You’re a mom with limited time. I mean, those gorgeous Pinterest autumn porches are amazing, but it’s just not in the cards for you. Or is it? I am going to share 40 cheap fall decorations that you don’t have to store the rest of the year and that you probably already have.
Why Do You Need Cheap Fall Decorations That You Don’t Have To Store?
I’m not a person that switches out seasonal decorations much. A couple years ago, I got rid of most of my storage totes full of fall and Christmas decor. I was tired of storing items I used a couple months out of the year.
But, I do love me some good fall season decorations. I mean, it’s the beginning of a celebration of color and holidays and all things cozy. But without my totes full of fall décor and without a budget to just go buy autumn décor, what was a girl supposed to do?
At Our Vintage Bungalow, I share our vintage lifestyle, and a main part of that lifestyle is SIMPLICITY. It’s appreciating what’s around us; it is using what we already have; it’s letting nature be a star in our home.
Autumn is all about harvest and the changing scenery around us, so why do we need to overshadow that with cutesy fall décor from Hobby Lobby? And, as I always say, if Hobby Lobby fall décor is your thing, go for it! It is not bad, and I’m not judging. It’s just not for me. I needed an inexpensive way to add a fall vibe to my home decor.
Many of these items can be found at garage sales and used year round in different ways. And many of these items are natural elements that are a fun way to add fall spirit to your home.
Here is my list of 40 cheap fall decorations that you don’t have store and that you might already have in your home.
These are beautiful textural pieces that are the foundation of good fall decorating. They are reminiscent of harvesting produce during days of old. They can hold collections of leaves, chrysanthemums, mini pumpkins …just about any autumn decor item you can think of.
Another staple for fall decorating are metal buckets. These can be galvanized, old advertising, wooden or anything that looks primitive, worn and old. Set a mum in a bucket for an instant planter. Or gather some grain stalks in a milk can for some festive fall porch decor.
Many “fall decorations” are not decorations at all. This is a time to put away the lightweight summer throws and replace them with chunky blankets that will make you want to curl up with a good book in a cozy place.
They can be vintage, they can be new, but wool blankets are all about autumn. Whether it is a striped Pendleton Hudson Bay blanket or plaid, fringe throw blankets (that reminds you of crisp Saturdays at a football game), these will be a great addition for chilly weather comfort.
I have ONE kind of candle that I burn for fall. It is cheap, and it is amaaaaaaaaazing. This may seem super specific, but smell this candle once, and you will never have to search for the perfect fall candle again.
I have a market basket that I take everywhere, including estate sales. It is sturdy and versatile. It also looks great just hanging by the door as inexpensive and effortless fall décor.
This may seem odd, but do you notice magazine and Pinterest photos of the front door? They have boots lined up, often in a vintage style boot tray. They may be rain boots, work boots or cowboy boots, but look at them with different eyes. Instead of telling the kids a million times to put their boots away, try using them as “decorations”!
Yes, I “decorate” with our cool weather jackets and scarves. They are going to be hanging on the pegs by the door anyway, so I might as well appreciate them. I like a couple plaid scarves and jackets hanging for quick access. (The rest of the coats and jackets are banished to the closet.)
All around us in fall is the mellowing of nature. Even the weeds become beautiful and full of texture. I love to walk around (or stop while I’m driving) and cut wispy grasses or weeds or whatever looks pretty and put them in a pitcher or vase. Since they’re already dead, I don’t even add water.
10. Seed Pods and Acorns
More fun items to scavenge with your kids on an autumn walk, go on an acorn hunt under a tree or see how many unique seed pods you can find. Pour these into a bowl and use them as part of your dining table centerpiece, coffee table or on a shelf for great natural fall décor.
11. Fresh Flowers
The flowers of this time of year a full of deep colors. Gone are the bright annuals we enjoyed all summer. Bring on the dahlias, mums and sunflowers. If you are fortunate enough to have a garden or a friend who has a garden, bring these beauties in as autumnal accents! And if you don’t have anyone in your house with allergies, there are gorgeous roadside flowers that you can pick from a ditch. Goldenrod, anyone?
