By Donna Erickson
Signal Contributing Writer
Halloween is over, but those uncarved orange pumpkins and heirloom gourds on your porch or mantel can have a new purpose and life for a fresh decor look right now — as well as serve as a stunning centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.
Coat them with an artistic gold shine, then hollow them with kids’ assistance for a natural vase.
If you don’t have any pumpkins, they are still abundant and cheap this month at farms, garden centers and in the produce section of grocery stores.
A medium-size pumpkin is ideal for a centerpiece, but you might think about gilding mini pumpkins, too. Transform them into alluring votive candleholders to add a seasonal sparkle on your table or buffet between the turkey, cranberries and pies.
Here are three simple steps for making a gilded pumpkin floral arrangement.
On a newspaper-covered surface, an adult should cut off the top with stem of a medium-size, firm and smooth pumpkin, creating an opening that is 4-5 inches in diameter. Save the top portion. Kids can dig in and scoop out the pulp and seeds with their hands and a spoon. Wash the outside with a damp cloth. Let dry.
On a newspaper-covered surface outside, an adult should spray the exterior of the pumpkin and the cut-off top portion and stem with gold metallic spray paint available at craft and hardware stores. Let dry.
Line the inside of the pumpkin with foil or plastic wrap. Place a chunk of damp florist foam trimmed to fit snuggly in the hollowed-out portion. Kids may poke trimmed stems of flowers, leaves and twigs into the foam, one at a time, until the arrangement is complete. Set on an attractive waterproof plate.
For an added touch, poke a florist pick or trimmed skewer into the center of the saved top and stem of the pumpkin. Poke the opposite end into the side of the rim.
Add water to the foam as necessary to keep flowers fresh.
Bonus Idea or golden pumpkin votive candleholders for your table, set a tea light and its metal casing or glass tea light jar inside the carved out cavity, or use a battery-operated tea light. An adult should always be present when burning candles.
Note crylic paint in a metallic gold shade also works if you prefer not to use spray paint, although it takes longer to dry and may require an additional coat.
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”
© 2020 Donna Erickson
Distributed by King Features Synd.