With September in the rear view mirror, it’s truly time to start thinking about fall and how to decorate your home for the season. It can be expensive to outfit your entire home with new décor for just a few months, only to turn around and decorate for the winter. So today, I’m sharing my top tips and fall decorating ideas on a budget! Don’t let “budget” fool you; these ideas are anything but “cheap.” Your home will look stunning and your wallet will have plenty of money left over to buy all the PSL-inspired things you want!
A word of caution: “fall” doesn’t mean Halloween! By thinking about more than the month of October, you can make your décor choices last until you start decorating for winter holidays.
Paint a Pumpkin
I’ll start with the easiest option first: pumpkins! You can get them at the supermarket or, depending on where you live, a roadside stand or farmer’s market. Because they’re a seasonal crop, you can get plenty of pumpkins at a low cost.
As with mixing and matching your throw pillows, vary the size, texture, and color of your pumpkins for visual interest and a unique fall look! Since y’all know I love a monochromatic look, decorating with only pumpkins will be a stunning yet budget-friendly fall decorating option.
If you prefer an au natural look with pumpkins, leave them as is. But if you want to have some fun, carve or even paint your pumpkins. I’ve linked a blog post with pumpkin painting ideas below that are just stunning.
Another way to jazz up the outside of your house with fall decor is to purchase some mums and hay when you buy your pumpkins at the grocery store. A display of painted pumpkins and mums on a bed of hay is elegant and festive!
You may also enjoy: 9 Easy Pumpkin Painting Ideas for Fall
Home Inspiration Ideas
Decorate with Fall Colors
You don’t have to buy new, fall-themed items to decorate for fall! Fall decorating has stepped outside the traditional colors of black and orange. Evoke the colors of falling leaves and expand your palette. Reds and golds still reign supreme, but we’re also seeing navy blue, dusty green, and inky plums incorporated into fall decor. With all of these fall color options, you’ll easily find a few decorations in your every day rotation that can be incorporated into a new fall display.
If you’re like me, you buy a lot more apples and other seasonal fruits in the fall. Use them as decoration (and then eat them as you need, of course)! Stack apples in a big serving bowl or on a cake stand to turn it from a fruit bowl to a purposeful display fit for the season.
Find Vintage Fall Decor
Fall is filled with craft fairs and festivals. They’re a great place to find unique fall decor and decorating ideas. Depending on the type of festival you happen to be at, the vendors typically have very reasonably-priced offerings (in other words, they’re usually less expensive than department stores). The best part is that they’re usually handmade, which means one of a kind!
Another place to find unique, budget-friendly decor is at a thrift or second-hand resale store. After all, just because it was no longer right for someone else’s décor doesn’t mean it isn’t right for yours! You can always check your local thrift stores for decorations for any season. You may find a lot of Halloween-related decorations this time of year, but more broad fall options will be available as well.
Pro tip: most stores create seasonal displays, so you can see what they have to offer immediately upon entering the store. Don’t be afraid to ask an employee to get an item out of the display for you. The purpose of the display to sell the merchandise! If you love it, ask for it.
You may also enjoy: The Dreamiest Fall Tablescapes
Add Fall-Themed Pillows
If you have lots of throw pillows throughout your home, you can easily dress them up for the season with pillow cases! If you’re a sewer, create your own. Go crazy with fall-themed textures and patterns. Use an old flannel top as your pillow case material and keep the buttons on the front to easily swap your pillow forms in and out of the new case. After all, buttons and flannel just feel like fall.
If sewing isn’t your forte, no worries. You can find lots of pillowcases of all shapes and sizes online or in stores that will fit your pillows! One bonus of this strategy is that pillowcases take up much less storage space than pillows themselves.
Remember, you don’t have to cover every single pillow with a fall-themed pillowcase. A few pillows here and there add to the seasonality of the room without being overboard and overdone.
You may also enjoy: 7 Easy Ways to Mix and Match Throw Pillows [From a Design Pro]
Bring in Some Warmth
One big theme for fall is coziness, so play that up with blankets! No matter the color or style, the mere presence of a blanket adds to the cozy feeling of a room. Choose something luxuriously soft and plush or select a large chunky knit that mimics the sweaters of fall.
Of course, the blankets aren’t just there for decoration. They are a functional piece perfect for when the nights get cooler and you want to curl up in a blanket. And, please, fold them up at the end of the night as you’re fluffing your pillows and turning off the light. Otherwise, you’re creating clutter, not seasonal decorations!
Light Up the Room with Candles
Another way to increase the warmth in a room with functional decor is with candles. The flickering flames mimic a fire (for Halloween fans, the flicker of the flames also mimics the candle in a jack-o-lantern) and the scents create a full fall experience (you can visually and olfactorally enjoy candles)! Candles come in all colors, too, so you’ll find ones to match your decor without a problem.
Of course, fall-scented candles add fall ambiance, but don’t worry if scented items aren’t for you. You can purchase unscented candles, or battery-operated candles that look nice. A bonus with these candles is that they can be used again and again, adding to their budget-friendly impact.
You can put fall-colored candles on your fall tablescape, group a bunch of pillars in your fireplace to simulate a roaring fire, or on your mantel. I personally always have a candle burning in the bathroom when guests come to visit. It’s a simple touch that makes the space feel special (even though it’s a necessary room). And what better way to “enhance” a store-bought pie than to burn a candle that smells like you baked it in your kitchen!
If you choose to add candles to your fall décor, follow the Rule of Three, which states that items grouped in odd numbers have the most impact.
You may also enjoy: Inspiring Ideas for Fall Fireplace Mantel Decor
Easy, Beautiful Wall Art
If you’re looking to add some fall décor to your walls, one of my favorite cost-effective ways to do this is to purchase a low-cost print from a craft site like Etsy and frame it.
Find something that ties in the colors of your room and any colors you’ve chosen for your fall décor. You can have the print mailed to you, or oftentimes you can download a PDF of the print for a small fee. If you don’t have a printer at home, you can print it at a local office store for under $2. Use a frame you already have at home and this becomes a very cost-effective way to add some fall to your walls.
Hang a Fall Wreath
If you haven’t caught on yet, one of my favorite tips for decorating on a lower budget is to purchase items that you can reuse again and again! To bring your fall décor outside, make a simple wreath out of faux or dried greenery using wreath frames from your local craft store. With this neutral base, you can add in additional items that change with the seasons. For example, you can add in small pumpkins, fall flowers, and other natural elements. Then, store those small items and rotate in the next season’s décor.
You may also enjoy: Decorate Your Front Porch for Fall
Use Autumn Accessories
One of the best accessories for fall fashion is also a great accessory for fall décor: the scarf! Similar to blankets, a scarf can add a feeling of warmth and visual interest. If plaid works with your décor, the classic plaid scarf is a fantastic way to bring fall into your home using items you already have. Think about texture here, too. Cable knits, flannels, or other textural fabrics will feel cozy and elegant.
You can weave scarves around candles and pumpkins on your fall tablescape. You can also use it as a table runner! After all, scarves are usually easier to wash than linens. If you can’t add another element to your fall table lest there’s no room for the food, drape a scarf over a cocktail or console table and top with fall decor!
I hope you’re inspired by this list of fall decorating ideas. Whether you’re reusing items that you already have in your closet or finding a few new items that you love at a secondhand store, keep things simple and elegant and you’ll have created fall-themed décor on a budget that looks much more expensive than it really is!