Creativity comes in many forms.
Sure, painting a picture, writing a story or cross stitching a bookmark are creative things to do. But creating art or indulging in a hobby are not the only ways to get your creative juices going.
It also takes creativity to make yourself at home in the world, and find wonder in your surroundings.
So this autumn, why not look at everyday things from a different angle, step into the unknown and let yourself find your way, or allow your childlike spirit to just enjoy the season as it is? With that in mind, here’s a few (and by few, I mean 60) ideas to make this autumn a fun and creative experience for yourself, or to share with a loved one, friends or kids.
My challenge to you
Reading inspiring ideas is one thing, but taking action is where the real benefits are.
As you read the list, pay attention to which idea makes you think “Ooh, I’d love to try that!” – and actually make plans to make that idea happen in the next couple of days. It’ll be a great way to reconnect with your creative side.
And if you can’t decide (or want the adventure to choose you), just give your mouse wheel a spin, and pick the first idea that catches your eye.
Follow your curiosity and let life surprise you. :)
The big list of 60 inspiring autumn ideas
- Go for a big walk in nature and collect colourful leaves. Try to create a gradient from green to red! Take breathe depths and enjoy the silence and that crunchy sound foliage makes when you walk.
- Is it chilly outside? Never a better time to roast something in the oven. How about chestnuts? Prepare some aloe vera for the impatient ones who are too eager and burn their fingers. (Just me? Alrighty then.)
- Tea al fresco. Grab a warm jumper and a wrap, brew some tea and drink it outside. You can also take your cuppa with you in a travel mug to a nearby park. Sit on a bench and watch the sun set.
- Create your own special autumn blend of essential oils to diffuse. Do you like citrusy scent, or warm, spicy aromas?
- Hooray for all the autumn fruit! Put grapes in a salad with crunchy leaves, mild cheese, and drizzle with some pumpkin seed oil. You can also add some walnuts. Great for a quick lunch, especially if you pack a few slices of sourdough as well. Let’s not forget about pears! Sprinkle the slices with some cinnamon and eat as is. Or with some greek yoghurt… or added to your porridge. Hello, apples! Make a hot apple soup, add them to thick pancake batter (grated), or put them sliced into sandwiches with brie and rocket.
- Never miss a chance to catch some rays. Walk for a few minutes to enjoy the sunshine. Don’t forget about SPF though, UV is constant all year round.
- Create colourful, happy secrets! Buy a pair of really silly socks — loud patterns, flamingos, foxes, stripes or polka dots. Anything goes! This will be your secret happiness weapon in rainy days. No one will know but you. You can also do this with cheeky underwear. Sparkly or sexy, it all depends on you. I always do amazing in my cupcake pants! Is it too cold to bare your toes? Who cares? You can still paint them and use the happiest nail polish colours you have. Add some glitter and imagine you’re sending happy vibes whenever you wiggle your toes in your boots.
- Do you still have some metallic temporary tattoos? You can still use them, but you don’t have to stick them on your body. Instead, decorate a notebook or your journal, or create custom postcards with happy messages. (For best results, try some top coat so the design stays put. You can also use clear nail polish.)
- Combat grey autumn days with a funny hat! Stripes, bobbles, bold colours — whatever makes you happy (& keeps your noggin warm). Yes, you may get some stares, especially from children. Be sure to smile back!
- Do you have a favourite spot outside — maybe a tree in a park or a bench by a river? Start a new photo series by documenting it in every season. Take the first picture and you’ll have the opening, autumn shot! Add a reminder to your calendar to do this again in Spring.
- Create your own Ex Libris stamp and mark all your favourite books. If you don’t want to carve your own, you can buy custom ones with your name on Etsy.
- Gather your friends who love to bake and make a big batch of muffins, cupcakes or cookies. Create care packages for homeless people — don’t forget to also pack a warm sock, toiletries (wet wipes, soap, toothpaste) and especially sanitary products, because periods don’t ask if you’re ready to have them, they just come. Go for a walk in your neighbourhood and give the packages for people in need.
- Bundle up, go for a hike and collect conkers, pine cones, acorns and make an autumn wreath.
- Explore your own town! Visit Tripadvisor or Yelp, and find the best places. You don’t have to leave town to go on a holiday.
- Bake the best jacket potato ever! Create your delicious monster with all your favourite trimmings. Experiment with spices, condiments, veggies, cheeses, pickles, smoked salt…
- Find an interesting lecture you can attend for free at a nearby university. Take notes and enjoy broadening your horizons.
- Make soup out of the leftover veggies and some potatoes and onions. Add spices, a dash of cream, and blend. Serve with croutons, cheese and fresh herbs. Bam, you have your lunch sorted.
- Hoods with animal ears are the best. If they’re on a onesie, they’re even better. Cozy up with a warm jumper or an oh-so-soft dressing gown.
