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Packing a decorative punch with pumpkins

Now that it is fall, many of us consider decorating our porch and home interior with colorful, inexpensive varieties of pumpkins. Remember autumn is about harvest, so load up on all the different varieties of pumpkins and gourds that are currently on the market. Mix it up and add pizazz by incorporating other autumn accessories such as terra cotta aged pots, old outdoor antiques and tools, corn stalks and even firewood. Placing these items together in casual displays will give your home a warm vibe for this fall season that will last into the holidays.

Some of my favorite varieties of pumpkins include: Kamo Kamo, Autumn Cup squash, Lumina pumpkin, Jarrahdale pumpkin, Peanut pumpkin, the big Prizewinner pumpkin, Fairytale and the Cinderella pumpkin, and, of course the old fashioned Jack-O-Lantern. The more, the better when it comes to pumpkins and gourds.

Potted Pumpkins

Add a twist to your fall decorating by creating your very own “Potted Pumpkins.”

All you have to do is take a container planted with green ivy and simply place a pumpkin on top! I find that variegated creeping fig, pothos or any houseplant vine will work. Even a hanging basket of blooming petunias can work and add a hint of color to your autumn display. Any of these plants will give the illusion that the pumpkin is growing on the vine. So easy and a great color contrast! If you have or can find a terra cotta pumpkin that looks carved, consider adding a battery-powered light and place that on top of the potted ivy. Place the light on a timer and your pumpkin will glow at night without any real flame.

Fright Night Pumpkins

Make your Halloween a “spooky” one with scary owl and eyeball pumpkins.

For a Hoot’n Owl Pumpkin you will need:

8” artificial pumpkin

Yellow sunflowers

2 large wiggle eyes

Assorted fall leaves – we used maple leaves for the eyes

And slender elongated fall leaves for the wings

Paddle wire

1 large pinecone

1.5” yellow cardstock

Hot glue gun and glue sticks & Pliers

1. For each eye, glue a wiggle eye in center of a flower. Cut petals shorter with scissors and glue eyes to pumpkin. For eyebrows, glue a maple leaf behind each eye.

2. For beak, hold cardstock square at opposite corners, and fold into a cone shape, glue to hold, then glue to pumpkin between eyes.

3. For each wing – gather 3 long leaves and wind wire tightly around them to hold them together. Cut off ends just past the wire. Poke a hole in each side of pumpkin with scissors and insert wing, glue in place.

For a Spooky Eyeball Pumpkin you will need:

8” artificial pumpkin

Gloss acrylic paints – white, purple, red, black

Tulip Glow in the Dark Dimensional Paint

Paintbrushes – fine line, medium, and fan brush, and sponge brush.

{Do not spray paint your artificial pumpkin, as the paint will cause the pumpkin to peel, crack or melt.}

1. {If you buy a white pumpkin you can skip Step 1} Use sponge brush to paint your pumpkin white. You may need several coats, if so, allow drying between coats.

2. Use medium brush and purple to paint circle in the middle of the pumpkin.

3. Use liner brush and black paint to outline eye. Then paint center of eye.

4. Use liner brush and red paint to make veins outside the iris.

5. Once all is dry, use glow in the dark paint to highlight veins. On iris, outline the center of the eye. Use fan brush to pull paint out from the center into the purple area.

Pumpkin Terrariums Add an Air of Fall Sophistication

Most of us are familiar with planted terrariums, but have you tried assembling a pumpkin terrarium? All you have to do is take a large glass terrarium, or to make it easy, use a small fish tank or large clear glass bowl as your container. Layer it

with green sheet moss, then a layer of gourds or small pumpkins and followed by an additional layer of moss and repeat. Be creative and try not to make each layer level, creating ups and downs with each level. You can even add other elements such as an old small branch or two for more drama and texture.

Decorating now with pumpkins will give your fall a punch of color that will last through the Thanksgiving holiday and beyond. For more decorating tips and ideas, visit ChrisHOlsen.com and check out Chris’ blog.