Be inspired!

With the change of another season comes a change in our indoor and outdoor décor, and fall is no exception. Cornstalks, pumpkins, gourds, mums…they beg for our attention at farmer’s markets, retail stores, and quaint apple farms. We buy in hopes that we will get into that ‘fall’ spirit by adding seasonal accents to our homes. But, do we have to purchase everything new or can we be a bit frugal, a bit creative, and look at our homes as treasure troves of decorating possibilities.

I admit it…, I am a saver. I definitely save items from past projects like silk flowers, baskets, pots and containers, wood rounds (from my son’s wedding), old clothes, fabric, and even ribbons from shopping bags, because I never know what bright idea I’ll get next, and those items could be repurposed into something new and special. I try to save what I can because I truly believe, “I might need that someday,” and usually I’m right.


I have also learned that looking to nature, specifically my yard, is one way to add to my outdoor decorating projects, especially when I’m trying to be frugal. My gardens provide me with a host of accent decorating possibilities for both fall and winter. This year the garden has provided me with spikey rudbeckia remnants, Peegee hydrangea blossoms, flagstones, mums and sedum. So, although I might still buy a mum or pumpkin, using items from my landscape is invaluable and makes me feel good as well.

Last year my porch looked like this…

I bought cornstalks, decorative pumpkins, a wreath for the front door and a few mums for the planters, but, reused burlap, old clothes for my old man on the swing, and repurposed an old chair I found by the side of the road. I bought some silk flowers for the wreath, but also used hydrangea and rudbeckia blossoms from the garden. I also used rudbeckia in the cornstalks and in the large planters by the front doors.

This year my porch looks like this…


img_6138I bought two white mums and a huge pumpkin and nothing else. Yes, I loved the cornstalks from the year prior, but I didn’t want to spend the money so I did without them and focused on other elements. I redid the front door with an old basket and old silk flowers, reused my fake pumpkins, pots, grapevine wreaths, and wood rounds, rebuilt my old man and sat him on the couch, and used garden rudbeckia and hydrangea blossoms in the front door basket, and more rudbeckia dotting random pots and the large planters by the front door. Although the evening temps have fallen, thankfully, my red sun impatiens are still going strong in my large planters.

In front of the porch I decided to have a bit of fun with flagstone…


I cleaned the old leaves from my stella d’oro daylilies, stole five pieces of flagstone from the backyard, added flowers and random sticks, and made a mock graveyard. In the past, I’ve used old rock wall stones for graves and painted funny RIP quips on them about James Dean or Jack the Ripper, but this year I decided to go ‘oh naturale’.

My old man has morphed over the years as well…

A few years ago he and his wife started off in the rockers, old hoes in hand, kicking back after a day of working the land. Last year he needed some quiet time alone, so he took up prime real estate on the swing enjoying his Wall Street Journal. This year he has moved to the comfy wicker couch, perusing the real estate section of the newspaper while patiently awaiting the arrival of the always entertaining Halloween crowd.


img_6095-1What makes up the old man…

Besides some old clothes and shoes, the old man’s belly consists of a trash bag full of straw which I kept from a shipping box my backyard fountain was packed in. I pulled some straw out of the bag to make his head, then wrapped stella leaves around the straw to make his face, and to fill out his arms and legs. I used sticks for his arms and legs, but then recalled I had used the old stella leaves the year before to give him a bit of girth. So, without taking the sticks out, I started stuffing the stella leaves up the pant legs and arm holes, and I unzipped his pants to reach those ‘nether’ regions, which I admit seemed a bit disturbed, but also made me laugh. His hat is adorned with a feather I found on the porch (hopefully no cat was involved), and his scarf is accented with pink garden mums.


img_6096Decorating itself brings with it not only a burst of creativity, but a sense of freedom. Having a front porch to decorate is truly awesome, but if you don’t have a porch, you may have a deck or other outdoor space just waiting for your creative touch.

Although my decorating is a bit haphazard at times, old photos and memories help to get me going, and then from there I just go with the flow. The basic premise may be the same, but the fun of creating something new is always a treat. My porch changes in small ways every year, and I love it!


The key is to use what you have, add a few new items, use nature to your advantage, and be creative. There are no right or wrongs, no perfect way, and no end to what you can do. Knowing me, I will continue to add to my décor here and there, because decorating is an evolutionary process where inspiration is always welcome!



















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