10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

In the olden days people decorated their homes with homemade treasures, often with resources grown on their own farms. I’m excited to share with you 10 nostalgic fall ideas we made this year from resources grown(mostly) our property.  I hope you make a few for your home! If you have any  old-fashioned ideas for fall decorating–I would love to hear them!

An industrious woman always plans for the future. Pin this post so you can plan for the things you’ll make next fall.  In the spring you’ll want to plant  flowers that you’ll dry at the end of summer for your fall arrangement. You’ll want to plant gourds and pumpkins if you have space. Back in the day even those who had little money purchased a few basic items in town at a store, like cloves and a lemon. I spent less than $10 on everything I made in this post.  I’m not sure how much money a grapevine wreath is in the store. You may find one at a yard sale or thrift store for a fraction of the cost of a new one.  A good resource to find free treasures to decorate wreaths would be in the forest. Go on a nature hike and return with bags of possibilities.

#1 Dried Zinnia Wreath

My summer Zinnia's dried--now I can enjoy them all year!

My summer Zinnia’s dried and made into a wreath! I enjoy them all year! I’m giving away zinnia seeds to 3 people! Just tell me you want seeds in comment section! I’ll pick 3 winners next week–save them for next spring!

Picked fresh Zinnia's multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

I picked fresh Zinnia’s of multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top.

Cover flowers with silica crystals. I've had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

Cover flowers with  crystals. I’ve had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

After the flowers come out of microwave- shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack

Put covered flowers  in microwave for a couple of minutes-shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack.

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

Let dry completely for a couple of days- these are ready!

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers into place

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers onto grapevine wreath

 

#2 Pinecone Tree- We have pine trees on our property, so pine cones are plentiful. If you don’t have any–ask someone who does to give you some. Most people who have pine cones have hundreds or thousands to share.

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We're putting lights on it tonight!

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We’re putting lights on it tonight!

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm

Pinecones_in_bowls

 

Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Half opened

Half opened

Pinecones_in_oven_open

Fully open- you can turn heat up for faster opening or reduce to slow–they are dry and break more easily when to heated too high

 

Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage

Pinecone_Christmas_tree_DG_101413_Hartwood_VA_SG_inside_1186x890

Pinecone_Christmas_tree_SG_102113_Hartwood_VA

 

 

#3 Cornucopia I bought our basket- but baskets are easy to make if you’d like to be 100% authentic!

I've had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it will fall produce

I’ve had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it with fall produce

#4 Pine cone garland

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

#5 Stained Glass Dried Leaf & Flower Art

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper

 

Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and inbetween

Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and in-between Can you guess what these are?

 

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY 049

Pansy in the center

Fall Leaf Stained Glass

#6 Pomander- Clove Studded Lemon

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle oris root over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle orris root, cinnamon and ground cloves  over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. Every few days I shook the bag around making sure the powder covered it well.  The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

The blue bowl holding the cloves was made by my sweet nephew Thomas Killian, he makes  handmade pottery and has an online store.

Pomanders are wonderful smelling.  You can decorate them in patterns, wrap a ribbon around them and place in a bowl or cover completely and preserve them for years to come.

Supplies needed: small or medium size unblemished fruit. (Oranges, Apples or Lemons)

cloves

Spice mixture: 1 tablespoon each: cinnamon,  ground cloves and orris root

Knitting needle, toothpick or nail

#7 Corn Husk Garland

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2.  Pull the husks up over the corn--like in the photo

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2. Pull the husks up over the corn–like in the photo

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas_DIY_004_1186_890

Tied twine around each corn husk

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn't perfect, it overcooked the husks. You're supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn’t perfect, it overcooked the husks. You’re supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together with twine

 

 

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

 

#8 Natural Wreath

Fall wreath- Fall weeds and produce on a grapevine wreath–whatever you

find interesting in your part of the world that dry’s well- stick in the wreath

and hot glue into place. This only last one season. Next year it will be an

entirely different look depending on what I find interesting in our field.

 wreath1186X890

Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath

Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath

Wreath_corn

#9 Pomegranate pumpkin face

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy-

#10 Retro Art

 

I'm going to send a copy of this retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m going to send a copy of my retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m giving away some of my zinnia seeds! Tell me your favorite color flower below to enter your name for the drawing. I’m picking three winners for the seeds. I’ll announce winners next week.

If you are a subscriber to my blog I’ll send you the retro Thanksgiving Day art next week!

Winner of $40 Target gift card and devotion book  from last week is Mary T. you posted on2013/10/14 at 12:09 PM! email me your address!

