Fast Decorating Ideas with Fall Favorites

Today I’m sharing some last-minute quick & easy fall decorating ideas that you can enjoy now before it’s time to put up the Christmas tree.  Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving, or just prefer waiting until after that last fall holiday is over to decorate for Christmas, here are quick ways to incorporate some fall touches into your décor now.  November tends to be overlooked for seasonal decorating.  Halloween is over and Christmas decorating hasn’t yet begun, although many people do start on their Christmas displays in November.  My tradition is to start decorating for Christmas the week after Thanksgiving, and leave up my fall decorations until then.

Five Tips to Simplify Fall Decor

  1. Use non-holiday-specific fall decorations that work for any fall month and can be displayed from September through November.  It’s a huge time saver so you don’t have to put away Halloween decorations after October 31.  Focus on leaves, pumpkins, fall colors, or woodland critters for example, and not all Halloween or Thanksgiving-themed decorations.  I used to put up a ton of Halloween decorations, only to have to put them away after Halloween and then be totally unmotivated to decorate for Thanksgiving.  I took a cue from my mom to focus more on fall than Halloween decorations and I honestly enjoy them more as I’m not big on scary Halloween decorations or overly cute ones either.  Although honestly, I’m kind of wanting to do a Halloween mantel next year since I’ve never done one, and I have an idea in mind.  Stay tuned!
  2. Decorate a focal point in your home like a mantel, ledge, bookcase or bench to make a big impact with minimal effort.  There will be fewer areas to decorate – and less to pick up afterwards, so you can go straight into Christmas decorating mode.
  3. Put out a few decorations specific to Halloween and then replace them with a couple Thanksgiving touches in November.  This year I displayed one Putz-type haunted house and my Halloween fairy garden; the rest of my decorations were just fall-themed.  After Halloween I set out two Thanksgiving greetings – one set of blocks and one wooden sign – plus three Thanksgiving owls and it took just a few minutes to switch up my decorations.
  4. Disguise holiday-specific items. My favorite trick here is to turn pumpkins around so you can leave them out all season.  Pumpkins with jack o’ lantern faces get a quick 180 turn and become uncarved pumpkins in November.  Likewise I have a large pumpkin that says Happy Thanskgiving with a turkey on one side that I display with the plain side in front until November.
  5. Use real pumpkins as décor.  Not only do they look more natural in your displays, you can toss them at the end of November (or whenever they start rotting) and there is nothing to pack away and store!  Plus I love going to my favorite farmers market each year and picking out neat varieties like fairytale, knucklehead, and ghost pumpkins.  The selection always varies from year to year.  I keep most of mine outside so they don’t spoil indoor surfaces when they start rotting.  I have also put them in the kitchen in past years on tablecloths and non-porous counters.

I kept my fall decorations super simple this year, with the main focus on my mantel and ledge.  I also wanted to share my mom’s bench, which she decorates with real pumpkins and faux leaves each autumn.  It ends up looking new every year because the pumpkins are always different.  It’s so pretty!

Fall Mantel

I made the Hello Fall fox art at Paper Source during their Woodland Critters workshop.    It is the only new item on my mantel this year.  I used existing decorations for the rest of the mantel, and was proud of myself for not spending a lot of money this fall.  I like to switch up what I put on the mantel and how I lay it out each year.  No two mantel displays are ever exactly the same.  This year’s main focus was woodland critters and pumpkins, as inspired by the new framed fox.  Owls, foxes, a chipmunk and a squirrel are placed amongst the leaves and pumpkins. You can shop your stash of decorations to spruce up your mantel – or check out what’s left in stores late in the fall season for good clearance deals to decorate with.

Close-up of my fall fox I made at Paper Source.  I like incorporating handmade items into my decorations when I have time.


After Halloween, I did a five minute mantel transformation.  I turned the two pumpkin faces around, and I placed my Thanksgiving blocks, moving critters and pumpkins around a bit to make room for them.  I really love how it turned out.

Fall Ledge

Similar to my fall mantel, I added just one new item this year, the gold harvest sign which I got at Michael’s.  Again, the theme here is fall critters & pumpkins.  Can you tell I like owls and foxes?  I tend to put the taller items towards the center of the ledge and the shorter items on the edges, but it’s never a perfectly shaped triangle.

Pumpkin Bench

Mom uses real pumpkins on her bench each fall and artificial leaf garlands and a leaf wreath to add in even more pops of autumn color.  She likes to use a variety of pumpkins to create interest and place the taller ones in back and layer with shorter pumpkins in front.   The types and sizes of pumpkins are different every year.

Pumpkin varieties on parade! Back Row L to R: Aladdin, Knucklehead, Aladdin, Fairytale. Front Row L to R: Unknown squash variety, Lumina (also known as Ghost), Turban squash.
Mom’s Pumpkin Bench
So many warm fall colors!

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only two weeks away!  What are your Thanksgiving plans this year?  When do you typically start decorating for Christmas?  Leave a comment below!


  1. Marilee | 9th Nov 17

    Bravo! Your fall decorated mantel and ledge are magazine photo worthy. Like a page from Maratha Stewart Living! Like the leaf garland too.

    • Denise Breimeir | 10th Nov 17

      Thank you! Your bench is very Martha! I love how beautiful it is.

  2. Rebecca | 9th Nov 17

    I love the idea of turning the pumpkins around! And I love your papersource fox! Fall at Denisey’s House is the best. And your mom’s bench is beautiful!

    • Denise Breimeir | 10th Nov 17

      Thank you Beckers! The Paper Source Fox is my favorite item this year!

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