Sunday, August 19, 2007

More fall decorating tips and ideas

1. Use a taller pumpkin as a vase for fresh flowers. Clean out
the guts and seeds and use the pumpkin to arrange your flowers.
Taller ones work well, but so will squatly pumpkins if you cut
your flower stems short.

2. Make topiary out of a foam form (conical shapes always work
well) and hot glue a variety of large seeds � acorns, walnuts,
pinecones � to the form. Completely cover the foam. Easy and
makes a wonderful piece for any table or countertop.

3. Pick brightly colored fallen leaves. Rub a good moisturizer
onto the front and back of the leaves and let dry. This helps the
leaves keep their color and avoid curling. Once dry, scatter the
leaves on a table, around a centerpiece, or on a fireplace
mantle.

4. Fill a tall vase or extra-large brandy snifter with a variety
of colorful miniature pumpkins and gourds.

5. Make a centerpiece using pie pumpkins, gourds, and leaves.
Vary the sizes and colors of these squashes and fill in the gaps
with leaves, mini pumpkins, and gourds.

6. Arrange large pumpkins in a group (odd numbers work best) or
on stairs. Carve or paint designs or messages on the pumpkins.
For example, I saw white pumpkins used on stair treads, each with
a letter spelling "Welcome".

7. Carve a small hole, one inch deep in miniature pumpkins for
use as taper candle holders.

8. If you have a tiered cake or serving plate, arrange pumpkins,
gourds, or squash on each tier. Use a pie pumpkin or turban
squash (looks like two placed one on top of the other) on the top
level. Use smaller ones, even miniatures, as well as leaves and
nuts on the other tiers.

9. Cut a branch for a tree. Place lengthwise on a table. Nest
miniature gourds, pumpkins, leaves, nuts, and votive candles
among the smaller branches. (Whenever you bring branches in from
outdoors, spray insect repellent on the branch outside before you
cut it. Let it stay outside for a day or two. Then bring into the
garage or on a porch for another day or two until the smell is
gone.)

10. Soften a three-wick candle by blowing a hairdryer on it until
the wax is soft. Then press small colored leaves into the
softened wax to add a fall touch.

11. Take tall corn stalks and attach to porch columns or mailbox
or even trees with a large fall colored ribbon. Further accent
with pumpkins or mums around the base.

12. Cut long branches with colored leaves still attached (see
instructions above to prevent bringing bugs into your home).
Place in a tall vase or an umbrella stand. Be sure the branches
are proportionate to the vase or stand.

13. Use potted mums to replace your summer flowers in flower
beds, on porches, near fireplace hearths, in corner of rooms �
this classic never goes out of style. To give added height within
a group, place one potted mum on a miniature straw bale.

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