- Churches have amazing acoustics, and whether you’re religious or not, listening to live music at a church can be a truly soul-lifting experience. Look for concerts near you! Sometimes they do jazz concerts in churches, I love them the most.
- Melt all your old candle waxes into a brand new big candle. You can buy wick at fabric shops or hobby shops.
- If you need quiet and maybe some guidance, take a walk in a cemetery. It doesn’t matter if you have no relatives resting there. You can think of your loved ones wherever you are. Light a candle in their memory.
- Work on a short story together with your friends or family! You can also do it as a couple, but the more the merrier. :) First, pick a format – a travelling journal, GoogleDocs or a separate group chat. The latter is good if you live in different countries but still want to do this together. :) Then decide the pace your story is going to grow, for example, when it’s their turn, everybody adds one or two sentences. You can also decide on the main theme of the story. Remember not to contradict each other, whatever someone else wrote is part of the universe of the story and you shouldn’t backtrack. (Or, as they say in improv circles, accept all ideas and just add to them — yes, and…). If you want to work on your story alone, you still don’t have to be completely on your own — NaNoWriMo is on every November. Join the fun and meet new friends!
- Do you stress a lot and have trouble sleeping? Create your ultimate sleepy time rescue: a playlist you can listen to every night. Pick calming songs (I like these) or you can also add some ‘sounds of nature’ tracks if that’s more your thing. Sprinkle a few drops of lavender to your pillowcase and take deep breaths. After a couple of nights, even hearing the first few notes will make you yawn.
- Most people invade the gyms in January, so you still have plenty of time to use the empty-ish classes to your advantage. Start a membership, or go for a swim, you might even have the pool to yourself. You can also move your body at home — there are plenty of amazing YouTube channels to chose from, like Yoga with Adriene and Blogilates with Cassey Ho. And if nature makes you happy, go outside for a brisk walk. You don’t have to break records or lose a lot of weight, just start moving because it helps you in so many ways — you’ll sleep better and it will clear your head.
- If you know the sniffles are coming, stock up your medicine cabinet with everything you need from painkillers to nose sprays and throat lozenges. Make sure you have enough ginger tea and honey at home and don’t forget to book your flu jab if you haven’t yet!
- The majority of hugs last for only 3 seconds, which is a shame, considering happiness hormones are stimulated only after 20 seconds. So throw your arms around your people (& pets), time for group hugs or bear hugs and all the cuddles you can imagine. Enjoy being part of the pack!
- Do a Q&A with people you love! Ask someone 20 years your senior about their favourite music, books, foods. Then ask someone 20 years younger than you! Interview your relatives and family members. Just listen and record their memories. You can also answer your own questions. Keep the answers safe in a journal, and return to the questions every year to see how you’ve changed!
- Before you buy the seasons hottest new lipstick shade, raid your make-up collection and try to find something similar. You can also mix two or three shades together to have your unique colour. Also try this ‘shop your closet’ method with your nail polishes, clothes and perfumes. Use what you have, and if you still need to buy something, at least it will be totally justified.
- Is your skin itchy and dry this season? Create a hydration station with soothing balms, lotions, face masks and body butters. After taking a shower, head straight to your H2O HQ and lather up. You can set it up by your bed, on your dresser, or if you have space, in the bathroom. It just has to be in reach and not so far that you have to make a detour for it. Otherwise, you’ll just skip this step. :)
- Hard day at work? Make yourself a cheeky bath, complete with bubbles, sprinkles and even a rubber ducky. I don’t care how old you are, a bubble bath never goes out of style. :)
- Pick up a new habit that will help kickstart goals next year. You still have plenty of time left to start working on something better for your life!
- Throw a Halloween film night with all the classics. I’m not a fan of slasher films, but I’d watch Hocus Pocus, The Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Addams Family any day. Make real popcorn in a pan instead of microwaving it and serve it with real butter. Another classic. :)
- All the pumpkin! Squash risotto, grilled pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds in your salad. Let the star of the season shine!
- Not a fan of all the Halloween hoo-ha? No worries. Keep your lights off and watch old movies at home. Or go away for the evening for a non-Halloween themed event. Or dress up as a steampunk Catwoman on the 29th just to confuse everyone.
- Write a poem about how you feel right now, or even about some silly thing that happened today. Maybe you saw a pigeon stealing some food? Perfect, write about that. It doesn’t have to be ‘good’. It can rhyme though if you want it to. :)
- Grab your wellies, a raincoat, and go find the splashiest puddle around! I don’t care if you’re not three anymore. It’s still fun!
- As a sewing project, make yourself a shopping bag and use it to buy something lovely at the market.
