Gourds

Autumn is a stellar time of year for people who like to decorate. And the season is especially great for people who want to take advantage of nature’s natural decorations. Fall foliage is bright and beautiful, and easy to collect, arrange and re-purpose indoors. Head outside (or to your local farmers market) and collect some of autumn’s natural bounty, such as autumn leaves and gourds, for a fun-filled fall decorating project.

Nature’s most abundant fall decoration: leaves

1. Make art! Take leaves, place on paper and rub with fall-hued crayons or colored pencils to achieve makeshift art. At the very least, you’ll have fun reminiscing with your five-year-old self.

2. Make a wreath: Use twigs and branches to create a homemade wreath. Place bright-colored leaves between twigs and branches to create a unique, rustic piece of wall art.

3. Create a centerpiece: If you’re similar to me, you most likely have one (or 20) clear vases sitting around your home. Fill the clear vases with leaves, dry grasses and acorns and place around your home to add a pleasant, autumn feel!

Nature’s funkiest fall accessory: gourds

4. Etch it out: Carve out an autumn design. Simply trace a design on a thick-skinned gourd and etch around it! Surround the etched gourd with fall-hued flowers and leaves.

5. Miniature pumpkin and gourd luminaries: Cut the top off a gourd then carve a hole large enough to securely hold a candle. This also works well with miniature pumpkins. Place gourd votives around the house and light in the early evening to accentuate these beautiful, early, fall sunsets.

6. Make a vase: Swan gourds (those gourds with long, sweeping necks) make great hanging vases. Cut a one to two-inch hole near the neck of the gourd, hollow out the small, cut incision, and insert mums.

7. Simple, gourd place cards: At your next dinner party, print out name cards and prop up against cute, miniature gourds.

Some other natural decorations to look for as the season progresses:

  • Dry, regional grasses
  • Hedge apples
  • Pinecones

Resources:

http://www.countryhome.com/projects/holiday/coloritpumpkin_1.html

http://www.bhg.com/halloween/outdoor-decorations/gourds-pumpkins-uses/#page=1

http://www.midwestliving.com/homes/seasonal-decorating/easy-fall-decorating-projects/?page=2

Images: Joe Shlabotnik