Today is the first day of my favorite season: fall! I love the crisp air, corn mazes, the changing leaves, and pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin pies. It’s such a lovely time of year.
I do hate raking leaves with a passion, though, so I’ll be mowing those babies with my bagger attached until December. 🙂 But I digress.
Once upon a time, I went all out for this season and my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I strung faux leaf garland around every room. I put pumpkin-scented candles everywhere. I hung “Gather” and Give thanks” and “Blessed” signs. I set out real and fake pumpkins of all sizes and tchochkes from pumpkins to turkeys. I put acorns in Mason jars. I juted orange juice bottles to act as vases for the autumn leaf bunches I displayed. I put hay bales and scarecrows outside on the porch. I even put dried beans in six apothecary jars, two with vinyl leaves on them and the other four with the letters spelling out FALL. And I did all this decorating the Tuesday after Labor Day.
No more. I love the holiday, but those tchochkes require a lot of dusting–not to mention they take a little while to set out in the perfect place, too. In fact, I just learned this past week about the current cotton boll trend in decorating, and while others may love it (to each his or her own), I think it’s too high maintenance. (How do you dust it? Do you just throw it away every year? Isn’t that wasteful?)
So I decided a few years back that I really just needed a few things to decorate:
- A mum for my front porch. The cost for my yellow mum this year was just $2.99 at Lidl. I water it daily, and I fertilize it once every two weeks when I fertilize the plants in my fall garden.
- Pumpkin-scented candles and scented wax. I make these myself, but you can buy these anywhere–or at Dollar Tree if you’re strapped for cash. I just put one large candle in my kitchen and one scented wax tart in the warmer in my living room and replenish when necessary. They make my home smell fallish all season long.
- Mason jars with faux mums for my dining table. The Mason jars, leftovers from summer canning, can be washed in the dishwasher at the end of the season.
- A single pumpkin, also for my dining table. The week after Thanksgiving, I turn this pumpkin into puree and freeze it for the next fall’s pumpkin rolls, pies, pancakes, and cookies. I usually get a pie pumpkin, although a few years ago I bought a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin that provided enough pumpkin for 3-4 years.
- A turkey (“Tom”) that we set on our table the week before Thanksgiving.
- A Dollar Tree cylindrical vase that I fill with fall-colored M&M’s. (At Christmas, this vase holds red and green M&M’s; around Valentine’s Day, it holds pink and red M&M’s; and at Easter, it holds pastel-colored M&M’s. It’s genius, I tell you! 🙂 Genius!)
I also decorate with one of two things:
- A simple fall paper garland. Hanging a garden from a shelf or a mantel works particularly well. I have some for sale in my Etsy shop, Bridget E Creations.
- A fall printable with a simple frame. I purchased an unfinished frame from Michaels with a 50% coupon and painted it white. You could use any frame. You could also use a clipboard. If you’ve got wood, power tools, and skills, you could make something simple to hold your printables by following this tutorial on Shanty2Chic or you could try this easier project from I Should Be Mopping the Floor, but take note that you’ll likely need to print your printables at a commercial printer or at least on cardstock at home.
Everything else I previously had was donated to the thrift store.
On years that I have been sick or moving (notably 2012 when I was pregnant, sick with hyperemesis, and doing a DITY move with the military), I’ve focused on the M&M’s and the printable.
So . . . Where Do You Find Printables?
There are tons of free fall printables online. These can be downloaded without your having to subscribe to a newsletter:
- Autumn woodland printable from Today’s Creative Life
- Lots of beautiful fall printables at On Sutton Place
- Fall chalkboard printables at The Shabby Creek Cottage
- Fall leaves printable at Love Stitched
- “Fall is fabulous” printable at The Tomkat Studio
- Fall subway art printable at Yellow Bliss Road
- Gorgeous hand-drawn printable at Pen + Paint
- Fall owl printables at Glued to My Crafts
- Simple fall leaf printable at A Night Owl
- Pumpkin patch printable at Sincerely, Sara D
- Hello, autumn wheat printable at I Should Be Mopping the Floor
- Watercolor printables at TeePee Girl
- Beautiful painting at Shades of Blue Interiors
- Harvest, autumn, and gather signs at Tater Tots and Jello
- Fall tree printables at Evalily
- Pumpkin printable at Domestically Speaking
- “Let the whole earth be filled with His glory” printable at Johnson Ferry Women’s Ministry
- Fall subway art at Smile Like You Mean It
- Welcome, autumn printable at I Should Be Mopping the Floor
- Fall pumpkin printable at I Should Be Mopping the Floor
- Farm fresh pumpkins printable at How to Nest for Less
You’ll need to subscribe to a newsletter to get access to these free fall printables:
- Autumn home decor printable from Moritz Fine Designs
- Anne of Green Gables fall printable at Kayla Aimee
There are quite a few free Thanksgiving printables online, too.
- Simple “Gather here with grateful hearts” printable at It’s Overflowing
- Thankful printable at The Pleated Poppy
- “Give thanks to the Lord” printable at Hearts and Sharts
- Simple “grateful thankful blessed” printable at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
- Gratitude printable at My 3 Monsters Blog
- “Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel” printable at Live Laugh Rowe
- “Give thanks” antler printable at Eighteen 25
- “Give thanks” antler printable from The DIY Mommy
- “Gather with a grateful heart” chalkboard printable at Lolly Jane
- “There is always something to be grateful for” printable at Shanty2Chic
- “Give thanks in all circumstances” printable at Craftberry Bush
- “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good” printable at AKA Design
- “Give thanks” sign at The Idea Room
Where Do You Find Banners?
- “Give thanks” printable banner at At Second Street
- Customizable printable banner from The Cottage Marker
- “Give thanks” printable banner from Simplicity in the South
- “Give thanks” printable banner at The TomKat Studio
- “Give thanks” printable banner at The Deliberate Mom
- Harvest printable banner at Swanky Design Company
- “Give thanks” printable banner from Like Mother, Like Daughter
- Thankful printable banner at Shanty2Chic
- Fall printable banner at Hawthorne and Main
- Happy autumn banner at How to Nest for Less
- Thankful banner at Smitten on Paper
Do You Offer Free Fall Printables Online?
Do you have a free printable on your blog that isn’t listed here? Contact me with your name and the web address for your printable, and I’ll look at adding it to an updated version of this post. If I have linked to your printable above and you wish for me to include a picture of your printable on this page, contact me. I’d eventually like to do a collage here, but I will not include pictures of the printables unless I have written permission from the copyright owners.
What Do You Think?
Do you decorate for fall? How do you decorate? Let me hear from you in the comments!