Fall Apples for Back to School Decor

Fall Apples for Back to School Decor

Even though I had already upcycled some monkey pod wood once before, I decided that thrifting fate was telling me to do it again. You see, I came across these monkey pod bowls twice over the course of a few weeks. And, well– that’s a rarity for most thrift store “smalls”! After I saw them the second time, I decided they kind of looked like Fall apples, or rather, they could look like apple decor. So, into the cart they went.

Monkey pod bowls at a thrift store

Believe it or not, I already had a wooden apple trivet in my garage from last year.

And since I had never created any apple decor before, I finally had a trio that was worthy of a makeover and blog post!

Decorative apples for upcycling into autumn decorations

Apples are perfect as autumn decorations AND back to school decor. And besides, they’re a fun alternative to pumpkins (which I’ve made a LOT OF over the years…).

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Decorative Apples from Monkey Pod Bowls

To keep things interesting, I decided to paint both red and green apples. So, I gathered some painting supplies in good apple colors and got to work.

After the red chalk paint and apple green satin paint had dried (two coats each), I set my sights on the “stems” of the monkey pod bowls.

Not quite leaves and not quite stems– it was a weird top, if you ask me. So, I was going to have to free-hand my way to make them look more like Fall apples.

Back to school decor with fall apples

With a little dark green paint and a small, rounded-edge craft paint brush, I was able to fudge some green leaves at the top of the monkey pod wood. I left the center of each top bare to replicate the woody stem of an apple.

Decorative apples by upcycling the monkey pod bowls

Next, I set the apple bowls aside and worked on the trivet. Before doing anything else, I sanded it down with some flexible 220-grit sandpaper.

I did the same to the monkey pod wood bowl that I had painted with the red chalk paint, too. The green apple, which was painted with satin paint, didn’t need any sanding.

Finishing the Fall Apples

Because of its flat surface, the apple trivet was begging for a little stenciling!

So, I bought a small Fall stencil, and gathered white craft paint and a small stencil brush.

Fall stencil on apple decor

Next, I stippled over the stencil twice with white paint (needed for more opaque coverage over the deep scarlet red).

Stenciling the fall apples for autumn decorations

When the paint dried, I removed the stencil and ran a piece of 220-grit sandpaper over the stenciling (lightly!) and that was it!

Now, I just needed to buff clear wax over my Fall apples to seal the chalk paint.

Clear wax to protect the red chalk paint on the fall apples

Fall Apples for Back to School Decor

After buffing them to a smooth sheen, my Fall apples were done! Super easy makeover, and now I finally have some apple decor in my arsenal of fall projects.

Autumn decorations with apple decor

I’m so glad I didn’t pass them up the second time around! And I’m REALLY glad (and honestly, a little surprised), that I remembered that apple trivet hiding out in the garage.

I love decorating in “3’s” (or any odd number, for that matter).

Upcycling the monkey pod bowls as fall apples for autumn decorations


I’m also excited to announce that my first book is now available! If you enjoy upcycling clothing and simple sewing projects, then you will love my book on flannel crafts!

Crafting with Flannel by Sarah Ramberg


And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for non-pumpkin Fall Decor, then you’ll love my fabric acorns made from tweed jackets, too!

Decorative acorns from a tweed sport coat

Craft on!


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PIN ME!Monkey pod bowls as fall apples for back to school decor


  1. phoebe hastings says

    Hi Sadie, Did you receive my photos of the door with the readers digest book covers?

  2. I love these! I made an apple cutting board from the thrift store at one time but I am loving these apple bowls. They would be great in my classroom too! Thanks for the great inspiration!

  3. wondering if they were supposed to be pineapples? but they sure work as apples

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I suppose they could be squat-shaped pineapples as pineapple bowls are far more common! And thank you so much!

  4. Enjoyed your upcycle. I have one friend whose entire kitchen is apple themed; it is still so popular and so farmhouse-y! Nice job!

  5. I do enjoy your projects. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons for decorating. I would like to hear about your book when it’s published – I’d like to know where it can be purchased.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so much! And I will definitely include book purchasing info in future blog posts, as well as on all my social media channels.

  6. Audrey Adkinson says

    I really like monkey pod wood …your fall decor apples are so cute. I also like the tweed acorns. I would never have looked at the salad bowls and thought of an acorn topping. So imaginative!!!!

  7. I will be the first to admit, I don’t think I would have brought these bowls home. You’ve officially changed my mind, because they are adorable and look so happy! Yes, happy bowls! Who knew?

    Featuring you in this weekend’s DIY Salvaged Junk Projects!


  1. […] Monkey pod apple bowls by Sadie Seasongoods – click to tutorial […]

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