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Decking the Halls with Pumpkin Candle Holders

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Hello everyone and happy Thanksgiving Eve-Eve! ;)

I thought that it would be fun to give you guys your first taste of Thanksgiving this year. Later this week I’ll be posting some of my family recipes and other tasty Thanksgiving traditions. Today, though, I thought we could start out with some simple, yet elegant, table decorations that can be foraged straight from your backyard and/or local market.

Very few things scream “Thanksgiving” as loudly as pumpkins… so I thought we could have some fun making some pumpkin bases for colorful taper candles. I know we’ve already covered the basics of making pumpkin tealight holders, but I wanted to put a new spin on the previous year’s project by using tapered candles and new organic material foraged from nature!

First things first. Head outside and see if you spot any fun foliage or brilliant berries that you could use as table decorations. These ruby red rose hips immediately caught my eye. I know that they last for a very long time once cut and that they will bring a little touch of drama to an otherwise predominately orange tabletop. When cutting the rose hips, I made sure to keep the stems as long as possible. Another ruby in the rough that caught my eye came in the form of prickly hawthorn berries. Make sure to watch out for the sneaky thorns when snipping a few twigs of these beautiful berries!

Next, I took a trip to the local Sunday market where I found boxes of small pumpkins and gourds at a steal of a price. The going rate was 12 for 5 euros… yippee! I snagged a variety of shapes in complimentary creams, butter yellows, oranges, and greens. After picking out some soft orange taper candles from the local store I was ready to get crackin’!

For the softer pumpkins you can simply use a sharp knife to trace your circular opening, pop off the top, and use a small spoon to scoop out the flesh and seeds. For the tougher gourds I had to resort to hitting a small metal “tube” with a hammer! Yikes! If you have any type of jig saw on hand, this would (obviously) work even better than my neanderthal methods.

Once you’ve made your hole, go ahead and stick the candle inside. You’ll probably notice that the candle will lean to one side- don’t worry! We’re going to go ahead and wedge those small branches of rose hips between the candle and the opening. This not only secures the candle in place, it also adds a wonderful contrasting “collar” of red around the base of the candle.

Tada! Now your candle should be standing perfectly upright. You can always feel free to use your hollowed out pumpkins and gourds as flower vases as well! Simply add water and slip your arrangements on in! Since I didn’t have any flowers on hand (*tear*), I used a “bouquet” of rose hips to give you an idea. One of the very first projects I did here on Fleuropean was making vases out of veggies, so feel free to take a look!

Once my candle holders were completed and in place, I arranged the remaining gourds in several small groupings of three or five. Next I placed the hawthorn berries in several dainty glass vases which I added to each grouping of gourds. The hawthorn berries should last for at least a week without water. Add an autumn-hued pear to each plate, and you’ve got yourself a lovely Thanksgiving table! You could easily tie a nice ribbon around the stem of each pear and add a decorative piece of paper with each guest’s name for naturally simple place cards.

I also camouflaged two plastic plates with a thick layer of sphagnum moss (foraged from outdoors) before topping each plate with a cut-glass candle holder. The result was a very natural-looking, inexpensive, and warm Thanksgiving tablescape.

Even though it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, we’ve already enjoyed a few “fancy” dinners at the table! :)

Hopefully you can use an element or two from my mock-up Thanksgiving tablescape during your holiday festivities this year. If wreaths are more your thing, then please check out how I used pumpkin tealight candle holders to complete a harvest wreath! :)

I’ll be back next week with some more fun holiday DIY projects… so stay tuned! Please feel free to let me know if there’s anything in particular that you would like to see tackled or tried :)

Have a great day, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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