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Fall Leaves: Your Bargain Party Decor

Jackie Fo By

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Fall-friendly, festive and FREE! What am I referring to?


Those beautiful fall leaves that are right outside your window, or course! When Mother Nature created leaves, I don’t think she knew how plentiful their uses would be in terms of table decoration. Thanks, Mother Nature!

fall leaf place cards

Place cards


With the plethora of fall leaves gathering on the ground, there is absolutely no reason to spend any money on expensive place cards. Why do that when you have incredibly beautiful leaves at your disposal? Plus, no one will have the same leaf. Don’t they say that no two leaves are alike? Or maybe that’s snowflakes. OK, moving on:

  • Collect beautiful leaves. If you have kids, this is a perfect project for them. Take them away from their video games and into the great outdoors to collect the most colorful, intact leaves they can find!

  • Invest in a paint pen. Yes, I know, I said free, and then I go ahead and use the word “Invest.” But you can’t have everything! Buy yourself a silver or gold paint pen to write names directly on the leaves. Sure, you can use a regular marker, but a metallic paint pen has such a pretty sheen and will add that special touch.

  • Place the leaves! After writing the names directly on the leaves, let them dry for a bit. Place them on the napkin at each place setting, and you are finished! If you want a different look, punch a hole in your leaf and tie it around your silverware or use it as a napkin ring. I would remove the leaf stem for this option.

  • Leaf in a vase. An alternative to using the paint pen is to place an individual leaf in a bud vase at each place setting. Then create paper place cards and tie them around the neck of each vase. You still get the colorful effect of the leaves, but in a different way.


fall leaf table setting


Party Decorations



  • Leaf wine charms. Again, no need to buy those expensive (and slightly cheesy) metal wine charms. Find small leaves and write your guests' name directly on them.  Punch a hole in the leaf and use twine to tie it to the bottom of each wine glass for natural wine charms! I would also remove the leaf stem for this idea as well.

  • Leaf and branches centerpiece. Instead of arranging expensive flowers for your centerpiece, find a few beautiful branches with leaves and place in a vase. The cost to you is zero, but the impact is grand.

  • Leaf table runner. Instead of using a traditional fabric table runner, scatter leaves down the center of the table for a less tailored, more “outdoors” look.


Fall Party Recipes


Now that you have the fall look, don't forget the food! Fall bounty is full of flavor. If you like Butternut Squash, check out some of my favorite ways to serve it in my Dinner Dishes with Squash post. You can also find many other great recipes in Tablespoon's Fall Favorites Recipe Collection.

Embrace the season by using fall leaves at your table or next gathering of friends! Here’s to fall!
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