Past the Pumpkin: 5 Ways to Decorate with Produce This Fall

One of the best things about the fall season is gathering with loved ones as the weather cools. You share stories, glasses of wine and mugs of cider. It’s a cozy time of camaraderie. At least, that’s the idea. If you’re the one hosting, fall get-togethers can be a little stressful. The daunting task of decorating for the holidays is just around the corner. Are you supposed to double your work (and storage needs) by having a full lineup of fall decor, too? Fortunately, you can decorate with produce to get the right look and make cleanup simpler.

People have used pumpkins to give their homes an autumnal aesthetic for decades. But you might be ready to switch it up. To help, we’ve gathered five different ways to decorate with produce this fall. Bonus: you can toss it all into a recipe, your compost or the trash when you’re done. No additional storage space needed!

decorate with produce

Butternut squashes can be quickly converted into rustic, seasonal vases. Image: HGTV

Butternut squash

Why use a traditional vase at your table when you can use a seasonal produce item instead? Cut the top off a butternut squash and hollow it out. You have a perfect vase for fall flowers. Chrysanthemums, dahlias and daisies in oranges, reds and yellows add to the seasonal feel. You can even use kale as filler in your arrangements to lean on produce that’s in season at the moment. Arrange several squashes of different heights together for a memorable fall centerpiece.

decorate with produce - corn

Corn stalks can help you establish a fall feel from the moment guests approach your home. Image: Rikki Snyder


If you’re looking for a high-impact way to make your front door look ready for the season, corn stalks are just the thing. Their height draws the eye and their rustic aesthetic makes your home look harvest-ready. And your options for decorating with corn don’t stop there.

Arrange corn in a circle and mount it on your door for a seasonal wreath. Gather a few colorful ears together with a fall-colored ribbon and attach them anywhere you want a touch of fall. You can also string them together with a long piece of twine and use it as a garland over your mantel or behind your dining room table.

decorate with produce - apples

Give your table an upgrade with a simple-to-create apple topiary. Image: HGTV


Are you looking to add a sculptural element to your table before hosting dinner this fall? HGTV has a brilliant DIY idea for you. Using a topiary ball, a bunch of small apples and some greenery, you can create a beautiful topiary centerpiece. Just skewer the apples to the topiary ball, fill in the gaps with greenery and voilà! You’re ready to wow your guests at dinner.

Or, if you want a versatile way to fill empty space on a coffee table, console table or anywhere else, make some small tea light holders. Hollow out a basin in the top of a few apples and set tea lights into each of them. Arrange them in a bunch to add some ambiance and a fall feel.

floating pool decorations for wedding Best of Floating candles with cranberries

The vibrant red of cranberries is ideal for fall but transitions easily to winter, too. Image: Bright Wedding Ideas


If you want to add some seasonal decor that can seamlessly move from fall to winter, cranberries are a perfect choice. Plus, their small size and vibrant color make them equal parts easy to decorate with and visually interesting. A favorite (and easy) way to utilize them is in candle holders. Arrange them around the base of a pillar candle in a large, clear vase or float some in a vase and add a candle to bob on top. To move the look from fall to winter, add sprigs of evergreen as the weather gets colder.

If you want to add a splash of color across a mantel or on a wall, string cranberries together and hang them as a garland.

decorate with produce - acorn squash

The humble acorn squash can get a quick and easy DIY upgrade. Image: Inspired by Charm

Acorn squash

If you love the look of pumpkin but want a way to spice it up this year, pick up a few acorn squashes. They come in a variety of colors, much like pumpkins, but their interesting shape can freshen your seasonal decor. You can decorate with the produce as-is, or you can dress it up a big with this simple DIY from Inspired by Charm. All you need is your squash, some thick twine and a hot glue gun. Wrap the twine along the top of the squash to emulate the cap of an acorn. Arrange these decorations on your mantel or on your Thanksgiving table for some autumnal charm.

More ways to decorate with produce

Late-season pears (especially the red variety) and figs are also beautiful additions to a fall tablescape. And, of course, you can intersperse some pumpkins to give things a signature seasonal feel.

Have you been inspired by any items found in the produce aisle? Let us know your favorite ways to decorate with produce in the comments.

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