I used to craft all the time. As a kid I made clay figurines and jewelry and sold them around the neighborhood.
At one point, I went around and asked those same neighbors for the lint out of their dryers to use as fur on a pop can dog I was making.
Obviously I had some great neighbors.
But somewhere along the way, with the hustle and bustle of NYC, and no space to store my glue gun, I stopped crafting as much.
So Bluebird + Blackberries has been a great space for me to jump back into the crafting world. And with a new home to outfit, I need as many creative (and cheap!) ideas I can find.
For this challenge I went straight to Pinterest for some inspiration, which is where I found this white pumpkin beauty (below).
It felt like something I could take on.
We’re going to a cousin’s house for Thanksgiving and this seemed like a great idea for a centerpiece I could bring.
It’s like bringing flowers, but better.
To keep it under $20, I started with a pumpkin from Halloween that was still outside.
It was a touch bigger than I was hoping, but I didn’t want to spend the time or money looking for a new one, so I was committed to making it work.
I wanted to use non-flower things that wouldn’t die and need to be replaced. I feel like fake flowers often look, well, fake.
So I tried to find more twigs and leaf-type things at the craft store.
The key is to group bunches of the craft store florals in your hands to make sure what you have looks good together. Then keep switching things until you get the right mix.
Heights can be adjusted later, but it is nice to have something shorter and bushier that can sit at the base of your arrangement (like the green hydrangea-type thing above), and also some things that are taller and more spread out.
And be sure to always compare prices.
One of these stalks of red berries (above) is $3 and one is $13, and I promise you cannot tell which is which.
It’s also the perfect time of year for a project like this. At the store everything was 60 to 80 percent off, as they are gearing up for Christmas and clearing out fall.
Also there is tons of stuff in your own backyard (or your neighbors’ 😉).
As you can see, we do not have a shortage of leaves at my new house.
I got some great ones, but the real find of the day were these branches of a bush (above).
I found that the key is to cut some small branches from a tree or bush that still has some leaves attached. It makes it easy to place the leaves into the arrangement because they’re held together on a stick.
After cutting off the top of the pumpkin and scooping out the insides, I added my store-bought florals.
Then I added my leaves and branches from outside and started getting excited.
The colors were all spot on!
Last, I added some tulips from an arrangement someone had given me. I love the idea of everything being non-flowers, but a couple of fresh flowers does bring a little something extra.
It might be worth adding some the day you’re planning to use your centerpiece. You could fill the pumpkin with water or put a glass in the pumpkin to keep the fresh flowers watered.
In the end I am super happy with my centerpiece. It would be nice to have an actual dining room table to put it on, but for now my kitchen table covered in baby bottles will have to do.
It’s not the exact colors and doesn’t have the same elegant vibe of my Pinterest find, but it is stunning in its own way. And did I mention it only cost me $8!?
fake leaves + florals from Michael’s: $8.39
1 large pumpkin: free
Now yes, if you didn’t have a pumpkin and some flowers lying around, you would have to purchase those things. But you would still be well under $20!