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Fall Decor Ideas Without Using Pumpkins

By Rachel

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Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Rachel Granholm

These fall decor ideas without using pumpkins will add rich texture to your home this season!

Cozy season has arrived and I couldn’t be happier about it! Fall is such a beautiful time of year to incorporate moody and rich textures into your space including plaid, brass, and amber colored glass as well as earthy elements such as wheat and wood.

And, did you know that you can do all of this seasonal decorating without using pumpkins?! Whether you are team pumpkin or not, I am sharing how to style a beautiful vignette with some Fall decor ideas without using pumpkins. Join me today for the first Fall post of the year!

Hello, guys! Welcome to September! I spent the better part of the weekend pulling out my Fall decor and styling it up for you so I hope you are ready for ALL the Fall decorating!

This season I am being inspired by vintage thread spools, moody colors such as maroon and caramel, and textures such as wheat and plaid. The juxtaposition of all of these ideas came together in my head and I was (luckily) able to put what was in my head onto one shelf in my home.

It is one of my most favorite displays that I’ve ever created and I didn’t use one pumpkin! Join me today as I unpack each of the elements used and learn how you can re-create it in your own home!

A Thrifty Backstory

While I was thrifting a few weeks ago, I came across some vintage wooden thread spools. The spools were all mixed together in a bag with thread in all colors of the rainbow. I only paid $1.00 for all of them!

There were quite a few more moody colors that I thought I could use for Fall decorating and that is how this idea of decorating without pumpkins came to be.

Because thread and it’s spools are round, my thought was that they could mimic the shape of a pumpkin in a Fall display.

vintage wooden thread spools used for Fall

However, I found something even better a few weeks later in the form of these old thread balls (I don’t even know if that’s what they are called). I’ve seen these used in vignettes before and thought they looked so pretty. I was happy to find three of them for only .99 cents each!

Then, I realized that these large thread balls looked even more like pumpkins so that’s what you will see in this Fall display. Let’s commence decorating with these pumpkin-like objects from the past!

a vintage thread spool with the old packaging still intact for Fall decor

Fall Decor Ideas Without Using Pumpkins

I’ll start by saying that I did not take any ‘in progress’ photos of this shelf. I’m so sorry! I got so busy thinking through the styling of it that I neglected to snap pictures in between.

So, I’ll walk you through each part of the shelf and describe each element as we go along.

Fall Textiles

The first thing I did was lay this plaid scarf across the base of the shelf.

This not only anchors the shelf as a whole but it also adds rich texture, movement and color to the bottom of the vignette.

If you don’t have a plaid scarf, you could use a small blanket, a large fabric scrap or a linen. I recommend checking your local thrift store as well to see if they have anything that suits your fancy!

a Fall shelf with a plaid scarf and vintage decor

Add Height

Next, I started to add taller items to the sides and back of the shelf.

The pieces on each end of the shelf I refer to as ‘anchor pieces’. To me, these larger items placed on each side act as bookends for the shelf as a whole, making everything feel balanced and connected.

a vintage amber bottle with maroon eucalyptus stems for Fall decor

For the left anchor piece, I used this larger amber bottle that I found at an antique mall a few years ago. For extra height and a pop of texture, I placed some stems of flow-y maroon colored Eucalyptus branches in it.

Then, to the very right, I set a vintage brown and cream plate. This helps break up the plain surface and adds an unexpected floral pattern.

a large vintage Amber bottle with Fall colored maroon eucalyptus stems

On the opposite end of the shelf, I placed one of my favorite copper kettles. Personally, I like the two anchor pieces to be about the same height and the kettle is a tad shorter than the amber bottle. To rectify that, I used a red vintage book underneath to make it appear taller.

The use of fall branches as well as a vintage basket behind all lend to the moody and rich character I was going for in this space.

a vintage copper kettle with Fall stems inside

Then, throughout the middle of the shelf, I evenly distributed my collection of vintage amber glass jars.

They are quintessentially Fall and, as such, are only used for Fall decorating in my home.

vintage amber bottles used for a Fall shelf display

This shelf is one of the first things that is seen when coming in the front door so I wanted it to feel super cozy. Amber glass helps achieve that in an effortless way.

vintage Fall decor with amber bottles, milk glass and plaid

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One other element that helps to bring in height are books.

