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Pumpkin Decorating: Everything But Carving One

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Lifestyle expert and author Mar Jennings shows off some creative ways to use pumpkins rather than just carving them.

Below is Jennings’ step-by-step instructions to create a pumpkin bouquet:

You can bring your garden indoors using a small pumpkin to create a festive splash of fall color. Designing your own table bouquet can be rewarding and fun. This project is easy and perfect for a special party, to give as a gift to a friend or neighbor, or as the perfect hostess gift. The best part is that the greenery clippings you will need can be gathered on a short walk into your garden. This Pumpkin Centerpiece Bouquet is perfect for any fall occasion that could use “the Mar touch.”

What you need for this project:

  • A small pumpkin about 6 to 8 inches wide.
  • One cube of oasis foam – available at your local garden center or craft store
  • Flowers of choice
  • Garden clippings (if available)
  • Two toothpicks
  • A soup spoon
  • A paring knife

With the paring knife, carefully cut out the top of your pumpkin as if you were carving it for Halloween. Place the top (with stem intact) to the side; you’ll use it later. Remove the pulp by scraping along the sides with the spoon just enough to remove the seeds and stringy part.

Cut a piece of oasis to fit the opening of your pumpkin exactly. If your pumpkin is large, the oasis does not have to cover the whole bottom, but needs to stretch from one side to the other so it can be wedged in place. It should fit snuggly inside with no movement. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look neat, no one will see this. Slowly add water until the oasis absorbs it.

Now you’re ready to add the clippings and greenery. Feel free to create your own arrangement, but here are some tips for success: 1) Vary the textures and colors of your clippings. 2) Maintain the perfect scale by not going taller than twice the height of the pumpkin itself.

Here are some items you can use from your own garden:

  • Holly, hemlock and boxwood clippings
  • Sedum, hydrangeas and cat tails from grasses
  • Ivy, fern leaves, mums and phlox
  • Montauk daisies, butterfly bush flowers and my very favorite for this project — astilbe

Lastly, use toothpicks to attach the top to the outside of the pumpkin. Bend the toothpicks in half; stick them into the pumpkin at an angle about an inch from the opening and about an inch apart. Then, attach the pumpkin top to the side of the pumpkin at a slight angle.

This pumpkin bouquet is easy and beautiful. Keep in mind that practice makes perfect. Make sure to plan ahead and allow sufficient time to work on your arrangement. Don’t rush it and remember to enjoy the process.

And there you have it.

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