Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's FINALLY Fall decor time!

So.... I'm back! From my 6+ month hiatus from blogging (lol).
I'm super excited that the weather decided to cooperate this week.... it's finally feeling like Fall!  I mean, I actually got to break out the requisite leggings + boots the past few days and everything ;)  The fact that the weather feels less like summer and more like Fall motivated me to get the décor together for the outside of my house. 
Since this is our first season actually IN the house, I'm having to figure out decorations for the outside of our house for the first time.  And, I'm trying to do it on a BUDGET.  I challenged myself to do all of our outside Fall décor for less than $200, and with some creative short cuts, it wasn't too hard!  A little elbow grease, some spray paint, and a trip to your local nursery and VOILA... Fall decorations on a budget.  This is what I came up with for the front of my house:
 First of all, my neighborhood is full of over-achievers---some of these people have had Halloween decorations up since before the end of September!  I mean, c'mon.... I am not that on top of things.  At least I got things decorated in time for the cooler temperatures, right?  I didn't want to have to worry about decorating twice (once for Halloween and then again for Thanksgiving); I wanted to come up with something that would last the season and be relatively low maintenance as well as cute.
I also didn't want to just do plain old pumpkins, so I decided to do 2 pumpkin craft projects:
Since this project was a little more labor intensive (but still not hard), I used one of those Michael's "fake" pumpkins.  I figured that if I was going to invest more than 15 minutes of my time in it, I wanted to be able to use the pumpkin again next year!
The Materials:
Fake Small Pumpkin = $6 (w/ Michael's 40% off coupon)
Blue Painters Tape = $2 for a roll
Antique White/Ivory Spray Paint = $3.95
Metallic Gold Spray Paint = $3.95
Total Project Investment: $15.99
Step 1.): Spray paint the base color of your pumpkin.  I chose to do my base gold since I wanted that to be the accent color.  I used Rustoleum Metallic Gold spray paint (my fav!).  Tip: Be sure that you tape off the stem of your pumpkin!
Step 2.): Using blue painters tape, start at the top of the pumpkin and using 2-3 inch sections of tape create a zig-zag line pattern around the circumference of the pumpkin.
Step 3.): Move about an inch down (or whatever width you desire) and using the blue tape again, repeat the same pattern around the pumpkin again.  Repeat this procedure until you have covered the pumpkin. Tip: Be sure that you press down the blue tape firmly, especially where there are ridges on the pumpkin.  This keeps the paint from bleeding.
Step 4.): Spray paint the entire pumpkin using your other color of spray paint.  I used Rustoleum Antique White flat spray paint.
Step 5.): Carefully peel off the blue tape..... and admire your finished product!

The other pumpkin project can be as easy or as intricate as you want it to be.... your creativity is the limit!
The Materials:
Discounted or Imperfect Pumpkin(s) = $5 - $7
Craft Glue = $1.99
Gold Craft Glitter = $4.99
Total Project Investment: $11.98
I like to use cheaper pumpkins or ones with imperfections for this project.  Most of the time pumpkins that have flaws only on the back are almost HALF the price!  When you finish, you can't see the flaws anyways.
Step 1.): Using a washable marker, trace the pattern (monogram or design) that you want onto the pumpkin.
Step 2.): Using a thin/small amount of craft glue, trace your pattern.  Tip: Be careful not to use too much glue so it doesn't drip.
Step 3.): Sprinkle the gold craft glitter all over the glue.  You want to use an ample amount of glitter in order to adequately cover.
Step 4.): Once the glue and the glitter have dried, spray the entire pumpkin with a clear gloss sealant coat.  I like to use Rustoleum clear coat spray, but you can always use something different.  The important thing is that you seal the glitter to keep it from getting ruined from being outside in the elements.

I did a monogram "L", some polka dot pumpkins, and I also did one with the name of our neighborhood on it..... because we live in the most awesome neighborhood! ;)

To create my groupings, I bought some little gourds (3 for $2.00) and some Mums ($5) at the local farmers market, and I got some ornamental Kale ($3-$4.50) at my local nursery.  I already had the royal blue pots, so I planted the Kale and Mums in them.  Super easy, and super cheap!  The mums and the kale last several months, so I'll have them all the way until I put my Christmas décor up.  Then I took some black lanterns that I had been using on our gazebo, and put flameless candles inside of them.  If you don't have black lanterns, you can find cheap plastic ones at Marshall's/HomeGoods for around $8, or you can splurge for the real deal at Lowes for $20. 


I made the wreath for my front door and the wreaths for my side entrance using simple dried vine wreaths and a variety of natural-themed picks that I bought from Michael's during a 70% off sale.  The wood vine wreaths are not only budget-friendly (they run around $4 - $6 each), but they are a really good base for outdoor wreaths like this.  Using hot glue, about 7-8 picks, some ribbon, and a few well placed dried flowers, I made the wreaths in about 45 minutes one afternoon.  You just have to play around with it until you get the look that you want.  The picks are inexpensive to start with, and on sale I think they cost about .50 - .80 cents each.  Total, all 3 wreaths cost me under $50!
Now that my DIY decorations are finally up, I can't wait for Halloween to get here:)
I'm helping my friend Chris decorate for his elegant Fall themed dinner party that he's having this weekend, so I'll be sure to post some pictures of what we do for that as well.   I'm thinking lots of sunflowers, burlap, and maybe some organic vegetable elements as well.....hmmm...

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