Hay Bales to Cider Booths: Fall Party Inspirations

Fall Table Setting

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. Honestly, I don’t think another season can top it. The crispness in the air; the changing leaves; the smell of pumpkins and apples; it’s all so cozy and warm. The season feels as if it’s bursting with saved up beauty, like nature’s last lovely hurrah of the year.

It’s also an ideal time for gathering with family and friends to celebrate anything and everything, so it’s pure convenience that fall is the easiest season for party planning ideas too. Want to wow your guests with a festively fall soiree? Let me show you how with these fall party inspirations.

Grand Entrance

It may go without saying, pumpkins and gourds need to be everywhere. On doorsteps and walkways. Under benches and atop railings. Pretty much anywhere is a great place to showcase them. Carved or not, the more the merrier. Be sure to add in some potted flowers like mums, sunflowers or Black-eyed Susans.


Fall Front Porch Decoration


Create Ambiance

Hay bale seating is a must and there are so many ways to do it! To create a festive fall atmosphere, group blanket-covered hay bales around large wooden spool tables or arrange the bales to create sofas covered with blankets and pillows.


Hay Bale Sitting Area

Photo: Glamour and Grace

Use what’s in your yard. Some people are lucky enough to have plenty of fallen leaves around from their own shedding trees. If you do, don’t toss them out; instead, gather some old books and vintage wares and display the items among your collected leaves. This is a fun and inexpensive way to blend the rustic feeling of fall naturally. use them in nooks and crannies as fall décor.

Want to really harness the feeling of fall? Use hollowed-out squash and pumpkins and fill them with seasonal flowers.

After hollowing out your squash and pumpkin, be sure to use the insides for a peanut squash soup or spicy pumpkin soup; one or both of these would be a wonderful, hearty addition to your fall party menu.


Apple Dip


Have an old truck you can use? Nothing says quintessential fall like a hay bale-filled truck. Use it for hayrides or simply décor. Fill the back with hay bales and various sized galvanized buckets stocked with fall sunflowers and orchids.

Note: I purposely like to mix flowers you wouldn’t normally see together, as it creates a colorful art piece your guests never knew they always wanted to see. Such ideas will set your party apart and that’s what it’s all about, right?


Back of Truck Decoration

Photo: Style Me Pretty

Creative Ways To Serve

Pumpkins aren’t just for decoration, they can be functional too. Use a large, hollowed pumpkin as an ice bucket for bottled drinks like beers, wine or non-alcoholic beverages. Or cover the inside with a handkerchief and fill the pumpkin with chips.

You can also use a pumpkin to serve the delicious pumpkin soup recipe mentioned above.


Carved Pumpkin Ice Bucket


Looking for a sweet and unique fall way to arrange flatware on your buffet table? I’ve got you covered. Fill candy corn in the bottom of Mason jars to prop up utensils. Put the outer ring back on the jar, wrap twine or ribbon around the top, and presto, a fun and functional way to display your silverware.


What party would be complete without coffee and treats? Wrap orange or brown colored burlap around coffee containers to create rustic fall coffee collars. Secure your burlap collar with tied raffia or twine.

Then display your candied popcorn or cake pops by inserting them in small hay bales wrapped in festive fall fabric.

Pumpkin Cake Pops

Use a large basket and a soup tureen filled with apple cider surrounded by gourds, pumpkins and mums, then hollow out apples to use as cider cups.

Serve cider with a cinnamon stick and a thinly sliced orange garnish.

Apple Cups

Festive Fall Displays

If you’re hosting a large dinner party, use small apples as escort cards. I love this idea because not only are they cute, unique and representative of the season, they serve as eco-friendly gifts as well!

Apple Nametags

Photo: Style Me Pretty

Another idea for pumpkins: Paint a section of a large pumpkin with chalkboard paint and use it as a drink menu, dinner menu or any kind of signage you want.

Once you create your pumpkin signage, be sure to decorate around it with a festive floral creation like any of these.

Pumpkin Chalkboard Menu

Photo: South Carolina Wedding Blog Pin

Dessert is an essential part of any gathering. And at fall it’s no different. Of course, you’ll want to step it up with plenty of caramel-covered apples, pumpkin and apple pies and bars…and pecan pies…just to mention a few.

To set up the dessert table with all of your delectable sweets, stack small hay bales as display stations create a yummy dessert gallery, so-to-speak.

Fall Food Table Display

Photo: Style Me Pretty

Caramel Apple Decorating Table

Photo: Kara’s Party Ideas

Don’t Forget The Games

And finally, don’t forget about games. From football to horseshoes and Bocce ball to lawn bowling, you need to organize an activity for your guests to enjoy. Here’s an idea, use hay bales to create an outdoor bowling alley and be sure to make your own pins by painting lines and numbers on pin-shaped squash. I love this!

Hay Bale Bowling Lane

Photo: The PoloHouse

Squash Bowling Pins

Photo: Martha Stewart

And there you have it, just a few ideas to make your fall party unforgettable. But remember, you create the most memorable ambiance by filling your space with people and love, which are the best party inspirations of all!

Check out more posts by Stephanie Saul at www.fabyoubliss.com