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Affordable Fall Decor Inspo & Tips

It’s finally here!!

Fall is my FAVORITE.

I’m pretty sure I have as much fall decor as I have Christmas decor. Every year, I look forward to decking my our little apartment in pumpkins, rich hues, and reminders of harvest, and cozier days ahead.

But those fake pumpkins are expensive, y’all! [Can I get a witness?] And I don’t want to shell out the money for real ones every year.

Fall Decor 2018 Pin 1

I’ve also found that I can’t just toss a few fake gourds around the living room and call it a day. {Well, I mean you can, if that’s how you like it. #youdoyou} But I need accessories with them to create vignettes and finish out the look.

I haven’t quite crossed over into the whole neutral-everything-farmhouse craze. At least not for fall. I still enjoy the tones of rust, chestnut and gold for this time of year. I did work in a few more neutral pieces this year, however, to balance things out. Let me know what you think!

So here are my methods and tips for building a gorgeous seasonal decor stash without blowing a load of cash. (See what I did there? See it?)

I’ve included my best attempt at photographing the autumn vignettes that I created around my home this year to give you some inspiration for how to make it all work! [One day I’m going to have a fabulous camera and some photography training… today is not that day, so please bear with me. I truly did the best I could! Just know that it’s all prettier in person, IMHO.]

autumn fall table garland tray decor
This tray was a gift, and I almost got rid of it a while back- glad I didn’t! White pumpkin from Joann sale; orange from Walmart. The leaves are a little garland from Dollar Tree, the pedestal is a thrifted DIY project with a funny story (blog post coming soon), and the wood bead garland I made using this fabulous tutorial!
  • Buy a little at a time- don’t feel like you should go to Hobby Lobby and spend $400 to transform your home. Think of this as building a collection. Pick up a couple pieces here and there that you absolutely love and are a good price. You’ll be surprised how it all adds up! Shop at a variety of stores, too, so you have a wider selection, and a better chance of finding a good deal.
It was impossible to get a good photo of this little arrangement! The plate, pumpkin, and some of the greenery were all purchased off-season on clearance! The leaves are a dollar store garland; the pinecones I also reuse at Christmas, and I got them on clearance after Christmas. The fern and moss ball I already had and just stuffed them in for filler. And the cute little box holding it all together was a $1.21 Goodwill find!
  • Similar to tip #1, buy all year- wait til the seasonal items go on clearance, and snatch them up then. Tuck them away for next year. The benefits to this are twofold: 1) Of course you save 50-90%; 2) You’ll probably forget what you bought and it will be such a fun surprise to unpack all your goodies!
This was another vignette that just did not photograph well because of the background! I grabbed this cloche on clearance at Home Goods. It had a weird-looking doohickey inside of it, and I ripped it out and put my own stuff: a mix of leaves, leaf ornaments, pinecones, and moss balls. That big gorgeous book and candleholder [aka perfect pumpkin holder!] I picked up at Goodwill, clock I already had, (but it’s from Walmart), and pumpkins at Hobby Lobby.
  • Re-use pieces you already have. This is probably my number one tip. When I decorate for a season, my first step is take down pretty much all of my existing decor, group it by type in the living room floor, then unpack my seasonal decor. You will make your seasonal decor go much further by filling it out with items you’re already using. Arrange the year-round items in a totally different way than you had them before, and they will feel like new. I promise. Also, consider pulling in a few non-decor items like dishes, hats, tools, and scarves, if they match! Anything is fair game.
Fall decor tips and inspiration
I kept the existing decor on the gallery wall- just swapped out the green moss and yellow blooms I had in the wall basket for this spanish moss and preserved oak leaf branches pictured.
  • Don’t be afraid of the thrift store! Half or more of my filler/ neutral/ year-round items (whatever you wanna call them!) this year are from the thrift store! Shopping at the thrift store is not for poor people- it’s for smart people! If you’re new to thrifting, just search for thrifting tips on Pinterest- you will find lots of helpful articles from seasoned thrifters. Look for pretty dishes, baskets, candlesticks, picture frames (don’t worry if you don’t like the artwork in the frame- you can always rip it out), old books, and lanterns at your local thrift stores. Don’t pay more than a few dollars for these items- the longer you thrift, the more you’ll come to realize most of these items are very common. If you like to craft, try picking up items that could be painted, stained, repaired, or repurposed to make them more attractive, in-style, etc. Again, the longer you thrift, the more you’ll start to have an eye for a good potential DIY.
autumn fall decor tips inspiration
I don’t have a fireplace, so this little nantucket shelf is my “mantel” for now. The bulk of this display is thrifted. I found the little shutter at Goodwill. That gorgeous frame used to have a strange painting of a dog in it, which I promptly disposed of. lol I love empty frames for layering. The old books are also thrifted- they’re great for creating a variety of heights. The floral items are all from Hobby Lobby. {I cannot remember where that vase came from, but it doubles as Christmas decor too, usually with a filling of pine cones and ornaments.}
  • Think outside the box- be prepared to use items in other ways besides their intended use. Don’t hesitate to turn items on their side, upside down, etc. to create the look you’re going for. This typically adds more visual interest anyhow.
autumn fall decor tips inspiration
I love old windows! They are so versatile and have so much character. I think I picked this one up at an antique store for around $10, but you can get them free, if you have connections. That cool lantern was a thrift store find, as well as the books. The books in the basket I actually altered to look old! (DIY instructions coming soon in another post!) The candlesticks I way over-paid for at Big Lots, before I knew how easy it was to spray paint those hideous brass candlesticks that are so plenteous at thrift stores. The fabric is actually wide burlap ribbon that I wrap around my Christmas tree! Those flowers I got on clearance because they were part of a spring collection, but they reminded me of fall, and fit right in this neutral display. The wire basket is from Target- I wasn’t patient enough to snag one of those babies at a thrift store.
autumn fall decor tips inspiration
This is another example of using things in other ways. I was out of books and in love with that little basket (thrifted), so I turned it upside down to prop up the lantern (from Walmart). The other thrifted basket looked much nicer on its side (love those handles!), and I stuck some moss behind the pumpkin (from Walmart) to make to look not so empty. That cool metal bucket was a thrift store find, and I didn’t even have to paint it to get it to look like that! The grain stalks are from Home Goods.

There you go! Hope you gained some new ideas for your own seasonal decor! 🙂

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