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Affordable Fall Decor :: 12 Festive Decorating Ideas for Normal People

This post: A round-up of affordable fall decor that doesn’t require hours of time, a ladder, or an interior decorator.

I love an environment that feels festive, colorful, and alive with tradition.

But here’s a confession: It doesn’t take much Pinterest browsing or HGTV watching for me to realize what I lack (ample time, money + an on-site professional).

Years of busy days, raising small people on small budgets – and a deep love of this season – have pushed me to come up with some easy + affordable fall decor ideas.

These decor hacks tick all the boxes:

  • budget-friendly (but don’t look cheap)
  • kid, pet + guest friendly
  • hours of time, ladders + professional humans not required

Basically, this is my low down on how to decorate for fall when you’re a very normal human (not rich, famous, or ridiculously talented).

I’ve never let what I don’t have stop me from enjoying what I do have (my own space, traditions I love, a bucket load of determination).

If you have a door and a floor, a few minutes and a few dollars – you’re ready to go!

Affordable Fall Decor :: 12 Autumnal-Inspired Ideas for Your Home
Home, all dressed up for fall. xo

After a two-year building project, our family moved into a new home, June 2022. That’s the warning that you’re going to see lots of blank floors, bare windows + naked walls in this article – we still have furniture/rugs/wall art to buy. It’s true, our house isn’t totally “set up” yet.

But fall just feels like the perfect season for a mini Open House – so, ready or not, I’m swinging open the door. Welcome, Friend!

Enjoy my affordable fall decor ideas… and a peek at our new home. xo

Click the links below to view a particular idea, or simply scroll to enjoy the full article.

Hang Autumnal Wreaths

Put Out a Seasonal Door Mat

Brighten Your Home with Fresh Flowers

Decorate with Pumpkins (Fresh + Plush)

Display a Stack of Fall-Theme Picture Books

Throw a Seasonal Pillow in a Chair

Drape a Pretty Lap Blanket on the Couch

Add Splashes of Autumnal Colors

Light Candles

Go Autumnal with Your Kitchen Linens

Serve Meals + Treats on Seasonal Dishes

Put Up a “Fall Tree”

Many of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click through a make a purchase, I'll receive a small payment from the seller in exchange for advertising the product. I only share what I love + use in my own home. Thank you for supporting this site!
Fall-inspired wreath.
A favorite wreath I’ve had for several years, hanging on my office door this season. | similar

#1 Hang Autumnal Wreaths

Hanging a pretty wreath on the front door is the crowning of any season. Honestly, I don’t mind investing a bit in a beautiful wreath we’ll use for years to come. But this year, we’ve had a lot of expenses getting our new home set up. And since our house has a double-door entrance, I had to buy two matching wreaths.

So… I went super cheap – $7 wreaths from our local Family Dollar store.

Not too shabby for the price!

Affordable fall decor idea : check out the dollar store!
My $7 wreaths | similar

Similar looks for under $25. (Don’t forget a wreath hanger or adhesive hook for the front door.)

#2 Put Out a Seasonal Door Mat

I love changing out door mats seasonally, and a fun autumn door mat is especially festive!

I bought this large “falling leaves” rug for the double-door front entrance of our home. It sold out quickly at Walmart.com, but I noticed that Amazon still has a few in stock (and at a cheaper price than Walmart).

Falling leaves front door mat.
I love this over-sized “falling leaves” double-door mat. | Amazon

Festive door mats (mostly under $25).

#3 Brighten Your Home with Fresh Flowers

Mums + sunflowers are my plants of choice during fall. At the time of this writing (late August), it’s still a bit early for mums. But by mid-September, they’ll be easy to find at just about any home + garden store.

I typically buy a few large, potted mums at our local Walmart for around $20 each. They brighten up the front porch beautifully.

Indoors, fresh or silk sunflowers add a pop of seasonal color. Honestly, any fall-inspired fresh flowers are a welcome sight.

Fresh flowers are an affordable fall decor idea!
A bouquet of fresh yellow roses + white daisies, tucked into an enamel pitcher. xo

#4 Decorate with Pumpkins (Fresh + Plush)

Pumpkins are another beloved seasonal staple. Most years, I buy a few fresh mini pumpkins to throw in a basket, or display a Jack-O-Lantern size specimen on the front porch with the mums. I’ve learned not to put pumpkins out too early, or else they rot long before autumn ends.

