Easy decorating with autumn leaves

What's so great about decorating with autumn leaves? Number one - they've got gorgeous, warm colors. Number two - they're free. Put that together with easy decorating ideas and that's what makes them great. Here's what you can do in your home.

• Wreaths

Gather up a pile of colorful leaves for a warm and inviting autumn wreath. Use a Styrofoam ring or grapevine base. Then grab a hot glue gun to attach your leaves in a random pattern - the more the better. Add pine cones, acorns, feathers or ribbon, as desired. It's an inexpensive way to create a beautiful wall hanging in a small amount of time.

• Mantle Decor

Place pumpkins, gourds, apples or pears on a fireplace mantle. The stuff autumn leaves under them, in between them and peeking out from the top and back side of your arrangement. It will give a simple produce selection additional color and texture to grace your mantle.

• Floral Arrangements

Fallen leaves can make a colorful floral arrangement for your Thanksgiving table. Use a real pumpkin with a large Styrofoam ball stuffed in the middle as your base. Hot glue leaves on the ball into a dome shape for a luscious and budget-friendly floral arrangement. Or grab an old vase you already own, stuff it with a few thin branches and tall grass. Then fill in the display with colorful maple leaves - no flowers required.

• Candle Embellishments

It's so simple to use leaves to embellish a plain candle for a rustic arrangement. A footed dish or cake platter becomes an instant base filled with leaves and acorns - just add three pillar candles. Or drop a tall glass votive candle inside a wider, tall glass vase. Fill the space between them with leaves to decorate the pair. You can also decoupage colorful leaves onto an old mason jar and let the candlelight glow through the warm colors.

• Quick and Easy Artwork

You don't have to be an artist to create quick and easy artwork with autumn leaves. Simply pop a few leaves in a frame to bring color to a tabletop vignette. Or use spray paint to make golden leaves to mount on a set of picture mats. My favorite easy art is taking two pieces of picture frame glass, sandwiching my leaves between the glass and putting it back in the frame for a see-through piece of artwork.

Check out the pictures and inspiration for this article in the Autumn Leaves ideabook on Houzz. You'll see easy decorating ideas you can use to celebrate the colors of the season with natural foliage in your home.

Enjoy more home decor ideas from Terry Mulligan:

10 Tips to Take Your Next Decorating Project Over the Top

Fabulous Choices for Decorating with Throw Pillows

Budget-Friendly Dollar Store Finds Anyone Can Decorate With