If you know where some hydrangeas grow (where you have permission to pick them), cut several stems and hang them upside down to dry. These make for beautiful fall decorations as the delicate flowers provide texture. Different colored hydrangeas will maintain their color in muted forms.
13. Sweet Caroline Red Sweet Potato Vine
If you’re not totally over gardening by this time of year, then buying some red sweet potato vine at the nursery will add great interest indoors or out. A deep burgundy red, this plant will trail beautifully and fit right in with all those pumpkins.
14. Ornamental Cabbage Plant
Often you will find these sold alongside fall mum plants. That’s because their deep green and purple colors blend well with autumn decoration but also add a different type of color than the usual reds, yellows and oranges.
This time of year, the stores begin selling beautiful squash. These are in season so are really cheap and a gorgeous way to add fall harvest décor to your home or front porch. Look for kinds like butternut or acorn squash. Bonus is that you can eat them to reduce waste!
Apple harvest is in full swing. Kudos to you if you go to a pick your own orchard. Or you can use the alternative method and just buy some extra apples in the store. Fill a bowl and put them on your dining room table for an affordable way to add a touch of fall.
17. Vintage Books
Whenever I put together a fall centerpiece, I like to add vintage books for height to different items. The yellowing pages of antique books and dark hardback covers add texture to your vignette as well as interest with the old book titles.
18. Straw Bales
Some people love adding these to their porch décor, and some people don’t. But there is not much more fall-ish that a hayrack ride with hay bales. Find them cheaply at a local farm store or Co-op.
19. Corn Stalks
As with straw bales, these may or may not be your thing. But they certainly are a statement fall porch decoration. You can usually find them at plant nurseries or local pumpkin patch during the fall.
20. Cotton Stalks
I love this for an inexpensive fall decoration and prefer the real vs the faux kind. (But faux cotton will also work!) We have cotton fields all around us in the Midwest, so cotton stems are plenteous. Please, please, please don’t just go into a farmer’s field and pick. This is their livelihood. My first time, I tracked down who owned a field and asked them permission. (I now have their phone number and a standing relationship.) You can also buy them online at my Etsy store.
21. Grain on the Stalks
Corn on the stalk, stalks of milo and wheat stalks are all a part of harvest that will be beautiful in your fall harvest décor. Again, don’t just pick what you want from a farmer’s field. My only exception is if the field has already been cut. Often you will find leftover stalks either on the ground or in the corners where the combines didn’t cut. In my opinion, these are fair game (though you shouldn’t trespass more than a couple feet into the field).
Another note, wheat is harvested in the summer (June – July) so you will need to plan ahead if you want some for fall.
22. Real Fall Leaves
You can buy faux leaves, or you can just go for a walk with your kids and gather real fall foliage (that you don’t have to store later). Maybe the natural leaves are as bright orange or red as the ones in the store, but are store bought ones realistic, really? Most areas of the country have at least one gorgeous tree in the neighborhood for you to scatter around your table or fall front porch.
Vintage brass candlesticks are oh-so-versatile and beautiful. Find them at your thrift store, Etsy or Ebay and group them together with dark colored candlesticks for height to your decorations.
24. Rusty Lanterns
Pillar candle lanterns, vintage oil lanterns, oil lamps, these all are stunning when added to fall décor. I don’t know why, but it speaks fall to me. Is it autumn moonlit walks with a lantern? Whatever it may be, lanterns (the rustier the better) are great and provide a warm welcome.
Crocks are muted cream, brown and blue colors usually and fit well with fall’s color scheme. Leave them empty or fill with acorns or dried grass arrangement for cheap fall decor.
Something about tools used while working with one’s hands seems to blend with fall. Maybe because the season is about harvesting and farming? (Dough bowls were used to kneed bread and let it rise, thus the name.) These are great centerpiece bases or standing up as a backdrop on a shelf.
