Looking to add a fresh and fragrant touch to your Thanksgiving table? Our floral merchant, Saralyn, carved up a beautiful pumpkin and flower centerpiece, and wrote up tips on how to make your own at home. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect — the more rustic, the better. You could even devise a fun game (pin the feathers on the turkey, perhaps) for your guests to play; winner gets the centerpiece! Click through to find instructions from Saralyn.
What You’ll Need:
How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Centerpiece:
1. Use something circular (we used a medium-sized ramekin) to trace a circle around the stem at the top of the pumpkin. Carefully carve off the top. Be especially careful if you plan to use the top of the pumpkin in your floral design.
2. Scoop out pumpkin (and reserve the seeds for roasting if you’re feeling ambitious). If you are having trouble getting the guts off the sides, use your carving knife to lightly skin the inside wall of the pumpkin.
3. Line the inside of the pumpkin with a small glass, plastic, or tin container that is watertight. (Basically, any container that holds water and fits comfortably into your pumpkin will work.) Size will vary based on the size of your pumpkin, but in general you want a container that will rest at the lip of the pumpkin and no higher. Fill the container about 50-75% with water. This isn’t 100% necessary but will extend the life of your flowers and prevent the water from prematurely rotting your pumpkin.
4. For this design we used ¼ of a brick of floral foam, available at your local craft store. You can achieve this look without floral foam as well.
5. For this arrangement style, we grouped Antique Hydrangea, Autumn Chrysanthemums, Marvelous Marigolds, and additional Antique Hydrangea in lines from front to back. With foam you can be pretty specific with your floral placement, so go ahead and cut the stems fairly short and place in spherical lines from front to back.
6. If you are making a bouquet without foam you should bundle each variety individually first, then tie all bundles together in an order that is pleasing to your eye. To keep stem lengths uniform, criss-cross the bundles in your hand before tying them together.
7. To add the top of the pumpkin back into the arrangement you will need picks. If you don’t have floral picks, regular bamboo skewers will also work. Place the sharp end of the pick or skewer into the inside flesh of the pumpkin top. You want it far enough in that it feels secure. If you’re making an arrangement to last a few weeks you may also want to use a dot of hot glue to secure (make sure the pumpkin top is dry first). Then anchor the ends of the picks deep into the floral foam. You may need to cut the picks down to get the desired height. I like to make it look like it’s resting on top of the flowers, slightly nestled in.
8. If you are not using floral foam, place the finished bouquet into the pumpkin container. Then nestle the picks through the center of your bouquet, crossing through the other flowers until it is secure.