Pumpkin and Marigold Centerpiece

This centerpiece is not difficult to make using a mid-size pumpkin, or even one a bit larger. It can be placed on the dinner table. A second can be made to be used as a mantle decoration.

Materials

1 pumpkin

sharp knife

flower-pot to fit inside the pumpkin

large spoon

organic potting soil

fresh Marigold plants, assorted colors if desired

  1. Cut the top off the pumpkin and discard. Scoop the insides of the pumpkin out, reserving the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds.

  2. Allow the pumpkin to dry over night.
  3. Fill the flower-pot 2/3 full with organic potting soil, placing the plants in the pot how you want them, and cover their roots with more soil if necessary.

  4. Place the pot into the pumpkin.
  5. Water lightly when needed.

Tips

  • Grow your own pumpkin and marigolds to save money.
  • To save even more, reuse an old flower-pot or pick one up at a yard sale. Be sure to disinfect the pot and allow to dry completely before using.

Shannon

 

Pumpkin Fruit Bowl

Fruit bowls are not difficult to make using a mid-size pumpkin, or even one a bit bigger. These bowls, once dried some, will hold the fresh fruit for your Thanksgiving feast.

Materials

1 pumpkin

sharp knife

large spoon

fresh fruit, assorted varieties

wax/parchment paper, or a towel, or even a bowl if you have one that fits

  1. Cut the top off the pumpkin and discard. Scoop the insides of the pumpkin out, reserving the seeds for roasting.

  2. Scrape some of the flesh out to use in cooking, being sure to leave enough so the pumpkin is sturdy enough to hold fresh fruit.
  3. Allow to dry a few hours or over night.

  4. Place a bowl, wax or parchment paper, or even a towel, around the inside of the pumpkin so it covers the flesh.
  5. Put the pumpkin where it will be displayed, and place the fruit inside.

Tips

  • Grow your own pumpkins to save money.
  • When you’re done with the bowl, scrape more of the pumpkin out and place in a pot with boiling water to freshen the air.
  • Roast those pumpkin seeds!

Shannon

Autumn Turkey Soup

This is an easy recipe that can be served on a cold, autumn evening. Served in a pumpkin bowl, this recipe will add a decorative touch to the dinner table.

Ingredients:

water and/or vegetable stock or broth

bite size cubes of pumpkin

bite size cubes of two different kinds of squash

bite size cubes of potato

bite size cubes of sweet potato

chunks of leftover turkey

1 or 2 cloves of fresh garlic

fresh or dried parsley

fresh or dried rosemary

  1. Pour the liquid into a pot, and add the pumpkin, squash, and potatoes, as well as the diced garlic.
  2. Allow to cook most of the way, then add the turkey.
  3. Add the parsley and some rosemary to taste.
  4. Pour into pumpkin bowls and serve.

Tips

  • Purchase stock or broth on sale, as store brands.
  • Better yet, make your own.  This will save even more money.
  • Use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to save more money.
  • Use organic herbs and produce from your garden for the ultimate savings.
  • Roast the pumpkin seeds and sprinkle them over the stew once it is poured into the bowls.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with a fruit salad.

What autumn stews are favorites of your family?

Shannon

Make Pumpkin Bowls for Soups

Serving autumn soups in pumpkin bowls will add a nice element to an autumn feast, or a regular dinner or lunch. Great for Thanksgiving or any day.

How to Make Pumpkin Bowls:

1 small-sized pumpkin per person

food scoop

sharp knife

  1. Wash the pumpkins and allow the outsides to dry thoroughly.
  2. Cut the top off each pumpkin, just like you were going to carve it. Take the pumpkin strands and seeds off.
  3. Reserve the top to use as a cover for the bowl.
  4. Reserve the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds.
  5. Scoop some of the pumpkin out to use in soups, but leave enough so the bowl will be sturdy while the soup is in it. Leave the pumpkin outside intact with no areas that are too thin.

Tips

  • Grow your own pumpkins to save money.
  • Use your spoon to scoop pumpkin from the insides as you eat the soup. This is still edible.
  • Roast those pumpkin seeds!

Serving Suggestions

  • Soups are healthy, and adding a side salad will give more of a nutritional punch.

What types of soups can be put into these Pumpkin Bowls? Any type of vegetable based soup will do. Look around this blog and see what interests you.

Shannon

Pumpkin Centerpieces

Yesterday I did a review over on the Frugal is Fabulous! blog for Colleen Dorsey’s book Easy Pumpkin Carving: Spooktacular Patterns, Tips & Ideas. You can read the review here.

