Blooming pumpkins: DIY succulent pumpkin centerpiece


First, I should tell you, there are two ways to make a succulent pumpkin centerpiece.




Succulent pumpkin and crowPlease note my favorite painting of a paper bag (well, my only painting of a paper bag) in the background.




There’s the easy way.




And the hard way.




Guess which one we’ll be doing?




If you said “the totally easy, lazy person’s way” you guessed right. But, just in case you want to know the hard way…



Because you like options….



Because you want to kill time in the spirit of Halloween….




Because you don’t own a hot glue gun….






Book of spellsBut speaking of easy projects, I made the “Boo!” banner above by cutting burlap triangles, painting letters onto each one and hot gluing the triangles to a piece of black satin ribbon. Easy does it.





Here is the hard way…



The hard way: Use a serrated knife to remove the top portion of your pumpkin. Consider how many succulents you want to fit into your pumpkin planter when making the opening. Use a spoon to scoop out the stringy, seedy innards of the pumpkin. Fill its cavity with potting soil. Plant succulents and admire.



When the pumpkin begins to show signs of age, (shriveling, wrinkling, just like on a human–or a hotdog microwaved on high for over 50 seconds), you can bury the pumpkin planter directly in your yard. Make sure the entirety of the pumpkin is hidden and only the succulents are visible above the soil line. The succulents will continue to grow and as the pumpkin decomposes, it will provide natural fertilizer. Not so hard, really.




But, for the rest of us who have the attention span of a gnat. Hello? Hello, did you make it this far?




 The easy way:




1. Begin with a pumpkin. I chose a white one (this variety is so aptly named “Casper”) with beguiling green splotches since I imagined the green would blend nicely with the green of the succulents. But plain white, or regular ol’ orange, would look nice, too.





Casper Pumpkin




2. This next step almost feels like cheating it’s so easy and no knives are necessary–only finger-singeing hot glue, so it’s still a project that requires adult supervision and/or an adult who knows her own level of coordination and is, therefore, never more than a few feet from an ice-stocked freezer in-case-of-a-glue-gun-emergency.





Glue reindeer moss (available at Michael’s Craft Store and most nurseries; did you know this stuff also comes in a chartreuse shade?) directly to the top of your pumpkin to form a moss base.





Gluing moss to pumpkin




3. Continue gluing until you have created a nice foundation for the succulents. See that bald spot in the picture below? Don’t leave a bald spot. I happened to take this photo before I filled it in. Repeat: no bald spots!




Moss on pumpkin




4. Use a knife, your fingernail, or scissors to snip most of the stem off you succulents because you want to give the illusion that your succulents are planted in the moss, not on the moss.  Don’t worry, succulents are tenacious things and can eventually re-root through the glue and moss.




Cut succulent




5. Now apply a bit of hot glue to the underside of your succulent and press it into the moss.




Gluing succulents to pumpkin




6. Keep gluing the undersides of your pinched succulents (as in pinched-bottomed, not stolen) and adding them to the arrangement until it looks right and/or you have run out of room.




And you will end up with something like this…





 Succulent pumpkinSo pretty if I do say so, myself! (Ooh, I just did.)





Just in case you’re in need of a spooky surface on which to perch your pumpkin centerpiece, here’s an idea. You can make a “Book of spells” book prop using an old text book or other hardcover book that you never care to see the cover of again. The beauty of this project is you get to reuse a book that might have otherwise be destined for the recycling bin and make a cool book prop: win win!





Text book beforeThis was JB’s textbook. If I had studied Marcroeconomics, I don’t think I would have become an interior designer or be penning this blog–you know what I mean?





Paint your hardcover book with black paint and use a white, gold or silver pen (or paint) to write “Brews and Enchantments” or “Spells and Potions”, or whatever else piques your interest, on the spine. I used a template for a printed cover from the Crafty Cupboard (you can, too, by clicking here), aged the paper by painting it with a mixture of 1 T instant coffee mixed into 1/4 cup of hot water. When the paper dried, I ironed it smooth and glued it to the cover.






Brews and Enchantments




I also have the Crafty Cupboard to thank for the “poison” apple inspiration. To make your own, hunt down a very red, shiny apple from your local produce aisle. Take a single bite then use a paint or basting brush to coat the exposed flesh with lemon juice to thwart oxidation. Quick aside: I set mine out for a party and, two days later, it still hasn’t turned brown (yay!), but the skin around the exposed flesh is starting to pucker (boo!).





Red fleshed appleNote: When I bit into this apple, I was shocked at how sweet it was–and that is was partially red inside! It turns out this particular red-fleshed variety is called “Hidden Rose”.







Halloween book props





And, with that, I wish you happy it’s-almost-Halloween decorating!




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5 Comments on Blooming pumpkins: DIY succulent pumpkin centerpiece

  1. PickyB
    October 29, 2014 at 12:53 PM (7 years ago)

    Excellent and elegant ideas!

    • Kisha Gianni
      October 29, 2014 at 4:16 PM (7 years ago)

      Thank you for your kind words! 🙂

  2. Melanie
    October 31, 2014 at 7:20 AM (7 years ago)

    I love that succulent pumpkin idea! It all turned out beautifully, thanks for sharing!


1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Blooming pumpkins: DIY succulent pumpkin centerpiece

  1. […] We had these same Lumina pumpkins displayed on our dining table for our not-so-spooky Halloween and I turned the largest one into a succulent pumpkin centerpiece for our new look which is it’s-almost-Thanksgiving. If you’d like to make your own, you can read my how-to post here. […]

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