Yesterday was the first official day of fall! Hooray! Fall means pumpkins and mums and acorns and blue jeans with boots. It’s my favorite time of the year and I love to deck out our house with some serious fall decor.
This weekend I decorated our dinning room. While I love orange pumpkins, I decided I wanted to stick with a neutral palette this year so my decor could carry over through Thanksgiving. I put orange pumpkins and yellow mums on our front porch and candy corn on the kitchen counter, but wanted to dress the dinning room table with a little bit of rustic elegance.
I started by going to Reed’s Produce Market in Franklin (check back tomorrow for my post on the market) to pick up mums and fell in love with some cabbage plants they had. I decided I wanted to plant them in pumpkins for the centerpiece of my table but who wants to do all that work for the pumpkins to simply rot and stink in your house!?
Hobby Lobby (and Target) carry plastic pumpkins that are carvable (so cool!). Plus, all Hobby Lobby’s fall decor is 40% off (their Christmas is on sale too – what’s wrong with them!?). I grabbed a couple of orange ones and borrowed some of my mom’s chalk paint to transform them into what ended up looking like expensive wooden planters.
I started by cutting the top off each plastic pumpkin (just like you would a real pumpkin) and applied a coat of olive chalk paint, a coat of antique white and after each dried, sanded. Then applied dark wax, rubbed it off and applied clear wax to finish.
I lined each pumpkin with a plastic Ziploc bag and planted each with a cabbage plant. I wrapped the top with burlap (to cover the dirt) and pinned the top of the pumpkin to the side of each base.
I LOVE how they turned out and am considering doing some aqua ones too. Best part? I can reuse them next year.
I also ended up doing the same thing to some smaller wooden pumpkins to use as place cards. After painting them with the chalk paint and wax, I wrapped each with a strip of papyrus (The Paper Source sells it in sheets like wrapping paper) with names written in silver paint pen and then adhered it with double-sided tape.
While out at my mom’s house, I grabbed some branches from one of her trees and quickly painted them with some of the antique white chalk paint (slapped it on). When we sanded it off in a horizontal motion they ended up looking like birch tree branches.
I stuck them in a large antique green jar that I had and filled it with acorns from our front yard. The most expensive thing that I bought for the table were the battery powered candles for the jar. I splurged and got the ones with a remote ($30 for three from Target) and am obsessed with them. No more running around trying to light candles before my guests arrive and no fire hazard.
I reused pine cones and tree stumps from our wedding, picked up some adorable felt acorns from The Barn Door Co and some velvet pumpkins from C’est Moi (they also sell Annie Sloan chalk paint) for a little added texture, popped open one of our favorite bottles of wine (Bella Glos Pinot Noir) and pulled out my Woodland Spode china plates.
Two of my favorite things to make when fall hits are caramel-dipped apples and apple cider. For the cider just place apple cider, orange peel and cloves in a saucepan until they become fragrant (will make your house smell amazing). If you want, you can add a touch of bourbon, brandy, or rum to spike it up a bit. Serve hot. Add an orange peel (or cinnamon stick) to each glass as a garnish.
Caramel apples always remind me of being a kid. This year I made an adult version by dipping pears into caramel, dark chocolate and then dusted them with sea salt. They are ridiculous.
My table is set and ready for a party (who says you can’t be two months early for Thanksgiving?). Who’s ready to come over?!