Guest Post: Thrifty Fall Decorating Ideas

Guest Post: Thrifty Fall Decorating Ideas


Today our guest blogger, Jessica, is an arts administration graduate with an insatiable passion for all things creative. She loves reading, writing, crafting, binge-watching TV shows, and taking long walks out in the city. She spends her free time sharing her interests on the web, such as interior design and home organization, and giving advice to college students and recent grads. I know you will be inspired by her post for thrifty decorating! Take it away, Jessica!

Fall is a favorite season for many (hello, boots and pumpkin spice lattes), and with it comes Halloween parties, costumes, haunted hayrides, and fun decorations. Growing up, my mom had three full, 14 gallon Tupperware containers full of autumn and Halloween-inspired home décor and kitchenware, which she kept stored in our attic year-round. As a recent graduate, I not only don’t have that kind of storage space, but I certainly don’t have the funds to propel that level of fanatical home renovation – so I found a bunch of cheap and easy alternatives for sprucing up my space without breaking the bank (or my back from all that heavy lifting).  The following suggestions include easy, family-friendly arts and crafts as well as simple enhancements to your current décor that are sure to make decorating for the holiday more like a fun-filled event and less like an additional weekend chore.


The Autumn Staples

Not only a fun activity to bond over with friends and family, pumpkin carving is also a great way to make your own decorations!  Spend an afternoon drinking cider and carving out your pumpkin faces, and then display the finished product around your home or out by your welcome mat.  Place a candle inside of the pumpkin to create a spooky glow at nighttime. To make this activity a little more kid-friendly, a safer alternative to carving pumpkins is to use empty gallon milk cartons to draw on a face with a sharpie, and then fill with a strand of white Christmas lights.  You could also purchase mini pumpkins to display around the house, or you can clean them out and fill them with Halloween candy like M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces or candy corn.

Pumpkin Carvings

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Candles are a great way to set the mood in any room, as well as an easy way to turn any space festive.  Line windowsills, tables and countertops with autumn-inspired candles, and tie black ribbon around taller candlesticks for a hint at Halloween.


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Halloween candy like candy corn and popcorn are super festive and super delicious choices to decorate with. Place bowls of candy corn around the house when having people over, or take a household plant, place it in a larger, clear vase, and fill in the space between with candy corn for an eye-catching centerpiece.

Candy Corn Decoration

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 For the Adults

Upcycle empty wine bottles and spray paint them outside in three separate sections in orange, yellow and white to look like candy corn.  You can use painters tape if you want the colors to be distinctly separated, or eyeball it if you have a steady hand.


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If you are planning on throwing a Halloween party, clean out a large pumpkin, cut it in half, and fill it with ice to use as a festive drink cooler. Cook dinner and serve it from a cauldron-like stockpot, like the Belgique stainless steel from ShopHQ, or else fill it with a homemade punch of “Love Potion” or “Witch’s Brew”. What’s great is that the cookware can be repurposed for a number of uses outside of Halloween, instead of only being used once.

Pumpkin cooler

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For the Whole Family

To make your own hanging bats, cut an egg carton into clusters of three (lengthwise), paint them black, and glue on a pair of googly eyes.  Just punch a hole in the top and thread some orange ribbon through to hang them up around your home.

egg carton batsPhoto Credit

One of my favorite creepy adornments requires a clear glass jar, filled up with water. Add in a few drops of food dye – different colors for each one – and plop in a rubber eyeball, plastic spiders and insects, or other items from the dollar store to create grisly scientist jars.

Scientist Jars

For a beautiful autumn garland, collect a few leaves from outside to paint in various colors, press onto pieces of paper, and remove. When dry, cut out the prints in squares around the leaf shape, and thread with some decorative ribbon and hang somewhere they can be shown off! The same can be done with disposable plastic gloves, like those sold at Walmart, filled with popcorn and tied with orange or black ribbon at the wrist. Use paperclips through the ribbon to string it up, or arrange the gloves in a festive bowl to keep on display.

 Autumn Garland

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For easy door decorations, grab a roll or two of cheap Halloween wrapping paper and hang it on either side of your interior doors.  Add bows, glue on construction paper cutouts, and draw directly onto the paper with markers or sharpie for a quick and creative trimming. Whatever your plans are for this time of year – whether it is fun arts and crafts with the family, festive parties with friends, or just getting cozy with your special someone – these are just a few crafty ways that I found fun to help get into the spirit of the season.

Stop by and tell Jessica hello!

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