Whatever you're planning for your DIY outdoor fall decorations this year, here's a hint: it doesn't have to revolve solely around pumpkins.
For an outdoor display that will see you through the fall season, let your imagination run wild with dried flower arrangements, gently flickering candle lights and autumnal leaves collected from your own backyard.
There are plenty of hands on at-home projects to keep kids entertained too, meaning they can see the fruits of their labor on display amongst your outdoor fall decor. Let the fall season commence!
12 DIY outdoor fall decoration ideas for a seasonal scheme
Whether you keep it simple and elegant or go to the extreme with doorscaping and pumpkins galore, our DIY fall decoration ideas are sure to be a wealth of inspiration.
1. Make a DIY fall wreath
An autumnal wreath is perhaps the most unequivocal sign that fall has truly arrived. 'Door wreaths are also a great way to incorporate your chosen autumnal theme and can be easily dressed up further in celebration of Halloween,' says Jess Martin, decoration expert at Ginger Ray. 'A deep green foliage wreath or an autumnal foliage wreath can be a great option that will last the whole autumn season. You could even weave in more foliage with garlands around the door for a maximalist effect.'
We know it can be a little daunting to learn how to make an autumn door wreath at home, so opt for a simple style. Take a wire wreath frame as your base, then attach bundles of foliage and attach with twine or cable ties. You can use artificial flowers to bulk out the wreath design too, plus these will help the wreath last for the duration of the season.
Blooming Haus, a London design floral studio, and Michal Kowalski, master florist, suggest making a rustic decorative wreath paired with dried flowers, natural foraged woodland leaves, autumnal fruits and berries - or an earthy toned wreath with dried grasses, including bunny tails and eucalyptus. The tones work well indoors, as well as outside as a highlight on the door.
If done well, a dried flower wreath can last you a couple of years! Just make sure to store it carefully when it's not hung out, and keep it away from direct sunlight.
2. Transform jars into atmospheric candle holders
With just a bit of ingenuity and a few crafty tricks, you can upcycle empty containers into DIY outdoor fall decorations.
Wrap the top of your glass jars with a thin strip of burlap, lace or twine, and then pop some tealights inside – or for safety's sake, these electric candles from Amazon.
Dried leaves can attached the side of the jar with simple twine for a pretty touch, plus it's easy to make decorative handles using an assortment of beads threaded onto thin wire. Simply twist the wire around the top of the jar to secure it in place, then shape the remaining length of wire to create a handle.
'Fall is all about getting cozy as the nights draw in,' says Jess Martin. 'Make the most of your DIY fall displays and light up your dark nights with some mood lighting that will look stunning amongst your fall decor. Dainty glass bottle lights, fairy lights and lanterns look magical dotted around your doorstep entrance on an evening and will create a warm, welcoming glow for guests.'
3. Use a wire frame to attach fall garlands around a doorframe
If using fresh and cut flowers for your fall front porch ideas has you a little overwhelmed, there's no harm in opting for artificial flowers instead. These are a much easier method – and you can even buy ready-made fall flower garlands like these ones from Amazon to make the task a walk in the park.
First rig up a wire frame above your doorframe to attach your garlands to, and then secure with twine or wire. These blooms will stay fresh throughout the season.
4. Display dried flowers in open wicker baskets
For a beautifully elegant and rustic display, you can learn how to dry flowers and then arrange bouquets of them in open wicker baskets. 'The fall color palette consists of oranges, creams, greens and natural woody tones. It’s the perfect opportunity to display your very own natural decorations,' Jess Martin tells us.
If a wicker basket isn't your style, you can also try arranging some dried flowers in a vase. 'Grab a vase of your choice – an orange/red vessel will really play into your fall theme. To add more dimension, use smaller vases to hold just a few pampas grass branches to offset your larger display and really make a feature of them,' explains Jess.
'Place your display on your front porch amongst your other decorations, or sit the vase in a window you can see from the entrance.'
5. Create floral-themed carved pumpkins
For a pumpkin carving idea with a difference, look no further than the flowers in your yard for inspiration.
Scary Jack O'Lanterns might be all the rage for Halloween porch decor, but a pretty floral design like this one will endure long after the trick-or-treaters have stopped knocking on the door, meaning you can display it throughout fall on your front porch or outdoor table.
They key to learning how to carve a pumpkin is picking one that is ripe to make it easier to create your chosen design, plus using a pen to mark out your design first is better than trying to carve freehand.
6. Crochet some pumpkins for a homely fall display
If you don't fancy carving a pumpkin design, how about making your own version of these DIY outdoor fall decorations from scratch?
