Autumn Apothecary Jars for free

Introducing just a little autumn or fall decor into your home for free (or almost free)

Autumn Apothecary Jars for free

I'm not much of a one for lots of 'changing with the seasons" decor. We have Christmas decorations that go up each year and until recently that was about it. Then I was given a glass jar from Ikea which I assume is supposed to be for spaghetti and thought it might be fun to have a little seasonally changing apothecary style arrangement for the dining table. I sourced a couple more jars very cheaply (charity shop and old sweet jar) and this summer they have looked quite pretty in a floral sort of way.

summer display.jpg

I’ve been very inspired over the years by people who change their decor with the seasons and have seen some Autumn/Fall ideas to fill jars like these.

I wanted to fill my jars for free if possible and I almost managed it!

First I went on a foraging mission. We have a small wood nearby so me and my carrier bag went for a walk. I was hoping for conkers but this wood has no horse chestnut trees apparently. Never mind, what it does has is a whole load of oak trees so there were acorns everywhere. I also found some pine cones, not quite as many as I had hoped but some at least.

Things like this can be full of bugs so I spread them all out on a foil covered baking tray and gave them 30 minutes in a hot oven (200c) Turns out this is not enough for the acorns but more of that later.


The smell is not as pleasant as you might hope! Not truly dreadful but not delightful either. 

The green acorns went a little bit brown in the heat and all the cups fell off.

acorns 2.jpg

I threw away the ones that had split and, feeling a bit ridiculous (and hoping no one in the family would walk in and see what I was doing) I used my hot glue gun to stick the cups back on to the acorns.

glue acorns.jpg

It worked though, they look cute and very Autumnal! If you are going to put acorns in a jar with a lid like this then be sure to leave them in a lidless jar for a day or two first just to completely dry out before you pop the lid on.

acorns in a jar.jpg

As I didn't manage to collect enough pinecones I just mixed them in with some leafy looking pot pourri I already had. I might go on another pine come quest again later. Next time we have some really windy weather I pop out and see what has fallen.

pine cone jar.jpg

2 down, 1 to go!

My original idea had been pinecones in the tall jar, conkers in the short fat jar and acorns in the little jar. With slim picking of pinecones and a total lack of conkers it was time for a new idea.

I'd been teaching our middle son to make origami cranes the other day and on the TV show Create it Yourself they had filled a Bell jar with origami shapes, so autumnal geometric origami seemed like a plan.

Geometric origami shapes to use as home decor

I used coloured paper from old envelopes, I just trimmed them to squares of various sizes.


I used a whole load of Youtube tutorials, some were easier to make than others. OctahedronCubePaper Diamond (this one is in French and I got in a bit of a hot mess with the glueing but I think that was more me than the tutorial!) & Pyramid.

This one is called Diamond and I found the first one was tricky to put the two colours together, but once I got the hang of it, it was super easy and one of my favourites.

Diamond origami .jpg

My other favourite is this one, the Fox Box.

It uses 3 little squares and was really easy.

box origami.jpg

Once you start looking on YouTube you can find dozens of great tutorials, these are just the few I found with a quick 'geometric origami' search.

origami shapes.jpg

So there it is, I managed to fill these 3 jars for free! 

Autumn jars.jpg
fall jars.jpg

I'm on the lookout for fancier apothecary jars each time I visit a charity shop as these are pretty basic looking. But we are doing this for free, using what we have instead of always buying new so for now I'm happy!

Update & what can go wrong: 

If you don’t let natural things like conkers and acorns dry out completely and then add them to a jar with a lid this will happen:

misty glass.png

Turns out drying these kind of things out in the oven first is really important! Especially if you have jars with lids. Leave the lids off or dry them out for longer at a lower temperature. Otherwise they can and do go mouldy! Eww!