Frugal Fall Home Decorating with the Kids!

by Kathy Wilson

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It's never too early to teach your children the joy in creating a home for the ones you love, and one of the most memorable ways to is to include them in your seasonal decorating. Here are some inexpensive and creative ideas for decorating your home for Fall, all of which are kid-friendly decorating!

Make a scarecrow. Our family has everyone donate a piece of old clothing, and we build the scarecrow using wire twist ties (the kind from bread or trash bags) and stuffing it with reused plastic bags from the grocery store. Create the head from an old pillowcase or a piece of sheeting or muslin. I like to glue on facial features cut from felt scraps, but you can draw it on with a permanent marker if you choose. I stuff the ends of the sleeves and the space around the neck with a little straw or raffia, then tie the opening closed with twine. You can even make your scarecrow poseable by pushing wire through the arms and legs before stuffing! Perch your scarecrow on the porch, in a wheelbarrow, or the old fashioned way, attached to a stake in the garden.

Take nature walks and collect nature's bounty. Acorns, pinecones, fallen leaves and seed pods can be brought home and displayed in open bowls or baskets on the hearth or strewn across the mantel or a tabletop.

Take the kids apple picking. This is great fun. You can all learn to make apple butter for the freezer and fill your home with those rich smells the kids will never forget. You are sure to have enough left over to fill pretty bowls and baskets for the table and the kitchen counter. Dry apple slices and create swags with needle and thread, apple slices, cinnamon sticks and dried oranges for the holidays. This is great draped along a mantel.

Take the kids to the garden center and have them pick out some fall mums. Bring them home and help the kids pot them up in unusual containers you already own. How about chipped bowls, the empty wheelbarrow, or even an old boot! Be sure to drill drainage holes, and keep them well watered while they put out their fall show. You can keep them indoors for up to a week and then they need to be outside in full sun for at least a week. I keep some outdoors and some inside, and every week, we switch them out.

Buy a few yards of fall colored ribbon, and let the kids spend an afternoon helping you dress up the inside decor. Tie ribbon around your throw pillows, from ceiling fan pulls, or wind it through a chandelier. This is an inexpensive way to add fall charm to your home, and the kids love to help! (Don't worry. They won't notice if you straighten the bows after they go to bed!)

Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator, Decorating Your Small Space, and Decorating Cottage Style. For hundreds of free home decorating ideas, visit her now at Don't forget to sign up for her free newsletter while you're there.

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