Cornucopia Centerpiece

For a new twist on autumn decorating, tuck painted corn, gourds, leaves, and other seasonal items into a Thanksgiving cornucopia.

What You Need:

Decorate with a basket of color.

  • Miniature corn, gourds, leaves, or other autumn finds
  • Scrubber
  • Newspapers
  • Spray paint in metallic gold and other desired colors
  • Metallic acrylic paints in colors such as purple, red, green, and orange
  • Paintbrush
  • Wicker cornucopia


Step 1

1. Gather items to be painted. Dried gourds feel light and hollow, with hard outer shells. It may take several weeks or months to dry completely from the time they are picked. Clean the surface of gourds and other autumn finds. Scrub gourds with scrubber and soapy water if necessary to remove dirt. Let dry.

Cornucopia of Corn Step 2

2. Paint miniature corn. Lay cobs flat on newspapers, spread apart the shucks, and spray lightly with gold spray paint, turning as you go so the entire shucks are painted. You may spray-paint the kernels also or just the shucks, leaving the kernels to paint in other colors. Finish painting the kernels, using metallic acrylic paints. You can paint every kernel or row a different color, paint random kernels over a gold-painted ear, or whatever you wish.

Step 3A

3. Paint gourds. Use the same metallic acrylic paints as used on the corn. If desired, add abstract stripes and dots for a more interesting look. You can add small dots to gourds by dipping the handle end of a paintbrush into a contrasting color of paint and then dotting the paint onto the surface.

4. Spray-paint leaves. This is quick and easy. You can use gold spray paint or another color as desired.

Step 3B

Let the paint dry on one side, then spray the other side and let dry.

5. Paint the wicker cornucopia. Use gold spray paint. Let dry. Arrange the painted seasonal items in the cornucopia.

More Ideas

  • Arrange the painted pieces in a wooden salad bowl, wire basket, or clear glass pedestal dish.
  • For interesting place cards, write names on corn husks using a permanent marker.