Monday, September 08, 2008

Fall Home Decor Trends: One Part Nature with a Twist

(ARA) – As Mother Nature wows us with fantastic fall colors and scenery, the latest trends in fall decorating and entertaining bring the beauty of the great outdoors inside. Give your home some fall-time flare by adding nature-inspired decor with unexpected crafty details.

“This fall, decorating trends are inspired by nature, but the key is to use these elements in new and exciting ways. Interesting themes, new colors and surprising details are making fall 2008 distinctive,” says Susan Atchison, manager of trend development for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.

Here are some decorating ideas and trends that you can try in your home:

1) Make pumpkins fun.
Pumpkins are the quintessential symbol of fall, but why not put a new twist on a classic? When ordinary pumpkins just won’t do, paint a collection of pumpkins and decorate them with scrollwork designs for instant I-did-it-myself appeal.

“Try painting artificial pumpkins, called Fun-Kins, a variety of colors. Rich blues and reds will provide a classic look. Then decorate with dimensional copper paint or iridescent brown paint,” says Atchison. “For a fun, brighter look, get inspiration from traditional prints by painting argyles, dots, checks, plaids and stripes in exciting color combinations for a fun mix-and-match pumpkin grouping that can be used year after year.”

2) Make it a crafty Halloween.
Halloween is a frightfully fun time, and with the holiday landing on a Friday this year, there’s bound to be a little extra celebration. Consider using inexpensive or leftover craft items to create frightfully fun Halloween decorations for little cost.

Atchison suggests making Jack-O-Lantern Illusions, which are made out of a quilt hoop that is painted orange with a fun jack-o’-lantern face hanging in the center with clear thread. They’re quick and easy and look fabulous hanging from the ceiling indoors or on trees outside.

3) A table aplenty.
Showcase the essence of fall’s natural beauty with a sparkling centerpiece everyone will adore. Fill jars and bowls with decorative fruits like apples and grapes, but add pizzazz with nontraditional fruits such as pomegranates or mangos.

“Put your own creative spin on the project by adding things you’ve purchased or found on a nature walk like pinecones, dried flowers or feathers,” says Atchison.

Add a special touch for your next dinner gathering by creating personalized handcrafted harvest place settings. Choose a decorative foam or plastic fruit and use copper paint to inscribe the guest’s name. Add a feather or other decorative detail and you have a tasteful place setting that turns into a fun take-home party favor once guests are ready to go.

4) Accents around the home.
Adding a touch of color throughout the home can transform it into an autumn environment in no time. Utilize colors to bring the feeling of the season into any room, from bathroom to kitchen to porch. Gorgeous golds and oranges, rich burgundies and browns, plus touches of teal and sage vividly reveal fall’s splendor.

Add a splash of color with a wine-toned table runner or visual appeal with a simple bunch of dried fall flowers filling the air with the pleasant aroma of the season.

“This fall, decor with a natural essence is popular, but be creative. Adding unique details to traditional items or utilizing colors in new and exciting ways can really make your house stand out,” concludes Atchison.

For more information and to get supplies for creating the perfect fall decor for your home visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Craft Project Ideas

Craft 1) Scrollwork Fun-Kins
Skill level: No experience needed.
Approximate crafting time: 1 hour each plus drying time.

Supplies and tools:
* Fun-Kins Carvable Pumpkins, various sizes
* Acrylic paint in colors of choice
* Paintbrushes -- 1-inch and 1/2-inch flat
* Spray gloss varnish
* Dimensional paint, copper and iridescent brown
* Plate for paint

1. Basecoat the entire pumpkin with acrylic paint. Let dry.
2. Shake the dimensional paint bottle to get a full load of paint at the nozzle. Beginning at the stem, create a swirl. Continue around the stem, varying the swirls, and building upon the original ones. Continue about a quarter to a third of the way down the pumpkin.
3. Add dots to the design, if desired.
4. Return to the stem and decorate it.
5. Set pumpkin aside to dry.

Paint Fun-Kins Carvable Pumpkins in 2 stages -- first with stem up, second with stem down. When painting the bottom, stand it stem down in a container that supports it until it’s dry.

To get spray gloss varnish at the base, insert a disposable cup or other tall object inside the hole at the bottom to lift it from the surface. After spraying the surface that faces you, rotate pumpkin to get the other surfaces. Spray the stem from the top as well.

Craft 2) Jack-O’-Lantern Illusions
Skill level: No experience needed.
Approximate crafting time: 1 hour each plus drying time.

Supplies and tools:
* 14-inch, 16-inch and 18-inch quilting hoops
* Acrylic paint -- three different orange colors
* Foam brush
* Clear polyester thread
* Thin hand-sewing needle
* 9-by-12-inch craft foam, 3 sheets 3 mm thickness, black
* Tacky glue
* Scissors

1. Paint inside and outside of all hoop sets and allow to dry thoroughly. Use a different color orange for each size. Two or three coats may be needed to achieve desired effect. Hang to dry.
2. Design jack-o’-lantern faces and cut out from black craft foam.
3. With clear polyester thread and needle, poke tiny hole through top of each face piece and tie to inner hoop to make face mobile.
4. Glue the outer hoop at right angles to inner hoop.
5. When dry, tie a piece of thread to hoop screw and hang.

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