How to Forage For Fall Decor

Learn how to forage for fall foliage, flowers, stems, and branches like a pro with these easy tips and tricks. Styling Tips for Your Foraged Fall Decor like centerpieces, a bough and more. How to dry foliage and how to dry flowers

Fall is my favorite time of year — and not just because it’s cozy sweater weather and pumpkin season. It’s also a time of year when foliage starts to dry out and some truly special plants come to life. I absolutely love foraging for flowers and foliage, especially now that we live in the North Cascades. There’s literally a treasure trove of wildflowers, branches, and brambles in the area around our house — it’s the absolute perfect spot to forage for fall flowers. So today I wanted to share tips with you to inspire you to save money by foraging for fall decor in your yard or near your home.

Learn how to forage for fall foliage, flowers, stems, and branches like a pro with these easy tips and tricks. Styling Tips for Your Foraged Fall Decor like centerpieces, a bough and more. How to dry foliage and how to dry flowers

General Rules To Help You Forage for Flowers Like a Pro

Before we dig into my tips, there are a few rules for foraging that are good practice in general:

  • Know who owns the land – if you’re in a city, I do not recommend going into someone’s yard and clipping branches! And in my opinion, that extends to parking strips, too. I’ve often found that if the owner is outside, you can ask and they are usually ok with it if you’re planning to cut just a few stems. If you’re foraging in a national forest or park, make sure you’re clear on the rules.
  • Be prepared – Keep a set of pruning shears and a bucket of water in your car if you’re planning to make a big foraging trip! When I’m walking the dogs, I bring my shears and make sure to get everything in water asap to avoid wilting.
  • Use an app to identify plants – this way you don’t touch something potentially toxic or poisonous that will irritate your skin
  • Check for bugs – this is especially important if you’re foraging for flowers during tick season. I like to give my finds a good shake before bringing them inside and then I shower pretty much immediately.
  • Forage in the morning – this is when plants are at their most hydrated, so if you don’t have water on you, foraging in the morning will buy you a bit more time.
  • Cut intentionally – be sure to cut the foliage below where a few stems branch off. This will help keep the plant happy and allow it to continue flowering for future seasons.
Learn how to forage for fall foliage, flowers, stems, and branches like a pro with these easy tips and tricks. Styling Tips for Your Foraged Fall Decor like centerpieces, a bough and more. How to dry foliage and how to dry flowers

Styling Tips for Your Foraged Fall Decor

Dry the foliage

One of my favorite things to do with anything I forage is to dry it. It’s so easy and means that you can enjoy what you’ve found a longer than if it is kept fresh. To dry foliage, I create small bundles of each type of plant that I’ve found and tie them with a bit of twine. Then I hang the bundles in a place that’s dry like our garage. After a few weeks, they will have dried out and you can use them in bouquets and arrangements.

Show off the texture

Fall flowers are typically dried out, but there is always a plethora of amazing textured plants that you can forage. I love looking for ferns, large leaves, pine boughs, dry grasses, and anything with funny little seed pods. These non-flower elements will bring a gorgeous texture to your floral arrangement.

Make a centerpiece

I’ve shared MANY a centerpiece here on the blog and typically they incorporate dried elements. Remember this moody Halloween inspired centerpiece? Foraged and dried flowers, pots, and branches are perfect for that!

Make a bough

Boughs are usually thought of for Christmas time, but I love the idea of a textural fall-inspired bough made entirely of foraged elements. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make your own bough (it’s so easy).

Create a floral installation in your own home

Because foraging for flowers is free, it’s a great time to PLAY! I love using foraged stems in unexpected ways around the home. It’s the perfect time to bring in some dramatic flower arrangements.

Combine with something storebought

I love when someone sends me flowers, so to extend the life of any bouquets I’m sent, I will often add foraged elements as it ages. When I change the water every couple of days, I remove anything that’s past it’s prime and replace with something foraged from the yard. This is basically a free way to extend the life of your flowers!

What do you think of these tips and tricks? I hope you’ve enjoyed them!

Learn how to forage for fall foliage, flowers, stems, and branches like a pro with these easy tips and tricks. Styling Tips for Your Foraged Fall Decor like centerpieces, a bough and more. How to dry foliage and how to dry flowers

What do you think of these tips and tricks? I hope you’ve enjoyed them!

You might also enjoy:

How to Create a Hanging Floral Installation with Dried Botanicals, the perfect modern centerpiece alternative to WOW Your Next Dinner Guests this fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. #DIY #tutorial #floralinstallation #hanginginstallation #hangingflorals #centerpiece #halloween #babysbreath #ferns #botanicals #driedflowers

How to Make a Hanging Floral Installation with Dried Botanicals | DIY

The key to achieving a wild, overgrown-looking hanging floral installation is to find interesting dried materials that will hold their shape. Choosing foliage with stiffness to it is a very important element for creating this sort of ethereal design because it provides structure.

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A Dark & Moody Halloween Centerpiece DIY for a grown up or adult dinner party for Halloween or Thanksgiving, made with pampas grass, burgundy dahlias, poppy pods and more. #floralarrangement #grownuphalloween #adulthalloween #halloween #floralDIY #DIY #pampasgrass #driedflowers #ferns

A Dark & Moody Halloween Centerpiece DIY

In this low, dramatic Halloween centerpiece arrangement, I combine these dried floral elements with freshly bloomed dahlias to create an effect that reminds us all of the circle of life and how these seed pods will result in new flowers next year… plus, it is the perfect way to bring a floral element into your next Halloween-themed gathering!

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Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest digital influencer and former textile designer with an eye for beautiful things. Jojotastic is a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress home, interior styling, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style.

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