I was talking to my friend Marianne about pumpkin crafts the other day, and got the idea for a project I wanted to make this year involving succulents.  Taylor put succulents & Spanish moss in a big Le Cruset pot for his Thanksgiving centerpiece last year and that inspired me to do a version with a pumpkin!

Succulent Filled Pumpkin

What you’ll need:

  • Craft pumpkin
  • Floral craft foam (depending on size of your pumpkin)
  • Fake succulents
  • Spanish moss
  • If your pumpkin doesn’t sit up right, you may also need 1/2″ screws (2), 1″ washers (2), a wood slice and a drill.

This is another example where I decided I wanted to make something that night, so ran to Michael’s for the craft pumpkins & foam, then Hobby Lobby for the fake succulents after work.

Do you have to use fake succulents? Nope! But I am in this rut where I keep killing any indoor plant (hence the paper philodendron), while keeping everything outside alive, so it was in my best interest to use faux plants, and these look pretty darn real!  Hobby Lobby has a great selection that I’ve used a few times.

I found my white craft pumpkins at Michael’s (yay for a sale!) and got the kind with a cut out on one side so I wouldn’t have to do that part myself. If you want the succulents coming out the top, it’s ideal to get one where the top is cut out, not the side.  Otherwise you’ll need to do some extra work to get it to sit up straight.
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I wanted the succulents coming out of the top, so the opening faces up.  Learn from my mistake with the first pumpkin I made and realize that with the opening facing up, the pumpkin doesn’t sit flat.  First, we’ll resolve that part. Skip this if your pumpkin cut out is already on the top.

Get a wood slice (can also be found from your local craft shop) and screw the pumpkin into the slice using washers and screws.  I have to give Hunter credit on the idea to do this, and he helped me screw it in – because I think he just wanted to use the drill.

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Now that your pumpkin will sit up straight, put the floral foam inside the pumpkin.  I had 2 blocks of foam for my large pumpkin, and had to cut one block in half so it’d fit.  There are 1.5 blocks on the bottom, and the remaining half block sitting on top like so:
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Now you’re ready to add your succulents.  Put your succulents securely in the pumpkin by making sure you put the stems through the foam.  Arrange them however you like.  I think I ended up using 9 succulents in my big pumpkin.

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Next add some faux Spanish moss around the succulents to cover the foam.

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Viola – Your centerpiece is ready!  Here are a bunch of photos of the first pumpkin I finished, from all angles.pumpkin_succulents-06 pumpkin_succulents-08 pumpkin_succulents-09 pumpkin_succulents-10 pumpkin_succulents-11

I’m not gonna lie, this is totally my favorite pumpkin project to date – probably because I love succulents and it doesn’t scream fall with orange & brown.  It looks perfect as the centerpiece on our dining table, and will most likely stay there through Thanksgiving!  I’m debating making some smaller ones as gifts too…

After I made the pumpkin, I saw that it fits this month’s #SeptemberFauxFlorals challenge for the 12 months of DIY: Win-win.

Update: Since I had a smaller craft pumpkin and extra faux succulents I decided to make a smaller version.  This time I let the opening face outward and the pumpkin sit upright.  Because the front is a little heavier, I used an oyster shell underneath the pumpkin so it’s sit fully upright on our entry table.  Same great look, but slightly different version!pumpkin_succulents-13

The next year I found a smaller pumpkin with the top cut out so it was perfect to make another (can you tell I have a problem?).  I added the foam, stuck some succulents in and covered any remaining foam with fake Spanish moss!  This is still one of my favorite centerpieces to date.

You can find all my pumpkin projects here and watch the Facebook Live video of me making the pumpkin here!

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