frugal fall decorating.

The bill for the credit card that I used while in Disney World is going to be rolling in any day now and it’s not going to be pretty.  Disney World is not exactly a budget friendly place, and I’m not terribly good at being frugal while on vacation.

So I’ll have to make up for that now that I’m home, starting with some frugal fall decorating.

This is where my hydrangeas come in, and this is just one of the reasons why I love having several hydrangeas in the garden.  Hydrangeas, in particular the paniculata varieties, grow incredibly well for me here in my zone 4b garden.  They provide tons of dried flowers for fall and winter decorating with next to zero effort required on my part.

I filled the galvanized boiler that hangs beneath the window on the carriage house with the Vanilla Strawberry variety.

These dry to a darker, reddish-pink which works perfectly with the barn red of the carriage house.

The Limelight hydrangeas start turning pinkish in the fall as well, but mostly only on the side of the flower that faces the sun.  The undersides stay a pretty pale green.

So you can turn whichever side you prefer to face front in your arrangements.

I filled the planters on either side of my door with them.

By the way, as you can see, the pair of rusty planters that I painted using Dixie Belle’s patina products are holding up beautifully.

I used Limelights in the galvanized wash tub in front of the carriage house too, but I also included a few hosta leaves for added interest.

The sign that is hanging above the wash tub is an old table leaf that I painted up with Dixie Belle paint and then stenciled.  I coated it with some of their Gator Hide and then hung it outside as an experiment to see how it would hold up.  I like to do little experiments like these so that when I sell similar pieces I can let people know how durable they really are.

I used a combination of Vanilla Strawberry, Limelight, hosta leaves and a few last remaining salvia flowers in this galvanized container that hangs on the photo cottage door.

I applied the Prima Marketing transfer from their Everyday Farmhouse collection to the container a while back and it too has held up beautifully outdoors.

The transfers adhere really well to glass and smooth metal and I’ve found that they can absolutely be used outdoors on these surfaces.

Somehow I always get a lot more satisfaction out of decorating without spending much money, how about you?

These days it sometimes feels like the main goal of social media posts is to get you to buy something.  Instead, I hope that I’ve given you some ideas for fall decorating that you can do without spending any money at all.

Do you do any fall decorating on the cheap?  If so, I’d love to see some of your ideas in the comments!

18 thoughts on “frugal fall decorating.

  1. I am so frugal when it comes to decorating! You inspired me so much with your transfers on ironstone that I recently did a couple of plates using my Silhouette machine. Unfortunately the comment section doesn’t let me leave photos but you’re right everything has an affiliate link which I get but we all have too much stuff already. Thanks you for you beautiful style! I love reading your blog. And don’t fret about the credit card bill you work hard!


    1. Do you follow the White Cottage Co on YouTube at all? She does some amazing things with a Silhouette machine! I have a Cricut, but it is sadly underutilized. You’ve inspired me to get it out and use it for some Christmas projects this year 🙂


  2. I love the hydrangeas!! One of my very favorite flowers but they don’t seem to like my zone too well. 😦 Alas, I have to buy them in pots and enjoy them as a seasonal plant. Not great on the budget. I love getting creative with the decor I already have. I’ve bought so much stuff over the years that it really isn’t a hard. I really enjoy your blog posts. They are inspirational!!


    1. Hmmmm. What is your zone Abbie? Are you in a hot climate? or a cold climate? H. paniculata varieties are said to grow anywhere from zone 3 to zone 8. Maybe you just haven’t tried the right variety of hydrangea. Some of them are far more picky!


  3. Your house looks beautiful. I would never have thought about using Hosta leaves but they really do add to the hydrangeas. My only decorating I did this year was taking down a Halloween cookie jar my daughter made in when she was in high school. I’ll do better for Christmas.


  4. I don’t remember you talking about Gator Hide. I mean you use so many products if you not using hard to remember. I’m assuming it is a sealer? Or does it crackle and craze?
    A term we call gatoring.
    I love the transfer on that box can’t believe it withstand the elements. Is that an old milk box it’s on?
    Love all your hydrangeas such stunning colors. Yes I like to decorate on the cheap. But love all the different squashes and pumpkins available these days. I would love to do a huge display of those. Usually too hot here though.


    1. We have the opposite problem here, our pumpkins freeze! Especially with the weather we’ve been having lately (in the 20’s at night). I can see where the name Gator Hide might lead you to think it crazes like an alligatored finish. But no, it does not. I think the name is meant to imply that the finish will be as tough as a gator hide, which apparently is quite tough 😉 It is the most durable of the Dixie Belle top coats.


    2. Gator Hide is a Dixie Bell water based sealer. It is water repellent and I’m anxious to see how it holds up to the elements outside! I use it on my chalk painted furniture (especially tabletops) but have been looking for a good outdoor sealer. Can’t wait to hear the update in this one!


      1. Well, it has already been hanging out there for most of the summer. So I’d say the jury is in, and it’s holding up really well. I’ll try to remember to report back on it again in the spring!


    1. The carriage house is definitely photogenic, but maybe doesn’t quite live up to the photos in real life 😉 It would have to be a very small wedding 😉


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