Be the Hostess with the Mostest (and the Cheapest)!

They’re coming! You can hear their expectant panting from miles away as they prepare to descend on your home for Thanksgiving. You make a frantic dart through the house and decide it’s time to throw away the 4th of July balloons and take down the seashell jar that’s been welcoming everyone to your home with its shades of summery pastels.

Now what? There’s enough money to be spent on the turkey and ingredients for the traditional side dishes.

Been there – done all that. One thing I’m thankful for is the fact that my mother handed down to me the ability to make something out of nothing. Another quality we share is “squirrely-ness”. I’m not talking about that tendency to be just a tad odd – you know, the type of person that makes other people tilt their head to one side and blink – I’m talking about the ability to squirrel away cool stuff, small stuff, odd stuff and “sooner or later I’m gonna use that for something and when I do, it’s gonna be really cool” stuff.

I love to decorate and hate throwing good stuff away, so I’ve learned to stare at things and ponder how I might recycle them into something new and different without having to go out and spend more than a few dollars to put a new twist on things.

I get the urge to decorate for fall at sundown on Labor Day. I ran a week or two late this year, but in case you’re way behind and wanting to “lovelify” everything before the doorbell rings and the turkey timer goes off, I thought we’d brainstorm.

Here’s my fall fireplace. I took the photo with all the candles lit so you could see how we like to enjoy it on these long fall evenings.

Fall Fireplace www.midweststoryteller.com

Here’s a close-up of the mantle.

Fall Mantle 2017 www.midweststoryteller.com

Now, let’s take a look at the individual elements. Aside from batteries for flameless candles and string lights, I don’t think I spent a single dime this year!  Even the votive candles are leftovers from a bulk purchase I made at my local thrift shop a year or two ago.

Fall Mantle Elements www.midweststoryteller.com

I hope I’ve gotten your cogs turning. Somewhere, tucked into a bookshelf, stored in a tub in the basement or perhaps still in a sack in the trunk from when a friend passed it on to you, there are things you can round up and experiment with.

Admittedly, I did some degree of head-shaking and standing around with my hands on my hips as I tapped my chin. Then, I’d arrange and re-arrange, and before long I found myself content.

Is it super-trendy? No. That would have taken a trip to the store for chalkboards and things covered in burlap and chevron prints.  Somehow, I just wasn’t tempted to go there.

Once I’d completed my “design remix”, I was free to get out an enjoy fall and do my usual thing, perhaps causing not a few people to tilt their heads to one side and blink, but that’s my normal and I don’t think I got it from Mom. 

As you can see from the photo, all you really need is family, friends, a mixture of garage sales and flea markets, a willingness to build your stash and a nice set of working blinkers so that you can zip into the stores with the best prices.  Obviously, I’ve done more than a little “squirreling” in Hobby Lobby, Tuesday Morning and Big Lots.  I can’t say enough about the great quality of QVC’s Bethlehem Lights collection!  Seems they always have something great on clearance.

I had a group of ladies over for an annual Pumpkin Night event and we enjoyed a buffet of recipes containing pumpkin.  I didn’t spend any money on table-scape either.  I just dove into my stash!  Take a look – as long as you don’t mind that guests had already arrived before I got the photo taken and things look just a trifle askew.  Trifle!  Now, why didn’t somebody bring a pumpkin trifle?  Great idea for next year!

Fall Tablescape www.midweststoryteller.com

I’d love to hear from you. Just under the title of this post, you can “Leave a Comment”, letting me know your thoughts and ideas. What kind of things have you pulled together to decorate that will inspire the rest of us?

More inspiration for quick fall décor can be found here. You might enjoy getting to know my mom here. Need inspiration from me and my mom to help you rescue and recycle the poor, the tired and the pretty-much-trash stuff around the house? Check it out here

Coming up next:  Two fabulous free recipes for a heartwarming fall meal.  SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss it!

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