Rustic Outdoor Decorating Idea for Fall

A Rustic Front Door Wreath

Rustic decor rarely appeals to me except in the Fall.  The idea of harvest and fields full of ripened grains, gardens and apple baskets all brimming with the harvest bounty is very rustic to me.  Scarecrows, willow baskets, old wood crates all look amazing in the autumn months.

Vignettes are easier to arrange when you start with something high as a background.  Last fall we made a tall welcome sign but this year I choose to do something a little bit different: this year’s background most certainly is that.

Hand made fall wreath using wood slices. A fall outdoor decorating idea for the front porch.

This piece was found at an estate sale and I  knew I wanted it for a front door display in the fall.  I could have opened to it and stack things on but our front porch is a bit small, so for this year at least its a backdrop.

Can you guess what it is?

I appreciate its beat up look it obviously served its family well and I have no intention of trying to make it look any other way.  I love how clunky and worn it is.  The stand had been sitting in a shed for countless years and belonged to the owner’s grandfather forever.

The first step was to give it three good scrubbings with Murphy Oil Soap.  The only way to describe the process is “Ick”.

Once washed it was cleaned using steel wool and Tung Oil to protect the wood.  The super fine steel wool works the Tung Oil down into all the wood cracks.  Let it sit for five minutes and wipe off the oil.  This was done twice, the tung oil darkened it quite a bit and hopefully added some much-needed moisture to the wood.

Once clean I folded the legs in and the used it as the tall back for the vignette.

The Wreath

Once you have made the embellishments made the wreath only takes about 10 minutes to put together.  There are several easy steps to make the different embellishments ahead of time and I will go through each one individually.

DIY wreath for fall with muslin fabric flower, paper leave and wood slice banner. A front porch decorating idea for fall.


This grapevine wreath is purchased.   We will start by making the hello swag.

You will need:

Large birch branch

Cutting Saw (hubs used a chop saw)


Hot glue

Clear polyurethane

Heavy string

Black Sharpee pen

A fall wreath banner that says hello. The banner is for a fall wreath to be hung out on front porch for fall.


Cut the large birch branch into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Hubs did this for me, you can purchase precut slices as well.

Seal both sides of the wood slices with clear poly.  Do one side and let it dry before flipping it over and doing the other side.  I applied poly to the bark edges as well.

Once the poly is dry, hand write the letters on the slices using a black sharpie pen.

Drill a hole in the top of every slice and thread with burlap string.

Hang the letters on the wreath.  To make the letters stay separated use a hot glue gun and glue the thread to the wood slice on the back side.


Fall themed hello banner for a fall wreath, front porch idea

The Rag Roses

Take a long piece of muslin about 18″ long or other leftover material.  Fold the material in half lengthwise so you have a crease along one side.  Seal the open side with a simple running stitch. Cut a small circle for the bottom.  Roll into a rose and attach with glue.

Here is a video from Flower Art that shows how to roll a rag rose  its the same process except she used chiffon.

The Paper Leaves

You will need some leathery style craft paper and leaf pattern of your choosing.

Print out any type of leaf you like, there are two on Picmonkey that work well.  Place a paper leaf pattern on top of the leathery type scrapbook paper and cut out with scissors. I found my cutting machine did not work with this leather style of card paper that I just love for the leaves.

The Wire Leaf

Hubs has a garage full of all sorts of wire and whathaveyous so I took a couple feet of thin copper wire and twisted it to match the printed out oak leaf pattern.  I love these wire leaves, I made a few extra for my stash.

Decorating the Wreath

Tie the wreath to the backdrop with a plaid ribbon.  Depending on the thickness of your ribbon you may want to tie on a second ribbon like I did.

fall themed decorations, fall outdoor decorating ideas, fall wreath, autumn decoration, fall front porch ideas


Place once embellishment (wire leaf) on the bottom right hand of the ribbon.

Place two leaves on the upper left hand side of the ribbon with glue.

Glue the roses together into a small bouquet first and then glue them to the plaid ribbon.

Depending on how your wreath hangs, you may want to wire it to different spots on your backdrop to hold it in place.

Final Thoughts

The backdrop is an old washing stand, back when women use to use a scrub board and two galvanized tubs to do their laundry.  This little stand would keep the tubs at the correct height and could be folded away when not in use.

The final picture for the vignette on the front porch is not ready.  I need to do some more DIY projects and shopping before I create it.  Instead, I placed two cushions one in dark red, one in bright orange and a teal throw that are part of this year’s colour scheme.


fall themed decorations, fall outdoor decorating ideas, fall wreath, autumn decoration, fall front porch ideas


I am holding my breath waiting for my granite countertops to be installed.  Thankfully I still have some time before the fall decorating season starts.  When do you typically start your fall decorating?

Thanks bunches.

fall themed decorations, fall outdoor decorating ideas, fall wreath, autumn decoration, fall front porch ideas

Rustic fall wreath tutorial for outdoor decor.



13 thoughts on “Rustic Outdoor Decorating Idea for Fall

  1. I had no idea it was for wash tubs. I thought it was a bench. Great find. I love the wreath and can’t wait to see the final presentation. I started putting the summer things away yesterday but don’t forget it stay really hot even in September where I live.

  2. Leanna – what a great tutorial! I also had no idea what your wooden piece was for; it looked to me a like a combination of either a bench or a table. I love the grapevine wreath, and making the banner from wood pieces! Definitely saving and pinning this for future reference !!

  3. Hi Leanna! I love your new vignette for outfront! The wreath is cute and I love the old folding table. So, it was for washing? {I was reading Debra’s comment above.} Pretty cool! My hubby and I have a fondness for tables and one year about 25 years ago he brought home a shop table made out of plumbing parts {long before using those were fashionable} that was getting thrown out where he worked. It is something we still have and will go into the next garage. 🙂

    Happy fall decorating! I’m slowly transitioning and thinking of cooler weather,
    Barb 🙂

  4. The antique washstand is the perfect backdrop for the rustic wreath. The combination makes one think of cool, fall weather with a cozy fireplace after a day of raking leaves in the crisp air. Hmmm — we’re still having temps in the 90’s, but fall is on its way.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

  5. Leanna this is such a clever use of the stand to use it as a background for the fall wreath. I love fall, it is my favorite time of the year but it would be silly of me to try and decorate from now since we are still in full summer mode here.

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