental corn basket holds all of your fall favorites. Attach 12 to 13 ears of ornamental corn (including husks) to a 6-inch terra-cotta pot, using hot glue. Fill with asters, peppers, safflowers, gourds, pompons, sunflowers, rosehips and maple leaves.
Create simple but striking arrangements with autumn beauties. Try cattails, ornamental grasses, coneflower seed heads or dried hydrangea blooms.
A creatively cut pumpkin "basket" makes an imaginative centerpiece for a fall table.
Cut out two top quarters of the pumpkin, leaving the stem and a narrow strip as the basket "handle." Zigzag the bottom edges, and hollow out the base. Place a block of wet floral foam inside. Position two glass votive holders in the foam and surround with a bevy of fall blooms and leaves.
Create this beautiful fall wreath with a variety of materials that reflect autumn's hues: gold, red, orange and brown.
Both your yard and a crafts store should provide a bounty of choices. A mix of fresh and dried materials looks lovely, but a wreath of all dried materials lasts longer.
Lightly soak a 10- or 12-inch ring of Oasis floral foam in water. Group your materials by color to plan each section of the wreath, then insert materials by the stems. We used tree leaves and fresh mums for red and orange bands of color, tree leaves and dried yarrow for gold, and dried oak leaves and pinecones for brown. Hot glue or T-pins help hold materials in place.
A short branch makes a striking centerpiece for an autumn party.
Weight a pot with stones and fill with florist's foam to secure the branch, then wrap the pot in a drawstring jute bag. Pair the arrangement with flowers and plants in leaf-inspired colors -- we used roses, millet, kale, leaves and berries.
Bring waves of grain to your staircase with bundles of ornamental grasses, available fresh at some flower shops and dried at many crafts stores. Bunch one or more types of grasses or wheat and secure with a rubber band. Tie to every other baluster with raffia.
Greet your guests with ghostly gourds this season, cleverly decorating your stoop to show your holiday spirit.
Just a little paint will transform fall produce into eerie apparitions. Start by covering your gourd with acrylic spray varnish. Use acrylic crafts paints to create your design. Finish with another coat of spray varnish.
To hang each gourd, drill a small hole through the top of the neck and thread florist's wire through it. Finish your display with dried vines, bittersweet berries and maybe even an abandoned paper-wasp nest.
Create a forest-like scene for a mantel or sideboard with natural materials. Here, we've arranged pinecones of different sizes into vintage molds.
Put large pinecones upright on pine needles or artificial grasses. Use a cinnamon stick or twig to support smaller pinecones and secure with hot glue. Fresh pine needles provide a beautiful grassy base.
For an easy mantel display, combine brightly colored fall leaves with an empty picture frame.
Hang leaves on S-hooks (used for jewelry making and found at crafts stores) or pin to a ribbon. Put nails in both sides of a colorful frame and suspend the ribbon loosely across the center, tying it to the nails. Add to the display by spreading a branch full of brightly colored berries across the length of the mantel and setting small gourds on top of egg cups.
Mimic a blazing sunburst with this fall wreath. Fold out the husks on ears of Indian corn so they point straight out from the tops. Hot-glue the ears to a straw wreath, and "fluff" the husks to complete the look.
While the trees may be dropping leaves outdoors, you can preserve them inside on this tree -- perfect for an entry display or party centerpiece.
Anchor a branch (we used manzanita from a floral shop) in a decorative pot with floral foam or rocks, then cover the top with moss. Decoupage color copies of gathered leaves onto small cards or hot-glue pressed leaves to cards. Tie to branches with twine or raffia. Add lines of favorite seasonal poems to the back, if you like.
Fresh fall branches and Jack-Be-Little pumpkins in the bottom of tall glass vases showcase a pumpkin color scheme. Twine passed through holes drilled in Sweetie Pies lets these smaller pumpkins hang from a chandelier.
Create a simple fall centerpiece using wheat and dried corn. Start by filling a container with floral foam. Insert wheat stalks so they fan out around the edges of the foam, then top with ears of corn. For special-occasion place settings, attach a name card to an extra cob set on each plate.
A papier-mache hatbox, mums and pumpkins create a bright orange centerpiece. Glue fabric and rickrack to the hatbox, and add rickrack or ribbon to pumpkins to get the look shown here. A bowl of candy corn adds a festive touch.
Give nature photos, family pics or place cards a seasonal lift. Drill a small hole in the top of a walnut. (Pick nuts with flatter bottoms so they stand up easily.) Cut a 6-inch piece of 18-gauge wire. Wrap one end of the wire twice around a wide marker. Remove the marker, and pinch the loops together. Insert the other end into the nut. Slip a photo or card between the loops.
Use as many gourds as you'd like to create this simple mantel decoration. We mixed two larger hard-shell gourds with smaller soft-shell gourds (and tucked in a squash for good measure). Bittersweet branches and maple leaves provide extra color and texture.
You might have trouble keeping the piles of foliage outside in order, but these leaves march in perfect rows across a table runner.
Use a stencil or rubber stamp and fabric or crafts paint to decorate a plain linen cloth. Follow instructions on the paint container for setting and washing the finished design. The same technique can be used to create other fall linens for your home, such as hand towels or even pillowcases.
Snips of fall branches make easy--and inexpensive--arrangements.
Look for interesting shapes with leaves, acorns or berries. Add fruit such as lemons in the base of your container for both color and stability.
A wheat wreath reflects your Midwest heritage. Insert dried sheaves into a foam wreath form, then dress up your wreath by slipping the stems of golden maple leaves into the spaces between wheat heads. Use leaves sparingly for the best effect.
Put an old garden rake to use as an autumnal door display. Just add ears of multicolor maize. To secure, push each ear of corn between the teeth of the rake. Hang near your front entry with a hook, or prop it against a nearby wall. You'll have a festive fall look in minutes.
Tiers adds drama to your centerpiece. Tuck a small glass bowl of rose heads inside larger containers of mixed nuts.
Click below for more great fall and Halloween decorating ideas!