25 of Our Best Fall Harvest Decorating Ideas for Your Home

martha pumpkins october 2017 cover
Photo: John Dolan

When summer fades, many of us are ready to welcome the fall season. The heat is cut with a nice chill and the scenery is flooded with a stunning color palette of burnt oranges, deep maroons, and olive greens. While this beautiful mirage of autumn shades naturally occurs outdoors, there's a way to replicate it in and around your own property.

Welcome guests to your home this fall with rustic gourd garlands, decorated pumpkins, and wreaths and centerpieces made from foraged materials. Our fall-focused indoor and outdoor decorating ideas and projects are guaranteed ways to make the perfect first impression when family and friends come calling on Thanksgiving and Halloween—or any day during the season.

01 of 25

Wheat Wreath with Wooden Beads

Dried Wheat Wreath
Lennart Weibull

A wreath is a lovely and festive way to welcome guests into your home. This wild wonder owes its elegant good looks to the natural materials that embellish its standard straw base. We added wheat stalks laced with wooden beads and sculptural bleached seedpods.

02 of 25

Golden Arrangement


Pluck a few transitional branches at their golden peak—just before they turn brown—and incorporate them into your autumnal arrangements. Paired with dahlias, the floral jewels of the season, they bring one of the most exciting parts of fall (foliage!) right into your home.

03 of 25

Corn Husk Garlands

black corn husk garlands
Ngoc Minh Ngo

At the front door, visitors to your home will marvel at this outdoor display. Decorative corn is a farmstand staple at this time of year and can be used in all manner of home décor projects: dye them, batch style, in a rainbow of colors or braid the husks to create a seasonal garland that drapes around your doorway. For the latter, space cobs 6 to 8 inches apart on a length of raffia (available at crafts stores), tying it around each piece where the husk meets the kernels.

04 of 25

Ombré Leaves


Beyond a few dried grass elements, harvest-time branches are all you need to put this dramatic display, composed of green-and-burgundy leaves, together. Textural add-ons, like a fluted emerald vase and a nearby plate of seasonal fruit—try apples draped with wheat—polish off the vignette.

05 of 25

Pear "Welcome" Display


Once inside, guests will be treated to a friendly, fragrant greeting using the season's abundant Forelles and Anjous pears. Simply arrange seven pears on a mantel. Then, with a fine-tipped washable marker, write letters on the front of each pear. Press whole cloves into the flesh along the lines and the sweet aroma will be as welcoming as the message itself.

06 of 25

Lamp Chimney and Candle Centerpiece

table decorated with candles in glass lamp chimneys and fruit
Alpha Smoot

Feel thankful well before you load your plate with turkey, casseroles, cranberry sauce, and other Thanksgiving day delights by prepping the table with this easy yet eye-catching centerpiece. Incorporate the lamp chimneys at varying heights for a high-low look and better ease for guests to converse across the table.

07 of 25

Wheat Centerpiece

wheat centerpiece
Bryan Gardner

Summer flowers may have wilted with the changing of seasons, but wheat stalks—with their delicate, golden form—are long lasting. Arrange an armful of tall stalks into a vase, cropping the ends and fluffing the tops, and display your glorious autumnal bouquet.

08 of 25

Lined Cornucopia

harvest cornucopia on wooden table
Johnny Miller

For the pièce de résistance of your fall harvest decor, why not consider the universal symbol of bounty? The cornucopia, that is. Give the season's most recognizable motif an upgrade by lining the inside with velvet and filling the center with gold-painted nuts and pomegranates.

09 of 25

Squash-and-Pumpkin Flower Arrangements

squash pumpkin fall floral arrangement near window
Johnny Miller

Use the fall's harvest to make one-of-a-kind vases. Squashes and pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, and when paired with seasonal blooms, they add character to your table. Pictured here, we used a mix of varieties, including a large greenish Hubbard squash paired with bittersweet branches and a white "Baby Boo" pumpkin with bright orange mums—placed in glass jars and votives.

10 of 25

Fruitful Wreath

autumnal wreath on wooden door
Johnny Miller

Transform a plain grapevine wreath—which you can find at any craft store during fall—into a stunning display that welcomes guests with a festive greeting. Dried bunny tails, gold-painted sora pods, and velvet sewn to look like autumn flowers are glued onto the wreath, making it emblematic of the woodsy natural scene outdoors.

11 of 25

Turnip Votives

thanksgiving table setting turnip votives
Marcus Nilsson

In a season of abundance, make full use of those richly colored vegetables that flourish in the transition from autumn into winter. Amid a set of gray-washed baskets on the table, turnips—in varying sizes—can be scooped out to hold votive candles provide a soft glow.

12 of 25

Velvet Pomegranates

autumnal place setting
Johnny Miller

Despite their deep red color and October seasonality, pomegranates are an often overlooked fall fruit. Here, they're earning their due by serving as the inspiration for these chic table decorations. Made of pumpkin-and-rose-colored velvet that's lined with brown linen and stuffed with fiberfill, these faux fruits will lend texture to your Thanksgiving tablescape.

