As summer slips away, it's time to celebrate the arrival of autumn with its soft light and glowing colours. Get into the season's spirit with these three great ways to decorate your home for autumn.
Dry flowers for decorations
Autumn flowers have fantastic rich, warm colours and make beautiful, long-lasting decorations when dried. Pick them from your own garden or buy seasonal flowers from a florist. When picking flowers for drying, cut them in the morning, as soon as the dew has dried. Ideally, choose blooms that have opened but are not quite mature.
Pressing flowers is the easiest way to dry them. Simply place the cut flower between two sheets of absorbent paper and press it between the pages of a book, weighed down by a couple of heavier books on top. Change the paper every couple of days until the flowers are dry.
To air-dry flowers, cut them with long stems, remove all the leaves and hang the flowers upside down by the stems in a dark, well-ventilated space for 2-3 weeks. Once the flowers are dry and papery, spray them lightly with hairspray to preserve them.
You can also dry flowers using silica gel, which looks like fine sand and is available from craft shops. Pour a layer of gel into a bowl, place a flower on top and cover it over with more gel. Leave for several days until the flower is dry, then remove it and spray with hairspray.
Make an autumn wreath
Celebrate the colours of autumn with your own handmade autumn wreath. You can buy a wreath base from craft shops or make your own simple base by cutting out a ring of firm cardboard and wrapping it in colourful ribbon or cloth.
To decorate your autumn wreath, collect colourful fallen leaves and press them for a couple of days to dry them, then spray with hairspray to make them last longer. Pinecones look lovely on a wreath, and soaking them in a 2:1 solution of warm water and white vinegar for half an hour first will get rid of any bugs and grime. Seasonal flowers like sunflowers, dahlias and chrysanthemums add the final touch to your wreath.
Carve a pumpkin for your front garden or doorstep
What could be more seasonal than a carved pumpkin on your doorstep? Here's how to carve your own pumpkins for autumn decorations:
- Choose a giant pumpkin from the supermarket or your vegetable garden.
- Cut off the top and scoop out the flesh inside – save this to make a warming pumpkin soup or a tasty pie.
- Use a sharp knife to cut holes in the skin to create a pattern or a scary face.
- As an alternative to hollowing out your pumpkin, you can use a linoleum cutter to etch a face or a pattern into the outer skin.
We have a fantastic range of autumn-flowering plants in our centre to fill your garden and home with colour. Visit us today to see what's in store!