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Celebrating Autumn

Celebrating Autumn

Thanks to some unexpected garage-sale finds, I was able to create a beautiful fall “wreath” for a grand total of $1.75. If you are fortunate to live in the country or somewhere you can gather a handful of nature’s fall bounty, you may be able to do the same for a little bit of nothing. Searching for seed pods and colorful grasses and leaves would be a wonderful treasure hunt for the children in your life. (Just be sure to supervise so no one gathers an armload of poison ivy or poison oak!)

My finds—a large, square, woven tobacco basket, a garland of fall leaves, and two packages of dried fall seedpods/grasses/reeds—seemed to be made for each other. The grasses and reeds were crumbling and possibly buggy, but for only a quarter a package, I didn’t mind throwing away half of each package and salvaging only what was still in good shape. (I sprayed everything down with the garden hose and let it dry in the sun before bringing it into the house.)

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I decided to hang the basket like a wreath, on the diagonal on our front door, so I played with the arrangement on the floor before I started attaching things. I was so pleased to see how the colors popped with our “Concerto Blue” door and the way the wreath pulled colors from the entryway rug.

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Once I had the design laid out, I simply fastened everything in place with a few grocery store twist ties (the kind that come in some boxes of food storage bags). The basket’s widely spaced weave made it easy, but even on a more tightly woven piece, you could still poke the twist ties through and secure on the back. You’ll want to hide the twist ties behind leaves and seed pods. If they show, you might spray paint them the color of your basket or stems first, or even have the kids color them with crayons to match. I attached another twist tie to serve as a hanger and hung the wreath on our front door. A few of my decorations were heavy enough to flop over, so I did some more twist tying until everything stayed in place even when the door was opened and closed. (If you have a screen or storm door like ours, you’ll need to be sure your finished piece is flat enough to allow the door to close fully and lock.)

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A fall wreath doesn’t spend long on our door, since I’m always eager to put up the Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving, but this one could also be used as a wall hanging all season long. It could be easily stored for future years or disassembled at the end of the season, if you prefer. I have a handsome metal vase that would look great with a bouquet made from all these pods, so I may try that once I disassemble this piece.

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For now, I’m loving how homey and fall-ish it makes our house feel—inside and out!

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What is your favorite decoration for fall? What one thing makes your house feel more like home when autumn arrives? How can you get your family involved with the decorating?

By: DEBORAH RANEY’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after twenty happy years as a stay-at-home mom. She recently sent the final manuscript for her five-book Chicory Inn Novels series to her editor at Abingdon Press. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, traded small-town life––the setting of many of Deb’s novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, Kansas. They love traveling to teach at conferences and to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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