How To Make An Inexpensive Fall Wreath

I decided, even though it was ninety-two degrees yesterday, to start decorating the house for the upcoming autumn season.  I wanted to be a little bit ahead of the game this year, so started a little earlier than I have in the past. 

Here is a little seasonal tablescape I created using flowers from my garden:

The autumn table

This is a little dark, but essentially I got a dark blue sheet from Goodwill, and fashioned it into a tablecloth. 

Here is a daytime shot:

Daytime tablescape

I was totally inspired by that shade of blue of the tablecloth, and I have had my eye out for things that would work with it. 

I next found these fun table mats at Dollar Tree, and loved the shades of dark blues and greens that were in them, and that got me going on the rest of the table vignette. 

Close-up of flower arrangement

I created a flower arrangement using blue and smoky purple hydrangeas as the base, and added dark burgundy dahlias and pink zinnias, and for an accent I added sprays of white clethra.    I put a ruff of purple sage all around the bottom.  I like the look of dark wood in the fall, and thus I added the wooden pepper mill.  I have been collecting leaf plates at Goodwill for a while now, and decided to pick one of the hybrid acorn squash from the garden to place in a green leaf plate.  (Those hybrids are stringy on the inside and no good to eat, but I let them grow so I have lots of squash to use for decorating in the fall.)  I thought they all went together nicely, and for me this is a table look, because of the blue tones, that make a good transition from summer into the fall.

Here’s the mantle:

Love those bright leaves!

And all from Dollar Tree!  I love those felt leaves, especially the cut-outs that allow the late afternoon light to shine through.  And I have become more in love with tall things in front of the mirror over the mantle–all of this, in smoky dark blues, (to pick up the table cloth color) and some bright warm colors, with tall sticks all came from Dollar Tree, which I put in a vase I already had.

Then I decided to get crafty and fashion an autumn wreath for the front door.  Have to say, I am not a big “crafty” person, not really where my skill set lays, so this took me a lot longer–about two hours and change–than it would for someone who is more versatile in this area.  Having said that, it was not hard to make, and quite inexpensive as well, because I used what I had around the house and augmented it with items from Dollar Tree.

Here are the supplies I used:

Ingredients for an autumn wreath

I had the grapevine wreath form, thin wire and a little wire cutter, hot glue gun and glue sticks, and the sunflower garland was already attached from years past–yay.  I purchased from Dollar Tree a fall leaf garland, some small mini gourds and pumpkins, a roll of wire-edge fall ribbon, an over-the-door wreath hanger, and some other larger leaves that I didn’t end up using in this project, but thought I might at the time.  (I’ll use them inside somewhere instead.)

Also . . .

Lots of purple sage

I liked the idea of smoky purple indoors, and wanted to extend that look outdoors as well, particularly because we have turquoise trim on our screen door, so I thought that would look good, and wear well hopefully all the way until Thanksgiving.  I used about 3 buckets of purple sage cuttings.

Turning sage into a garland

I took several little sprigs of sage, clumped them together, and used thin wire to wrap around the stems to hold it together.  This I continued to do, just wiring little groups of sage along their stems, and this created a long garland of purple sage.  (As an aside, I saw this originally done with wiring maple leaves together to create a swag to put on a wreath form, but there are no fallen maple leaves around here yet–I told you I was early doing this project!  But you get the idea–you could use fallen leaves with stems on them in the same way.)

clump of purple sage

Okay, the next pictures are not my best, because I was trying to hold and wire sage with one hand and take a picture of it with the other, so just deal with it, ‘kay?  Here I am clumping sage, and notice there are some stems sticking out at the bottom. 

sage with wire

Here I’ve started to put several tight wraps of wire around the stem grouping,

sage on the wreath completed--whew!

And here I’ve taken the garland and wired it in several spots (about 5-6)  to the grapevine wreath form.  I made the garland pretty thick, because I didn’t want the wreath form to show, and also I know that the sage, as it dries, will shrink a little bit.  I also decided to wire in a clump of hydrangeas in a spot that looked a little thin with sage leaves when I got the thing done.  (Another wreath I saw used hydrangea flowers, although silk ones, in crafting a wreath to go from Thanksgiving to whenever you want to decorate for the winter holidays, so I swiped that idea as well for this wreath.)  The real hydrangeas should dry nicely in place.

Next step:  leaf garland

leaf garland added

I love how these bright fall colors play off the smoky purple.  I just wraped this through the sage, so as to hide the fake plastic “vine” that holds the leaves together.  I wired it to the wreath frame in a couple of spots.

Now for the fun part:

Fall Decorations!

Adding the decorations is the easy, and to me at least, the fun part!  I knocked a few of the sunflowers off as I was wiring the sage to the wreath form, but no big deal.  I used a glue gun, and for the plain-jane green leaves that were on the sunflower garland to begin with, I simply hot-glued on a decoration, be it a sunflower or an orange mini-pumpkin or gourd, and arranged them in an artistic fashion.  The fall ribbon bow I tied myself–Martha Stewart on her website has all kinds of how-tos for tying a variety of bows, and I did her simplest one, because again, these craft projects are not my strong suit.  This picture also shows the nice metal wreath hanger I got at Dollar Tree as well.  I love the grey color, and that it will blend in with the screen door.

Decorations hot-glued into place

Now we’re almost done, but first we have to get the bow ready:

I ran some wire through the back of the bow, so it wouldn’t show, and just wired it into place at the top of the wreath.

All done!

A pretty (and inexpensive) autumn wreath for the front door

I like how the purplish tones play off the blue of the door frames.

Since I was sprucing up the entryway, I found some bright yellow chrysanthemums for sale, so added those to window boxes and containers along the front steps leading to the front door.

Yellow mums say "Welcome!"

I hope I’ve inspired you to add a fall wreath to your front door.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to end up with something fun and festive to celebrate autumn!

And visit the Garden Party.    


  1. Beth said,

    September 13, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Your purple sage wreath is lovely! Looks like you scored some great deals at the Dollar Store too.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      September 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

      Thank you, and I did!

  2. September 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    The tablescape and the wreath are wonderful, however, I have to say I love the idea of hanging the felt leaves in front of the windows. I picked up several last fall at Bed and Bath. I think I may try something similar in my living room. Last year I used them on my dining room table, however, hanging them shows them off so much more!

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      September 14, 2011 at 9:25 am

      The leaves are definitely cute on the table as placemats maybe–I was just worried that they would get a bit dirty on the table, and I wasn’t sure how to clean felt effectively. I like them in the windows, too!

  3. anne said,

    September 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    This is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the how-to.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      September 14, 2011 at 9:25 am

      You are so welcome!

  4. allysgrandma said,

    September 14, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Fabulous! It’s probably that hot over here in Reno where I am visiting oldest daughter. Back home Saturday with lots of yard work and things to pick waiting for me…except I told my neighbor to pick whatever strawberries, blueberries and zucchini need to be picked. DH leaves for hunting tomorrow.

    • minervasgardenwriter said,

      September 14, 2011 at 9:26 am

      I bet Reno is lovely right now, but it’s always fun the get back home, especially if you have a garden waiting for you, so you can go out an explore how it’s changed whiled you were gone!

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