Aside from being a fun craft project, making your own pumpkins means you can reuse them year after year – or make a family tradition out of creating a new one each fall season.
We love these crocheted pumpkins for their versatility: you can group them together on garden steps or windowsills, give them pride of place as an outdoor table decorating idea, or place them beside your door so they're the first thing your visitors see.
You'll find a wide range of pumpkin crochet kits and patterns on Etsy.
7. Decorate your door arch with a beautiful fall garland
Door arch decor is all the rage, and these beautiful outdoor decorations aren't actually as hard as you'd think to achieve.
Jess Martin says: 'We’ve seen doorscaping increase in popularity with each season over the last few years and a long list of celebrities have showcased their themed entrances all over Instagram. Your door is the first thing guests and passers-by see, so it’s the perfect opportunity to really transform your doorway and impress.'
Dobbies’ stylist, Abbie McCann, shares a step-by-step guide on a stylish look that combines long-lasting and versatile faux and dried florals with colourful seasonal selections. To get started, you'll need a wooden frame, chicken wire, cable ties, secateurs and a selection of real, faux, and dried florals that suit your style and budget.
- Start by grouping your foliage to create your base around the arch. A top tip: green cable ties will blend into your foliage more seamlessly and appear less noticeable. If you need to bulk out areas, create small bundles and attach where you'd like to create more depth.
- Once you’re happy with the shape of your base, have a look to make sure you don’t have any gaps on show. If you do, place in some eucalyptus stems to break up your greenery. This will also add another shape to your base giving your display more definition.
- Gather your real florals together – this could be different types of dahlias, crocosmia varieties, large chrysanthemums, hypericum berries or red robin branches. Using cable ties to make sure they are attached securely, start placing the stems into your base and watch your doorway come to life with an added pop of color. Remember, just because it’s autumn you don’t need to stick to fall colors, experiment with a mixture of different color palettes.
- After placing all your real florals, start to add in your dried and faux florals to add another texture to your doorway, placing loose stems around the outside of your arch to soften your edges and make your design more seamless.
8. Make simple linen pumpkins for a fall theme
'Pumpkins are a natural choice for fall, so why not take an alternative approach this year by making your own soft pumpkin decorations?' says Christine Skalko, Digital Marketing Manager at Denby USA.
'Simply sew a running stitch around the edges of a fabric circle leaving two ends free. Fill the fabric with stuffing and pull the two loose ends of the thread tight so it forms a ball.'
These zero-waste decorations look very effective when placed in a serving bowl at the center of your table,' Christine adds. We think linen pumpkins are a perfect eco addition to your outdoor halloween decor ideas.
9. Add some fall color with a seasonal flower display
Bouquets aren't just for spring and summer; you can easily create a showstopping centerpiece for a fall BBQ party with some flower displays.
Warm yellows and oranges combined with deep purples and greens make a lovely fall floral arrangement. Cut stems at different lengths to provide some height too, and perhaps collect a few vases of differing sizes to create some variety.
10. Paint and decorate fallen autumn leaves
- It's a good idea to dry the leaves fully and press them flat. Using a heavy book will do the job.
- Lay them flat on some newspaper, ready to paint.
- Using acrylic paint (like these ones from Amazon) and a small, thin paintbrush, create your own unique decorations.
- Using some acrylic spray will help to hold and keep the color.
- You can also paint over the leaves with clear glue to seal the paint and make them waterproof.
The finished designs can be used for decorating doors and windows, or attached to the side of candleholders to give them a seasonal twist.
11. Turn glass jars into hanging candle holders
While we're talking about simple DIY outdoor fall decorations that kids can get involved with, here's another one they can try. Turning leftover jars into homemade lanterns to include in your outdoor lighting ideas is super simple to do and really effective.
Christine Skalko, Digital Marketing Manager at Denby USA, says: 'You can easily make your own DIY lanterns by adding candles to mason jars. Dot them around your dining area or hang them up using pieces of twine,' she says.
'Lining the table with a few candles and hanging some string lights and lanterns will add much-needed light and coziness as the dark nights draw in.'
12. Create DIY fall decorations with thrifted objects
Fall is the perfect season to go thrifting, as plenty of people feel the urge to 'spring clean' when the seasons change. You can pick up lots of great outdoor decor too.
Look for mismatched items that you can upcycle or reuse - vases, cups, lanterns and watering cans can all be repurposed to hold dried flowers and fall-coloured branches as part of your DIY outdoor fall decorations.
Freelance writer and author Flora Baker is a keen amateur gardener and houseplant enthusiast. Her small garden in South London is a constant work in progress as she gets to grips with snail prevention, DIY trellises and what to plant in shady spots overrun with ivy.
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