The Shady Porch: Budget Decor: Natural Fall Centerpiece


Budget Decor: Natural Fall Centerpiece

On the Fall Pine Cone Wreath post, I mentioned my intention to use primarily natural elements for this year's Fall decorations. I always make budget-friendly projects (since we live on a budget), so using items I already own and elements we grew in our garden made sense. A welcoming, pretty home is completely doable...even on a budget. So here is my Fall table (for now).

Painted Gourd Table Centerpiece #tablescape #centerpiece #gourds #dining #table #decor #fall #autumn

When I started thinking about my table centerpiece, I immediately thought of the gourds I have in abundance because we grow them in our backyard garden.

Gourd Centerpiece #gourds #tablescape #centerpiece #pinecones #flowers

To start my centerpiece, I used an gold oval tray lined with raffia, a swatch of burlap, and a couple of pine cones to add texture; the colors and the cones announce clearly that this is a Fall project.  The jewel-toned pumpkins turned out really well last year, so I thought I would expand that idea and paint the gourds in pretty colors. I even added a harlequin-like pattern to one of the gourds, just to add a little more interest. To finish, I cut the neck off the biggest gourd, converting it to a vase to hold wildflowers from our garden.
Burlap and Raffia Lined Tray of Gourds Pinecones Squash #gourds #tablescape #centerpiece #pinecones

Gourd Painting process with #acrylicpaint #gourds #decorating #art #paint

The gourds I used are extremely dry. They are from several seasons ago, so there was very little prep to do besides washing them off. I used an old rag to rub on the acrylic paint. You can see the process above. To create the reddish gourd, I used a Burgundy glaze. The yellowish gourd was painted with Apricot paint, and the harlequin pattern was created on the gourd with a black acrylic  paint. The gourd-vase is all natural.

Fall Table Setting #tablesetting #tablescape #placesetting #centerpiece

For the rest of the table, I used things I already had on hand. The wine-colored runner is a Dollar Tree find that I used for the first time. I found the place mats on sale at Elder-Beerman some years ago; I love the colors and the fruit-motif. 

Fall Place Setting by The Shady Porch #charger #plate #silverware #placemat #napkin

The Better Homes & Garden fall-themed chargers, ringed with nuts and leaves, and the milk-glass fluted dessert plates, with embossed grape clusters, were Christmas gifts (thank-you!).
I took our everyday silverware and tied them in raffia. Then as place cards, I took silk leaves from an old swag and wrote our names on them. It's all so simple and inexpensive, and demonstrates that one never has to spend irrationally to make guests feel special. 
 Cloth Napkin and Napkin Ring for Fall Table Setting #napkin #pinecone #napkinring

The napkin rings are from a previous project using cardboard tubes. I cut the cardboard tubes to size and then covered them in wired ribbon. I adorned them with pine cone petals and beads, creating a pretty Fall flower.  

Fall Table Setting by The Shady Porch
I hope this inspires someone to look around at what they already have or look outside and see what nature has to offer first, before spending your money on seasonal decor that will be stored away much of the time.
Nature Is Naturally Beautiful!

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