23 fall decoration ideas made from recycled materials

Summer is cooling off (finally), which means it’s time to get festive for fall! Between changing leaves, growing gourds, and pleasant fall scents, adorning your space to match the spirit of the season is always a fun endeavor, but it doesn’t necessarily require a trip to your local craft store. This year, why not try your hand at DIY fall decor?

Americans produce 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years than at any other time of the year. Instead of buying plastic decorations and contributing to waste, look around! Recycling, or reusing, the materials around you is the quickest path to a consciously organized home.

Tin cans make pretty planters, leaves can easily become wreaths, and pumpkins and pine cones provide instant fall charm. Here, 23 DIY fall decorating ideas to help you celebrate the season.

23 fall decorating ideas made from recycled materials

1. Mason Jar Pumpkin Lid

Photo: Jessie Daye

Use these leftover mason jar lids to create a pumpkin forever! Simply paint your lids (or wrap them in fabric) before tying them with twine to create a spherical shape. Collect twigs from your garden or use cinnamon sticks to create a stem.

2. dried flowers

Dried flowers make an eye-catching (and eco-friendly) decoration any time of the year, and flowers are a pretty way to elevate your DIY fall decor. Rather than throwing away your harvest season bouquets, opt to air-dry: simply hang them upside down in a darkened room for about three weeks.

3. Preserve dead leaves

diy fall decorating ideas

Instead of walking to the nearest craft store, go out and pick your favorite fallen leaves to save and use around your home. A quick frosting from Mod Podge is all you need to keep fall foliage looking fresh forever.

4. Sheet Stamps

Photo: KiwiCo

The textures and variety of shapes and sizes of the leaves make for an excellent stamp. Lightly coat the underside of any sheet with your paint of choice and use it to decorate tea towels, pillowcases, placemats, and more. (This is a great activity for kids!)

5. Canned Planters

diy fall decorating ideas
Photo: Modify the house

Recycle used tin cans to create new homes for herbs or small indoor plants! Opt for seasonal paint colors to accentuate your fall feel.

6. Practice eco-printing

Photo: Artsy & Crafty Fiber

A little more laborious craft, but the results are worth it. This tutorial teaches you how to dye fabrics using plants and flowers to create truly unique textiles. You can also use food scraps to make natural dye using this guide.

7. Pumpkins!

Good old-fashioned pumpkins offer an easy way to decorate for the season. Head to your local pumpkin patch or farm and collect different shapes and colors for an instant fall tune or to use in delicious fall recipes.

8. Mason Jar Lanterns

diy fall decorating ideas
Photo: Love and Lavender

Enhance your space with a mason jar lantern. All you need is a mason jar, string and a candle, but there’s plenty of room to get creative. Finish the exterior of your pot with twigs, leaves, dried flowers and more. Hang or place anywhere that needs a little more light!

9. fall snow globe

Photo: The Soccer Mom Blog

Create a portable fall environment with a customizable fall snow globe! Head to your garden and select a stick before adding water, biodegradable leaf confetti, and glycerin. The beauty of falling, frozen leaves.

ten. book page wreath

Photo: Book Riot

Head to the thrift store and stock up on aged titles to create your own crown of books. Shades of older pages will pair well with other fall tones, and it’s a great way to upcycle old books.

11. canned pumpkins

Photo: re-made

Rather than converting your cans into planters, flip them over and paint them like sweet, silly monsters.

12. Seasonal sweater pillows

diy fall decorating ideas
Photo: Farm on Boone

Recycle old sweaters or chewed up sweaters into comfortable and decorative pillows. Vintage cable knits take on new life when transformed into throw pillows – get creative with size, shape and more.

13. Pine cones!

Pinecones are an ideal part of your DIY fall decorating game. Rummage outside, then fill a bucket with two parts water and one part white vinegar to clean your pine cones and repel insects. When dry, add to vases or a garland or wreath.

14. Garland of dried corn

diy fall decor
Photo: Hawthornes House

It’s corn! He has the juice. Well, actually, the vegetables used in this garland need to be dried first. Hang or place on a rack in direct sunlight for 2-4 weeks before stringing.

15. leaf wreath

Photo: Clever Parent

Welcome fall with a seasonally-inspired (and sustainable) wreath. Embellish your favorite leaves with metallic paint or drawn designs before coating them with Mod Podge and attaching them to a wooden embroidery hoop.

16. Make a quilt

diy fall decorating ideas

A quilt can be a big project to tackle, but it’s a great way to use up old textiles and clothing, and slow down and welcome the second half of the year. When finished, you can make yourself comfortable with your quilt for years to come or drape it as decoration.

17. Frame of pressed flowers

Photo: FTD by Design

Another great way to add flowers to your space without the potential waste. After pressing your flowers, add them to a floating frame to create an elegant wall decoration.

18. fabric crown

diy fall decor
Photo: Buy this cook who

Add texture to your door decor. Use old flannels or used kitchen towels to make a rag wreath that you can take out each fall.

19. Reuse an old picture frame

diy fall decorating ideas
Photo: Better homes and gardens

Repurpose an old frame with string and small screw eyes. Remove the glass and the back of the frame and thread the string through the back. You can hand out preserved photos and leaves or create a thank you board for everyone to write a sweet message to take with you throughout the holiday.

20. Cinnamon candles

diy fall decor
Photo: Louise Roé

Fall is all about cabincore. Use twine and wrap cinnamon sticks around your favorite candles, creating a woodsy (and deliciously fragrant) atmosphere.

21. pressed leaves

Photo: Spruce

Pressing isn’t just for flowers! Press the leaves to use them in photo frames, garlands, wreaths, cards… the possibilities are endless.

22. Fall Painted Mason Jars

diy fall decor
Photo: Laura Radniecki

For an easy painting project, coat your mason jars with fall hues. This tutorial features negative space left by applied and peeled leaves.

23. wine cork pumpkin

diy fall decorating ideas
Photo: DIY Candy

Instead of throwing them away, use your corks to make mini pumpkins. Plugs are easily fixed into new shapes using a hot glue gun. Add felt or preserved leaves to finish and place them around your house.

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