What I wanted to do was make a couple of centerpieces for a meal, and then to be able to use the pumpkins to make recipes such as muffins or pancakes. I did not want to carve them. I found some ideas on pages 22 and 23 that I particularly liked.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright October 2017. https://www.amazon.com/Shannon-Buck/e/B01AIXHW0Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

I wanted flowers and pumpkins, but did not want to hollow out my pumpkins. Instead, I bought autumn floral picks and glued some to the top of each pumpkin, around the stem.

I chose small arrangements of autumn floral picks, and two small pumpkins that would sit nicely on the table.

It was easy to pull the flowers and other items I wanted to use off the picks, and glue them in place where I wanted them.

This was not a time-consuming project, and I ended up with two nice centerpieces. The first was a simple one with leaves and flowers. I simply glued the leaves around the stem, and then topped it off with a few flowers.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright October 2017. https://www.amazon.com/Shannon-Buck/e/B01AIXHW0Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

This second one was a little different. I started with the leaves again, then added a pinecone and a few other things before adding flowers. I like the look. How about you?

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright October 2017. https://www.amazon.com/Shannon-Buck/e/B01AIXHW0Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

These are great for autumn in general, and also for Thanksgiving. The book has free patterns for Halloween carvings as well.

Added bonuses:

  • They cost less than $10.00 to make.
  • I’ll save money in coming years reusing the flowers and other items from the picks.
  • I’ll have pumpkin for autumn recipes!
  • They will look great at the center any table placed on a runner or placemat.
  • These could also be placed on a mantle or on a porch.

How will you decorate your pumpkin?

Shannon

 

Pumpkin Napkins

The napkins will add a decorative touch to any holiday table, as well as to every day settings, and will go with the Pumpkin Placemats we made a couple of weeks back. These can be made or decorated with minimal effort and time, and will add a certain charm to the decor. The napkins can be created with pre-made placemats, if desired, making it an even easier project.

Materials:

pumpkin stencil

napkins, premade or homemade (Choose an off white color.)

parchment paper

fabric paints: orange, and green or brown for the stem

2 paint brush

  1. Wash and dry the napkins. Iron if needed.
  2. Put paints on parchment paper squares.
  3. Use the stencil to paint the pumpkin onto the napkins.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly before using.

Tips:

  • It is okay to use more than 1 size pumpkin stencil per napkin, to create a pumpkin patch, pumpkin grouping, or whatever you desire.
  • You could use different shades of the same color paints on the mats.
  • Get creative: Outline the napkins with another autumn color paint, create a grouping of mini pumpkins placed to the side of a tree, etc.
  • Use these napkins for every day table settings, or for holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • These can also be used for Samhain.
  • Use cotton fabric.
  • This craft is easy for children to help with.

Share your pumpkin crafts with us in the comments.

Happy crafting!

Shannon

Leaf Place Markers

These leaf place markers are so cute and easy to make. A place marker simply allows you to put each person at a specific place at the autumn-themed or Thanksgiving table.

Materials

scrapbook paper in a solid autumn color (or in an autumn print), cut to 5″ x 3″

scrapbook paper in a different solid color, cut to 4-2/3″ x 2-2/3″

gold, brown, or other autumn colored marker or scrapbook pen

small leaf sticker

autumn-colored scrapbook pens

paper cutter

small paper leaf embellishment (1 per card), or hand cut them yourself

adhesive squares

bone folder

  1. Fold the 5″ x 3″ pieces of paper over the tall way, so the finished pieces will be 2-1/2″ x 3″. Use the Bone folder to score down the inside of the fold.
  2. Fold the 4-2/3″ x 2-2/3″ pieces of paper over the tall way like above. Again, use the Bone folder to score down the inside of the fold.
  3. Place an adhesive square at the back top and bottom sections of the 4-2/3″ x 2-2/3″ pieces of paper, and attach this paper to the front of the larger piece so the scored lines line up.
  4. Fold the finished product along the cored line to be sure the card folds properly while being able to stand on its own.
  5. Place an adhesive square to the back of a paper leaf or other leaf embellishment, and place it to the left or right side of the place marker – leaving enough space on the smaller piece of paper to write the person’s name.
  6. Using the pen, write a guests name on each.
  7. Open the card. At the top center of the inside, place a small leaf sticker.
  8. Write ‘I am thankful for:’ just under the leaf sticker, and the year at the bottom center.
  9. When putting the place markers on the table, set a pen next to each. Before enjoying your meal, have each person think about what they are most thankful for and write it down.

Tips

  • Make all the place markers the same, or spice things up a bit by making each a little different.
  • This project is great for using up scraps, and doing so will allow you to save money.
  • Try other autumn embellishments.
  • Rather than having guests write what they are thankful for inside the place markers, write what you are thankful for that has to do with each of them. Or, leave the inside for them to fill out, and write a short note about what you are thankful for about each on the back of each.