I placed a stack of three vintage books in Fall hues near the right side of the shelf, bookending them with amber bottles.

vintage books in Fall hues used in a Fall vignette

The small row of books is slightly off center, creating visual interest by helping draw the eyes down the shelf.

By incorporating Earth-toned colors into a Fall vignette, especially with books, it creates a balanced and grounded feeling. Liken these warm colors to a hot cup of coffee or a hug from one of your favorite humans.

Other height elements to try:

a Fall vignette with moody and Earth toned colors

Incorporate Smaller Pieces

You know I’m a vintage loving girl at heart and I really wanted this shelf to embody all of the vintage things that I adore.

So, for a unique twist, I added in many pieces of hobnail milk glass from my collection.

vintage milk glass styled for Fall

I chose milk glass that was shorter in height to fill in all of the empty gaps in the front half of the shelf. These include creamers, sugar dishes, lidded bowls and the like.

There is not really a rhyme or reason to this…I simply moved things around until I was happy with how it looked.

vintage milk glass and amber glass bottles used for Fall decorating

And, truly, I just adore the juxtaposition of the dark amber and copper colors paired with the white milk glass. There is so much depth and contrast, creating a one-of-a-kind Fall vignette!

Other small pieces to try:

a fall display without using pumpkins

Infuse Natural Accessories

To round out this Fall shelf display, the last step is to bring in natural and earthy accessories. I like to take a cue from Mother Nature when infusing these important decor elements.

Without adding items like acorns or leaves, this display would fall completely flat. These natural elements contain texture that you can’t find anywhere else and what brings the whole display to life.

flowy maroon colored stems in an amber glass vase for Fall

Choosing from things that I already had on hand, my natural elements include:

My advice for this part of the decorating process is to either use decor elements that you already have on hand or go outside where you can forage for free things such as leaves, sticks, acorns or wildflowers.

vintage fall decorating without using pumpkins

Finally, I added small decor accessories. This is where those vintage thread spools come into play.

You see, when you can find unique, old items to style into your display, it adds history and a story, of sorts. Who knows where these old things came from or who used them but now they are given a new purpose and I just think it’s so neat.

You can place decor accessories in and around your other Fall vignette pieces. Personally, I don’t like for my displays to look too cluttered so I use these items sparingly. But, you do what you like and is pleasing to you!

vintage thread spools, milk glass and copper used for Fall decorating

Finished Fall Shelf Display

With that, this shelf is all decked out for the Fall season! As I stated at the beginning of this post, this display is one of my favorites. It has all the things that make me happy…milk glass, copper, vintage plates, and cozy textures.

a Fall shelf styled with vintage decor

This season, I encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to decorating your home for Fall.

Don’t like pumpkins? Use round shaped items that mimic the look of pumpkins for a similar aesthetic.

Aren’t a fan of faux leaves? Get outside and forage colorful Fall leaves to make your own dried leaf stems.

vintage plates and amber bottles used in a Fall display

It’s your home and there aren’t any rules when it comes to decorating it. Whatever makes you feel happy, cozy and at peace during this Autumn season, do it, no matter what.

Life is too short to do anything else!

vintage fall decor used on a Fall shelf without using pumpkins

Closing Tidbits

It is my sincere hope that these fall decor ideas without using pumpkins are helpful for you. It can sometimes be overwhelming doing ‘all the things’ while, at the same time, trying to create a beautiful Fall home for all to enjoy. I get it. But please don’t put so much pressure on everything. Give yourself grace to move slowly through the process and, eventually, everything will get done. May you be encouraged to take a cue from the trees and rest for awhile, finding a renewed sense of living along the way.

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a vintage Fall vignette with amber bottles and milk glass

If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the writer and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I encourage you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more.

Follow Along with The Antiqued Journey

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Rachel from The Antiqued Journey blog

Hey! I’m Rachel!

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

Here on the blog I love to share my excitement, knowledge, and ideas about all things antique, vintage, and thrifted. Let’s journey together!

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