Decorating for Fall

Fall is my favorite season. It seems like everyone says that, especially after such a long, hot, and dry summer like the previous one, but I really, really love this time of year. I was born in California, where they have two types of weather (warm and sunny or overcast and rainy), then moved to Colorado where every season is brief except for winter, which dominates most of the year (I saw they had their first snow in Denver today…crazy!). When I went to college at JBU here in Northwest Arkansas I absolutely fell in love with autumn. I’d never lived in a place that had such a multitude of fall colors, where fall days were mild and crisp and evenings were just chilly enough for a heavy sweater. Even after living here for ten years I’m still giddy when I see a tree flaming with autumn reds and oranges. My husband hates driving with me during the fall, because I’m constantly saying “whoa, look at that” or “did you see that?” – he thinks I’m trying to point out road hazards, when I’m just continually distracted by pretty leaves.

This year, inspired by Pinterest (what else) I’ve expanded my fall decorating projects. I used to hang a wreath on the door and put some pumpkins on the console table in the foyer, but after seeing such fun and festive fall displays I couldn’t help but try some new projects. Some turned out better than others, and I’m not done yet (having a baby wreaks havoc with my crafting time, especially when she decides she doesn’t need a nap) but I thought I’d share a few. I’ll share links to the pages where I found my inspiration, but I took some good blog advice to heart and decided to reinvent the crafts, rather than just try to recreate them exactly like the original. Takes a lot of the pressure off, let me tell you!

 It took me a while to figure out the placement of my mantle decor. I know it’s kind of hard to see in the picture, but those are real gourds in the candle holders in the middle, and a real pumpkin on the end. The leave are fake, but very pretty! I already had everything I used tucked away in other places around our house (I re-discovered the lanterns when I was looking for fall decor in the attic, didn’t even remember I had them) but was inspired by this pin to make the autumn banner. I know you can’t really see the letters in the picture…it’s easier to read in person :). Hobby Lobby was out of burlap when I first went (that’s the problem with Pinterest…you get new inspiration but so does everyone else) so I decided to embrace the new chevron stripe trend and use this cotton duck canvas instead. My first attempt was a pinstrosity (have you been to that blog? Pinterest inspired projects gone wrong? I love it…you should definitely check it out) because I tried to hem each edge and the pendants just ended up looking all wavy and uneven. I also planned on using brown grosgrain ribbon, but when I tried sewing it it bunched up…stitch witch didn’t work either. It didn’t help that when I was working on the first banner Charlotte was screaming her head off in her crib, having determined that she no longer needs to sleep during the day. I was trying to let her cry it out by distracting myself, but ended up throwing away my project in disgust (Charlotte finally did fall asleep…for half an hour. I’m calling it a win anyway). I started again, this time using pinking shears to cut out the pendants so I could leave the edges raw, and eyelet lace to string them together, which is much easier to sew. I still see plenty of imperfections, but I know no one else will see the mistakes unless I point them out. So I’m not going to :).

This project was also inspired by a pin, but I again had to tweak it because of the lack of burlap. At first I was going to wrap the whole wreath in twine, but it kept slipping and refused to wrap neatly, so I gave up. I found some cream colored linen that I had left over from my first attempt at drapes, which wrapped very nicely and is the perfect backdrop for the brown fabric flowers. I plan on adding some burlap leaves (now that Hobby Lobby finally has burlap back in stock) but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Here is the table in my front entrance, which is mostly just a collection of fallish items I found around the house. My obsession with owls has spilled out of the nursery and into my every day life, which works well since it seems to be another popular trend this year and owl decor is everywhere (I have to discipline myself not to buy every owl-themed object I see…I would guess that could get a bit overwhelming and strange, if not downright creepy). The gourds are real, and the silver owl is perched on an old copy of Winnie-the-Pooh that I’ve had since I was a little girl, which I thought was quite appropriate :).

I need to work on my “tablescape” on our dining table, and also have plans to build some “pumpkin topiaries” for the front of our house. Of course first I needed to weed the flowerbeds…no use drawing the eye to the overgrown jungle that hadn’t been touched in months. Now that chore is mostly finished, but it is freezing and rainy today (I know, shouldn’t complain about the fall weather when it’s my favorite season) so I don’t think I’ll be making any topiaries today. But soon. And I will post pictures. Hopefully we won’t have any more Pinstrosities :).

Have you ever tried a project that didn’t quite turn out the way you’d planned? I’d love to hear about it and/or see pictures!

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