Decor Tips / DIY Projects / Holidays

Modern Fall Decor Requires a Little Ingenuity (+Tutorials)

You may have noticed something about my style. I don’t really do traditional or kitschy decorating. Which is why I usually don’t get into decorating for fall. Most of the fall decor you can buy in the store is just really not my style. So when Walmart challenged me to decorate my home using fall decor from their stores, I knew it would be a challenge. But I’m nothing if not up for a challenge.

Here’s an example of the type of fall decor they have in store:

Photo courtesy of The Domestic Diva

Photo courtesy of The Domestic Diva

Nothing wrong with it, but it’s just not my style. So what is my style? Well, this is more like it:


Using some of Walmart’s very traditional fall decor, I created a decidedly non-traditional setup to celebrate fall in my entry way. Here’s what I did:

Chalkboard pumpkin


As we quickly approach Thanksgiving and head full speed toward Christmas, my store didn’t have very many pumpkins at all. And the ones that were available were already decorated, like this one for $9.97:


As you can see, I had some plans for this pumpkin. First, to remove all those flowers and branches. Because the pumpkin is made of foam, they came right out with a few strong tugs. No need for the wire cutters I’d kept on hand.


Finally, I gave the now plain pumpkin a few coats of Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint. And by a few, I mean six. Here’s what the pumpkin looked like after the first coat.


Pretty sad. But six coats later, with lots of drying time in between, I had a pretty awesome chalkboard pumpkin that my family will be able to use to write what we are thankful for each day.


Mini Pumpkins

What Walmart did have a lot of were miniature pumpkins at $0.97 apiece. Most of them were done in traditional colors, but there were two left over from Halloween in the same container that got me thinking.


So I grabbed a can of silver spray paint, and my husband gave each of the orange pumpkins and nice metallic coat.


I put all the minis in a white ceramic bowl on a bed of shredded paper.


Easy way to turn something that could’ve been traditional and replete with fall colors into something that works for my style.

Give Thanks banner


Finally, I needed a centerpiece for all of this. When I think of fall, I immediately think of burlap. Thankfully, Walmart has a lot of that. I initially sought plain burlap fabric, but when I found these laminated burlap sheets, I knew they’d work better for what I had in mind.

You’ll Need:



The sheets are 8.5″ x 11″. Fold one sheet in half vertically.Then fold it in half horizontally and find the center point on the sheet. Mark it at the very bottom with your invisible ink pen. Then measure halfway from the center point to the left and right edges. Mark those center points. Then, simply connect the dots. You should end up with something that looks like this:


I cut the bottom half of the sheet off at the fold, then cut along the marked lines. You should get 6 triangles out of each burlap sheet. I cut two sheets, for a total of 12 triangles.


Next, grab your stencils. Center each letter on a burlap triangle, and use a foam wedge or spouncer to press black paint onto the burlap.


There might be a little seepage around the edges of the stencil, but this is meant to look homemade — not perfect.


When you’ve allowed all your letters to dry, cut two lengths of ribbon: about 48″ for the word “give” and about 60″ for the word “thanks”. Hot glue the letter pennants to the front of the ribbon trying to leave equal spacing between the letters.


I started by glueing the first and last letters, equal distances from the edge of the ribbon — about 5″ from the edge for Give, and about 7″ from the edge for Thanks. This way, the rest of the word will automatically be centered as long as you space the letters evenly.

Hang with tape or pushpins and call it a day!

Except I felt like something was missing. So I went into my storage closet and pulled out the paper pom pom wreath I made a few Christmases back to hang over our mantel. It was the perfect finishing touch, and it’s super easy to make. Click here for the paper pom wreath tutorial!


So what do you think? Did I manage to modernize my fall decorating? If you try any of these projects, I’d love to see what you come up with!

About Author

I am a graphic designer by trade who has a strong passion for interior design and doing what we can to protect the environment. This blog and my other site, Green & Gorgeous, are my ways of giving back to the Earth.


  • James Paulson
    November 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Great display and very original. My girlfriend and sister have style just like which, just a tad bit more refined. Have you ever tried repurposing furniture? (especially from estate sales)

    • jennae
      November 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Thanks for the comment, James. I’d say about 50% of the furniture we own has come from thrift stores, consignment stores or yard/estate sales. So yes, we absolutely love repurposing furniture 🙂


Leave a Reply to jennae Cancel Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.