Cheap Fall Decor Ideas That are Beautiful

Best Cheap Fall Home Decor Ideas with How Tos

Wondering how you can create cheap fall decorating ideas that are still beautiful? I sure was. Whenever I see all that beautiful Fall decor with beautiful fall branches, faux pumpkins, and large fall displays I feel a twinge of jealousy. We simply cannot afford to have beautiful displays of faux fall branches, tubs of fresh Mums, and the Medalta crockery I want this year. I went to look at dollar store branches and they work all right for small touches of color I did buy a few ceramic green pumpkins and craft supplies, but I am not capable of making a large arrangement with them. I did come up with a few cheap fall decor ideas that I will share, and as always hope you find them helpful. Let’s begin with fall greenery.

Fall Greenery Ideas

You may laugh but I thought and thought about how could I get some large fall foliage branches in soft oranges and greens. I took out some old tall teal coloured branches but felt weak at the thought of replacing them all individually from dollar tree branches. I am a bit embarrassed to admit it took me a few days to think of harvesting real branches for my Fall decorations.

Preparing Natural Fall Branches for Indoor Use

The price is right when using natural fall branches but there are a few things to consider when using real branches in our fall decor. Here’s what you need to know.

Select and Gather the Branches

The first thing to consider is if you have permission to gather the branches. We live next to a nature park full of gorgeous greenery, I don’t think the town would appreciate me going out and snipping branches off any of the trees or plants. Close by and I wouldn’t harm the plant, but people can be protective so I decided against it.

As I live in Alberta we have all kinds of pipeline rights of ways that you’re allowed to use for walking dogs etc. It’s a little bit of a drive to the nearest one, but I grabbed a bag to carry the branches home, my clippers, some gloves, and our dog and went for a walk. It was a fantastic way to spend an hour outdoors enjoying the last days of summer in Canada. Other ideas are road right of way, your yard, or asking a friend or neighbor if you could have a couple of clippings.

I knew I wanted tree branches that were a couple of feet tall, and had multi-coloured leaves. While walking just look for branches that catch your eye. Making sure not to too much off of one plant and wearing gloves I snipped off a branch. Here is one of the clippings added with a free fall kitchen printable and a dollar store pumpkin.

Fall DIY Home Decor using preserved fall branch, a free fall printable and dollar store pumpkins.

Before Bringing Your Fall Branches Indoors

Before bringing wild outdoor branches inside check them outside before bringing them in. Look for bugs especially eggs on the leaves. If you find any I would just leave them outside. It’s not worth bringing infestations indoors, or spraying them and bringing the chemicals indoors.

Cleaning the Fall Branches

Even florists inspect clean and trim growers’ flowers before using them. We need to do the same for real branches. Remove any leaves that don’t look perfect, little bits of bark, etc. Trim the branches if necessary.

To clean the entire branches fill a tub with warm water and submerge the branches. I used my bathtub. Let them sit in the water for a few minutes to drown or evict any insects that may still be hiding. Pull the plug on your tub to remove the water, leave the branches for a couple of minutes to dry, and then gently spray them with mild soapy water. Set aside to dry and they are good to use.

Soaking real fall branches with bright yellow, soft orange and green leaves in a tub for preserving branches.

Place water in the vase you’re going to use and then measure the height of the water. Trim off any secondary branches and leaves that are beneath that mark. You don’t want small secondary branches and leaves in the water.

An inexpensive Fall decor idea with a large bouquet of live Fall branches in a vase. The vase of orange leaved branches is sitting on the island of a kitchen.

Finally, you want to cut the end of your branches at an angle. Then you cut a strip 1 to 2 inches up into the branch, and smash it with a hammer. Sounds mean I know but it helps the water diffuse into the branch.

How Long Do Fresh Branches Last?

I did some looking and couldn’t find a specific answer. Generally branches with thicker bark last longer than those with thin barks. Different varieties last longer than others and it depends on other things like house temperature. I suggest changing the water every couple of days, inspecting the branches, and clip off anything that seems to be withering. By doing this most fall branches will last two weeks.

Other Natural Elements for Cheap Fall Decor

Real pumpkins and gourds, even squash work for Fall decor. My fall porch isn’t ready yet as it’s September, and I am waiting for my pumpkins in the garden to grow more. I grew green pumpkins this year, especially for my fall porch decor. They are getting stacked on my porch and wrapped in pretty lights. I will share the porch once done. Other ideas are apples and pears stacked in a bowl. The colors look nice on the counter with a pretty towel and done.

Cornstalks, we also grew these in our garden, but I am saving them for Halloween I think. Check out fall cornstalk decor online for more ideas.

Hay Bales are great if you live on the prairies like I do. You can get them for cheap especially if you have a neighbor you promise to return them to.

Grain stalks you can gather them just like the leaves, I have a post on how to dry wheat for decorations a couple of years ago, here are the bundles this year on my mantel. The mantel isn’t finished yet I will link it once the book page garland is finished.

