I’m taking off my Realtor hat and putting on my decorating hat for this post. I recently posted some photos on Instagram and was asked if I would demonstrate how to make these amazing Centerpieces.
I first found out about Succulent Pumpkin Centerpieces from a Facebook Post my friend Mona from San Clemente had shared a couple years ago. She’s so talented and they were crazy beautiful. I knew I wanted to make one but I didn’t actually start until last year when two of my dear friends Heather and Denise asked me to help make centerpieces for Heather’s son and Denise daughters wedding. Making Centerpieces with my Besties was a blast…a little Wine and we made 30 centerpieces for the wedding. ..All gorgeous and each a little different! Zach and McKenna had the perfect Fall Wedding!
I was officially hooked!
I posted some photos of the Centerpieces to a friend and was then asked to teach a class. I was excited to share what I had learned. Since that time last April, I had a Hand Reconstruction called PRC… knocked it out of me BAD. Crafting was out for a long time and very limited and now figuring out what is to be my new normal… Heavy sigh…But I can still make succulent Pumpkins so lets do it!
Where do you start….Chose your Pumpkin
I like Fantasy Pumpkins because of the great ridges and deep center. There are some wonderful gourds that would also look great as well. I like using white and orange depending on the arrangement and where I’m putting it. The pumpkins I’m using in this demonstration are very, very large. I actually made five to be Auctioned at a Church event so I purposely chose large pumpkins. For my table display or porch I would normally go smaller. If your Pumpkin has a stem you can cut it but be very careful not to compromise the pumpkin.
Choosing Your Succulents
My entire yard is succulents so I don’t purchase any. If you’re lucky enough to have succulents in your yard they are easy to harvest. We’re finally in growing season and my succulents are making babies like crazy. Even though you might want to cut the top of your succulent, look underneath. You probably have lots of babies. You can cut those without compromising your mother plant.
I harvest all my clippings before I start. I must admit, if you want to get the nice draping succulents, you might want to purchase some. I don’t have them in my photos but it makes a wonderful looking pumpkin. When you cut your succulent, you don’t need to have much stem at all when making these pumpkins. They’re very forgiving! an inch can do it.
Next Step…the Moss!
Now You can use any moss you want. I use Sphagnum Moss but I have used Reindeer Moss, Sheet Moss and Indian Moss. They all work, just a different look. In this photo I used a spray adhesive called 3M Super 77 because I’m impatient but you can use Tacky Glue just as well. This is a great craft to do with kids so Tacky Glue works great!
Just wait for it to dry about 30 minutes before moving too much.
This looks much thicker than it really is. You don’t need that much for your succulents to attach.
Now lets start with your center succulent…
When you chose your first few centerpiece succulents for the center, they should be your larger ones. You will simply put either tacky glue or hot glue on the base of the stem and press to hold in position. Then build outward.
Your moss is your template so work outward with smaller succulents or ones that drape down the crevasse of the pumpkin.
Build now with smaller succulents on the side to drape the edges of your pumpkin.
For needed color just add a few pieces to fill in gaps between your larger succulents. Add height with succulent stems or you can also use them draping down the side as well. Be creative!!
You can fill it in as little or full as you desire…
Wipe off the pumpkin top to bottom. If you’re using a hot glue gun you will have what looks like spider webs to clean off. A solution of half vinegar and water will remove water spots on your pumpkin and the larger leafed succulents.
***This is important! If your succulents are freshly cut and do not already have established roots and the ends have not scabbed over, then do not water! Wait a week. I have killed succulents thinking I had to water them. They’ll get rubbery and the leaves will finally fall off. If that happens, just take off that succulent and replace…no biggy.***
To water just spritz with water once a week. Get right in the moss to make sure they are all moist!
Now have fun displaying!! I love using candle sticks or Rod Iron Baskets or cake stands to display my pumpkins..
Whether on a porch bench …
A Kitchen Island…
Or your best friends daughters wedding…
Have fun with them..
Sadly the pumpkin will die in time, usually 2-3 months. Just keep checking, it will start to soften. Simply peel off your succulent top and plant in your garden.
I put last years pumpkin tops in my granddaughters fairy garden…I actually used some clippings from that garden for this years pumpkins. It can literally be the garden that keeps on giving!
What a great way to start the Holiday Season!!
- Fantasy Pumpkin or Gourd
- Moss, your choice
- Either Tacky Glue or Hot glue
- Spray adhesive for the Moss or Tacky Glue
- Succulents from your garden or garden center