Because seasonal decorating sometimes gets put off until the last minute, combine any of these easy DIY decor ideas for a quick porch display and some last-minute seasonal flair.
Your autumn porch and garden will look festive in no time.
Last-Minute Fall Decor: Pumpkin Planters
Step 1: Cut pumpkin
Select a pumpkin planter. For impact, select three to five small and two to three large ones. Pick flower or foliage plants to put in the pumpkins. The plants should be slightly smaller than the pumpkin. Draw and then cut a circle around the pumpkin stem that roughly matches the size of the plants container. If you’re using real pumpkins, use standard pumpkin-carving tools. For faux pumpkins, you can use the same tools or a serrated knife.
Step 2: Hollow out pumpkin
For a real pumpkin, use a sturdy spoon or pumpkin scraper to remove enough material to make room for a plant. If using a faux pumpkin, opt for one that is hollow inside.
Step 3: Add a plant
Place a plant inside of the pumpkin. You may need to shake off excess soil, or slightly trim roots with a knife to fit in the pumpkin. For larger pumpkins, leave the plant in its plastic pot and place a terra cotta saucer or overturned pot beneath the plant for added height. Repeat to make several pumpkin planters. Check out these two ways to make real pumpkin planters.
Last-Minute Fall Decor: Crates
Step 1: Choose and prep crates
Crates come in a variety of sizes, so choose accordingly. Depending on which crates you choose, you may want to sand them before painting. Rough wood soaks up more paint, and may give you splinters.
Step 2: Paint crates
Mix exterior paint and water in a small disposable container. A one to one ratio will give you a more opaque look, while a two to one ratio of water to paint will give you a lighter wash. Test different dilutions on the bottom of the crate. Brush the entire crate with your chosen dilution. A paint sample of Behr’s “Welded Iron,” diluted one to one with water, was enough to paint the three crates pictured here.
Step 3: Seal crates
After the paint has dried, use cheesecloth to rub on a paste wax finish. This provides some protection from the elements while maintaining an antique look.
Step 4: Paint plaque
Following directions, paint an address plaque with chalkboard paint. Let cure, then add festive seasonal messages with chalk. Attach plaque to crates with two nails or simply rest the plaque against them.
Last-Minute Fall Decor: Lanterns
Step 1: Fill lantern
Choose a medium- to large-sized lantern with a hinged door. Place lantern on its back. Open door, and fill with pine cones, gourds and mini pumpkins. Place upright, check arrangement, and add or rearrange if desired.
Last-Minute Fall Decor: Seasonal Wreath
Step 1: Create wreath form
Roll out garland and measure its length. Cut a piece of poultry netting to match this length. Roll netting into a tube and squeeze to compact. Form a circle and attach ends securely with a plant tie. Shape and press the wreath form flat.
Step 2: Add garland
Cut 2 feet of plant tie wire. Wrap it a few times around the base of the garland. Attach garland to the wreath by wrapping the remaining wire a few times around the form. Cut another piece of plant tie wire and continue wrapping until the entire piece of garland is securely attached to the wreath form. Overlap the ends of the garland to conceal them.
Step 3: Add mini pumpkins
Cut a piece of thin green floral wire 12 to 15 inches long. Create a small loop in the center, and tighten it around a mini pumpkin or gourd stem. Wrap the wire around the pumpkin, preferably between the pumpkin ridges, and twist it together on the center underneath the pumpkin. Use the wire tails to securely attach the pumpkin to the wreath form.
Repeat with additional pumpkins and living or dried seasonal flowers, cornstalks, dried seed pods or gourds for even more of a fall feel. Attach a loop of heavy twine and hang wreath.
- Pumpkins, real or faux
- Serrated knife, or pumpkin carving kit
- Optional: Terra cotta plant saucers
- 3 wood crates
- Mixing container
- Stir stick, available free at your local The Home Depot
- Paint (sample size)
- Paint brush
- Paste finishing wax
- Paint staining cloth or cheesecloth
- Wood address plaque
- Chalkboard craft paint
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