Friday, September 9, 2011

Getting Your Home Ready for Fall

September.....It's already September!  Can you believe it?  School is back in more kids playing out in the street late at night.  Each one is tucked in their beds preparing their sweet selves for the next school day.  The newspapers and television stations are all reporting on college football and touting how their team is the best. (Go Vols & that order!) The farmers will soon be harvesting their crops.  Pumpkins and mums will start showing up at the nurseries.  The morning air is cool and crisp.  Yes, autumn is in the air.  And with the arrival of autumn comes a wonderful opportunity to dress up your entry to your home.  It's another way of saying, "Welcome!"

You say, "Oh, it's so much work.  It takes so much time!".  Think about it this way.  If you start now to decorate your door for the fall, you won't have to take it down until after Thanksgiving!  Now, for some of you, that is good news!

 I can hardly wait for the seasons to change so that I can put out my next season's display.  Let me take a moment and give you some ideas to get you started on preparing a warm autumn entry to your home.

1.  Purchase or make an autumn wreath for your front door.  If you have a Hobby Lobby where you live, it's a great place to shop for a wreath.  Always keep proper perspective in mind.  A wreath too small doesn't say anything at all!  Size does matter, and in this case a larger wreath is always better than something that gets lost because it's too small.
 2.  Depending on where you live, corn stalks are becoming readily available at area nurseries & farms. (This was definitely a problem when we lived in Phoenix!)  In the mid-west you will find plenty.  Bind them together with some good, strong twine and secure them to a front post or doorway.  Add some Indian Corn tied to the middle of the corn stalks with husks still in tact. This will last all through the fall.

3.  Various colors of mums are popping up everywhere!  Even at WalMart!  Buy odd numbers of containers of various colors of mums and arrange them in groupings of odd numbers on either side of your front door.  I found small bales of hay at Hobby Lobby for $9.99 - 50% off.  I'm going to use them to arrange the mums in varied heights.  (I'll post pictures later.)

4. Pumpkins and gourds are also becoming plentiful.  Be careful.  If you set your pumpkins out too soon and the weather is still hot, you'll end up with rotten pumpkins by your front door!  I found that out the hard way when we lived in Phoenix.  That's not welcoming.  I don't usually carve mine until later because they seem to last longer that way.  Here's a little tip:  After you do clean out your pumpkin, use a cordless drill to drill out tiny holes all around the pumpkin.  Then put in a string of white Christmas lights and pop a light through each of the tiny holes.  Make sure you drill out a big enough hole in the bottom of the pumpkin so that the plug can come out without being seen.  Replace the lid to the pumpkin, plug in the lights and "Voila!"  You've got a beautifully lit pumpkin to give a warm glow to your autumn arrangement. Also, if you put a little piece of wood or cardboard underneath your pumpkin, instead of on the cement, it won’t rot as quickly.

 5.  Try collecting some branches and use them in your flower pots this autumn.  I use them in my flower pots all year 'round WITH my flowers to give my pots some height.  Search around your yard for what is free - your plants!  Cut them & use them.
 6.  Do you have a wagon or a small cart?  Fill it with pumpkins, mums, gourds, corn......just about anything fall!  Here's a helpful hint:  Fill the bottom of your container with large pieces of cardboard or styrofoam to help fill up the bottom so that you don't need so many pumpkins. Look for old apple boxes or baskets to use as well.
7.  Ever thought of building a pumpkin tower in your planters?  If you do try this, make sure to use a dowel rod the height of the tower plus several inches and drive the dowel through the pumpkins and down into the dirt to secure the pumpkins.  More than one dowel is recommended.

8.  Find an autumn welcome mat for your front door. Many department stores and craft stores carry a wide variety of autumn door mats.

9.  Love this idea!  Find a mirror of the appropriate size, attach an autumn spray of sorts to the top of the mirror and hang that on your front door.  Shop at Goodwill and other thrift stores.  They are FULL of mirrors you could use.  I saw the perfect one this week and hesitated for one minute and someone else grabbed it!  I hate it when that happens!

10.  Hey!  Live on the edge!  Be a little crazy!  Use more than one wreath on your front door!

11.  Love this idea.  Use two empty (duh!!) coffee cans.  Soak and peel off any labels on the coffee can.  Hot glue some seasonal ribbon around the can and then fill the cans with autumn flowers & leaves.  Hot glue ribbons from the tops of the cans and suspend them from your door handle. It would be best if you drill small holes at the top of each can to thread the ribbon through and knot off.  Tip:  This is a great idea if you aren't able to attach a wreath to your door because of your storm door smashing the wreath.  You can suspend the cans from your storm door handle.  HOWEVER....there are ways to hang wreaths from a glass storm door.  I often use an extra large suction cup with hanger.  Works great!  Also, there are door magnets that attach to each other through the glass (one on either side of the glass door) that have hooks on them that will hold a wreath, provided it's not too heavy.  Too often those "over the door hangers" most people use don't position your wreath in the best place.  Most are too high.  Try one of the previous ideas mentioned instead.

OK.  There you go!  Start decorating!  And send me pictures of your finished product and I might post them on my blog.

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