Grain stalks sitting on a mantel with a book page garland for diy fall home decor ideas.

Sunflowers are another suggestion, but again for real sunflowers, you need to be aware of the pests. If you don’t have a garden real ones are always much cheaper than the fancy purchased ones are.

Typical Tidbits for Decorating on a Budget

I am hesitant to repeat the typical budget decor ideas, as I think we all know them. They are true though, so I am quickly repeating them.

Dollar Tree Decor

For my fall decor, I use dollar tree decor sparingly and use some craft supplies to DIY fall decor. When I use it I make sure to surround it with the more expensive decor, or a beautiful decor find. The hop branches in this image are from a favorite local gift shop, if you want to make the fall plaid pumpkin it is an easy update from a dollar tree wood pumpkin.

A dollar tree pumpkin decorated with a pastel orange and green plaid, white farmhouse beads, and cream coloured half beads. The pumpkin is part of a fall decor vignette.

Don’t forget to check out their towel section as well, I am not crazy about the bright oranges, etc, but I did find some soft striped green towels that I made into a pumpkin, you can also use them as a layer in your decor arrangements.

Garage Sales, Thrift Store Decor

With some looking and luck you can fall branches at both garage sales and thrift stores. If you find one you like I suggest using a small paintbrush, wetting it with soapy water, and brush the leaves clean.

I recently found an antique store that has some vendors with really good prices. I saw two of these dark brown large glass jugs one for $20 and one for $15. Another vendor had this one you see in the picture. It’s old enough that the cap is solid metal, and it was $2. The bottom still had lots of old wine residue in it. Three days of soaking the bottom with a mixture of hot vinegar and Dawn soap. Then I used the spray washer to get the rest out. The greenery is from a dollar store, but I love the colour and how it hangs in the jar.

Cheap Fall decor idea with pumpkins an antique amber bottle and dollar store orange and green greenery. There is a wood and galvanized metal gather shelf sitter sign in the front.

Vintage and clunky is perfect for Fall decor, we all see amazing DIY fall decor ideas on Pinterest one year only to see them smaller and reproduced at a gift shop the next. Think anything wood, it’s already brown. Or heavy pottery, I am always on the look for sauerkraut pots for fall, no luck yet.

Shopping What You Have

I am 100% sure you know this, start with what you have in your stash. Even if its a small stash use what you already have first. You can create some DIY fall decor very cheaply albeit with some effort. I do that every year and it leaves my budget to buy something I really want. The gather sign above is one of those items, although the lettered decor is no longer trending I love it nonetheless.

Candles and Mason Jars

Take a mason jar, place a faux candle inside, add some fall leaves, and wrap it with burlap or twine. So easy and pretty on a coffee table. I put this one together while writing the post, and placed it on the coffee table.

A vintage mason jar decorated with real leaves, a flameless candle, and raffia tied around the top. Its sitting on a farmhouse tray with a green and a white pumpkin. Part of a Fall DIY home decor inexpensive ideas example.

Twine, Burlap, Raffia, Mini Lights for Fall Decorating

You can purchase twine, burlap, raffia, and mini lights inexpensively. Burlap makes a nice DIY table runner or book wrap. I love tying it around an ugly plastic plant pot as camouflage. I couldn’t write a post about cheap fall decor without mentioning how great mini lights are for those lengthening evenings. The dollar store has some that I haven’t bought yet, but I have a set several years old from Costco that I use every fall. The lights bring magic to the simple fall decor arrangements, it has to be my favorite item for fall decorating. Have you tried them?

Free Printable Art

You can use the free printables provided or make your own. The Rise and Shine Coffee Printable and the Pumpkin Spice Printable both print out on letter-size paper, then I used a paper cutter to cut them down to 8 by 10.

If you want to make some of your own for free, check out Canva (not an affiliate link) just sharing what I love. For my fall kitchen decor, I purchased the two white frames from Home Goods, and used Fall mugs from last year (we each picked one so mine don’t match). Placed everything on a tray for a quick coffee area.

A coffee shop Fall printable for the kitchen in a white frame.

Tea Towels

Pretty tea towels are typically affordable as long as we stay clear of the kitchen specialty shops. Eons ago we built a simple easy-to-make farmhouse mini ladder to hang tea towels on. It’s made with one 1 by 2 and square brackets, I love it for kitchen decor and have used it repeatedly especially when taking pictures. Take two pretty tea towels drape them over the ladder and you have a pop of colour anywhere you want on your counter.

A fall decor arrangement for the kitchen using inexpensive elements like a towel rack, pretty pumpkin towels, a green pumpkin, milk glass containers and red leaves.

Fall is a beautiful easy to decorate for season, that comes too close to both Halloween and Christmas. Having cheap fall decorating ideas can look nice with a little bit of effort. I prefer to be frugal for both Fall and Halloween decorating so I can splurge on Christmas.

A large bouquet of real Fall branches in a vase. The vase is sitting on a kitchen island along with assorted ceramic green pumpkins.

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