CHIC, by Claire Livingston - "Things To Do With Pumpkins"

Fall is my favorite season and one of the things I love about this time of year is seeing displays
of orange pumpkins at roadside markets and in the grocery stores.
And they are not just for carving into jack-o-lanterns. There is nothing better than a
colorful pumpkin for fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving décor. Here are some ideas
for using them on your tables, mantels, and shelves.
One of the easiest things to do with a pumpkin is to cut the top off a medium-sized
pumpkin to make a flower vase. Carve out the center, place a water-tight container
in the hollow, fill it with water, and arrange your favorite fall flowers, branches,
berries, and leaves to create a unique centerpiece.
Another type of centerpiece is a topiary. Choose 2-3 pumpkins of varying sizes.
Select a container that is wide enough for the largest pumpkin to rest in. If needed,
a block of Styrofoam or florist’ s foam can be added to stabilize the bottom
pumpkin. Measure and cut a wooden dowel so that it is long enough to connect
the pumpkins. Using a sharp knife, cut out the stem of the largest pumpkin, and
then insert the dowel. Using a paring knife or drill, cut a small hole in the bottom of
the smaller pumpkin, and place it on top of the larger pumpkin (fitting the dowel in
the hole). Fill in the gaps between the pumpkins with moss.
Cut off the tops of miniature pumpkins, like the sugar pumpkins used for baking or
even the smaller decorative ones, and hollow out the insides, creating room for a
votive candle to nestle inside. Group a cluster of them for a mantel display or an
easy table centerpiece. And you don’t have to stop after Halloween—these would
also look lovely at Thanksgiving.
Put a pumpkin on a fancy cake platter or some other pedestal-type decorative
accessory. Put them in baskets or wooden bowls to achieve a cozy rustic touch.
Decorative pumpkins at your home’ s entrance can do double duty when you
paint your street number—or other message, like ‘The party’s out back!’ on their
surfaces.
Pumpkins can be hollowed and cut to serve other purposes as well. If your fall
dinner party menu includes a soup—pumpkin bisque, butternut squash soup, or
even potato chowder—serve it up in a hollowed-out pumpkin tureen.
Make pumpkin pots. Round pumpkins with flat bottoms make great vessels for
plants. Cut off the top third and hollow out the bottom two-thirds, leaving about an
inch of flesh all the way around. Add a small amount of potting soil, then arrange
succulents inside. Fill in any gaps with more potting soil. Use a small paring knife
to cut a thin layer off the rim for a clean look. When the pumpkin is past its prime,
repot the succulents.
Share your ideas with me. I’ d love to see the results of your creative spirit!
Claire Livingston is an interior designer, public speaker, and workshop facilitator.

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