13 of 25

Cabbage Bowls and Cups

cabbage bowls cup vegetable thanksgiving platter
Marcus Nilsson

Not all crops come in the autumnal reds, oranges, and muted earth tones of tradition. Bring in new colors and textures to the dinner table with heads of cabbage. Hollow out whole cabbages with a paring knife and spoon, and use them to hold appetizer dips. Then, wrap the remaining leaves around glasses to hold crudités, cheeses, and breadsticks.

14 of 25

Sprout Napkin Ties

vegetable thanksgiving table setting sprout ties
Marcus Nilsson

Small Brussels sprouts and sage leaves combine to make a charming addition to each guest's place setting. For each napkin tie, sandwich one end of a ribbon between a sprout and a pair of sage leaves. Use a sequin pin to secure, pinning through the leaves first, then the ribbon, then into the sprout. Repeat on the opposite end of the ribbon, and tie it around a napkin in a loose knot. The sage leaves aren't just a pretty addition—they're fragrant, too.

15 of 25

Leaf Candlestick

candles with autumn leaf adornments
Johnny Miller

If you already have taper candles and holders in your fall entertaining arsenal, you're halfway to making this seasonal decoration. Fashioned from copper sheets cut into leaves and twisted around wire, these light-reflecting collars will give your home a warm, autumnal glow.

16 of 25

Hanging Basket of Fall Flowers

hanging basket fall flowers wicker chair
Linda Pugliese

Assorted pinecones, pods, acorns, and other natural decorations all make for a wilt-proof wall hanging. Treat them with a few coats of golden yellow paint, then hot-glue them to dried twigs gathered from the yard.

17 of 25

Corn Husk Dolls

Husk,Dolls, craft

For a fall decoration your little ones can help out with, we love these dainty, understated dolls. Soak square-corn husks (the ones used for tamales) in water then wrap twine around the husks to fashion the head, arms, and legs of your figurines. Next, use felt to create their outfits—from dresses and hats to shirts and belts, how your dress the dolls is entirely up to you.

18 of 25

Glittered Corn Centerpiece

glittered corn centerpiece for a fall Thanksgiving table
Maria Robledo

A few organic elements, touched with a bit of gilding, evoke fall's abundance. For an eye-catching centerpiece, turn a glass compote into a horn of plenty with glittering Indian corn and squash.

19 of 25

Tabletop Baskets

fall decorated table setting baskets apple nuts
Linda Pugliese

Baskets are good for more than bearing fruit—make use of them on the dinner table as centerpieces, salt and pepper cellars, or an added touch to your guests' place settings. For each place card, cinch a napkin with waxed cord and tie the ends around the basket's handle as shown here.

20 of 25

Bar Cart

fall decorated gold bar cart
Indu Huynh Photography

Pumpkins, gourds, and other harvest bounty need not be limited to the front porch or dinner table either—try interspersing them throughout your home, as shown on this rolling bar cart. Get the party started with cocktails and a decorative statement.

21 of 25

Thanksgiving Pie Garland

pie garland

Pumpkin and apple pie are perhaps one of the most popular desserts of the fall season—and now they're making their way into your décor. This simple garland is made by cutting pieces of cardstock into triangles to resemble slices of pie, while strips of the paper are crinkled and glued on top for the "crust."

22 of 25

Gourd Door Stopper

gourd placed door stopper on orange stripe carpet
Seth Smoot

Gourds aren't just decorative—they can be practical, too. Fill one with sand and it makes a great doorstop. To do this, hold the gourd steady by clamping it into a vise or to a tabletop. Once it's secure, drill a hole through the bottom of the gourd. Shake out any dried seeds or membrane, and discard. Then, using funnel and scoop, fill the gourd with sand. Plug the hole with the cork. It's lovely as is, but you can also spray on a layer of gold paint as a festive finishing touch.

23 of 25

Leaf Gift Tags and Place Cards

leaf napkin fall decor
Kate Mathis

Here's a grown-up application for a traditional fall kids' activity: Turn leaf rubbings, made with thin colored paper and standard wax crayons, into gift tags or place cards by trimming around the edges of the paper leaf. Write the names of your dinner guests on the napkin adornments in a contrasting color.

24 of 25

Botanical Clay Pots

terracotta pot centerpieces
Nico Schinco

Bring nature indoors this fall by fashioning decorative leave molds out of clay and gluing them onto plain terra-cotta pots. Fill the vessels with fall foliage and in-season flowers to create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece.

25 of 25

Wheat Grid Wreath

wheat grid wreath hanging from white barn door

If you're over round wreaths, opt for this sleeker design inside. Wheat is secured with floral wire and assembled into a diamond shape while the heads burst out from all points of the geometric configuration. Cover the wire with natural twine and hang with chic wreath with a fall-colored ribbon.

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