- You don’t have to go back to school to enjoy a good stationary haul. :) Pretty pens, scented erasers and pastel highlighters make your notes a delight to look at. And when it comes to being organized, pretty definitely does help, since colours and symbols make it easier to skim through your notes and find what you’re looking for. Also, just looking at your task list could be a happier experience. So add a sparkly sticker to a random event or task, colour code your lists, and get working.
- Try out new hairstyles you can do without cutting your hair. Learn a new braiding technique or updo, or master the curling iron. If you mess up and your hair looks like a nest, snap a silly selfie in the name of ‘not taking ourselves seriously’. :)
- Set up a welcoming corner in your entrance hall — family photos, a comfy slipper, an inspiring quote — anything that reminds you that yes, you’re finally home and you belong here. Your home is a place you can recharge in, and this will start as soon as you enter the door.
- Buy a magazine for teens and reminisce of olden days when your biggest problem was sticky lipgloss and having a crush on your classmate. Send love and compassion back in time to your awkward teenage self, and if you can, express empathy for current teens and all their worries (which are valid btw).
- Start a collection of old pins and brooches. Go treasure hunting in charity shops and vintage boutiques. Add them to your denim jackets or dainty cardigans.
- If you’re a novice crochet-fan and doing a big project is too daunting, practice your hooks on smaller things: you can crochet skinny headbands for working out or washing your face. If you make them wider, they can be good ear protectors when the chilly winds come in. :)
- Rearrange the furniture in one of the rooms to make it fresh. You can switch just a couple, or do a whole mirror flip. Be careful not to bump into anything while you get used to the new setup!
- Most people have Vitamin D deficiency, and even if you grab every opportunity to catch some rays, you still might have to take supplements, especially in the darker seasons. So follow the sun, use SPF, and talk to your GP about supplements. It might help you get better sleep and be in a better mood! :)
- Eat fresh, warm bread with butter. If you baked it, even better. Find the best bakery in your neighbourhood and support them. Good bread is amazing.
- This season is far from just being grey! Take a walk and notice the colours all around you: the pinks and purples of sunsets, the oranges and browns of leaves… and when the sun comes through, everything sparkles.
- Keep a pack of cards in your bag and start an impromptu game during lunch break. Never a dull moment!
- Google birds, animals and flowers that inhabit your neighbourhood. Try to take a picture of them in person, or create sketches, drawings of them based on photos. Practicing your florals will come useful later — you can decorate your journal, notes, or envelopes with a few dainty leaves and bulbs! :)
- If you have a pottery place nearby, you can decorate your own mugs or even a whole set of dishes. Add a few polka dots, funny quotes or dynamic patterns. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
- Kiss in the rain with someone you like to kiss with (and vice versa, obviously). Of course, you can stand under an umbrella. If you prefer to get soaking wet, however, after you’re done, rush home for a hot bath or shower. Give each other foot massages and a nice rub. Warming up after a storm together is one of those autumn moments you can treasure forever.
- Attend a cooking class to learn something fancy — making sushi, wine pairing, all about bean-to-bar chocolate… Even if you’ll never make the newly learned recipes weekday staples, you now know more about food and can appreciate good cuisine even more.
- Host a casual charity luncheon at your place — start a Kiva group with your friends, support the UNHCR, or a local charity of your choice.
- Surround yourself with woodland creatures — they’re everywhere from socks to notepads. Whether your fave is the fox, owl, hedgehog, squirrel or deer, you’ll find something cute with a woodland motif that will make you smile.
- Find the perfect backpack, even if you’re not a big hiker. It’s good for your back, you can balance an umbrella and your shopping bag in your hand, and you can bring your laptop or camera with you. Don’t forget to take it off and keep it in your lap when you go on a bus or train, it’s too easy to punch someone in the nose with a heavy rucksack. Not fun.
- Order new business cards whether you have a business or not. If you meet someone at a playdate, in a queue or wherever, having a small card with your contact details & a picture will make your introduction even memorable. Especially if it’s an event with a crowd. If you have a blog or a website, definitely include your URL! I can speak from experience that most people ask for an URL when they hear I run a blog, and business cards make everything even more fun. :) My favourites are these MiniCards from moo — they are the best value for money, and a 100-pack lasts a long time.
- Make movie night even more awesome: pick a period drama, something based on a true story or someone’s life. Read more about the topic on Wikipedia, find interviews, pictures and articles online, and dive deep.
- Collect pebbles and draw mandalas, faces or quotes on them. Use the small ones as decoration, lucky charms or if you found (& decorated) a big one, you have a new doorstopper!
- Start building a bird feeder for winter. Contact your local bird society to ask about what you could put in your feeder and when to put it out. Wait for your first guests, and if you’re stealthy, you can even snap a few pics as proof.
Now it’s your turn!
Which of the above ideas really resonates with you? Which are you going to do? Which have you tried already? Let me know in the comments below! :)
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