I wanted to decorate the table in some way that would tie in the colors and textures of fall. Fall is my mom's favorite season, and I associate its beautiful colors and golden sunlight with her. I created a little center piece with a few different elements:
I found these great candle holders at Michael's Arts & Crafts and filled the base of them with layers of different beans, peas, lentils, etc. They naturally have an interesting variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. I then tied some twine around each one to add to the "rustic" feel. It was inexpensive, easy, and beautiful!
I also scattered up and down the table 12 of the paper balls you see in the photo, using cardstock in a range of fall colors. These are really fun and easy to make, though they take a little bit of time between tracing, cutting, and locking together each of the sides. My older sister taught me to make them, and I plan to make them for other occasions; they'd make really fun garlands and Christmas ornaments! If you're interested in trying your hand at them, templates and instructions are here.
Happy birthday, mom!