How to decorate with hay bales

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The cool fall months of September, October and November are perfect for outdoor decorating. Hay bales, or straw bales, are often used in autumn decor as part of a western theme, a harvest bounty, a Halloween theme or some other way. Decorate with hay bales or decorate the bales themselves for some inexpensive and simple ways to spruce up your home.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hay or straw bales
  • Potted plants
  • Pumpkins
  • Solar lamps
  • Scarecrow
  • Cornstalks
  • Squash
  • Indian corn
  • Old blanket
  • Colorful bolts of material
  • Potting soil
  • Nasturtium seeds
  • Snowman decorating accessories
  • Spray paint

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  1. 1

    Place the hay bales in a line down both sides of the driveway like crash barriers. Put potted plants or pumpkins on the bales and a solar lamp in the ground between each bale for nighttime harvest display.

  2. 2

    Use one or two hay bales to make a bench seat or chair (lie one flat on the ground for the seat and the other on end at the end as the back) for your Halloween scarecrow.

  3. 3

    Decorate the entrance to your home by placing one hay bale at the end of the driveway on both sides with a few stalks of corn, different types of squash on one bale and maybe some Indian corn on the other for a warm fall feeling.

  4. 4

    Set individual hay bales in the backyard for simple benches during a family barbecue, the kids' sleepover party, or before the evening campfire (keep away from the flames).

  5. 5

    Stack three hay bales into a couchlike formation with two bales on the ground side by side, and the third on top of them. Throw an old blanket over the three bales and use the hay bales as outdoor furniture.

  6. 6

    Decorate the same couch of hay bales with colourful pots of fall flowers like chrysanthemums. Put the primitive plant stand on your porch or in your flower garden.

  7. 7

    Place a few hay bale benches in various spots in the garden or along the paths for rustic fall furniture. Decorate with colourful bolts of material as casual throws.

  8. 8

    Use the hay bales as a simple planter by shovelling several inches of potting soil on top of the bale and planting cascading flowers like nasturtiums in the soil. Begin this project earlier in the summer or plant nasturtiums in July and transplant onto the bale planter.

  9. 9

    Stand the hay bale upright and decorate it as you would a snowman to make a bale man. Pin on clothes, add fake arms and legs, create a face and give your bale man a name. Make a bale woman and decorate your front porch or yard with this lovely pair.

  10. 10

    Spray-paint a round bale pink like a pig and decorate the side as the pig’s face with a snout, eyes, ears on the top and a curly tail out the backside. Combine a round bale with several small bales and create a hay choochoo train.

Tips and warnings

  • Check with your local county and state fair officials to see if they sponsor a hay bale decorating competition and enter.
  • Use hay that is dry; wet hay generates heat and can start a fire.
  • Keep hay bales far away from fires to prevent catastrophe.
  • Do not smoke when sitting on a hay bale.

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