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Turning a carved pumpkin into a flower vase is one way to add a personal touch to your holiday table. Of course, you can add fresh flowers, but faux leaves and berries, a flameless LED candle, and even fresh herbs work well, too.
You’ll just need a few basic supplies — some of which can be purchased at Dollar Tree — making this a cost-effective task. The cost of pumpkins is higher than in years past, but for this DIY project, you can make it happen using a small to medium pumpkin which you can typically find for under $5.
What you’ll need to make a pumpkin flower vase:
- Floral foam
- Floral liner or cellophane
- Bouquet of flowers
- Flower food or crushed aspirin
1. Cut open and hollow out a pumpkin.
Cut the top of your pumpkin off, keeping in mind that the wider you make the top opening, the more flowers you’ll be able to add, and the fuller the arrangement will look.
Try to remove as much of the pumpkin innards as possible. Cleaning out the pumpkin thoroughly will help your pumpkin last longer.
Related: How Long Does a Carved Pumpkin Last?
2. Add a waterproof liner to the pumpkin.
A waterproof liner will keep both your pumpkin and flowers lasting longer. Cellophane from the dollar store works perfectly. Or use a clean, empty can and insert it snugly into the pumpkin. If you buy a premade bouquet, you can even reuse the cellophane the flowers were wrapped in!
TIP: You’ll want to choose fall-colored flowers that complement each other. I like to buy prepackaged flowers at grocery stores like Trader Joe’s. You can buy a small bouquet there for just $4.
3. Measure and cut water absorbent floral foam.
You can find floral foam at most craft stores and even at Dollar Tree.
4. Soak the floral foam in water.
Place the foam in a container of water that has flower food already in it. If your flowers didn’t come with flower food, you can add crushed aspirin to the water instead. Aspirin contains salicylic acid that cleans the water and prevents bacteria from building up. Let the floral foam soak until it’s completely saturated and add to the pumpkin liner.
5. Arrange the flowers and greenery into the floral foam.
When using floral foam, it’s best to start with the most prominent type of flower first. Use these flowers to create the basic structure of the arrangement. Then cut the stems of the flowers at an angle to allow for more water absorption and pull off all leaves that would be buried in the foam.
The stems should easily slide into the foam and stay in place. It’s best to work with one type of flower at a time and rotate the arrangement as you go to keep things proportional.
TIP: If you hold the flowers up next to the arrangement, you can measure how high you would like them to be before cutting the stems.
6. Store the finished arrangement in the fridge until it’s ready to be displayed.
Make sure to add more water to the liner to keep the floral foam from drying out!
TIP: Don’t have fresh-cut flowers? You can hollow out a pumpkin and add a mum plant for an easy centerpiece. Here are some of the cheapest places to buy fall mums.