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  • Writer's pictureThe Rural Legend

10 Essential Items to Thrift for Fall Home Decor

Summer is coming to a close - and fall is right around the corner!

A fall floral centerpiece on a dining room table.

Stores are transitioning from flip flops to cardigans, and from beach balls to pumpkins. As expected, stores such as Target and Michael’s are putting out their decor offerings for the 2023 fall season.

A white shelf with a burnt orange pumpkin figurine.

For budget-friendly, timeless fall decor you can display again and again, the thrift store is a treasure trove! Thrifted home decor is an affordable approach to create a home that’s not only beautiful, but unique to you.

A woman in plaid holding a fall wreath.

Read below for our top 10 essential items to thrift for delightful yet classy fall decor!

1. Wreaths

Why spend $30+ on a wreath at the craft store when you can purchase one for less than half the price at a thrift store? It’s easy to reassemble a pre-owned wreath and embellish it with ribbons, leaves, and garlands for the fall season!

An assortment of fall wreaths.

Spray paint can completely change an item’s aesthetic. You can easily transform a holiday wreath into a fall wreath by using auburn, gold, or other warm toned spray paint. See how I spray painted a GIANT wreath for Halloween here!

2. Candles

This includes both candlesticks (such as pillar candles) and holders. You can give thrifted candlesticks or holders a fall makeover with acrylic paint or Rub n Buff.

An elegant fall floral dining table with candles.

You can also shop for vessels to make your own candles - check out this tutorial for the easiest DIY candles. And this tutorial for DIY patterned candles with napkins is a creative way to make your very own bespoke candles!

Patterned candles on a dining room table next to a black skull prop.

3. Art

Don’t abandon ugly art at the thrift store. With a few brush strokes, you can make a painting look like it was meant for the fall season.

A display of framed Halloween artwork.

For instance, you can add pumpkins and marigolds to a painting of a garden. You can repaint the green leaves on the trees gold and red. And during the Halloween season, you can add ghosts in the background of an old country home.

4. Frames

As mentioned in this artwork tutorial, one of our go-to items to look for at thrift stores is antique ornate frames. Classic frames in deep brown, bronze, or gold are perfect for fall decor.

A wall with three frames lined vertically.

If the frame contains a photo or art piece that doesn’t suit you, simply remove it and put in your own. It’s still way cheaper than buying a brand new frame. You can also paint the frame and patch it up with wood filler.

A skeleton prop near a cauldron decoration and two skeleton dog props.

5. Little Planters

Little planters are great for adding a touch of fall magic. Whether it sits atop your shelf or on the front porch, a planter can decorate any indoor or outdoor space.

A golden chalice with a sprout.

You can even purchase items and turn them into your very own planters, such as small pots, pails, or candle holders.

Planters can work especially well for decorating or setting tables. Check out this post about this thrifted turkey planter that made the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece!

A turkey planter with orange flowers bouqet.

6. Table Linens

Table linens are super versatile. Think tablecloths and napkins, plus accessories for centerpieces. You can even use thrifted curtains as table runners.

A close up of a white plate, blue napkin, and silverware on a dining room table.

See how we used a planter AND table linens to set the Thanksgiving table with mostly thrifted items here - the elegant result will shock you!

A close up of a dining room table.

7. Baskets

Baskets add a classic organic feel for any home. They aren’t just good for show, but also good for storage around the house. Functional decor is a two for one win!

A basket hanging on a black hook.

Elevate elegance by using baskets to display fall florals and natural elements, such as pine cones or bittersweet plants.

A basket holding a potted plant.

Did you know if you don’t like the color of your thrifted basket you can bleach it?! See my simple tutorial for how to bleach wicker and baskets here!

8. Dishes and serveware

From plates to cake stands to canisters and jars, the possibilities for dishes and serveware are endless!

A dining room table decorated in orange and black for Halloween.

It may be hard to find full dishes and serveware sets, but it’s fun to mix and match! And with a little ceramic paint (which is a food safe paint) you can add your own unique touches.

A white plate near an orange candle near a fall bouquet.

Additionally, mugs are a must for the fall season, perfect for hot apple cider and autumn tea blends. Plus then you’ll already start building your mug collection for the winter season.

A woman wearing a witch's hat at the head of a Halloween themed table.

9. Books

Secondhand books add texture and dimension to trays and tabletops. Take a peek under book jackets, and look for books with rusty, warm hues or pretty artwork on the cover.

A black shelf with books, potted plants, and candles.

For actual reading - cookbooks with fall recipes or classic fall stories are great to add to your seasonal bookshelf. Crochet and knitting books also fit the fall vibe - it’s called sweater weather for a reason!

10. Figurines

Have you ever noticed how many little ceramic animals are sitting on the shelves at your local thrift store just begging for a new life? Try spray painting fall themed animals like woodland creatures in a gold tone or flat black for a chic accent for your shelf styling or table.

A gold squirrel figurine near candles and florals on a dining room table.

I have a few new figurines I thrifted for the 2023 fall season I cannot wait to share with you!

General Fall Decor Advice

When decorating your home for fall, think chic or elegant. Moody jewel tones and classic neutral colors will add elegance to your space. Avoid flashy bright colors. In other words, think pumpkin or burnt orange - not neon orange.

family room fall decor

Go for a classic feel rather than a trendy one. Trends come and go, but sticking with classic motifs and designs ensure decor you can use every year!

A woman opening the door to her house porch that is decorated for fall and Halloween.

Looking for more fall HOME decor tips?

Get in the fall spirit with more cozy fall content, featuring DIY home décor projects and tablescape inspiration. The Rural Legend also offers ideas for the fall holidays, such as decor and costumes for Halloween, plus Thanksgiving entertaining ideas and recipes.

xoxo, L

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Sep 16, 2023

Hello from Kentucky. Im looking for a little art light to go over a painting I have. Where did you get yours?


Aug 28, 2023

Wonderful ideas and awesome advice! Thank you so much!

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