Bring the feel of crisp fall air and brightly hued foliage to your dinner table with these simple, do-it-yourself decorating tips from three design and home decorating bloggers.
Centerpiece. Pour layers of various colors of dried beans and seeds into inexpensive clear glass containers, such as vases or empty pasta sauce and jelly jars. Amanda Jane Brown, of the My Hearts Desire blog, suggests layers of split green peas, small dark red beans and popcorn kernels. To add interest, insert a pillar candle after the first layer, and tie a jute string or ribbon around the filled container. Use a large jar as a centerpiece or arrange several smaller containers on a mirror or wooden tray.
Place cards. Take a nature walk or send the kids into the yard to collect large, dry leaves—one for each place setting at your table. In a well-ventilated area, spread leaves on cardboard or an old sheet and spray with a thin layer of gold paint. While leaves are drying, cut small tags from cardstock, handwrite on diners’ names, punch a hole in each tag and use jute string to attach tags to leaf stems. “I placed them in a food storage bag when the guests had all left, and they’re still going strong almost a year later,” says Liz Woody, of the blog, Naptime Decorator.
Menu. Nestle a framed chalkboard among serving dishes with a welcome greeting, poignant quote or holiday menu. Kelli Uhrich, of the blog, A Happy Place Called Home, says it’s easy to transform a discount picture frame into a chalkboard with special chalkboard spray paint available at most home improvement stores. Remove the glass and cardboard backer from the picture frame, paint the cardboard backer and put it back in the frame. Be sure to “prime” the chalkboard by rubbing the entire surface with the side of a piece of chalk and leaving it on the board overnight.
Buffet. Recycle clear, straight-sided drinking glasses from thrift stores, yard sales or the back of your cupboard. Stencil a seasonal word—for example, boo for Halloween; thanks for Thanksgiving, or merry for Christmas—onto the glasses by applying one letter to each glass. Fill each glass with a single tea light candle or fresh seasonal tidbits such as acorns, pieces of pinecones and cinnamon sticks.
Eye catcher. Wrap a festive garland around the base of decorative ceramic pumpkin and place on a cake stand. The garland adds texture to this simple centerpiece. Kate Striegel, of the blog, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, suggests placing a decorative tray under the pumpkin and stand to add emphasis.