Thanksgiving is around the corner and before you go running off to the craft store, take a look at the outdoor bounty around you. All of your fall decorating needs can be found from the great outdoors, pumpkin patches and with a few things around the house.
If you don’t already have a pumpkin on your doorstep it’s time to get at least one. Put pumpkins on small tables, benches, over turned wooden apple picking buckets, chairs or even cake stands to add height, color, dimension and style to flat surfaces. In the last few years we have seen an incredible increase of variety, colors, shapes and sizes of gourds and pumpkins. French Fairy tale pumpkins have made it to most pumpkin farms and retailers stateside over the past few years and match a variety of home colors. White pumpkins, and warty orange and green pumpkins can bring color and texture to your doorstep.
The wonderful thing about decorating for fall is that the simplest decorations are the most beautiful. Store bought decorations, are pretty, but in the PNW it’s more rewarding to find your own. Go foraging for acorns, branches, leaves and grasses. Bring the outdoors in for some of the most perfectly beautiful, and inexpensive décor.
Centerpiece for Thanksgiving Ideas
A simple sprig of wheat or rosemary tied with a nametag and a raffia bow make the perfect centerpiece on your plate for Thanksgiving.
Bring home acorns from the giant oak trees surrounding Green Lake, pour them around a candle in a crystal candle holder or vase, or even just place them on a dinner plate with a wide candle in the center. Find things around the house to compliment your outdoor findings, look at the glass throughout your house with a new perspective, drinking glasses, vases, platters, candle holders and lanterns can all be used. Mixing in different shapes and sizes will add interest. Popcorn kernels, pinecones, lentils, or any type of bean can be used in place of the acorns giving alternatives to match to your décor.
Put pumpkins and gourds of different sizes on table tops and mantles. Use wooden blocks or risers to create height and interest.
Preserve Autumn Leaves for Decor
Preserve colorful fall foliage in a glycerin solution, this method is perfect for creating soft, pliable leaves as if they’d just fallen off the tree, or leave them on the branch to use in vases. Mix 1-part glycerin with 2-parts water and submerge leaves in the solution. Not much is needed, just enough to cover the leaves and branches. Put a weight on top, for instance a plate on top to hold the leaves under the solution and leave it for 2-6 days. When you pull out the leaves, dry them with a paper towel. You can then glue them onto a Styrofoam wreath form for the front door, sprinkle them across your thanksgiving table and over the mantle and they’ll stay looking beautiful for 6 months.
If you’re not afraid of a little glitter mess, sponge paint Elmer’s glue onto the leaves and sprinkle them with orange, gold and brown glitter for sparkly fall leaf beauty.
A long wooden board down the center of the table can become an elegant canvas to decorate with colorful gourds, small orange pumpkins, tall white or cream-colored pillar candles, colored leaves and cedar greens. Neutral colored candles can be left out and reused for Christmas. Weave stripped birch branches throughout the candles for a pretty, rustic look. Birch branches are bendy and can be easily manipulated to swirl around obstacles. If you have a small round or square table, cut tree rounds will make a perfect place for your centerpiece.
Is there anything better than a beautiful fall garland?
Create a darling acorn garland, thanks to the neighborhood oak tree. Very carefully drill a small hole through the top of the acorn making sure to drill through the cap and center if they’re still intact, if they aren’t you’ll first have to glue the top onto the nut. Then just string them up, this is an entertaining task for children who’ll love to help out. You can string the garland over chandeliers in the dining room, over the mantle and door frames. Leave them up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, they can also be hung on the Christmas tree.
If you want an even easier garland without the drill, string up your preserved fall foliage, or better yet, colorful silk leaves. Silk leaves will last for next year and hold up to wear and tear. Waxed twine or hemp rope is grippy and will hold the leaves in place. Thread a string onto a needle with a wide eye and pull it through each leaf twice so the leaf will stay front facing. Delicately string all of the leaves until you have a long, colorful garland you can hang around the house or over your front door.
Cake Stands to Decorate
Use platters, cake stands and bowls to display your fall finds and foliage on shelves and bathroom vanities. Dried Wheat bundles are simple and structural and can be used on fireplace mantles.
Simple little vases with mums cut to fit is a beautiful way of using flowers you might already have in your yard. Twigs with colored berries, soft grasses, cat tails and wild foliage can all be used with different shapes and sizes of vases, glasses and candle holders to add height, color and texture to your center piece.
For finishing touches, swap out your summer colors with fall inspired throw pillows on your couch, it’ll feel like a new room, without making any major changes. Toss a red or orange blanket over your couch for a useful, cozy vibe. Red can be left throughout the Christmas season too.
Now you’ve got the perfect atmosphere to host friends, with hot cider and get maximum enjoyment out of your home in the fall.