A few artificial pumpkins is an easy solution. I found adorable, plush “velvet” pumpkins (pictured below) at our local Family Dollar. They liven up our fresh navy-and-white living area.

(Really, if you haven’t checked your local dollar store, you should! It’s the ultimate affordable fall decor hack.)

Plush pumpkins :: affordable fall decor from the dollar store!
I can’t get enough of these adorable plush pumpkins! | similar
Plush pumpkins :: affordable fall decor from the dollar store!
Who knew a navy pumpkin could be so cute? | similar

A few favorite plush pumpkins:

#5 Display a Stack of Fall-Themed Picture Books

If you’re a book collector like I am, don’t forget to set out those seasonal picture books! It’s an easy + free way to add a bit of autumnal (bookish) love to your home.

I mean, you’ve already bought the books, right? So get them off the shelf!

50+ Cozy and Whimsical Autumn Books to Read to Your Kids
I’ll never outgrow picture books.

A few ideas for “decorating” with picture books:

  • tuck a few into a pretty basket in a living area (where someone will be tempted to peruse the pages)
  • scatter or stack a pile on a coffee table
  • layer a few onto a night stand beside a bed (paired with a flash light for late night reading)
  • display a hardback (or two) upright on a book shelf (think of what you see at a local library or book shop)

    A few great baskets for book lovers:

Need to add to or start your fall book collection?

Check out my guide :: 50+ Cozy and Whimsical Autumn Books to Read to Your Kids

#6 Throw a Seasonal Pillow on a Chair

I love stacking pillows sky-high, but one thing always holds me back – decorative pillows are pricey!

But not to worry :: I have a few money-saving ideas for my fellow pillow-lovers. xo

Fall decor tip : throw a few seasonal pillows in the mix with year-round, neutral pillows.
L to R :: small navy pillow, World Market | large orange pillow, TJ Maxx similar | “Hey There Pumpkin” lumbar pillow, Pop Shelf similar
  1. Scour your local dollar and outlet stores for seasonal finds. As I’ve already mentioned, several of my new fall decor pieces are inexpensive dollar store deals. A few of our local favorites here in North Texas are Family Dollar, Five Below, Pop Shelf (dollar stores), and Ross or TJ Maxx (outlet stores).
  2. Use neutral pillows (like these $10 Velvet throw pillows from World Market) year-round, and simply add one or two seasonal pillows into the mix.
  3. Invest in seasonal pillow covers. This was my go to method in our early years, when I simply couldn’t afford to buy new decorative pillows for every holiday. I bought a set of plain 18″x18″ throw pillow inserts, then switched out pillow covers throughout the year. This is a surprisingly easy + inexpensive way to update your seasonal decor.

Fall-inspired 18″x18″ pillow covers:

Festive autumn throw pillows:

#7 Drape a Pretty Lap Blanket on the Couch

Nothing is as comfy as curling up with a fuzzy blanket at the end of a busy day.

I typically spend less than $20 on seasonal throws + use them for years. The jewel-toned “leaf” lap blanket (pictured below) was a Better Homes + Gardens (Walmart) find from several years ago. You can tell from the photo that it’s well-loved!

My kids love curling up with this soft “leaf” lap blanket. | Better Homes + Gardens similar

Fall-inspired lap blankets:

#8 Add Splashes of Seasonal Color

Fall sweeps in with deep browns, vivid oranges, sage greens… and lots of other colors that may or may not mix well with your home decor. If that’s the case, no worries! There are so many ways to marry autumnal hues with your favorite color palette.

For fall, I use a lot of vivid yellows + deep oranges, which pair beautifully with navy and white. I tend to stay away from golds, browns, and more brassy hues. Crisp jewel tones are my go to.

Affordable fall decor tip: sunflowers + a fall-themed table cloth add a nice pop of yellow + orange to a navy-and-white dining area.
Silk sunflowers (similar) + a fall-themed table cloth (Amazon) add a nice pop of yellow + orange to my navy-and-white dining area.

Training your eye to seek out pops of color that compliment your current decor saves lots of time + money in the long run. How? You don’t ever need to “redecorate” your home. Simply add a few things as the seasons change.

