11 Fall Decorating Ideas Inspired by Nature

Discover Creative Ways to Decorate Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces for Fall Using Plants and Natural Materials from Your Garden and Backyard.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023

Let’s celebrate the autumn season with creative fall decorating ideas.

fall decorating ideas from nature materials

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Autumn is in the air! A wonderful season that greets you with the vibrant warm colors of orange, red and yellow, cooler weather, and sense of abundance and peace.

So how can you translate this sense of calm contentment to your outdoor and indoor fall decor?

First, you set an autumn mood by using what you have: plants and natural materials from your garden and backyard.

Then add some fall-themed decor accessories, and voila!  – you have a fall display that is pleasing to your eyes and senses.

Let’s take a look at how this can be achieved.

Did you know?

 Fall is the favorite season for most Americans, according to a survey.

Fall decorating ideas inspired by nature

1. Potted mums

Chrysanthemums in containers for fall decor

Chrysanthemums (commonly known as mums) and autumn is a match made in heaven! You can’t think of fall without thinking of mums and pumpkins.

Dig chrysanthemums from your garden and replant them into large pots (you can put them back into the ground once the fall holidays have passed).

Or buy these cool season fall flowering perennials in mid-September from the garden center, or online.


You can get live potted chrysanthemums delivered to your door from Amazon.

They come in 3 quart pots, and are sold in quantities of two or four per pack. 

And, you can choose from a variety of colors.

You can show off your colorful mums on the porch in containers that match the vibe of your house: vintage galvanized cans, modern slick flower pots or rustic buckets, and barrel planters

Related readingShould you get a fiberglass planter?

Or you can place potted chrysanthemums in a wagon or wheelbarrow for an easy-to-assemble seasonal display.

flower cart

Mums in pots will also look great on patios, terraces, and balconies. 

2. Chinese lantern plant

Chinese lantern plant

Chinese lantern plant (Physalis alkekengi), also called winter cherry or ground cherry, is a perennial carefree plant.

It’s lantern shaped seed pod and orange color makes it perfect for fall decorations. The cut stem with orange lanterns  will also dry well and can stand in a vase without water for a lovely display for a year or more.

The word of caution though if you decide to grow this plant in your garden:

  • it’s spreads aggressively through rhizomes (this issue can be solved by planting it in container)
  • it’s unripe berries and leaves are poisonous to digest. So if you have children or pets, it is probably not the best idea to grow this plant.

But if your yard is huge and you can create a barrier that won’t let the plants spread, Chinese lanterns can be good to have for added winter interest in your yard. 

Where to use: in harvest-themed indoor and outdoor decorations, in dried flower arrangements, wreaths, garlands.

How to dry Chinese lantern plant for floral display

Cut the stem of the plant at ground level. 

  1. Strip the leaves off.
  2. Hang it upside down to dry in a cool dark space (as you usually do with herbs.
  3. After 3 weeks passes you can use it in dry flower arrangements.

3. Pumpkins

fall decor ideas: pumpkins and marigolds

Pumpkins – the autumn favorites!

Pumpkins look festive all fall season long. Whole pumpkins last 8 to 12 weeks after they are picked, on the other hand, carved pumpkins last just 5-10 days.

Where to use: front porch display, along walkways, front yard harvest display. Small pumpkins can be used for a centerpiece or tablescape inside a house. Also, you can place luminaries in carved pumpkins to light up walkways or decorate a table on the deck.  

A tip. If you need to achieve a multilayered look in your fall outdoor harvest display, use straw or hay bales to set some of the pumpkins on. After fall, you can put the hay (and pumpkins) in a compost pile, and fertilize your garden with decomposed material in springtime.

Related reading4 easy methods of composting

4. Fall leaves

fall leaves wreath

Autumn leaves or branches with autumn foliage add a vibrant touch of autumn color to your home

Where to use: wreaths, garlands, table centerpiece, Thanksgiving table setting (in handmade napkin holder, place cards, etc.). 

Related reading: 6 easy ways to preserve autumn leaves in order to maintain their lovely seasonal look for weeks afterward.

5. Indian corn

fall decorating ideas

Use in wreaths, front door arrangements, indoor fall centerpieces.

You can tie a few cobs of Indian corn as ornaments and hang them on door or cabinet knobs to create a simple and colorful accent.

6. Fall flowers (and plants)

fall flowers for autumn decor

Cut fall flowers of your choice, such as dahlias and celosia (cockscombs), dianthus, marigolds, perennial sunflowers (helianthus), ornamental peppers, chrysanthemums, flowering kale, sedum “Autumn Joy.”

Use them in centerpieces and fall floral arrangements inside and outside.

7. Branches with colorful berries

autumn berries

If you happen to grow viburnum, elderberry, beautyberry,  red twig dogwood, chokeberry, serviceberry, or winterberry, use the clusters of their colorful berries in wreaths, garlands and tabletop arrangements.

8. Gourds

autumn decor

Gourds are timeless autumn home decor pieces that can be incorporated in outdoor decorations alongside with pumpkins, or arranged in a Thanksgiving cornucopia inside the house

They look gorgeous placed on a mantel.

9. Fruits: apples, pears, pomegranates, persimmon, cranberries

fall decorating with fruits

Fall fruits placed in vases on the porch or patio tables outside or used in tablescapes, centerpieces, and Thanksgiving cornucopia inside the house will create a feeling of abundance and gratefulness.

Related reading: How to grow cranberries at home

10. Winter squash: butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and mini pumpkins

fall decorating ideas: winter squash

Winter squash has thicker skin in comparison with summer squash. It can be stored all through the winter.

This makes them perfect candidates for decor purposes, because these squash will not rot easily.

Where to use: positioned outside of your home in harvest display or front porch arrangement, or use them in centerpieces inside the house.

You can also turn a butternut squash into a lovely vase to hold your fall flowers.

11.  Acorns, nuts, seeds

autumn decor

Acorns, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nuts in the shell: walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, can add a beautiful natural element to a Thanksgiving or fall centerpiece inside your house. 

They also can be incorporated in garlands or glued into the wreaths.

Watch this short YouTube video made by Farmhouse Living to get more nature inspired fall decorating ideas.

When should you put out fall decor?

It’s better to do it when the season is changing and you can smell autumn in the air.  So, ideally do it in September-October. If you live in a colder climate, you can put your autumn display as early as late August.

Keep it through Thanksgiving and replace it later with a winter holiday season display. 

So, how do you decorate outdoors for fall?

  1. Look around your yard and garden for mums, pumpkins, colorful branches with berries, winter squash, nuts, fall flowers, gourds, fruits, Indian corn, etc.  Use these items to set an autumn mood in your outdoor and indoor fall display.
  2. Add some store-bought or hand-made fall-themed decorative accents for finishing touches. 
  3. Enjoy the fall season and have the most delightful autumn home ever!

Read related:

How to grow cranberries at home

How to preserve fall leaves

Easy way to clear fall leaves in your yard

Get more nature-inspired decorating ideas.

Final thoughts on fall decorating ideas inspired by nature

It’s not just about decorating; it’s about creating a haven that mirrors the beauty and spirit of the autumn season. So, let your creativity flow, embrace the wonder of nature, and celebrate the art of fall decorating. With each leaf that falls and each cozy corner you craft, you’re weaving the very essence of autumn into the tapestry of your home. As the season unfolds, may your heart be as warm as your decor, and may the autumnal spirit linger long after the last leaf has fallen.

nature inspired fall decor ideas

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Fall decorating ideas inspired by nature

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