Comments

  1. You just make me smile! Is there anything you and Dale don’t do? :-)
    Love all the traditions and nostalgia you have carried on. Beautiful. You obviously enjoy all the “from scratch” creativity.
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful and lasting ideas.
    Hugs and love,
    Joy

  2. TY so much for all you shared in this post! I homeschool our kiddos and the stain glass idea is something we are going to do this week! TY for sharing! I would LOVE some Zinnia seeds! We moved to our country home here in ND about 18 months ago and I am slowly trying to turn my flower beds into ones that come back every year. LOVE your posts!

    • Hi Judy!! Zinnia’s are perennial’s, however mine come back every year. In the fall I pull the flowers up and put mulch over the seeded dirt- that protects the seeds under the ground a little from the freezing temps. I save some seeds in case they don’t come up and I can plant in the spring. My zinnias love our land. Sometimes they grow to 5 ft tall! love!

  3. Lydia Wehrli says:

    Hello!
    These are some lovely ideas for decorating!!!! I think my favorite photo though is the border collie peeking in the window as you work on the zinnias!
    Thanks for your devotions, words of wisdom and great ideas!!!

  4. Kristi Massie says:

    LOVE THE DRIED FLOWERS & PINE CONES!! I have always collected and dried flowers that I’ve picked or that other people had given me by hanging them in my home or using a flower presser that I made when I was a little girl. The Zinnia’s are a really beautiful flower, especially the PINK! I will definitely use your ideas for future drying, especially the silica crystals. The pine cones are another favorite that my children and I love to collect every year for our homemade holiday decorations. Putting them in the oven is a great idea for them to open up, I can’t wait to try it! Also, I do plan on attempting the Pine Cone Tree (which to say is absolutely gorgeous) and will let you know how it turns out! Thanks for sharing theses beautiful ideas! Many Blessing! Kristi

    • Thank you Kristi!! The pine cone tree took Dale a lot of time, more than he bargained for! Hehe- but it was well worth the time. We plan on having two to flank the front door.
      Love and hugs!

  5. Joanne Peterson says:

    These are beautiful decorations! I had forgotten the flowers and leaves pressed between waxed paper. I used to do that with our kids in the first round.

    Do the zinnias need sun or shade? They are VERY pretty, and I”ve dried roses and everlasting flowers, but have never known before to dry flowers in silica. Where did you dry the flowers? it looks like some sort of rack. I’d like to try this next year. I’ve never attempted to make any of these items other than the wax paper decorations.

    One of my challenges is keeping the deer from eating all of the flowers. They leave the lavender alone, but almost everything else is considered fair game to them.

    Thank you for these lovely ideas! You are very creative and generous to pass these ideas along to us!
    Blessings,

    Joanne

    • Thank you Joanne! Zinnia’s need full sun if possible. Deer don’t seem to bother mine. I turned a dish drying rack over and used it to hang the flowers from. I have to small drying racks- I used both.
      love, Sharon

      • Joanne Peterson says:

        I am feeling inspired! I unfortunately don’t think our yard has enough sunlight for zinnias. They are SO pretty.
        Do you know if the silica works equally as well for help drying other flowers? If it does, I would like to dry other flowers and arrange them.

        Thank you Sharon.

  6. Linda U says:

    I really like the orange zinnias :))
    Thanks for sharing all your ideas!
    Linda

  7. Vivian says:

    My favorite color is yellow, and I would love zinnia seeds! Thank you! vivian

  8. I love the layers of petals on zinnias. Just picked some a couple days ago. I like to fill different shaped bottles with them and put them by my kitchen sink.
    The colors are all so pretty. I guess I like orange or red best.

    Thanks for such interesting posts! Do you ever sleep? !!!

  9. Becky J says:

    How lovely your decorations are! God creates such beauty in nature! What a wise use of His resources. I would love any color of zinnias. Yours looked lovely! Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Dorothy says:

    red zinna’s are my favorite

  11. God has certainly blessed you with a beautiful dwelling place….Love the pics of the zinnas, it’s hard to pick a favorite color, but I love the yellow ones! Thanks so much for all the great ideas and pictures

    Glenna

  12. Hello Sharon,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and encouraging posts. I had to smile today at the Zinnia’s. This year for the first time in a couple of decades I bought Zinnias and planted them in my front garden, and my back garden. The tag said they would grow to 24 inches, but mine were 5′ 4″ tall!!! They towered over many of my smaller piano students and they all wanted to know how I could grow such tall flowers!! They’ve been such a beautiful blessing though, I severely visually impaired and have been able to see the bright colours because they are right at my level. I usually do a lot of imagining. God has been so good to me with my garden and it’s beauty, I’m so glad you have enjoyed your Zinnias too.

