Let’s Decorate for Fall: 6 DIY Ideas for Your Home and Yard

The weather is getting a little cooler and the days are starting to get shorter. Oranges, reds and browns fill the air as the trees begin to shed their summer leaves signaling the beginning of fall.

If you usually only decorate for the winter holidays, you’re missing some fun and creative family time for ushering in this naturally beautiful season. Here are six easy ideas the whole family will enjoy to get your home into that fall mood. Just be sure to clean up around the house first so you can have a “fresh” start!


Candles are great for all kinds of decorating, from the living room to the bathroom and kitchen. Scented candles can also help set the fall mood by creating pleasing aromas throughout your home, and these decorating mainstays are one of the most versatile design elements for do-it-yourselfers. While holiday candles tend to get all the press, using candles to decorate for fall can create just as much atmosphere and beauty as any other season. We all know that decorative candles can be costly, but with a little imagination and some basic items, you can use inexpensive candles from the grocery store to create your own one-of-a-kind accents.

This DIY process is about as simple as it gets. First, you need some natural materials like dried corn pieces, oats, beans or just about anything else that strikes you as fall-like. Second, you need liquid glue and a paper plate. Pour your natural materials onto the paper plate, coat the lower half of a pillar candle in the glue and roll it across the plate. That’s it! You can place the decorated candles around the house or create groupings like this festive fall tablescape.


Baskets are a favorite for all kinds of decorating, and they especially bring to mind thoughts of an autumn harvest. Again, you don’t need to go out and buy anything fancy. In fact, for fall decorating, baskets with a little wear-and-tear seem to add some charm and character to your creations. A plaid dish towel or any similar fabric with fall colors make a great foundation for putting your basket of bounty together. You can lay the fabric in the basket as a liner if it’s large enough, or just drape it over the front or side. Now let’s fill that basket up.

Anything that says fall to you will work. Pumpkins, of course, are a natural choice. They come in all sizes and a variety of colors and exude fall probably better than any other vegetable or fruit. Throw in some apples (use green, red and yellow for a greater color variety), squash, corn cobs and whatever else you like. Add some ribbon, battery powered string lights and your own special touches. The more, the merrier! Here is a great example to get your creative juices flowing.


Pumpkins may symbolize fall better than any other vegetable or fruit, but corn and corn husks are right up there with them. Corn cobs and their husks are versatile, and you can use them for indoor or outdoor decorating. From beautiful wreaths to dining table centerpieces, these most basic of natural decorating items can be used to create accents throughout your home. Now, if you’re thinking “But I don’t like yellow!” then your creative mojo isn’t warmed up yet.

We have two words for you: Indian corn. Using Indian corn for your DIY decorating provides an almost endless palette of colors and shades. Indigo, orange, white, green, blue and gold are just a sampling of the variations of color you will find. The wide range of colors, combined with the naturally varying patterns, make this humble field crop a design option to consider. As an added bonus, this colorful corn works well with most of the other ideas in this post.

A Modern Cornucopia

Just like other types of baskets are a natural choice when you decorate for fall, the iconic Horn of Plenty, or Cornucopia, certainly embodies the spirit of the season. In its traditional form, overflowing with fruits, grains, flowers and vegetables, the Horn of Plenty and its splash of colors has come to signify abundance. Whether it’s used as a wall hanging or a centerpiece, the colors and rustic appeal of this fall staple make it a must-have.

But don’t think you have to stick to the traditional design. You can get the same burst of colors and rustic look of the Cornucopia with a modern twist. A great alternative to this traditional decoration is to use much of the same ingredients but presenting them with a new base instead of the commonly used basket.

Fill an oval or round container with potting soil. Plant some succulents in the center, leaving room around the edges for your fall mix. Arrange small pumpkins of different colors around the perimeter. Add colorful vegetables like radishes and greenery like kale. You can use more pumpkins and sprigs of herbs to fill in any gaps. Have fun and get creative to design your own modern cornucopia!

A Fall Glow

Colorful leaves are to fall what flowers are to spring, so the reds, oranges, greens and yellows of those leaves have become synonymous with the fall season. Here’s an idea that not only brings a festive glow when you decorate for fall, but it also does double-duty as a fun craft for any age. You’ll put all those beautiful leaves to good use, have some great family time and bring a little brightness to the season.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own festive fall lanterns:

  • Wax paper
  • Decorative tape
  • Battery-powered votive lights
  • An iron
  • And leaves!

Cut four 12’’x5” pieces of wax paper for each lantern you want to make. Fold each piece in half and put leaves inside the fold. With the iron on the lowest setting, gently heat the wax paper to seal the leaves inside. Tape the four pieces together, put in your votive light and your lantern is done. These decorations look good all around the house and add a little glow as a bonus.

Fall Curb Appeal

Don’t forget about the outside of your home when it comes to decorating for fall. Front porches and yards deserve a little love, too, with a welcoming ode to fall to share with neighbors and friends. Along with decorating staples like pumpkins, corn stalks, Indian corn and the old standby, the hay bale, don’t be afraid to add a little non-traditional color and fauna. An old wooden ladder, like the one used in this front-porch makeover, a wooden barrel or even some apple crates make for a great foundation to build on.

For out in the yard, why not leave some of those beautifully colored leaves scattered around and build a centerpiece for your lawn around a tree or a stack of hay bales. Using a tree or hay bales draws attention to your welcoming burst of fall colors, and the hay bales are great for making a tiered display for pumpkins, gourds and baskets.

Again, don’t be afraid to mix it up and add some bright colored plants and flowers to the traditional oranges and browns. Keep in mind that you want to choose decorating elements that can withstand the outdoor weather so your beautiful creation lasts all season long.

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