8 Household items that double as lovely fall decor

Oct 1, 2014 at 3:53 p.m. ET

Decorating for fall on a budget is great, but decorating for fall without spending any money at all? That's the thrifty festive decorator's dream.

All it takes is learning to look at your regular household items in a new light. Doesn't your broom look kind of like a traditional cornstalk or a bunch of wheat? And those paintings above the couch in your living room have the perfect red and orange fall shades in them, no? Decorate your home with the things that are already in it, with some strategic arranging and a just a few key fall pieces.

1. White dishes

Decorate for Fall on a Budget via Hometalker Town n’ Country Living

It's time to bring out your white dishes, jugs and serving platters. Whether you use them year-round or not, fall is the perfect time to display your neutral-toned tableware with pride. For further autumn flavor, collect some fallen leaves and branches from your yard to place under and around your display.

2. Old books

Easy Fall Mantel Decor via Hometalker Pieced Pastimes

Those dusty hardcovers are the perfect detail for authentic autumn rusticity. Line them up, if the covers or binding are worth showing off, or stack them strategically, to add great height variation and texture to your autumn mantel or tablescape.

3. Extra yarn

Quick and Easy Yarn Pumpkins via Hometalker DIY Show Off

If you're into crafts, then you most definitely have a craft drawer somewhere in your home, bursting with balls of yarn. Without ruining your yarn for later craft use, you can turn it into festive fall decor, by topping each ball with a mini pine cone or even a stick, and creating tiny pumpkins.

4. Garden rake

Garden Rake Door Decor via Hometalker It All Started With Paint

Gardening tools, as harvesting instruments, make great fall decor. Turn a garden rake into the perfect display for beautifully colored cobs of autumn corn. Prop it up against your fence or porch or bring it into your house for a bright flash of fall color.

5. Old broom

Fall Garden Planters via Hometalker Garden Therapy

Fall is a great time to add some variety to your outdoor planters. You're welcome to get some armfuls of wheat or some tall yellow corn stalks, but why not substitute a lookalike? Stick an old broom in the soil along with your plants, and get the same rough, wiry look, using something dug out of your closet.

6. Framed paintings

Simple Fall Vignette via Hometalker My Blessed Life

The rest of the year, these floral or boldly colored paintings may hang in your bedroom, bathroom or over the vanity in your entryway, but for this season, use them for your mantel, to tie in some stupendous fall color. It's already art, but you can make it seasonal, fall festive art, just by positioning it differently.

7. Baskets of fruit

Decorating With Baskets via Hometalker House on the Way

Autumn time brings to mind harvest, so add some color with baskets of fruit (real or fake). Just collect any brown baskets you have around your home for storage or decor, fill them with any mix of bright fruits or gourds you happen to have in your fridge, and place them on, in or around your table, mantel, bookcase or coffee table.

8. Silver platters

Fall Home Tour via Hometalker At The Picket Fence

Don't mind the tarnish on your silver platters or tea service sets; that just adds to the rustic, homey texture of your design when decorating your mantel or tablescape with antique silver dishes. The subtle silver tones bring out the neutral hues of your autumn palette, and their intricate designs lend them an air of high-end holiday decor (even though they're absolutely free).

There are plenty of ways to save on fall decor and keep your designs completely within your budget. Once you've used these ideas to bring some seasonal personality to your home, try some more tricks with the help of the Hometalk community by checking out Hometalk's DIY page and finding out what you can do all by yourself to decorate for fall without breaking your budget.

Photo credit: Lilyana Vynogradova/Getty Images