Eco Lassie loves autumn. Even in her coastal part of North Carolina there is a change of season, and fall recalls tramping through crunchy leaves, campfires, and those new school clothes and fresh, crisp notebooks starting to feel familiar.
It’s also the season to bring out the comfy throws for the couches for frosty evenings. Here are some suggestions for bringing fall into your home.
Simple stalks of colorful leaves you gather outside, tied with a tartan bow in fall colors and stashed in a stone jar or jug you already own are a way to bring the outdoors inside. This makes a nice change from the expected pumpkin patterned ribbon you might have used other years, and can be recycled on gift boxes or made into a perky headband down the road.
Eco Lassie has seen recycled newspaper pumpkins in several places, but thanks to Creative Carmella, her version sounds the simplest and is a project you and your kids can do together.
Add to a large stockpot and cover with boiling water; then let sit for at least an hour, stirring occasionally to break the paper down. Drain water and add household white glue until the paper starts to clump. Start shaping into pumpkin shapes, squeezing out extra water. Let dry for 2-3 days. And don’t forget the stems!
For a glossy look, and to act as a preservative to keep these goodies, add a layer of Mod Podge, which is found in craft stores and used to keep puzzles together.
Make these in different sizes and use them down the center of your table as a centerpiece. You can make small versions for place card holders by cutting a slit in the stem. Watch those little faces light up when you tell your friends your children helped to make them!
Making pumpkin or squash soup? Consider buying a bunch of smaller pumpkins to scoop out for the pulp you’ll use.Carefully cut and save the tops, scrape out the pulp and de-seed for your use.
The Food Network has tons of variations on recipes that let you choose whether you use cream or broth, nutmeg or other spices. They will even hold up to a brief broil if you choose to put hot soup in them on a baking sheet and sprinkle cheese and/or bread crumbs over the top to make them more attractive to picky eaters.
This next one Eco Lassie is considering doing for her front door, depending on the amount of leaves she can gather.This pretty garland from several websites averages a $30 shot to your budget, so why not recreate it yourself with gathered leaves and branches for the much smaller cost of a roll or paddle of floral wire. Gather several leaves by their stems; add strands of fall berries if you have access to them, like bittersweet, and wire these small bunches. Then measure the doorway you want to frame and wire your bunches together by their ends, changing direction for interest, to that length. You can make these your own: add ribbon bows to each corner, or if you must, throw in a few small fake paper pumpkins from the dollar store. Eco Lassie is going to keep her eyes open for some acorns to hot glue on later.
One splurge item for those of you who plan to have yearly Hallowe’en party: since glass is recyclable, instead of buying skull-shaped candles that you light and have to throw out after the party, consider investing in these reusable votives from Pottery Barn. The tea lights for inside can be bought at your favorite discount store by the dozen and once the party is over, these little guys can be cleaned out and stored for next year.
Bring the outdoors inside as the season changes. What other ideas have inspired you to bring autumn into your home?