Budget Decorating Ideas DIY + Crafts

8 Frugal Ways to Decorate for Autumn

I can’t quite believe that we are already well into autumn. To be honest it hasn’t really felt like autumn up until now. I’m sure that the leaves are slower to turn this year and it is really only in the last week or two that I’ve noticed a significant change.

8 Frugal Ways to Decorate for Autumn

The weather has been fairly moderate too which has been great in staving off any temptation in switching on the central heating given the current hike in energy prices! The longer we can resist turning on the central heating the more money we can save!

If you haven’t already added some autumnal touches to your home it’s not too late! I know that the pressures of life can tend to have us focusing on all the things we have to do as opposed to perhaps doing things that we want to do.

“Home is the kingdom in which we have the daily choice to make our tiny domain one of light or darkness”.

Sally Clarkson

Now I know that the world may be feeling like a rather overwhelming place at the moment. Energy prices are soaring right before winter when we need to heat our homes. The media are constantly preaching doom and gloom regarding the cost of living. Its all a bit much and we are all powerless to do anything about it!



You cannot control any of that but you do have some influence over the home you create and you can do it without it having to place any strenuous burdens on your budget – which is another area you can gain control over.

All the ideas I am sharing with you today I have done myself over the years. The best thing is that you can do these things with your children and share in the joy of the season.

1. Paint Your Own Fall Art

8 Frugal Ways To Decorate for Autumn
Illustration by Tori Leigh Illustrates

As a homeschooling family who fell in love with nature study and nature journaling cracking open the watercolours was a fun activity to do once lessons were done. There are many lovely free autumnal printables that you can download, print, and use to decorate your home but if you are wanting to avoid the cost of ink then I would highly recommend trying your hand at painting some of your own autumn art.

My daughter painted the illustration above one autumn afternoon about 5 years ago. It is one of the treasures that I take out and enjoy each year.

2. Create a Leaf Wreath for Your Front Door

8 Frugal Ways To Decorate for Autumn

Wreaths can be expensive to buy when you are on a budget but as homemakers, we still want to provide a warm seasonal welcome to all who pop by.

I made this wreath using a wire coat-hanger which I formed into a circle and threaded leaves that my daughters and I gathered on one of our nature walks one blustery October afternoon. It was so easy to make, looked fantastic in all its natural autumn colour, and lasted the whole season, right up until it was time to replace it with a Christmas wreath.

I used pine cones in my wreath but what about using foraged apples instead?

3. Create Autumnal Displays of Gathered Berries and Nuts

8 Frugal Ways To Decorate for Autumn

At this time of year the trees, shrubs, and hedgerows are ladened with fruits of the season. They make the most beautiful displays. You can display them as I did above, adding bits of bark and tealights to create that cosy seasonal feel.

8 Frugal Ways To Decorate for Autumn

Another great way to display what you gather with your children on your nature walks is recycled jars with any seasonal books that you may have. One of our favourite autumn books is from the Brambly hedge series.

4. Preserve Autumn Leaves in Bees Wax :: And Create a Leaf Garland

8 Frugal Ways To Decorate for Autumn

Another great activity to do with the children is to dip gathered autumnal leaves in beeswax and then turn them into a garland to hang across the mantle. It’s a great way to lock in that gorgeous autumn colour, it’s a fun autumn craft to do with the children plus the beeswax smells glorious for days!

5. Blackboard Chalk Art

If you are a homeschooling family chances are you have a blackboard and some chalk knocking about. We’ve created a few chalkboard-art welcome signs over the years to grace our front porch. You can extend this creativity by adding some foraged berries or cones to your sign.

6. Mums and Pumpkins

Pumpkins and Chrysanthemums (mums) are as much a part of autumn for me as the changing leaves! I cannot imagine autumn without either of them.

If you are wanting to keep this a ‘free’ option then a bit of foreplanning will be needed. For a frugal option, you could wait until pumpkins begin to appear in your local grocery store and pop two in your shopping trolly. You can usually pick small ones up at Tesco for about £1.00.

I usually grow at least one pumpkin vine a year (foreplanning option). I get at least one pumpkin from it and on a good year up to 3.

I have traditionally purchased two pots of mums each year to go on either side of my front door. For years I would toss them out with the green garden bins once they were spent but last year I decided to try something new.

I cut them right back, popped the pots under a shrub to over-winter, and then planted them in the garden in late spring once the threat of frost has passed.

Amazingly they have come back and done so well, bringing autumn colour to my garden. From now on any mums I buy will be planted out in my garden each spring!

7. Fall Window Art

During our homeschooling years, we have created a few seasonal window art displays. They are fun to do and brighten up the homeschool room. One year we created a leaf collage as part of our nature study on trees growing in our neighbourhood. It was a lot of fun and we ended up with a great autumnal decoration to decorate our home for the season.

8. Candlelight

8 Frugal Ways To Decorate for Autumn

One of the things I look forward to most about autumn is being able to light candles as the days shorten and the nights draw in. Creating little displays and including candlelight is sure to create that warm cosy autumnal vibe in your home.

I think it is one of the quickest, easiest, and definitely frugal ways to bring in warmth, create a sense of calm and peace and create that atmosphere of drawing in that this season calls out for.

In fact, going around my home at dusk and lighting my candles is a soothing ritual and signals that it’s time to slow down for the day, put on some gentle music, and perhaps pour a glass of warming red wine and start preparing for the evening meal.

It is a time to slow down and remember my blessings rather than any sorrows and worries. The flickering candlelight chases away the shadows of the world’s worry and for that moment I can rest in the comfort of my home and think of all things I am thankful for.


Cherish the people who make up your home, and you’ll notice the hearth fires burn brighter than ever before.

Thomas Kinkade

I hope that these simple and frugal decor ideas have inspired you to get out into nature and to embrace your creativity in making your home a haven for your loved ones and friends.

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