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Rustic Outdoor Decorating Idea for Fall

A Rustic Front Door Wreath

Rustic decor rarely appeals to me except in the Fall.  The idea of harvest and fields full of ripened grains, gardens and apple baskets all brimming with the harvest bounty is very rustic to me.  Scarecrows, leaves, willow baskets, old wood crates, burlap, all look amazing in the autumn months.

I wanted to create a front porch vignette, and I find it easier to arrange vignettes when I have something high for the background.  Last fall we made a tall welcome sign to go with pallet pumpkins, but this year I choose to try something a little bit different.

Fixing an Garage Sale Find

This piece was found at an garage sale and I  bought it for the front porch. I planned on using it as a table for a front porch vignette, but it took up too much of our small porch.  Determined to use it, I used it as a backdrop instead.

Can you guess what it is?

An antique washer stand for fall decor

I appreciate its beat up look it obviously served its family well and I have no intention of trying to make it look any other way.  I love how clunky and worn it is.  The stand had been sitting in a shed for countless years and belonged to the owner’s grandfather forever. Turns out its an antique laundry stand.  Women would put two large galvanized tubs on it and clean with a scrub board.

The first step was to give it three good scrubbings with Murphy Oil Soap.  The only way to describe the process is “Ick”.

How to clean an antique wood stand.

Once washed it was cleaned using steel wool and Tung Oil to protect the wood.  The super fine steel wool works the Tung Oil down into all the wood cracks.  Let it sit for five minutes and wipe off the oil.  This was done twice, the tung oil darkened it quite a bit and hopefully added some much-needed moisture to the wood.

Cleaning wood for a Fall Vignette backdrop

Once clean I folded the legs in and the used it as the tall back for the vignette.

The Wreath

The wreath takes about ten minutes to put together once you have all the different fall embellishments made.

Rustic fall wreath made using wood slices and grape vines. An outdoor rustic wreath idea for Fall decorating

This grapevine wreath is purchased.   We will start by making the hello swag.

Hello Swag made with DIY Wood Slices

Large birch branch

Cutting Saw (hubs used a chop saw)


Hot glue

Clear polyurethane

Heavy string

Black Sharpee pen

A fall wreath banner that says hello. The banner is for a fall wreath to be hung out on front porch for fall.

Cut the large birch branch into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Hubs did this for me, but you can purchase precut slices if you want.

Seal both sides of the wood slices with clear poly.  Do one side and let it dry before flipping it over and doing the other side.  I applied poly to the bark edges as well.

Once the poly is dry, hand write the letters on the slices using a black sharpie pen.

Drill a hole in the top of every slice and thread with burlap string.

Hang the letters on the wreath.  To make the letters stay separated use a hot glue gun and glue the thread to the wood slice on the back side.

Fall themed hello banner for a fall wreath, front porch idea

The Rag Roses

Take a long piece of muslin about 18″ long or other leftover material.  Fold the material in half lengthwise so you have a crease along one side.  Seal the open side with a simple running stitch. Cut a small circle for the bottom.  Roll into a rose and attach with glue.

Here is a video from Flower Art that shows how to roll a rag rose  its the same process except she used chiffon.

The Paper Leaves

You will need some leathery style craft paper and leaf pattern of your choosing.

Print out any type of leaf you like, I found this one on Pixabay

 Place a paper leaf pattern on top of the leathery type scrapbook paper and cut out with scissors.

The Wire Leaf

Hubs has a garage full of all sorts of wire and whathaveyous so I took a couple feet of thin copper wire and twisted it to match the printed out leaf pattern.  I love these wire leaves, I made a few extra for my stash.

Decorating the Wreath

Tie the wreath to the backdrop with a plaid ribbon.  Depending on the thickness of your ribbon you may want to tie on a second ribbon like I did.

fall themed decorations, fall outdoor decorating ideas, fall wreath, autumn decoration, fall front porch ideas

Place once embellishment (wire leaf) on the bottom right hand of the ribbon.

Place two leaves on the upper left hand side of the ribbon with glue.

Glue the roses together into a small bouquet first and then glue them to the plaid ribbon.

Depending on how your wreath hangs, you may want to wire it to different spots on your backdrop to hold it in place.

The final picture for the vignette on the front porch is not ready.  I need to do some more DIY projects and shopping before I create it.  Instead, I placed two cushions one in dark red, one in bright orange and a teal throw that are part of this year’s colour scheme.

fall themed decorations, fall outdoor decorating ideas, fall wreath, autumn decoration, fall front porch ideas

I am holding my breath waiting for my granite countertops to be installed.  Thankfully I still have some time before the fall decorating season starts.  When do you typically start your fall decorating?

Thanks bunches.

Rustic fall wreath tutorial for outdoor decor.
Rustic Fall Wreath Craft


  1. I love the rustic Front Door Wreath Vingette idea. THank you for the inspiration.

  2. Leanna this is such a clever use of the stand to use it as a background for the fall wreath. I love fall, it is my favorite time of the year but it would be silly of me to try and decorate from now since we are still in full summer mode here.

  3. The antique washstand is the perfect backdrop for the rustic wreath. The combination makes one think of cool, fall weather with a cozy fireplace after a day of raking leaves in the crisp air. Hmmm — we’re still having temps in the 90’s, but fall is on its way.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

  4. Hi Leanna! I love your new vignette for outfront! The wreath is cute and I love the old folding table. So, it was for washing? {I was reading Debra’s comment above.} Pretty cool! My hubby and I have a fondness for tables and one year about 25 years ago he brought home a shop table made out of plumbing parts {long before using those were fashionable} that was getting thrown out where he worked. It is something we still have and will go into the next garage. 🙂

    Happy fall decorating! I’m slowly transitioning and thinking of cooler weather,
    Barb 🙂

  5. Leanna – what a great tutorial! I also had no idea what your wooden piece was for; it looked to me a like a combination of either a bench or a table. I love the grapevine wreath, and making the banner from wood pieces! Definitely saving and pinning this for future reference !!

  6. I had no idea it was for wash tubs. I thought it was a bench. Great find. I love the wreath and can’t wait to see the final presentation. I started putting the summer things away yesterday but don’t forget it stay really hot even in September where I live.

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