When you gather ’round the table this season, put aside some of your garden’s bounty for inexpensive, easy decorations. Autumn vegetables like pumpkins, artichokes and winter squash last a long time, and they’re beautiful mixed with fall fruits, berries and leaves.
Use your harvest to make a cornucopia centerpiece, or add pops of gold, green, red and other jewel-like colors to a mantel, shelf or porch.
Make A Cornucopia
Cornucopias are a traditional way to display your fall harvest. Start by placing a wicker cornucopia on a large tray covered with autumn leaves. The tray will help protect your table or other surface when the veggies start to soften.
Line the bottom of the cornucopia with more leaves and then add your biggest vegetables. Fill in over and around them with miniature pumpkins, Indian corn, crabapples, clusters of berries, gourds, pomegranates or whatever else you have on hand.
Let some of the fruits and vegetables spill out onto the tray, and tuck in small pine cones, acorns, walnuts or pecans. For extra color, snip chrysanthemums and put the stems in floral tubes filled with water. (You can find floral tubes for sale at many craft stores.)
Use Candles In A Centerpiece
The soft glow of candlelight brings out the muted colors of many autumn vegetables. To make a centerpiece, put a battery-operated candle in the middle of a large bowl, and surround it with miniature pumpkins, tiny pine cones, apples, small winter squash or gourds.
Wreath the bowl with real or artificial bittersweet vines to pull the arrangement together, and insert a few fresh mums, marigolds or other small blossoms, if desired.
Dress Up Your Porch
Make your front entrance warm and welcoming this fall with a colorful harvest display of pumpkins, dried corn stalks, gourds, pansies and flowering kale or cabbage in a variety of rich colors.
If you choose mums with buds that are just beginning to open, and keep the plants watered regularly during dry spells, they’ll often bloom for weeks.
For fun, add a few small, white pumpkins to your porch, too. They make great decorations for Halloween as well as Thanksgiving.
Decorate A Windowsill
Autumn decorations don’t have to be elaborate. Simple arrangements are attractive, too. Try lining up mini pumpkins on a ledge, windowsill, mantel or bookshelf.
You can also use a sharp knife to carefully hollow out gourds, pumpkins or hard winter squash and insert a vase of water filled with flowers, fall leaves and ornamental grasses.
Have some fun as you’re decorating, and enjoy your harvest.