By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern
The dog days of summer have seemed to drag on and on this year. It’s been pretty hot, a little bit humid, and we’ve even had some ‘record breaking’ temperatures. The heat in Arizona starts to build as early as April, and continues on well through October, which means autumn feels short before winter arrives.
It can be a bit distressing, but never fear! Fall, even if it is almost non-existent here in the Grand Canyon State, is right around the corner! Get ready for more mild weather and beautiful decorations! Soon houses will be strung with cobwebs, Arizona-grown jack-o-lanterns will litter front yards, and kids will begin the daunting task of picking out what costume they want to wear trick-or-treating. It may be hard to get in the spirit of fall here where the leaves don’t really change color, and the heat doesn’t let up, but with these five easy homemade decorations, your house will be the envy of the whole neighborhood.
- Pumpkin Vase
What you will need: A small or medium sized pumpkin, a knife, a tin can, flowers or foliage of your choice, water
To create this decoration: Take your knife and cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin that is the same size around as your tin can. Make sure to cut straight down and not at an angle, as you are going to be placing the can inside the pumpkin later. After you have cut the hole, scoop out the insides. Next, place the tin can inside the hole, fill the tin can about halfway with water, and place the foliage of your preference inside. Voila! You’ve got yourself the perfect fall centerpiece!
- Corn Kernel Candle Holder
What you will need: A tall cylindrical glass or a decorative vase of your choosing, corn kernels, a tall, medium sized candle (preferably white), jute twine
To create this decoration: Set the candle in the glass. Begin to fill in the space between the candle and the glass with corn kernels. Fill until you have your desired look. Tie twine around the middle of the glass, creating a medium sized bow where you would like the front to be.
- Pinecone Garland
What you will need: Pinecones (look around outside, they are pretty easy to find), jute twine, eye hook screws, pliers, paint (optional)
To create this decoration: If you want to paint your pinecones, paint them with whatever colors you would like, and let them dry. While they are drying, paint the eye hook screws to match. If you are not painting your pinecones, it is still recommended to paint the eye hook screws brown to match the plain pinecones. Take your pliers and screw the eye hooks into the tops of the pinecones. Now, take your jute twine and cut it two to three feet longer than you would like your garland to be. To begin tying the pinecones on your garland, slide one pinecone to the middle of your length of twine and bring one end of the rope around and through the eye hook screw to create a knot. String the next pinecone onto the twine at your desired distance and tie in the same way. Work your way out on both sides until your garland is finished!
- Fall Leaves Table Confetti
What you will need: Leaves in all kinds of different colors (check your backyard or local park for them!), scrapbook paper punches of your desired design
To create this decoration: Punch out pieces of the leaves you’ve collected with your paper punch. Get creative, use punches that create circles, butterflies, leaves, asterisks, stars and whatever else your heart desires. This confetti is perfect for sprinkling over a table at Thanksgiving.
- Stovetop Potpourri
What you will need: A small pot, water, a knife, one orange, three cinnamon sticks, half a cup of cranberries, one tablespoon of whole cloves, a dash of grated nutmeg
To create this concoction: Cut the orange up into slices. Fill your pot with water. Add all of your ingredients. Place on stovetop over the lowest heat setting. Your house should now smell just like the Holiday Season! When you are done just place the pot on an unused back burner, or put the liquid in a bowl with a lid and store at room temperature. The mixture can be reused for weeks on end, just put back into a pot over low heat to release the scents again.