As the days become shorter and the light fades, we naturally want to hunker down indoors with cozy throws, hot drinks and good friends. And while shopping for new goodies to reflect the season can be fun, you don’t need to spend big to bring the look and feel of the turning seasons into your home. Here are 6 project ideas (most of them quick and ridiculously easy) that make use of whatever natural elements you have on hand, from found feathers to firewood.
You have: Bare branches, twigs or firewood
Project: Entwine a branch with fairy lights. Bare branches hung above a headboard with clear fishing line give off a beautiful glow when entwined with fairy lights. Using a larger section of a tree limb that has multiple branch sections, as shown here, makes it easier to wrap larger lights; if you’re hanging a small, slender branch, use tiny fairy lights.
You have: Feathers
Project: Fill bud vases with feathers. A single feather tucked into each of a cluster of bud vases makes a poetic dining table centerpiece or bedside adornment. The most fun and meaningful way to collect feathers for your vases is by looking for them during nature walks — though you can always find them at the craft store if foraging proves fruitless.
Related: Cozy Up to Fall With a New Quilt
You have: Fall leaves, grasses, or evergreens
Project: String up a fall garland.Make your own lovely seasonal garland to adorn the dining room at your next fete, inspired by this beauty from The Wreath Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo. Sunflowers, artichokes and ornamental grass make up the garland seen here, but you can use whatever materials you have on hand. The finished product can be as long as you like, and will look stunning laid down the center of the dining table or hung around a door frame. Get the complete project instructions here.
Project: Frame a leaf. Old picture frames can be found for next to nothing at yard sales and flea markets — you may even have a few lying around your own home. Put them to work in a quick, seasonal display by hanging a cluster of empty frames on the wall and affixing a leaf or two inside each using poster tack or double-sided tape. Add to the mix with other small items, such as bird’s nests and bits of moss.
You have: Succulents or air plants
Project: Make a succulent centerpiece. If you prefer not to spend loads of time arranging fussy flowers at the table, consider a set-it-and-forget-it arrangement like this succulent planter. A long, narrow planter in a beautiful material like copper works well. Use potting medium designed for succulents to ensure proper drainage, and be sure to protect your table with a drip tray.
You Have: Pinecones
Project: Fill up a vintage pail.Once you’ve collected more pinecones than your arms can carry, tumble them into a metal pail and tuck it into a blank corner to add textural interest all season long. Galvanized metal buckets like the one shown here (used for harvesting grapes and olives) have an especially interesting texture, but any vintage container will do nicely.