Inspiration for this year’s fall project was part excitement for the fall season and part motivation to help create some decor items for my sister’s fall wedding in October. For her wedding, we wanted some inexpensive table decor that could be used to hold real and faux flowers. In order to make a wise investment on this project, I always try to find ways to keep reusing the decor after an event is over. So, my mom and I came up with the idea of painting cardboard pumpkins and placing a jar inside that could hold real flowers in water for the wedding and then be replaced with faux ones for decor in own homes.
For the pumpkin colors, we chose more muted fall colors to complement the wedding colors, so most of the pumpkins we painted a light grey, which will be filled with fresh green and white florals for the wedding. However, in my home this year I wanted to incorporate lots of white, green, copper, buffalo check and a hint of rust. So, used a different color template for my own pumpkins that I’ll share here.
For this project you will need:
- Cardboard pumpkin
- Chalk spray paint
- Chalk antique wax
- Xacto knife
- Flowers (faux or real)
- Sharpie (optional)
As you can see, there’s not too many supplies for this project, and odds are you might have some of these things already laying around. After all, if we planned on making 15-20 floral pumpkins for wedding decor, this would need to be an easy and inexpensive project.
1. Set your jar on top of the pumpkin where the stem sits. Trace with a pencil around the base of the jar until there is an even circle in the center. Use your Xacto knife (or other sharp tool) and cut around the pencil mark. Place the jar inside to make sure it fits and adjust if needed. Make sure the jar is tall enough where the top of the lid is barely poking out of the top and not loose inside. If the jar is too short, something might need to fill the bottom like crumpled paper. Remove the jar until painting is complete.
2. Then begin spray painting your pumpkins, outdoors, where you have good ventilation. I began by turning them upside down and spraying the bottom half using a chalk spray paint then flipped them over after 5 minutes and did the tops. (When I did this in the summer in Texas, it was super hot, so they dried in record time). Once the pumpkins are dry, bring them inside to finish your project.
3. Next, apply some character to give the pumpkins a life-like look by antiquing the crevices. I gently dipped a paintbrush into a chalk antique wax and dabbed the brush down each crevice. Then I used a paper towel to evenly smear the wax. It appeared dark at first, but lightened with continued application. Once all the crevices have been antiqued, I marked a few other spots around the pumpkins and smeared the wax.
4. The next step is optional, which applied to only one of my two pumpkins. With my pencil, I wrote out a fall word in cursive writing across the front of my painted pumpkin. Then, I took a copper metallic sharpie and traced the penciled letters. If you don’t like your handwriting, you could cut vinyl letters using a Cricut, or you could use a Silhouette machine for this effect.
5. Finally, cut the floral stems to the desired lengths. I recommend cutting some stems shorter in order to cover the top of the jar that might be poking out of the opening. I used a majority of year round greenery like eucalyptus, which I could reuse for the next season, and a touch of rust colored florals for the seasonal look. All of these florals were found at Hobby Lobby (and remember to wait until the seasonal florals are on sale).
Now I believe the hardest part of this project was deciding where to place these! I love how I can simply change out the florals next season if my color scheme changes. I truly believe the possibilities are endless with this one. Plus, if I decide to splurge on some real flowers, they now have a beautiful vase to hold them!