Bring the warm colors of fall into your home with these beautiful and simple decorating projects.
Simple white plates paired with timeless flatware and thin stemware keep this more rustic setting looking elegant. Bold orange napkins give the setting a pop of seasonal color.
Announce your address in style by cleverly etching your house number (or your initials or name) into a pumpkin. You can pile a combination of traditional and heirloom pumpkins on your front steps, and top with your etched design.
The key to arranging leaves is to group them by size and color as you would flowers. Fiery red maple makes a beautiful focal point when countered with the feathery foliage of dawn redwood laden with globes of gray-green fruit on the fringes.
There's a reason you see mums each fall—they work. Once buds begin to open, you're guaranteed blooms whether your display is in sun or shade. To prolong the show, water when dry and remove spent flowers. Pair with Mexican sage and boxwoods for this stunning display.
Display oranges studded with dried whole cloves for a festive and fragrant addition to your fall decor.
Topped with silver serving pieces, pale gray and green pumpkins add interesting height to your buffet.
To arrange the perfect Southern table, keep these tips in mind:
Pair pumpkins with potted kale to create a warm welcome. Grace an entry with a garland made of clippings from the garden.
Peel off the labels of pickle and okra jars, and use a cord kit (paperlanternstore.com) to illuminate each one. Equipped with a dimmer and hung at varying heights, they provide the ideal mix of rustic and industrial.
For a quick and easy approach, group your favorite tiny pumpkins on a side table, and let the collection speak for itself. There is no right or wrong way to create this display. This arrangement looks unintentional, adding a carefree, casual seasonal touch.
To make this arrangement, choose your favorite pumpkin (we like the flat-bottomed Fairytale) and pick up some violas, pansies, red and green leaf lettuce, thyme, and rosemary to decorate. Clean the pumpkin with a Clorox wipe, cut a hole in the top, and scoop out seeds. Line with aluminum foil or a plastic bag, and fill three-quarters full with potting soil and plants. We used Sorbet violas and Crystal Bowl pansies.
Vertical displays make a big statement at the front door. Tucking in cool-weather edibles such as ornamental flowering cabbages, kale, and bay leaves adds a distinctive twist. To create topiaries, sandwich bay wreaths between pumpkins stacked in concrete urns, and top with a small pumpkin.
Print out individual words on tabs, and fold them around twine. Weave the twine along the center of the table.
Transform mini pumpkins into luminarias by cutting a 1-inch-wide circle into each pumpkin, scooping out the centers with a tablespoon, and inserting votive candles.
It’s simple to decorate pumpkins with just a few supplies from the hardware or crafts store. Create stylish seasonal decor with some gold and black paint and place them all around the house.
Naturally shed antlers lend a new twist to table decor. Pile them up with different-colored pumpkins, pine cones, and loose nuts and bring the outdoors in.
Double the impact of an arrangement by placing it in front of a mirror, like this one made from a barn window.
Arrange branches, dried grasses, moss, squash, and small pumpkins in a vase as you would a traditional flower display. Then, choose a single pumpkin with an interesting shape or a twisted stem to showcase. Place it on a smaller table or stool to help set it apart from the rest.
A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but a few words can have major impact. Carve a message on your pumpkin. Southern Living Associate Garden Editor Rebecca Bull Reed created this work of art and added the wise words “Spooky is what you think you see.” What do you see?
Gold metallic paint gives ordinary pumpkins a wow factor. Stick round labes on a pumkin and trace the shape with a pencil. Remove the labels and paint inside the traced circles with gold paint. For another effect, apply labels to pumpkin, and then cover entire pumpkin in gold paint. Remove the labels when paint is dry.
Construct an easy-to-assemble Indian corn garland beginning with a piece of sisal rope. If you like, dye it dark brown or a golden maize shade. Wrap it with broomcorn, corn tassels (stalks are available at farmers markets), or other dried grasses. Place corn along the rope single file or gathered in bundles of three. Wire corn securely in place, and then tie raffia on top for a finishing touch. Hang your garland across a door or from your mantel.
Don't limit yourself to just traditional orange in your display. Orange and yellow pumpkins really pop when mixed with bright greens. Try using small green plants as well as gourds and squash with green tones.
For an elegant fall dinner, emphasize the beauty of the meal by serving it on gold and glass dinnerware.
To make these festive party decorations, pick up a carving or soft-skinned pumpkin, an awl (pointed tool), and some cut mums. Using the awl, poke a hole in the pumpkin and fill it in with a mum stem. Repeat this process until the entire pumpkin is covered. To help extend its life, keep this decoration in the refrigerator until party time.
