All right, well, I've procrastinated this post until it's probably too late to be useful to anyone, but here it is anyway.
In mid-October I took Sunbeam on a leaf-gathering walk; we also collected horse chestnuts and I would have gotten acorns too, except that the nearest oak tree I know of is a half mile away up a steep hill. Then we came home and used them to make our house look festively autumnal. I thumb-tacked a paper chain made from sturdy white paper across the top of the window, then used my mini-stapler to attach the leaves to it, trying to space out leaves of the same type to give a pleasant blend of colors and shapes.
Then I used the remaining leaves and the horse chestnuts to create a centerpiece around my pie pumpkins (which I cooked and made into pumpkin pancakes after Halloween).
I still had some leaves, so I sprinkled them on top of shelves and other flat surfaces. Then I took my two yards of leafy fabric, mentioned in my last post, and thumb-tacked it above our other window in a swag. It turned out a little lopsided, but only if you look closely.
The thing I love about these decorations is that they're free, they're easy to do, they're unique every year, and (aside from the cloth, which will go back into my fabric box) they don't have to be stored once the season is over.I know some crafty people press natural leaves that they want to use for decor, but I did not. After a few days, the leaves did curl as they dried more completely, but they still look pretty and give an authentic fall air to the house. :)