Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice: Design Tips for Autumn

Not everyone decorates for Autumn (insert shocked gasp here). I may joke, but I get it. Not everyone wants to spend the time, money, and effort to decorate for a season that will soon be replaced with twinkling light décor and reindeer ready to take flight in the front yard. I'm one of those people who love this season, however, and the opportunity to transform my front porch into a virtual pumpkin patch of seasonal goodies. But, like most people, I don't want to spend a fortune on items that will only be seen for a few weeks. If you're like me and want to add a little spice (pumpkin or otherwise) to your house this fall, below are a few ideas that won't break the bank.

Pumpkin Topiaries:

Ever since I saw pumpkin topiaries in a picture online, I've been a bit obsessed. No need to buy them ready-made because they'll be more expensive and not as cute. Assembly is pretty self-explanatory and supplies easy to find:

What You'll Need:

  • Two topiaries (purchased online for $15 and spray-painted black)
  • Autumn leaves (six bundles per topiary)
  • Burlap
  • Floral foam
  • Decorative pumpkins (three per topiary in varying sizes)
  • Dowel rods (one per topiary)

Total cost: ~$115 for both (spray-painted plastic topiaries found online; remaining supplies – pumpkins, leaves, and burlap found at craft store).

Autumn Wreath:

I took a sad looking little wreath from my store room and gave it a makeover with some leftover burlap from the topiaries and a tin initial from the craft store. Voila – a fresh look on an old piece.

Total cost: Less than $20

Galvanized Tin Tray Centerpiece:

I came dangerously close to missing out on this amazing find. Having spotted the galvanized tin tiered tray at Gordman's this summer, I debated whether I would actually use it in my home. As it turns out, this buy has been one of the best this year, the tray used to display party favors for my son's camp-out birthday party, festive items for a July 4th bash, and now colorful candy corn treats. In a few months, the same tray may host the fixings for hot chocolate or candy canes arranged in the same mason jars. Cuteness overload.

Total cost: ~$40

Hello Pumpkin:

It doesn't get any easier than this – a pumpkin, can of spray paint, and some silver push pins. If you don't want to wing it, use a slim marker to write your greeting first to provide a road map.

Total cost: ~$12

Custom Banner:

Inspired yet again by something that I saw in a magazine, I decided to make my own banner out of things that I already had around the house. Quoting one of the most lines from The Raven, this banner is on display when you walk through my front door as a reminder to pick up a good read from Edgar Allan Poe every now and then.

What You'll Need:

  • Pages from an old book
  • Construction paper (for backing)
  • Twine
  • Gold paint
  • Stencils

Total cost: Less than $10


Tiffany wears many hats, but prefers the comfy one from her alma mater that
she wears cheering her boys on from the stands.  Her resume may read lawyer, 
author, and freelance writer, but she thinks a description of life juggler, 
worry wart, and latte-lover might provide a more accurate picture of her
daily life.  A scribe at-heart, Tiffany loves writing stories that speak to
readers' hearts and enjoys tackling the subjects that invite conversation
and debate.  With articles featured in 435 Magazine, NORTH, and M Magazine, 
Tiffany served as Editor-in-Chief of NORTH Magazine after leaving private
practice in 2015.  She has been a contributing writer with the Kansas City
Moms Blog and has appeared on Fox 4's Morning Show, The Now KC, and Better
KC to discuss her blog posts and magazine articles.  Her first novel, Six
Weeks in Petrograd, was published in 2013 and she is currently working with
her agent to sell two manuscripts that she's convinced would make fantastic
films starring Ben Affleck.  You can find Tiffany sitting on the second
floor of her favorite coffee shop in Parkville, strolling English Landing
Park with her husband and two boys, or trying not to be "that mom" at her
sons' baseball games. www.TiffanyKilloren.com