Decorating with Hay Bales
By Jean D
, last updated January 19, 2012
If you're looking to infuse your porch with some fall spirit, decorating with hay bales could be just the ticket. Hay bales are delightfully knobby with small straws sticking every which way. They're solid, allowing you to use them as bases for more delicate items. They're also inexpensive, meaning that you can buy them almost anywhere during the fall season and use them in a variety of ways. These are just a few of the ways you can incorporate hay into your décor.
Hay bales can be heavy and dense, but that doesn't mean they're waterproof. If you're planning to leave your decorations in place during the entire wet fall season, make sure your hay bales are covered. Place them on your porch, for example, rather than placing them in your yard by the steps to your porch. Hay bales can also come apart a bit over time, so avoid placing them directly by the front door. You don't want stray bits of hay sticking to your shoes and decorating the floors inside your home.
Use hay bales by themselves as a good basis for a harvest-themed decorating scheme. Buy at least three hay bales and place two next to one another in a horizontal direction. Stand a third on its end and tip it back into the first two. Pile bright pumpkins on the ends of your horizontal hay bales, and scatter a few large gourds around the base to complete the look. You could also hang dried corn stalks by the front door as a lovely tie-in. Hay bales also seem to invoke country life, and they make a great backdrop for this form of decorating. Make a chair out of hay bales by placing one horizontally and leaning one vertically right behind it. Place a large scarecrow in the chair. Gather potted mums in orange and red and place them around the scene. Place synthetic sunflowers in the hay bales for a backdrop of yellow color.
If you're holding a one-day event, such as a wedding, and the ground is dry and the weather is clear, use hay bales as additional seating for guests. Country brides love this idea, in particular, as hay bales help to rope the guests in one area with a sense of country whimsy, rather than bossiness. Create a circle around the area with hay bales. Run your fingers over the top of the bales and remove any straws that seem particularly dense or pokey. Place gingham napkins at an angle on top of the hay bales, to give guests an idea of where they should sit and to add a bit of color to the scene. Pull hay from the bales and scatter it around the ground in the seating area. If you're hosting a child's birthday party with a fall theme, use your hay bales as low tables and cluster chairs around the bales. Place small, lace tablecloths over the hay bales or use gingham tablecloths for a more cheery look. Use apples or pumpkins as centerpieces on your makeshift tables.