I am continually blessed to have opportunities to write for the best Christian women’s online magazine – Exemplify.

Since you all know what a Martha Stewart I am (no hint of sarcasm here – I promise) , I was asked to write on “decorating on a dime” ideas for the new autumnal season.

It looks a lot fancier at Exemplify.  I suggest you go over and check it out and while you are there, spend some time reading some of the incredible articles that are featured this month – like the one by my bloggy friend, Jen at Finding Heaven, entitled “Renewed Life After Death.”  It’s wonderful and so is she.

I love everything about autumn – the crisp chill in the air, the sound of football fans cheering on their favorite team, and vibrant chrysanthemums immediately bring out my desire to decorate our home in the hues and style of the season.  However, this always presents me with a bit of a conundrum because I am not particularly crafty and I like to decorate “on a dime.”  What’s a woman to do?

Thinking that I may not be alone in the desire to decorate for the season and do so inexpensively, I decided to do some research in an attempt to find the “top ten fall decorating ideas on a dime.” I hope you enjoy them and should you choose to add any of these ideas to your décor, we would love to see them!  Photos are welcome and appreciated.

Jars of Acorns: My very crafty friend, Staci Lee, suggested gathering acorns and placing them in various sizes of Mason Jars.  She then covers the top of each jar with an autumn-like fabric and ties it with a matching ribbon and voila!  A very inexpensive centerpiece is now your very own.  However, Staci Lee did share a bit of a tip that is somewhat important to know:  acorns contain worms.  You will need to place them in a bucket of bleach for a few hours and rinse and dry them before putting them in the jars.  Unless, of course, you are particularly fond of worms in your home and if so, don’t do anything.

Tower of Gourds: Fill a tall, glass vase with various colors of fall gourds and tie a festive ribbon around the top.

Real leaves: Add color to your table by using real leaves!  To keep your leaves from drying out, simply rub a moisturizer on the front and back.  Scatter around your table and add a centerpiece and you will be ready for company!

Pumpkin Vases: Use taller pumpkins to hold fresh fall flowers!  Remove the insides of the pumpkin and place a vase within.  Put flowers in the vase – they will appear to be inside the pumpkin!

Cornstalks: Use tall corn stalks to decorate outdoor columns, posts, and mailboxes and tie with fall-colored ribbon. Accent with mums and for added height, add a potted mum or two to a bale of hay.

Fall Wreaths: Make a fall wreath to adorn your front door and involve the whole family!  Simply purchase an inexpensive straw wreath from a craft store and go on a “nature walk”.  Gather fall items – leaves, bird’s nests, pinecones, and seeds and glue gun to the wreath.  Adorn with an autumn-colored bow and watch your front-door become ready for the season!

Apple candles: Cut holes in the tops of apples to create taper candleholders.  Arrange in a row on top of a fall-colored placemat or scattered leaves.

Indian Corn: Arrange a row of Indian Corn in a glass rectangular vase.  Place corn kernels on the bottom of the vase to hold corn in place.  Keep stalk intact and arrange to fit your tastes.

Autumn Stovetop Potpourri:  To add a festive feel to an autumn gathering, stovetop potpourri can create an instant coziness to your home!  Simply boil a saucepan of water on the back burner (leave the front burners for actual cooking!), add a sliced orange or apple (or both!).  Reduce heat and simmer.  Add a half teaspoon of nutmeg, a stick of cinnamon or a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and one very small clove.  Cloves can be overpowering but will balance out the citrus aroma so be sure it is a small one!  Reduce heat to the lowest setting – it needs to be heated through but not boiling.  Check the pan once each hour to determine if more water should be added.  This can be used for up to one day!

Twig Candle Holders: Place a rubber band around a drinking glass.  Insert small twigs under the rubber band and around the glass.  Tie colored ribbon or raffia around the rubber band to cover it up and place a candle in the glass.

Happy Autumn to you and yours!  May God bless you abundantly with the free-of-charge emotion of gratitude and thanksgiving.