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  • Writer's pictureMixed Media Mel

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece (Halloween Pumpkin Makeover!)

I am beyond excited about this spooky pumpkin GLOW-UP! My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving but my husband lives for Halloween. We always have a costume party and decorate the house. He also loves to go out a day or two after Halloween to get some more décor on sale for the next year. I did some clearance shopping after the holiday but decided to treat the Halloween pumpkins to a fabulous fall makeover instead!

My initial plan was to find a couple clearance pumpkins and jazz them up for fall a bit with a coat of white paint, some fall leaves and sunflowers. I was having trouble finding anything like I’d had in mind; they were already pretty cleaned out and of course pulling out all the Christmas goodies. I finally found the black and green pumpkins on clearance in the floral department. They were much smaller than I was planning for and I definitely wasn’t planning on foam pumpkins either. I walked away from them twice before the wheels started turning in my head. When I thought of stacking them for a centerpiece I went back and scooped them all up. I then went and grabbed a terra cotta tray for a base, with them being so light I knew I needed something heavier for a base. I next grabbed a bag of mini fall décor (mini pumpkins and pinecones) and some floral stem wire and was ready to rock!

If you want to make this at home you can use any foam pumpkins you can find, they are easily made over but you could also just start with fall colored pumpkins as well and save yourself a step. The only part that was slightly difficult/timely was painting the base coats because they were SO dark so it took a few coats. I started with a coat of white which helped but I still needed two plus coats for full coverage. I did some shading on all of the pumpkins, just using like colors. I also did some speckling on the green ones. You can use a toothbrush for speckle painting. Just dip the toothbrush (lightly) into the desired color and use your finger or a toothpick to scrape the bristles to speckle the paint on your pumpkins. After painting and speckling how you like, use a combination of greens and browns to paint your stems. You can also paint your terra cotta tray if you like, I used a “toasted marshmallow” brown. The last thing you want to do to prep your pumpkins and plate is paint on a clear finishing coat so they are nice and shiny! My go-to is Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Clear Gloss but anything similar is fine.

Once everything is dry it is time to assemble the pumpkin tower!! I will assume you may have found some pumpkins of different sizes or shapes so try and stack them before actually gluing or pinning at first. I actually played around with mine for a bit like a puzzle and snapped a few pictures to decide just how I would like to stack them. Once you start gluing it is harder to edit so play around with them until you are happy with the look. Start with the bottom pumpkin, you want it to be flat on your base and secure so that it can support the others. I glued my first pumpkin to the base using a combination of hot glue and E6000, this makes a great combination because you still get the hold of the E6000 as well as the speed of hot glue. Once the first one is placed use a combination of the metal floral stem wire and a bit of hot glue to attach the other pumpkins. You don’t need a lot of glue when using the floral stem wire but I like it for a little extra sturdiness. Don’t use so much that it is visible; but if it is visible just hide it with a flower or an acorn (wink-wink). I did not use one long wire through the center because my stack did not agree with that. I used three total (cut into smaller pieces) to support my stack. Just use what you need to so that they all stay together. If using foam pumpkins like I did a little goes a long way with the wire and the glue. After your stack is stacked you can embellish a bit with floral, leaves, acorns, pinecones, etc. If using flowers you can make a small hole with a toothpick or pen tip into the foam pumpkins and stick it right in. I also added two burlap leaves under the plate for a little extra EXTRA. Now I can’t wait for Thanksgiving to show this baby off!! Have fun crafting and let me know if you give this a try!! Or post it and tag me on social media @melhotpotssanford

What you need:

• Foam pumpkins- any shape or color will do since we will be painting them

• 1- 6 inch Terra Cotta plate (sold near the Terra Cotta flower pots)

• Metal floral stem wire

• Acrylic paint (shades of orange, green, white, tan and brown)

• Paintbrushes

• Toothbrush (for speckle painting)

• Hot glue

• Super glue (E6000)

• Clear/glossy paint on sealer (Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Clear Gloss)

• Fall embellishments (mini pumpkins, acorns, leaves, flowers, pinecones etc.)

What to do:

1. Paint pumpkins- if using darker pumpkins to start it helps to do a coat of white first. Speckle paint using toothbrush if desired. Let dry.

2. Paint Terra Cotta plate if desired. Let dry.

3. Seal plate and pumpkins with a brush on clear gloss. Let dry.

4. Arrange pumpkin stack as desired.

5. Secure first pumpkin to plate using a combination or hot glue and super glue.

6. Secure other pumpkins to base pumpkin using floral stem wire and hot glue.

7. Embellish with any smaller decorations using hot glue.

8. Present on your table at Thanksgiving and listen to everyone exclaim- OHHHH and AHHHHH!!!

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