Festive Fall Pumpkin Centerpiece

Spark up your fall dining table with a long-lasting dried flower centerpiece.

Wheat stems, dried flowers, and wine-colored grape leaves create a definitive autumn atmosphere in this striking floral decoration. The highlight is a purchased papier-mache pumpkin that is painted with an antique finish that lends depth to the color and form.

Materials

  • Papier-mache pumpkin basket
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint: Burnt Umber (BU) #2025, Golden Brown (GB) #2054, Old Parchment (OP) #2092, and Terra Cotta (TC) #2071
  • Delta Ceramcoat Antiquing Medium
  • Paintbrushes: 1-inch flat, 1-inch worn stiff bristle flat
  • Old toothbrush
  • Grapevine garland
  • Assorted dried flowers: black beard wheat, yellow pod flowers, wine-color grape leaves, and dark orange broom bloom
  • Brown floral tape
  • Floral wire
  • Floral foam
  • Wire cutters
  • Paper towels
  • Soft cloth
  • Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive
  • Matte-finish spray sealer

Instructions

Paint the Basket Remove the wire handle from the pumpkin basket. Base-coat with the flat brush. Dry-brush highlights with the stiff bristle flat brush.

Mix equal amounts of GB and TC. Apply two coats of the mixture to the outer surface of the papier-mache pumpkin, allowing ample drying time for each coat.

Mix OP with a small amount of TC to use for highlights. Dab the bristle tips into the mixture and wipe off most of the paint on paper towels. Using a crisscross motion, dry-brush a small amount of paint on the raised areas of the basket to highlight. Let the paint dry. Apply highlights, using OP and the same technique. Let the paint dry.

Spray a coat of matte finish on the painted surfaces of the basket. Let the finish dry.

To antique the pumpkin, mix one part BU with three parts antiquing medium. Working on a small section of the basket at a time, apply the mixture and immediately wipe the surface with a soft cloth to achieve the desired antiqued effect. Let the paint dry. Spray a coat of matte finish on the antiqued surface; let the finish dry.

Dilute BU with water to ink consistency. Dip the toothbrush bristles in the diluted paint; tap off excess paint on paper towels. Spatter (flyspeck) the pumpkin by drawing a paintbrush handle across the toothbrush bristles.

Arrange the Centerpiece To make the basket handle, cut a 36-inch length of floral wire. Wrap brown floral tape completely around the wire. From grapevine garland, cut a 28-inch length. Wrap the taped wire around the garland to hold the twigs together. Wire the garland to opposite sides of the basket.

Cut floral foam to fit the bottom of the basket and hot-glue it in place. Form a triangle with the wheat stems, shaping the top of the triangle slightly off-center from the handle. Use yellow pod flowers to fill out the arrangement shape. Accent with grape leaves and fill in with broom bloom.