Harvesting the savings on a centerpiece

Ooh. Who doesn’t love a nice autumnal pun?

(Don’t answer that.)

The weather around these parts has been teasing us with the occasional Fall-like temperatures and sunshine. So much so that, while we’re just under two weeks away from the Autumnal Equinox, I couldn’t resist the urge to bring a little hint of the season to the dining room table.

Over the years I’ve collected a few autumn-themed items that could work into a centerpiece, but what I had in mind for this year meant a little bargain hunting. After a trip to Goodwill and hitting a seasonal sale at Michael’s, here is what I had to work with:

Guess if you like: what was bought, and what did I already have on hand?

The tablecloth was a HomeGoods buy from last year – and added to my sense of bargain when my parents came over for dinner one evening and were sure they had seem that same tablecloth at a fancier kitchen store. But that gold charger?

Goodwill. $1.99. There was a Pier 1 logo on the back of the plate.

Next up was building something to top that plate. Starting with some for-real leaves that I purchased more than 20 years ago. The leaves – a mix of oak and maple – were coated with glycerin before being packaged, so they hold up year after year. The box of leaves cost $20 at the time, and each year they add more value, in my mind.

A ring of leaves layered around the edge – since it’s not likely that anyone will see leaves in the middle by the time we’re done, here.

Then it was on to topping this visual plate with a mix I like to pun my way into saying “faux-real.” Care to guess?

These would be the “faux.” A collection of gourds found on sale at Michael’s. It came to a hair over $6 after discount.
Then we grabbed the little dried ears of corn (real!) we got from the CSA last year. That the cats have yet to destroy. Maybe this is the year they do.

And there you have it. Autumn on a plate. My husband came in to check it out – after our kiddo was running through the house to find him and show him the “beautiful table” we just made together – and asked how much it cost to put together. I told him around the $8 mark. He threw up his hands in mock horror at the cost.

There’s still room for food and plates around the centerpiece. Because what good is it if we can’t gather at that lovely table?

And as we ate dinner at the table that evening, he offered to put up a fire in the fireplace. I declined, citing the not-quite-cold-enough weather we were experiencing. As our resident meteorologist, that dear husband warned me we’ll see another heat wave or two before it’s really Fall around here. I know.
But that doesn’t have to stop me from enjoying a little bit of the season on our table, does it?


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