Thursday, November 18, 2010


Are you familiar with those tiny pumpkins and squash that seem to be all over the grocery store this time of year?

For some reason they spoke to me this year: "Buy me, I'm tiny and cute"; "Buy me, you're The Crafty Librarian and you need to find a use for me...."  Really, I'm not nuts, I didn't really hear them, no need to worry about my sanity just yet.  But buy them I did.  And they sat on my counter mocking me while I worked on my "Fall Wreath" post.  Periodically I'd look over at them from behind the glue gun and ponder their possibilities. Initially I thought I would add them to my wreath but I decided not to.  Lots of pondering later, and after many days of walking past them and the gooseneck gourds that I bought at the same moment of weakness, I decided to find ways of using them in my Thanksgiving centerpiece.

For all the projects in this post, I began by marking a circle on the top of the pumpkin.  I used a biscuit cutter but you don't really need one - I was just hoping it would slice through the pumpkin, but it didn't.

It did, however, mark a perfectly round cutting line:

I cut through the rind with a sharp knife, then pulled off the top and scooped out the guts...a lot fewer guts and a tidier job than the big pumpkins that's for sure!!  One little spoon accomplished the job in no time!

My first idea was to use the pumpkin as a votive holder.  I tried it with a variety of tea lights and votive candles. 

I like the battery operated tea lights (shown on far right) because they are less of a hazard,  they flicker effectively and, last a loooonnnnng time.

I placed them on purchased fall-themed candle rings to dress them up a little bit. You could also use the real stuff, gather some natural materials from outdoors (if you are not too sick of raking it up at this point...) and spread them around and underneath.

Grouped together is also nice.  You'll notice that I put mine on a mirror - I like that it unifies the group, and I like the effect of them reflected back. (The gooseneck gourds cry out for the addition of googly eyes ... I am tempted...)

Next I tried putting the candle ring inside!  Not bad.

A place card on a stick works well here. I didn't get too fancy with mine here (I might have to explore the art of place cards in a future post) I just added it for the idea of using these pieces as place cards.

Then I tried it with a tall taper candle.  Also not bad.

Lastly, I took all of the candles away and added some Fall'll need some floral foam or material inside the pumpkin to support the flowers.

Try using different types of squashes, gourds or pumpkins - just make sure they have a relatively flat bottom so they don't roll  over on the table.  Group them together in a centerpiece or use them at place setting, with or without place cards.  They were an inexpensive addition to my table and worked up quickly.


  1. You are certainly BUSY BUSY as well as being VERY CRAFTY. I do admire your incredible creativity and very very good style. What do you plan to do with the Thanksgiving leftovers, I wonder. Boiled out turkey bones should offer a BONANZA! They might even be DRIED OUT and SAVED and ARTICULATED to make a Turkey Skeleton for NEXT year's Halloween. A very scary thought. An admirer.