Oh hey. Look at me! It’s the middle of October and I finally decided to get my act together and post some fall decor.
It’s been killing me to see everyone’s beautifully decorated homes over the last few weeks and not have any of my fall stuff out yet. I mean, I have an okay excuse, but still – it was time. So, last week I took advantage of one of Grant’s naps in the crib and did a bit of decorating around the house. This was the first time I’ve gotten to style the open shelving in our dining room for a new season, and it was so fun.
I can’t wait to decorate them for Christmas!
Too soon? Sorry.
I know this is a cliche thing to say these days, but fall really is my very favorite time of the year. I don’t even need to explain why because you get it, but there’s just something about having my pumpkins and pinecones and fall-scented candles out that makes me oh so happy.
I generally try to add to our fall decor a little bit every year with a few DIY projects, and this year was no exception (even a screaming infant can’t stop me from getting my fall crafting on!). This year, I decided to go with a simple project that didn’t take long (remember – screaming infant), and it’s versatile enough that it can really be used any time of year.
Though, I’d argue that it’s perfect for this pre-Halloween time – especially for those of us who kind of want to decorate for Halloween without actually decorating for Halloween.
I know it would make my kid happy but I just can’t bring myself to spend actual money on fake skeletons and other creepy decorations. Not my thing.
Anyways, today I wanted to share a little peek into our open shelving all styled for the fall season and tell you about how I made those cute burned wood candle holders in about an hour using nothing but my Wagner Furno 500 heat gun!
DIY Fall Decor Using a Wagner Heat Gun
Burned wood has really been making its rounds in the decor world lately – shou sugi ban (a Japanese technique of charring wood) seems to be everywhere, and I’m seeing burned wood projects all over the place. I really love the look, so I wanted to try to achieve it at home with a simple tool that a lot of us have around the house.
Because, as much as I love the look and texture of actual shou sugi ban, I don’t really think it’s practical to bust out a blowtorch for a simple home decor project.
Plus, I’m terrified of fire, so there’s that.
Thankfully, I was able to create these cute burned wood candle holders with zero actual flames.
That’s what the candle holders looked like when I brought them home from Michael’s. They had a great shape, but they were boring and clearly begging for some tweaking. It’s almost silly to even call this post a tutorial, because all I did to make them feel a little more modern and fall-like was grab my Wagner Furno 500 Heat Gun and go to town on them!
I haven’t talked much about using a heat gun here on the blog, but I promise it’s super simple to use. This particular one goes up to 1200-degrees Fahrenheit (holy hotness!), and I found that I got the best burned look – and at the quickest pace – if I cranked it all the way up. All you have to do to achieve the look is hold the heat gun a couple of inches away from the wood and wait a few seconds until it reaches your desired color. Then, slowly move it around the piece until the whole thing is done!
That’s all there is to it!
If I had a little more patience, I probably could have gotten a more authentic shou sugi ban look (which has a super charred texture, almost like an alligator’s skin), but I’ve got a newborn and my working-on-projects window is very very tiny. There were a few spots where I held the heat gun on long enough for them to spark a bit, and they have such a cool texture – so I know it’s possible if you don’t have a ticking time bomb waiting for you inside. I’m really pleased with the finished look, though, and I think the dark color makes them a great fall decor piece…in fact, add on a drippy red candle and you’ve got yourself the perfect Halloween decoration!
I know what you might be thinking – why would I buy a heat gun just so I could burn some wood? I don’t need anything like this in my house (even if it is super cool looking). But that’s where you’d be wrong, my friend. Because a heat gun can do so much more than just burn wood for cute fall projects. Prior to our trip to the Wagner headquarters last year, I hadn’t even thought about getting a heat gun for our house – but then, I learned how much you can do with it and suddenly I realized it’s really a must-have tool. Wagner even has a page on their site where you can see more than 100 (practical) uses for your heat gun. You can use it for simple fixes around the house like stripping paint, thawing frozen pipes, and removing window film (which I had to do in our dining room!), or you can use it for more fun, crafty projects like making candles or creating a cracked paint finish.
You can even use it to remove crayon from your walls!
Seriously – spend some time looking around on their list of ideas and you’re pretty quickly going to wonder how in the world you’ve lived without one.
In addition to the shelves, I also put together a super quick centerpiece for the table using a big bread bowl and some faux pumpkins. I’ve been feeling frustrated with our dining room for a while now because this rickety old table is really on its last leg (you can’t see it here, but it’s literally being held together by some tie down straps we grabbed out of Corey’s truck) and we’re considering replacing the chairs, but putting a little effort into making it feel like fall made a big difference in my attitude. It makes me smile again!
I mean, don’t get me wrong – the table’s still gotta go and I’m giving those chairs a side eye every time I walk past them, but the rest of it looks great.
I also added a bit of fall decor to our (NEWLY RENOVATED OH MY GOODNESS I’M SO EXCITED) fireplace mantel, but that’s a post for another day. For now, I’m just going to soak up the fall goodness in my home until I have to take it all down in a few weeks to decorate for Christmas.
I say have to like I’m not already counting down the days.
It’s only 37 days until it’s socially acceptable for me to listen to the Mariah Carey Christmas album on repeat for 5 weeks straight.
I’m just kidding. It’s not all I listen to.
I listen to the NSYNC Christmas album quite a bit too.
Annnnnyways – moral of the story here?
- You need a heat gun (grab one here!)
- Fall decor doesn’t have to be hard.
- Mariah Carey has the greatest Christmas album of all time.
If you want some more fall decor ideas, I’ve got you covered!