Seedpod Decor for Fall

Seedpods, those earthly remnants of the growing season, fill autumn landscapes with subtle shapes, colors, textures, and sometimes even scents and sounds. Single or clustered, full or empty, foraged or bought, seedpods can be key elements of fall and winter floral arrangements.

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Massachusetts floral designer Karin Lidbeck-Brent is always searching for interesting things to use for styling. She collects pods from garden, meadow, and roadside plants each fall. "We pass attractive pods every day but tend to look for pretty flowers and not so much for brown and dried things."

If you end up with too much of a beautiful thing, save nature's bounty until next year. Place excess pods in plastic storage bags or a big box until you need them. Karin stores her extras for times when an arrangement calls for a striking shape or texture. Discover the joy of crafting with seedpods by making these quick and easy designs.

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Bell Jar and Pumpkin Display

  • Start with a tall bell jar and a pumpkin wider than the bottom of the jar. Outline the jar's base on the pumpkin using a marker. Use a knife to cut around the outline. Remove the pumpkin's lid and scoop out the seeds.
  • Fill the pumpkin with soil and top with moss. Karin uses soil and moss from her garden.
  • Choose several attractive seedpods and insert their stems through the moss into the soil at different heights. If some of the pod stems are too short, wire them to wooden sticks. Shown here are seedpods of lupine, common milkweed, hibiscus, and money plant (Lunaria annua), which produces seeds enclosed in translucent silvery discs.

Log Centerpiece

  • Find a 24-inch-long log partly hollowed by rot or collect pieces of bark from the forest floor and hot-glue them together to make a loglike shape.
  • Scrape the rotten matter from the log or bark, and shake out the debris. Karin's trough is about 3 inches deep in some areas, less in others. Wipe the inside of the log until clean using an old rag, and leave it in the sun for a day or two to dry.
  • Fill the log with soil.
  • Buy a few miniature tropical plants, and set them in the soil-filled trough. Karin used begonias and small ferns for their attractive leaves.
  • Dig some moss outdoors with a flat spade or buy it from a crafts store. Cut a few pieces to cover the exposed soil.
  • Hot-glue a variety of pods to short picks and insert them into the soil. For this design, Karin uses mintolla balls and lotus, mahogany, and badam pods, available online or at crafts stores.

Sunflowers, Hydrangeas, and Pods

  • Fill a vase with acorns.
  • Insert drooping sunflower seed heads around the rim and dried hydrangeas behind them to give the bottom of the bouquet a visually heavy look.
  • Add taller stems of different pods, keeping the arrangement sparse and loose so their individual silhouettes stand out.
  • Here, Karin uses the black pods of Baptisia, long thin okra pods, yucca, oak leaves, a dark red sumac (Rhus) bob, an evening primrose seed stalk, Scabiosa, and hibiscus pods.

Seedpod Wreath

  • Buy a grapevine wreath at the crafts store.
  • Cut or break the band binding the stems tightly together.
  • Pull the circular vines of the wreath apart to add more dimension and create slots for inserting stems and pods.
  • Rewire the wreath loosely to stabilize it, and make a wire loop hanger on the back.
  • Tuck the seedpod stems into the slots, grouping pods of each species together. In this wreath, Karin uses milkweed, some leaves and red winged seedpods from a Japanese maple, tallow berries from the crafts store, scarlet oak foliage, a lotus pod, evening primrose stalks, jimsonweed, and seedpods from a honey locust tree.

Pumpkin with Chinese Lanterns and Milkweed Pods

  • Cut an opening in the top of a pumpkin -- a Cinderella-type pumpkin is shown here.
  • Scoop out seeds and any loose pulp. Use the hollow pumpkin like a vase, but do not add water.
  • Arrange milkweed and Chinese lantern stems in the container, packing them tight to hold them in place.
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