Decorating Home & Garden

Fall Decorating On A Dime

Written by ASingleGirl

It’s September, and it’s the first day of autumn. That means it’s perfectly legal to start decorating for autumn, right?  I don’t care that it’s 90 degrees outside, my house is going autumnal!

I started my quest for fall décor at my local large chain craft store, and I suffered sticker-shock at the prices of craft pieces.  Just one large-ish Styrofoam pumpkin was $50.  Let me say that again.  One Styrofoam pumpkin…$50!  $50 for an orange hunk of Styrofoam!  Yikes!  Sure, it was “on sale” for 40% off, (because, you know, shoppers have to be fooled into thinking we’re getting a deal), but still $30 for a Styrofoam pumpkin was way out of my budget – especially since the pumpkin was only one small component of my overall decorating theme.  I also price-checked other elements of my autumnal craft vision, and each piece was surprisingly expensive. Combined, the total cost of my proposed project was heart-stopping.

So, I carefully put everything back on their respective shelves and promptly left the store empty-handed.

There had to be a better way.  And there was … at my local dollar store.

I found adorable baskets modeled after apple bushel baskets. I found craft floral foam. And I found a ton of surprisingly good-looking fake/silk floral options, which were all 2-for-$1.  So, I made it a goal to create three (yes, three) separate fall décor pieces for the price of one overpriced Styrofoam pumpkin at the big craft store.  Here’s how I achieved my fabulous fall decorating on a dime.

These are the apple bushel baskets I found.  I thought they’d be a perfect base for a fall floral arrangement.

Small Apple Basket


And, here’s the floral foam.

Floral Foam


A little hot glue anchored the foam to the bottom of the basket.

A little hot glue keeps everything in place.


I used the taller statement floral pieces for the center of each arrangement.  Shove it into the foam until you feel it hit the bottom. Since these pieces are taller and heavier, you need them fully anchored into the foam.

Tall focal pieces in the center


Around the center, I added the other floral pieces that had fall décor elements in them (acorns, pine cones, berries, etc.).  I used wire clippers to cut each stem to length so it sat at the right level – not obscuring the center stem.

Clip flowers to length


Once I had the fall elements placed, I started filling in with fall-colored silk flowers.  Again, I cut the stems so they were the right length and didn’t obscure any of the other key elements.

Fill in with fall flowers


After the flowers were arranged, I filled in all the gaps with fall colored leaves.  The leaves are important, so don’t forget to buy a bunch! They not only add to the seasonal feel of each piece, but they hide the foam and stems to create a finished and polished look.

Fill small spaces with fall leaves


Since I planned to use these pieces to adorn my front porch, I wanted to make sure they could stand up to the occasional gusts of wind.  So I filled in the bottom of each basket with pebbles from my back yard. They made the baskets very bottom-heavy, so they were a bit like Weeble-Wobbles – the wind could knock them, but they wouldn’t fall down.

Weight the bottom with rocks


Once I was satisfied with how they looked, I placed them on my front porch, lining the steps to my front door. I added smaller foam pumpkins around to finish the look.

Front Porch with pumpkins


I even like how they look as a table centerpiece.

As a table centerpiece


And the final tally – $10/ea!  So, I made my goal – I created three autumnal pieces for the cost of one pumpkin at the big fancy store.  Success!

Hope you and yours are looking forward to a safe and healthy autumn season.