From pumpkin planters to birdfeeders, I’ve rounded up three simple pumpkin craft ideas that go beyond carving simple Jack-o’-Lanterns.
By Shelley Wigglesworth
Oct 05 2016
Sure, carving Jack-o’-Lanterns for Halloween is a popular pastime, but pumpkins and gourds can also be a versatile décor item in the fall. From pumpkin planters to birdfeeders, I’ve rounded up three simple pumpkin craft ideas.
Select a pumpkin or gourd that is evenly shaped on the bottom so it won’t tip over when full. Wipe off any excess dirt or moisture with a clean, damp cloth. Break or cut off the stem and trace the widest end of the container on to the top of the pumpkin or gourd. Carefully cut just outside of the traced line, then remove and discard the top. Use the knife to loosen the guts of the squash and scoop out the inside. Slide the container in the opening and fill with plants. If you are using live plants, you may choose to skip using a container and simply add soil to surround the roots. If you are using a vase, arrange the flowers after the vase is placed inside the pumpkin. Water live plants after they have been arranged inside the pumpkin. Anchor containers with sand.
Select a miniature gourd or pumpkin that is larger in width than it is in height. Place the gourd on a newspaper covered work surface and cut it in half at its mid section. Remove the top and insides and discard. Use the screwdriver to make three holes at even intervals approximately one inch below the rim of the gourd. Cut three equal lengths (approximately 6 inches or longer) of twine or floral wire and insert one piece into each hole and secure end with a knot. Tie the three remaining loose ends together at the top so it resembles a hanging planter. Fill with birdseed and hang in your favorite tree or near a window where you can watch the birds feeding
Perhaps the easiest just-for-fun project to do with leftover pumpkins and gourds – particularly the smaller ones – is to use them as biodegradable growing containers. You can grow just about any type of plant in a hollowed-out pumpkin or gourd filled with potting soil and exposed to adequate light. When the pumpkin starts to decompose, simply repot the entire biodegradable container in a larger pot and cover with soil. If you do not have seeds on hand to plant, you can leave some of the pumpkin’s original seeds in the shell, cover with soil and keep moist. Within a week or so pumpkin seedlings will begin to sprout. While it’s too late in the year to grow actual pumpkins outside, this is a fun indoor garden project that can be composted when the growing peak has passed.
This post was first published in 2014 and has been updated.