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Plenty of pumpkin potential

A little creativity and paint make pumpkins into inexpensive centerpieces.King Features (King Features)
A little creativity and paint make pumpkins into inexpensive centerpieces.King Features (King Features)

Pumpkins might sound “so yesterday” with Halloween long gone and the excitement of Thanksgiving Day soon on the way.

But never underestimate the beauty pumpkins can deliver when transformed with a little metallic paint and creativity.

Once they are hollowed out by the kids, they make dandy vases for fresh flowers. Keep the kids busy by letting them arrange the blooms in the gilded pumpkins just in time to set on the table for stunning, yet inexpensive, Thanksgiving centerpieces.

Think about gilding minipumpkins too, which you can find with the gourds and squash in the produce section of your grocery store.

Transform them into cute “place card” bouquets for each guest or into alluring votive candleholders that will add a golden sparkle on your table.

Making a pumpkin arrangement:

1. On a newspaper-covered surface, an adult should cut off the top of a medium-size, firm and smooth pumpkin, creating an opening that is 4-5 inches in diameter. Let the kids scoop out the pulp and seeds with their hands and a spoon.

Wash the outside with a damp cloth. Let dry.

2. On a newspaper-covered surface outside, or in a well-ventilated garage, an adult should spray the exterior of the pumpkin with gold metallic paint. Let dry.

3. Line the inside of the pumpkin with foil or plastic wrap. Place a chunk of damp florist foam trimmed to fit snuggly in the hollowed-out portion. The kids may poke trimmed stems of flowers, leaves and twigs into the foam, one at a time, until the arrangement is complete.

Set it on a waterproof plate. Add water to the foam as necessary to keep flowers fresh.

Extra minipumpkin ideas:

•Make golden minipumpkin arrangements following the directions above. For place cards, glue small cards with guests’ names or photos printed on them to trimmed wooden skewers. Tuck into the arrangements.

•For golden pumpkin votive candleholders, set a tea light and its metal casing inside the cavity or use a battery-operated tea light.

Donna Erickson is the author of several books about family activities and host of a public television series. See more at