27. Real Pumpkins
You didn’t think I would make a list without pumpkins did you? I’m still a fall pumpkin girl. I used to be a faux pumpkins girl, but, again, there were those storage totes… It’s worth it to go out and buy some every year instead of storing them. I love orange, green, white pumpkins…all the colors. Someday I’ll grow pumpkins to decorate with. Until then, I am pretty sparse with them as I don’t want to spend a fortune on them each year.
28. Baked Goodies
So this may not be a decorating item, but creating a cozy home is all about sight, smell and touch. Before your kids or husband gets home or a friend comes over, whip up something delicious to bake to make your home feel welcoming.
Pssst, try out my Fall Pumpkin and Maple Scone Recipe HERE!
29. Wooden Crates
Wooden crates are useful year-round, but the Rustic style lends well to autumn decorating. Fill them with pumpkins, pine cones, plaid blankets or useful everyday storage for shoes by the door for a natural and easy way to highlight Rustic fall style.
Shiny yet warm colored bowls are perfect for every style of décor from Rustic to Mid Century to Boho. You can gather your collection of metal bowls into one stunning centerpiece or scatter them throughout your home. Fill them with the nature you’ve found on autumn walks like leaves, acorns and feathers for a rustic autumnal feel.
I’m not a fan at all of changing out throw pillows with every season. But I AM a fan of changing out pillow covers. Find pillow covers in fall colors that will warm up your living space. Bonus: if you choose dark green or burgundy pillows, they can easily transition into Christmas!
From rough wood milking stools to chippy paint benches, these will add Rustic coziness while serving a useful purpose. Use them as plant tables, side tables, Farmhouse porch décor or as an extra seat in your outdoor space.
Sports equipment in brown and tan colors seem to add unique interest to fall homes. Old style tennis rackets, vintage worn leather footballs, old school pennants, canoe paddles and antique baseball gloves all have that patina that could tell a story of its former life. This would be a great way to make a fall decorating statement.
Anything with weathered wood or chippy paint or both heightens the Rustic style of fall. Gather rusty metal hinges and hardware into a stoneware bowl, lean a barn door up on your porch or prop a house corbel on a living room bookshelf as a bookend.
35. Vintage Bottles
Brown bottles are perfect this time of year both for their color and for their usefulness in displaying dried grasses and flowers. If you find authentic medical bottles with the original labels, all the better!
36. Handwork Project
Again, this is a lifestyle item that can be used as fall home décor. Do you love to knit or crochet? Nothing says cozy evenings by the fire quite like a basket filled with handwork. Don’t hide it away, get it out for display!
37. Vintage Plaid
Plaid anything. Plaid everything. I prefer not to go overboard, but touches of plaid will definitely fit right in this time of year. Scarves, table runners, blankets, pillows are all welcome here.
38. Bird Feathers
These may be harder to find, but finding bird feathers on your walks can be quite the vintage fall decorating score! Gather them in a bowl or display them in a brown glass bottle.
39. Tree Branch with Fall Leaves
Do you have an empty corner, fireplace mantel or top of a console table that needs something with big impact? Go in your own backyard and cut a branch with fall leaves (it doesn’t have to be huge) to put in a large vase. Nothing else is needed when you add this to a space.
40. Calm Music
Lifestyle decorating…again. Home decorating is all about the feeling, and peaceful music rounds out your home. Whether you like classical, or the Crooners or quiet soundtracks, autumn calls for tranquil music you can curl up with. Triple bonus if you play the music on records!
And finally, I come to your keepsake pieces. Yes, you have to store these, but I do realize that seasons and holidays are about memories. I do have a set of Pilgrims that I get out each year. They are just like a set my mom had, and they make me happy.
Hopefully this list of 40 cheap fall decorations that you don’t have to store sparks some ideas for your own home this autumn season. Just because we are moms doesn’t mean we can have seasonal home décor. And just because we love decorating doesn’t mean we have to spend a lot of money and store tubs of out of seasonal decor.
Get more fall home inspiration below!
Comment below and tell me what your favorite natural fall décor is!
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