Thanksgiving Décor Starts With Fresh Flowers

Fall centerpieces go a long way in making the dining room table look festive.

Courtesy Capper's Farmer Editors
Winter 2015

Pumpkin Bouquet

With a few supplies, and a little time, you can create a simple and beautiful centerpiece for your dining room table. For best results, use a variety of flowers and fall foliage, which will provide spectacular color and contrast. Some good choices include chrysanthemums, dahlias, hawthorn berries, roses, sunflowers, bittersweet, dried oak leaves or other leaves, and acorns.

Your first attempt at flower arranging may be frustrating, but be patient ? and don’t give up. It isn’t difficult, but it does take some trial and error. If you get halfway through your arrangement and decide you don’t like how it’s looking, gently remove the flowers and start over. With some patience and practice, you’ll get the hang of it.

• Knife
• Small pumpkin
• Spoon or fork
• Scissors
• Cellophane
• Floral foam
• Bowl
• Water
• Plant food
• Hand pruners
• Flowers of your choice
• Ribbon in your choice of color and texture


1. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the top off the pumpkin, cutting down far enough so the opening is fairly wide.

Cutting Pumpkin 

2. Using a spoon or fork, scrape out the seeds and fiber.

Pumpkin Seeds

3. With scissors, cut a piece of cellophane large enough to fit inside the pumpkin cavity, with a little overhang. Push the cellophane into the opening and up the sides of the pumpkin. Don’t worry about the overhang right now.

Pumpkin Cellophane 

4. With your knife, cut a piece of florist foam to fit the opening. Drop the foam into a bowl of water that has been fortified with plant food, and allow it to sink to the bottom, soaking up the water slowly. Don’t push it down, or it will form air pockets, which won’t soak up the nutrients from the plant food — and your flowers won’t stay fresh as long.

5. Remove the foam from the water and place it inside the pumpkin cavity. Pour a little of the water around the foam, being careful not to fill it so full that it overflows.

Foam in Pumpkin 

6. With your scissors, trim off the excess cellophane. If there’s still some excess that you can’t trim easily, just stuff it neatly inside the pumpkin so it can’t be seen.

7. With small hand pruners, cut your flowers and begin arranging them, pressing the stems into the foam. Start in the center and work outward. Continue this process until you’re happy with the outcome. (Note: For this project, all the flowers were cut about the same length to create a uniform bouquet. However, if preferred, you can cut them to different lengths for an arrangement with varied height.)

Flowers in Florist Foam 

8. Add the finishing touch by tying a ribbon around the pumpkin, and forming a bow.

Photo by Agnes Kantaruk

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