Each year, instead of celebrating Halloween, many towns choose to have a Harvest Festival. Harvest Festival is celebrated in autumn, a time of the year when people have harvested all the crops and want to rejoice and give thanks for all the food which has come from the land.
Corn dollies are one of the oldest and most popular decorative items. People have been making corn dollies for thousands of years, out of the last sheaf of corn cut. They believed that the Corn Spirit lives or will be reborn in the straw ornament. The corn doll can be placed at on the table at the harvest banquet. The decorations are kept all through winter, until spring, in order to make sure that the next harvest will be rich.
Many natural things can be used in order to decorate a house or a yard for Harvest Celebration: hay, corn, corn leaves, flowers, dried fruit, nuts, vegetables, etc. For example, a few blocks of hay can be used as the base of the front porch display. You can add big pumpkins, which give a brighter orange look.
Nature is at its richest in this time of year. You can use that to your advantage and make wonderful decorations. You can make the most original floral arrangements using fruit and flowers. Cut a few holes in giant pumpkin then stuff those holes with flowers of all colors. You can also fill the holes with florists foam, then arrange a selection of grass, willow branches and leaves, oranges, seed heads, berries or pomegranates, arranging them as you please.
Vegetables can be used for making all sorts of figurines, like people or animals. Melons can be used as bodies and pumpkins, beetroots, turnips or gourds can be used to make the heads. On the “heads” you can put terracotta pots as hats. Cucumbers, corn or carrots can give good suggestions of legs and arms.
Set your imagination free and transform an ordinary container into a special one. Take a big plain vase and put some double sided tape around it. Then stick plants to the tape: dry twigs, small vegetables, dry fruit, grass and fallen leaves in all the earthy colors. The remaining empty spaces can be filled by sticking grains of sand or small pebbles to the double sided tape. Make the arrangement tighter by securing the plants with string or with raffia. After decorating the vase, feel free to fill it with flowers.
Wonderful decorations can be made on the middle of the table. Put some paper as a base on the table, in order to avoid damaging the polished table top with moisture from the dead leaves. Next, make a carpet of fallen red, yellow, orange and brown leaves. On this colorful carpet, put small branches, acorns, twigs and cones in the shape of a basket, or a bird’s nest. In the middle of the seemingly bird’s nest, put fruits and vegetables.
For a more extravagant look, you can add some candles here and there, which, when lit, spread a warm and welcoming light all over the table. Create contras in the arrangement, by making a center of shiny red apples or small pumpkins in the middle of a brownish dried carpet of leaves and twigs. Apples can also be used as candle holders, keeping candles in place, because they can be easily carved in almost any shape.
For those who do not want to stick to the traditional, there is a variety of other natural products which can be used for decorating. Bamboo, in lighter colors, can be found at florist’s supply shops. Bamboo sticks can be tied together with heat, dried flowers or silk decorations.
Walls and stairs in or outside the house can be decorated with vine wraths. Wraths can be decorated with red, purple or blue ribbons, pine cones and leaves in order to look more glamorous. Door decorations are, of course, the first thing guests notice. In order to make an ornament for the door you need some raffia festive ribbons, plastic or dried oranges, colorful fallen leaves and some glue to make a harvest wreath.
Braid the raffia rope in a loose manner then tie small flowers and oranges in the braided raffia. Make a big ribbon leaving long tails and tie it around the braid. Glue many leaves on the ribbon tails and on the raffia braids, in order to make it look richer and more colorful. You can also glue some moss on the braid, or even grass.
Children like to play games and receive gifts and candy. Children can decorate the paper sacks in which they put prizes and sweets with leaf cutouts. Children can also help decorating, especially because they have the most fun doing it. For example, they can make paper bag pumpkins for themselves. For this, they need a brown paper bag, some orange and green acrylic paint, scissors, a brush, a sheet of construction paper and some pieces of raffia or green string.
The first thing is painting the outside of the paper bag with orange acrylic paint. The top part of the inside will be painted with green paint. After the paint is dry, this top section will be cut with the scissors in order to make small fringes. Small pieces of yellow construction paper can be glued on the bag in order to make it resemble faces or jack-o’-lanterns.
If the bag is going to be used as decoration, it can be filled with crumpled pieces of newspaper. If not, kids can fill them with chocolate, candy canes, fruit or small toys which they receive. After the bag has been filled, kids can tie them with string or with green raffia. If you wish to place the pumpkin bags outside, you should give them some weight by putting a few cups of sand at the bottom before filling it with newspaper or candy.
Source by Sam D Goddard