Terrariums are an easy way to grow plants indoors. Start by choosing a clear glass container with a wide opening. Gently add fine gravel to your container. Top with a thin layer of aquarium charcoal. (Both of these items can be purchased at a pet store.) Then add moist potting soil. These miniature landscapes can hold a collection of colorful plants for display or just show off one plant. Good choices include ferns, peperomias, succulents, begonias, Irish moss, miniature orchids, kalanchoes, and African violets.
Go for a mod look with a gold rectangle pattern. Then group painted pumpkins by the fireplace for added shimmer.
Celebrate the bounty of fall with multiple show-stopping arrangements. Orchids, lotus pods, rose hips, and cattails brighten this dining room.
Etching will leave an artful design on your pumpkin. The technique allows your pumpkin to last longer and is less messy than
Fill wicker-wrapped wine jugs with clipped fig leaves and spread them out along a table.
Choose a smooth, flat-skinned pumpkin, and begin by coating with a base of black acrylic paint. Then, using the lines of the pumpkin as your guide, dress it up with gold painted stripes.
A neutral backdrop of white linens and dishes puts the focus on punches of orange and green.
A cascading display down the stairs allows you to use bigger ones that have more presence and are visible from the road. Position them on their sides or stack them on planters for an original look.
A coat of metallic gold spray paint upgrades a grouping of glass candlesticks (thrift store finds!) and heaps of large North Carolina apples.
Upholstery tacks lend a graphic look to plain white pumpkins. Mix up the sizes and shapes of the tacks to create different patterns.
Easy-care succulents, such as sedums, echeverias, crassulas, and more, are all the rage. To display your faves, punch three
holes in the bottom of a boot tray with a hammer and large nail. Fill the tray about three-fourths full with a premoistened
mix of 3 parts potting soil and 1 part sand. Position two or three bricks in the center. Plant an assortment of succulents
shoulder to shoulder around them. Fill crevices with Scotch or Irish moss, which thrives in well-drained soil in sun or part
shade, as do succulents. Top the bricks with pumpkins. Water when the soil is dry to the touch. This display will withstand
light freezing temperatures, so it's okay to keep it outdoors.
A stark color contrast gives your mantel an animated, playful feel, and the branches and moss add height and dimension. Use
small containers in a black or dark wood finish along with items such as horns, crooked sticks, and Spanish moss. The darker
colors will help the bright orange pumpkins stand out.
Your fall decor is incomplete until you've hung something colorful on the door! Make this seasonal broom badge by grouping
millet, dried hydrangeas, salvia, rose hips, and sorghum.
Feel free to take a more natural approach with your pumpkin decorating and skip the spiderwebs and jack-o-lanterns. Simply carve a hole in a pumpkin and fill up with your favorite fall blooms.
Complete your tablescape by adding candles in fun lanterns that complement your color palatte. Mix in simple canning jars for a more casual affair.
Black and white 'Lumina,' 'Moonshine,' and 'Jarrahdale' pumpkins set a mysterious air in your garden. Cluster them on your steps or pile them up on a table. If you can't find white or gray pumpkins locally, try spray paint. We like using Design Master Colortool sprays (dmcolor.com).
Write the name of each guest on a leaf place card attached to a little felted acorn that doubles as a fun party favor. Scatter loose felted acorns—or real ones—up and down the table to play up the natural theme.
Choose an assortment of small pumpkins and squash in muted colors that complement the surrounding style. Bring in other items from around your home that you wouldn’t normally think to pair with pumpkins, such as julep cups and old books covered in elegant paper. The key is to keep the look simple by sticking to the same basic color tones.
Take the Thanksgiving feast outdoors. But don’t host your friends and family on folding chairs and paper plates―bring the
good stuff outside. Surprise guests with a perfectly set table in the garden.
Create a pumpkin stack using a footed pot, dry sphagnum moss, and three pumpkins in your favorite colors and in graduated sizes. Use moss to level the pumpkins as you stack them, trimming stems, if necessary.
This buffet of sweets features store-bought goodies that guests of all ages will enjoy. For a unified look, place desserts on a collection of white cake stands and platters.
Look to an heirloom china pattern for inspiration, like this palette of champagne and gold with subtle touches of pink. Don't be afraid to combine old with new, traditional with modern, and heirloom with inexpensive.
The plumes of eye-catching purple fountain grass become more numerous as fall nears. Flank it with another explosive favorite, 'Fireworks' gomphrena, which is great in the ground or a pot. Add three 'Bandana Red' lantanas for bright blooms and two 'Margarita' sweet potato vines to trail.
Create a functional but beautiful sideboard by grouping simple fall arrangements, like these bouquets of orange dahlias, red and yellow roses, and calla lilies, with festive plates and serverware.
For an arrangement that will last through Thanksgiving, place a potted oncidium orchid in a large, lined cachepot, and surround it with water-soaked florist foam. Insert cut fall foliage into the foam along with dried crepe myrtle pods and rose hips. Then add stems of orange dendrobiums in water-filled florist tubes.