Fall Decorating On The Ultimate Budget

This holiday season, my budget is more restricted than ever.  I have been cutting costs and tightening spending every where I can and as a tribute to my cost cutting endeavors, I have decided to restrict my holiday decorating budget to $0.  No, I assure you that was not a typo.  I figure, if I am going to buy gifts and do some cooking and host a Christmas brunch,  I absolutely must save money somewhere.  This concept actually posed a challenge for me which is something I revere.  I mean, it’s like ooh what can I find for free to decorate with for fall.

This was what my house looked like before:

This is my house after I added a few fall touches:

The most thrilling aspect was “shopping” around my own house.  I would grab at anything I could find and wonder what transformation  I could give it.  I was even further inspired by a post on my favorite website, Apartment Therapy, to pull out quilts that my wonderful mother-in law hand sewed.

This was one of my favorite pieces and the center of it all.  With our unseasonably hot weather, I was having trouble finding leaves of the right color anywhere.  Thank goodness for my in-laws.  We went up to their home in Lake Arrowhead for a weekend visit and…JACKPOT!!!  I was like a kid in a candy store,or what the stares of passers by indicated, a bag lady on the street collecting things off the ground.  I didn’t phase me at all, I snatched up the most incredibly colorful array of gorgeous leaves.  My mother-in law got into it so much that she started grabbing them directly off the trees.

I put the leaves on a wood branch wreath that I’ve had for years using a glue gun very conservatively as I plan to keep reusing the wreath until in disintegrates.   For the buffet table, I took a couple of the branch spheres from underneath the television and just popped a couple tea lights  underneath and  the lamps were originally on the living room side tables.

As an added bonus,I noticed the  light from the candles casts a shadow through the spheres that gives the illusion of trees in a dark forest.  Sounds dramatic, but its a really warm feeling walking down the stairs and seeing this image in the entryway.

I warmed up the fire place by taking the sticks, branches, or whatever you want to call them out of my red vases and placing on the mantle replacing the wood spheres.  I threw  one of my mother-in law’s quilts into a basket I got from a Goodwill for $10 a year ago.  Now when I lay on the couch, it feels cozier than ever.

A quilt added as an area rug underneath our old dining room table helped bring fall to another section of the house.  The wall sconces, that I have now decided don’t really match our color scheme, was decorated with the only pine cones that were small enough to nestle in the corners.  I would have loved to fill the whole wall.  As  the result of a project gone bad, I managed to create fall artwork with the scraps of card stock that was used to cut out leaves.

Finally, my front door.  I used the remaining sticks from the red vases and stuck them in a pot of dirt that refuses to grow anything and sprinkled leaves I had collected out back in the bottom (I thought of it as a centerpiece)  and used the remaining wood spheres  to hang with burlap-like ribbon, left over from last Christmas, with attached cutouts spelling F-A-L-L.

What I realized is having limited funds can some times be a wonderful thing.  It brings out your most creative side and is much more rewarding.  If something doesn’t turn out right, it’s like “oh well, it didn’t cost me anything!”