Happy autumn!

Shannon

Mini Pumpkin Place Markers

Mini pumpkin place markers are so cute and easy to make. A place marker simply allows you to put each person at a specific place at the autumn-themed or Thanksgiving table.

Materials

scrapbook paper in a solid autumn color other than the orange of the pumpkin (or in an autumn print), cut to 5″ x 3″

scrapbook paper in a different solid color other than the orange of the pumpkin, cut to 4-2/3″ x 2-2/3″

gold, brown, or other autumn colored marker or scrapbook pen

orange and green scrapbook pens

paper cutter

small paper pumpkin embellishment (1 per card), or hand cut them yourself

adhesive squares

bone folder

  1. Fold the 5″ x 3″ pieces of paper over the tall way, so the finished pieces will be 2-1/2″ x 3″. Use the Bone folder to score down the inside of the fold.
  2. Fold the 4-2/3″ x 2-2/3″ pieces of paper over the tall way like above. Again, use the Bone folder to score down the inside of the fold.
  3. Place an adhesive square at the back top and bottom sections of the 4-2/3″ x 2-2/3″ pieces of paper, and attach this paper to the front of the larger piece so the scored lines line up.
  4. Fold the finished product along the cored line to be sure the card folds properly while being able to stand on its own.
  5. Place an adhesive square to the back of a pumpkin, and place it to the left or right side of the place marker – leaving enough space on the smaller piece of paper to write the person’s name.
  6. Using the pen, write a guests name on each.
  7. Open the card. At the top center of the inside, draw a little pumpkin.
  8. Write ‘I am thankful for:’ just under the pumpkin, and the year at the bottom center.
  9. When putting the place markers on the table, set a pen next to each. Before enjoying your meal, have each person think about what they are most thankful for and write it down.

Tips

  • Make all the place markers the same, or spice things up a bit by making each a little different.
  • This project is great for using up scraps, and doing so will allow you to save money.
  • Try other autumn embellishments.
  • Rather than having guests write what they are thankful for inside the place markers, write what you are thankful for that has to do with each of them. Or, leave the inside for them to fill out, and write a short note about what you are thankful for about each on the back of each. (see picture above)

Happy autumn!

Shannon

 

Mini Pumpkin Candle Holders

This project is a great accompaniment for autumn holiday meals, and can be placed on the dinner or picnic table with the place settings. They are affordable to make, as you can often find bags of tea light candles for a couple of dollars, and the pumpkins can usually be purchased fairly cheap.

Materials:

mini pumpkins

knife and spoon

tea light or votive candles, scented if desired

  1. Using the knife and the spoon, scoop out the center of the pumpkin from the top. Set the seeds aside for roasting. Cut down only far and wide enough for a candle to fit in snugly.
  2. Wipe the pumpkin with a cloth.
  3. Insert the candle.

Tips:

  • Use pumpkins from your own pumpkin patch to save money.
  • Look for candles at the dollar store for extra money savings.
  • Place these candle holders on the holiday table, or on stands as part of the overall decor.
  • These can be used for any autumn day, but are especially wonderful additions to Halloween and Thanksgiving settings.
  • These are also great for Samhain, and can be placed on the porch railing to light the way up to your door.
  • Create a centerpiece with these by placing them on a plate or in a baking dish. Strew autumn leaves, pine cones and acorns in the bottom of the dish, add the mini pumpkin candle holders, and then place the arrangement on the table.

Enjoy the autumn holidays! Do you have any pumpkin craft ideas? Please post them to the comments.

Shannon

Pumpkin Placemats

Placemats add a decorative touch to any holiday table, as well as to every day settings. They can be made or decorated with minimal effort and time, and will add a certain charm to the decor. These can be created with pre-made placemats, if desired, making it an even easier project.

Materials:

pumpkin stencil

placemats, premade or homemade (Choose an off white color.)

parchment paper

fabric paints: orange, and green or brown for the stem

2 paint brushes

  1. Wash and dry the placemats. Iron if needed.
  2. Put paints on parchment paper squares.
  3. Use the stencil to paint the pumpkin onto the placemat.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly before using.

Tips:

  • It is okay to use more than 1 size pumpkin stencil per placemat, to create a pumpkin patch, pumpkin grouping, or whatever you desire.
  • You could use different shades of the same color paints on the mats.
  • Get creative: Outline the placemats with another autumn color paint, create a grouping of mini pumpkins placed to the side of a tree, etc.
  • Use these placemats for every day table settings, or for holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • These can also be used for Samhain.
  • Use cotton fabric.
  • This craft is easy for children to help with.

Share your pumpkin crafts with us in the comments.

Happy crafting!

Shannon