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Decorating for festivals and holidays is so much fun. When a new season rolls around, it’s also exciting to celebrate it with some festive adornments for your porch, doorway, or dining table.

What is great is that you don’t need to spend too much money to make a really big statement. Lots of materials that would otherwise be sent to recycling can be jazzed up into a classy or kooky decoration. There are also lots of things that you can forage for, such as colored leaves, pinecones, and acorns, that make gorgeous, free, and very environmentally friendly decorations.

Sometimes, it’s nice not to have boxes of holiday and seasonal decor to have to store away. Making things from natural materials or old bottles and cans means that you can compost or recycle your crafts once the season has passed.

1. Wine Bottle Scarecrow

Source: Lindsay Vinson/YouTube

This is such a fun craft that would look great as a countertop or dining table decoration, especially for the kids. All you need is an empty, clean glass wine bottle. Find some clean hay or straw or even some craft raffia. Next, stuff the bottle with the hay, leaving a little tuft coming out of the top.

Since we are making a shabby scarecrow here, there aren’t too many rules, and things certainly do not have to be perfect. Using some old strips of fabric or burlap, fashion a hat for your scarecrow. Fraying the edges of the fabric will give a more rustic feel.

You may use some paint or markers, so draw a cute scarecrow face onto the bottle.

2. Acorn Mason Jar Candle Holder

There is something about acorns that make you just want to collect them. The squirrels know all about it. Acorns are super cool with their plump nut and tiny little hat, and they can be used for all sorts of fall decorations.

One very simple idea is to make an acorn-filled candle holder. Start with a quart-sized wide-mouthed mason jar. You will need to find a smaller glass candle votive that will fit comfortably inside the mason jar. Collect acorns, and drop them into the larger jar so that they fill the gap between the sides of the large jar and the smaller glass votive. You can decorate the top of the larger jar with natural twine.

3. Acorn Cap Candles

Source: Julie Wilson/YouTube

This is such a cute idea. The candles you make are not for long-term burning, but they will look cool as a centerpiece for a fall dinner table.

This is a fiddly job, so a little patience is needed for this one. First, you need to collect some acorn caps. The wider and deeper, the better. You will also need some vegan wax and some wicks.

You will need to secure the caps somehow. Perhaps you can set them out as straight as possible on a cooling rack or press them into some play dough. You just want them to stay upright whilst leaving you with two free hands.

Cut some candle wicks rather short. It will depend on the depth of your acorn cap, but they will probably need to be only about an inch or so long. Then, melt your wax in a double boiler. Remember that you aren’t filling a huge vessel, so go easy on the amount of wax you melt.

Drop a little amount of melted wax into the bottom of the acorn cap and quickly secure the wick in place. Then, using a teaspoon, gently pour in enough wax to fill the cap and let it set.

These tiny candles obviously won’t stand up on their own, but they make cute little floating candles. Fill a decorative bowl with water and float a few candles in it. They will light up your dinner table… for a minute anyway!

Never leave a burning candle unattended.

4. Autumn Leaf Place Markers

Source: Gia Bertone/YouTube

Making place name cards for your fall dinner table from leaves is such a sweet and simple idea. Looking for autumn leaves is also a great excuse to go out for a walk in the woods. Look for large, flat leaves that are mostly unspoiled. Try to find leaves that haven’t become too dehydrated so that they will last a little longer.

Find enough leaves so that each guest can have their own. Then, in your best handwriting and using an oil-based pen, write the name of a guest on each leaf. You can then place these leaves on the plate that corresponds to where you would like that guest to sit.

You can bring variety and color to the table with an assortment of leaves or keep things clean and simple by using uniform leaves. For extra flair, you could attach an acorn or other fall seed to the stem of the leaf to help weigh the leaf down.

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