    Blessings,
    Ruth.

  13. Kathy says:

    Zinnias are one of my favorite flowers for the garden. What is summer without a bouquet or two brought in the house or taken to work to brighten my desk? I try to save seeds every year too, however this year it didn’t work so well. Most of them froze before setting seeds, so a packet from your garden would be wonderful.

    I’m not sure I have a favorite color for a flower, I like them all. Each one that comes back or spouts each year is a little smile from God.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

  14. AMAZING! I love all of these so much! You guys are such a great team :) That pine cone tree looks so perfect!! I can’t wait to have a house and be able to decorate like you :) Someone would definitely steel a pine cone tree like that if I had it on our doorstep here in Richmond!

  15. Sarah Gillaspie says:

    Your creations are beautiful! I especially love the Zinnia wreath and pinecone tree. I think the thing I love about flowers is that they don’t just come in one color. God was so creative and even the shades of color have variety. However, the orange and yellow Zinnia’s are so fun and cheerful.

    Thanks for your blog, it’s fun to read.
    Sarah Gillaspie

  16. Oh I just love these fall harvest decoration ideas! And the zinnias are beautiful! My fav color is purple but all make beautiful wreaths so I won’t be picky if I’m chosen for some seeds. Ty for sharing these ideas. I’m real new to your blog and I have enjoyed what I’ve read and seen. Ty again !
    Blessings,
    Leslie

  17. I LOVE your ideas and appreciate the step by step photos, which are very helpful!! I just cannot pick a favorite Zinnia color, the glorious variety is what makes them one of my favorite flowers! If I had to narrow it I’d say PINK! Especially since all I have is blue around here as the only girl. :-) Happy Harvest – especially at your house and where you are speaking too! XO.

  18. I love all these decorations. The pine cone tree is amazing! I like the zinna wreath as well, the pinks are so pretty and my mom used to grow the zinnas, I had forgotten how pretty they are. I love your blog!

  19. Elaine says:

    God Bless You Sharon for Sharing!

    I live in central Florida and have grown zinnias for years! They are so easy to grow here and are so lovely! I guess my favorite color is orange. I would love to have some of your zinnia seeds to grow! What a wonderful thing to share with others!
    Thank you for your time and effort! Love this blog!
    Elaine

  20. Cindy says:

    Hi Sharon,
    I love your blog and have read everything you’ve posted! My dear husband “gave” me his cold and I made your chicken soup today! Enjoying a bowl and hoping/praying it helps alleviate my symptoms. :) Thank you for the recipe! It is a real treat to read about your wonderful farm life. Thanks for inspiring us to use God’s gifts of nature. Unfortunately I failed to cut my zinnias before our first frost killed them. Zinnias have always been one of my favorite flowers and choosing a color is hard – but I do love the deep pink! Thank you for all your inspiration and God bless you and your family.

  21. This brought back so many memories of my grandmothers who decorated seasonally with things from around the farm. I love the Zinniea wreath — unfortunately I can’t grow them because I live in the woods. That pine cone tree though looks like a great project!

    Thanks — subscribing now. I found this through Pr 31 min posts.

  22. Carla says:

    Very fun ideas for fall decorating! I would like to try the pine cone tree but it will have to wait until next year probably. I love all colors of Zinnias! Thanks so much for sharing your talent of decorating :)
    Carla

  23. Anonymous says:

    I love your framed Art and I’m hoping that you have enough to send me one. I Really like your sight and have spent hrs. On it today( more than I should have probably : ) ) but it has been well worth it with all the ideas I have come up with. The Christian quotes and options have been a delight as you don’t see enough of this on different places I have visited.
    Thank You so Much,
    Janie Traughber
    My favorite color is yellow.

  24. Jo Kraft says:

    I enjoy all of your fall arrangements & looking forward to the Christmas ones!!! THANKS so much.
    Jo Kraft
    My favorite color is BLUE

  25. melanie freisinger says:

    Been wanting to know what those blooms are for a couple years now! Love them :)
    Will look for seeds next spring as I’m sure you’ve given all yours away!
    Love the wreath! Hope to try it next Fall.Thanks!

  26. Loved your fall decorating ideas. I am going to make several trees for my family and friends for Christmas. I saw you used garden stakes but what did you use for the top of the tree? I can see in the picture there is some kind of base at the top. Thank you and look forward to your other blog posts.

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