Decorating Ideas for Hay Bales

Written by kimberly kilmer
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Decorating Ideas for Hay Bales
Round hay bales can be incorporated into outdoor decor. (hay bale image by Cornelia Pithart from Fotolia.com)

Hay bales make perfect natural building blocks. For their rectangular form, decorating project ideas seem almost endless. Smaller bales fit into outdoor or indoor decor. Large round hay bales may take more imagination and work, but they too can be the basis for some dramatic fall decor.

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Building Block Bales

Use bales of hay to "build" a piece of farm equipment, a house or another square or rectangular structure. Once you have the structure together, apply paint with brushes and rollers. Paint on the details of the wheels, tractor seat or any feature you'd find on the real object. Keep a photograph of the object handy as a reference. If you need to cut any bales in half, retie them with baling string so they won't fall apart. Keep in mind that painted hay is no longer safe as animal feed.

Decorating Ideas for Hay Bales
Build a piece of farm equipment using painted hay bales. (Tractor image by Arne Bramsen from Fotolia.com)

Games and Art

If you happen to live on or near a farm or have ample backyard space, have several large round bales of hay delivered before your gathering. Use them as bunkers for a game of paintball. Place bales fairly close together so players can hide behind and shoot between them. Once the players are done with the game, have them aim paint balls at the bales to complete living pieces of outdoor art.

For more fun and decor, paint brightly coloured bull's-eyes on the ends of several bales placed side by side. Provide safe darts or archery equipment for your guests to compete in skill. Afterwards, use the bales as a backdrop for a picnic or barbecue. Take souvenir photos of the winners next to the bull's-eye bales.

Round bales can weight over 454 Kilogram. You'll need machinery to move them.

Decorating Ideas for Hay Bales
You'll need machinery to move round hay bales into place. (round bales image by Carbonbrain from Fotolia.com)

Decorative Tables and Chairs

Before your gathering, remove rec room or outdoor patio furniture. Build the seating and tables you'll need for your party out of hay bales. Stack two bales one on top of the other to use as small cocktail tables, and form groupings of bales as conversation pits.

Decorate each bale in accordance with the food on the table. If you are serving chicken wings on one, decorate the bale by hanging vintage framed photos of chickens on the sides of bales, like you'd hang photos of a wall. If you'd prefer, make arts-and-crafts versions of chickens to decorate the sides of the bales instead of the photos.

Tie fabric on the bale that holds ears of corn to mimic an ear of corn in the husk. Make a large pillow case style bag out of green fabric and slip it over the bale lengthwise to make the corn "husk." Add loose strands of hay to the open end so it looks like corn silk at the top of the husk. Use twine to tie the corn silk and close the open end of the green husk. Paint the husk using fabric paint if you'd like to depict more details of a real corn husk.

Make the bale table that holds the hot dogs look like a giant hot dog bun by using craft foam or brown fabric to dress the sides of the bale. Place a narrow strip of yellow fabric on top of the bale to mimic a dollop of mustard. Use your imagination to make your tables and chairs anything but boring hay bales.

Decorating Ideas for Hay Bales
Use rectangular hay bales as tables and chairs for a party. (four pumpkins image by alwayspp from Fotolia.com)

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