How To Create an Autumn Entry Display for Under $20

How To Create An Autumn Entry Display For Under $20

How To Create An Autumn Entry Display For Under $20

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

With perennial borders all but spent and autumn leaves putting on the big show, attention in the front garden is focused on the home entry. Using materials gathered from the garden and discounted end-of-season perennials, create this welcoming seasonal display to provide color, interest and a focal point for your fall and winter garden.


While it would certainly be possible to buy everything required fresh from the garden center and spent upwards of $100, the frugally-minded and moderately resourceful should be able to pull together needed items for $20 or less. Look around your home or tap friends and family for items they may no longer need to bring your project in for the lowest possible budget. Feel free to improvise or adapt based on what materials you have to work with. For each pot, you will need:

A. A decorative garden pot or other container, about 16-18″ in diameter.

B. An assortment of smaller pots, bricks, rocks or scrap wood for props.

C. A bundle of large grass, twigs, or other tall material.

D. An upright potted plant, preferably with color.

E. A trailing plant.

F. Two small filler plants, preferably with color.

G. Three or four small pumpkins, squashes or other gourds.

Remember, this is for one pot–you have to double the amounts for two.


Step 1: Assess your space. What size and type of containers you want to look for will depend on the specifics of your entry. For example, I have an asymmetrical entry. To the right of the door there is a nice spot for a pot, but to the left the landing drops off immediately to stairs. The next available spot for a good-sized pot is 8″ lower. So for my display, I knew I was going to need either one tall pot and one short pot or some kind of base for one of the pots.

Step 2: Gather materials. Resourcefulness and bargain shopping are key here. Here’s where I found my materials and what they cost:

  • Decorative garden pots. I happened to have a tall pot and a short pot with similar colors and shapes in the shed, not being used. You could also use galvanized pails, terra cotta pots, some scrap wood nailed together or even plain black plastic nursery pots wrapped with raffia or twine. $0.

  • Assortment of pots, bricks, etc. I just happened to have a random selection of these kinds of things in my shed. $0.

  • Bundles of large grass. My Mom has a row of tall zebra grass in her garden. About this time of year she cuts it down for the season, so I was able to snag several bundles of grass from her. You could also use pampas grass, fountain grass, or something completely different like corn stalks or twigs pruned from a tree or shrub. $0

  • Plants or plant materials. I found what I needed at a local big box store garden center in the end-of-season clearance racks. Some of them were a few bucks, but since they are perennials that I will be planting in the garden next season, it was money well spent. For the upright plants I got two one gallon agastache (hummingbird mint) for $4.27 each. For the trailing plant I found two orange sedge in one quart pots for $1.74 each. And for the fillers I got four 4″ burgandy mums at an amazing $.25 each. Total: $13.02

  • Small pumpkins/squashes.I bought these at the local grocery store. I used two smallish pumpkins that were $.50 each, two mini-pumpkins that were $.59 each, four unusual gourds for $.69 each and my big splurge, a white and orange striped mini-pumpkin for $.79. Total: $5.73

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

Autumn Entry Display

My total project total was $18.75, but that includes $13.02 of plants that will go in the garden permanently. Worth it to me.

Step 3: Load in the plants. First, place the large bundle of grass into the large pot in back. Wedge it in with an upside down pot or other medium-sized item that will also create a shelf. Next add the upright plant in the middle back. Arrange the trailing and filler plants around the edge. If you have asymmetrical plants like I did, have one pot mirror the other. Make sure to leave a space in front. Fill the space with bricks or scrap wood up to the rim, making a shelf to pile the pumpkins and gourds.

Step 4: Add the Pumpkins Start with your largest pumpkins or gourds in front and arrange the rest around it until it makes a pleasing display.

Step 4: Refresh and Rotate As the display begins to deteriorate, give it a holiday season refresh by replacing the grasses with twigs and pushing the cut ends of evergreen clippings into the potted plants for the rest of winter. That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this project. If you decide to do this or another seasonal entry project using materials from your garden, let me know!



12 responses to “How To Create an Autumn Entry Display for Under $20”

  1. What a fabulous idea – and for under $20. Love it, and it really dresses up the space.

  2. Very nice tutorial! Is this a subtle hint? Ha ha. I could use little prettying up in front. something to make the graves look a little festive. Max would loudly object.You really do have a magic touch.

  3. You amaze me. You sure know how to make a buck work for you.

  4. Excellent Angela, You do have such a talent – you should do interior (or exterior) design – you have a flair my dear !

  5. Great idea. Beautifully created and a nice photo too.

  6. yolanda elizabet Avatar
    yolanda elizabet

    Great tutorial Angela, better than most you see in the glossy garden magazines. 😉 Gardening can be quite an expensive hobby so decorating on a shoe string budget sounds OK to me.Your entrance looks so much more inviting now with those lovely decorations! Well done!

  7. Here i am!! I am not hiding, saw your comment on Mom’s site!!How are you!? I’m catching up on your site right now.Best!-Sara

  8. Wow – what a difference! It really brings dimension to the entryway!!

  9. That makes a beautiful display, well done

  10. Michele Avatar

    I think you seriously have the best tutorials of any blog I’ve read! I’m so impressed by your ideas and how well you explain them to people who might want to replicate what you’ve done. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!!

  11. crystal Avatar

    hello, was just out reading random things and came across your page. this is awesome! i love the creativity, easy to follow instructions and best of all cheaper items! I love to think about decorating lol. I have a lot of ideas but get scared to try them and your page is helping me see how much more i can actually DO! im going to give some things a try for sure and your the inspiration! keep up the good work!

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