The overall effect will always look nicely polished, even if the individual pieces have been hand-picked over years of time.

Shop my look:

#9 Light Candles

Nothing feels as festive + cozy on autumnal nights as softly flickering candles. This isn’t a tradition to save for the fall season, of course – my love of candles runs year-round. But I especially enjoy them during the fall + winter seasons.

Here are a few favorite wick candles:

Favorite LED candles:

Candlesticks for lovely tapered candles:

#10 Go Autumnal with Your Kitchen Linens

I grew up in a family of women who dressed their dining tables as much as their own bodies. From cold sandwiches to spaghetti dinners, we ate on tables draped in pretty linens.

When I set up my own home as a young bride, I intuitively shopped for table clothes. Twenty years + five kids later, we still use cloth table linens every day of the week. (I rotate + wash them like clockwork, along with the cotton aprons that have held up to years of use.)

The christening of every new season always includes something pretty + festive for the table. I’m especially pleased with this year’s autumnal linens from Maison d’ Hermine. The shop’s Victorian-inspired designs fondly remind me of my grandmother’s lovely tablescapes.

I spent a little more than I usually do on table clothes + tea towels, but the quality + pleasure of use has made the purchase well worth it.

Navy and orange table cloth, by Maison d' Hermine
Beautiful “Kleim – Prairie” print table linen, by Maison d’ Hermine | Amazon
Fall Dishcloth/Tea Towel
Matching dishcloth | Amazon

Shop my fall table linens:

#11 Serve Meals + Treats on Seasonal Dishes

In 20 years of marriage, I’ve updated our dishes twice.

This year, I took $50 of spending money and, thanks to an amazing sale at World Market, bought two sets of beautiful, white porcelain dishes. These look sophisticated alongside my fall decor; they’re completely neutral + create a striking contrast against my darker table linens. (They’ll pair beautifully with my Christmas + winter decor later this year.)

Seasonal dishes can be anything that brings you joy at this time of year: an oft-used platter, a special dish from your grandmother, every day dishes, or even seasonal paper goods (like these).

Affordable fall decor idea: buy white porcelain dishes to complement your autumn table linens.
I use my teal, glass goblets year-around. | Pioneer Woman
Autumn table cloth + white porcelain dishes.
Something as simple as white dishes on a navy table linen elevates my day.
Affordable fall decor + tablescape.
autumn table cloth, Amazon | white porcelain dishes, World Market | glass goblets, Pioneer Woman | candle stick holders, TJ Maxx similar | bees wax candles, Natural Grocers similar | black farmhouse chairs, At Home similar

Shop my tablescape:

#12 Put Up a “Fall Tree

Several years ago while out browsing the seasonal decor at Hobby Lobby, I noticed a beautifully decorated “fall tree.” The boughs were literally bursting with trailing garlands, autumnal silk flowers, twinkling lights + plump pumpkins.

Now I realize the commercial nature of something like a “fall tree” in a home decor store; but the spectacle inspired me. What came about was a much-loved fall tradition :: the trimming of the Fall Tree every October 1.

(My kids are already begging to put up our Fall Tree; when we do, I’ll update the tutorial here on the blog.)

How to make a Thanksgiving tree.

If you’re looking for a festive, slightly out-of-the-box seasonal tradition, consider this one. It’s a fabulous excuse to put up a tree months before the holidays.

Check out my post:: Yes, I Actually Put Up a Fall/Thanksgiving /Christmas Tree (Here’s a Simple How To)

My boy and his dog
Best part of Home.

Shop my affordable fall decor:

Want another look at the pieces I curated for this post?

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  1. Love all of these ideas especially the plush pumpkins – I can’t believe they’re from Family Dollar. I love navy and white with warm fall color accents Nipa

  2. I enjoyed the Fall decor ideas and inspiration. I also love to use fabric tablecloths. The polyester ones wash up so well again and again. Through the years I have found seasonal ones (on sale!) at boscovs.com.

  3. I love all of these ideas. I’m waiting a few more weeks for fall to officially be here and I can’t wait. It’s been a hot summer and I’m ready for cooler weather.

    1. It’s been a hot season here too! Enjoy decorating + anticipating fall! I’m so glad you enjoyed my fall decor ideas, thanks for commenting.