A Festive Autumn Creation

As the fall colors begin to burst forth and the chilly nights remind us that our down jackets and warm sweaters are not far off, there’s no better time to create an indoor autumn centerpiece that captures the colors and textures of the season. The perfect table creation awaits you in this simple, clever project that offers months of enjoyment with very little muss or fuss.

What you will need for this project:

Two square glass vases that fit into one another
A Kalanchoe or succulent that requires minimal water
Wallpaper, wrapping paper or any other decorative paper strip
Two or more decorative and colorful gourds, non-matching 
Wooden skewers and or chopsticks
Paring knife
Spanish moss

For this project, I used a 5″ square glass vase and a 4″ square glass vase both of which I recycled from arrangements I received as gifts. These square glass vases are readily available at garden shops. You might even have a collection of them yourself from flower arrangements you’ve received.

The first thing you will need to do is transplant your plant into the smaller glass vase and water appropriately. Since this vase does not have a proper drainage hole, minimal watering will be required. Do not over water.

Cover the edges around the plant with the Spanish moss and put aside. Then measure the inside of the larger glass vase from the inside bottom to the top. That is the height you will need. Then measure all the way around the larger vase for the length, allowing an extra å_ to å_ inch for overlap. Cut your paper.

Next, wrap the paper around the smaller vase. There will be some slack in the paper but it will fill out the larger vase, so don’t worry. No tape is required. Slide the smaller wrapped vase inside the larger one. You will notice that the paper fills out to the inside edges of the larger vase.

The next step is to decorate your plant with the gourds. Look for gourds that are non-matching, colorful and will complement your plant. I like to use interesting gourds that are different shapes. There are so many varieties to choose from find ones that speak to you.

In order to get the gourd on the skewer and or chopsticks, you will have to pierce the gourd with a paring knife. Hold the gourd down on a counter with one hand and holding the knife close to the tip in the other, circle back and forth keeping the tip of the knife stationary. This will make enough of a hole to slip in the skewer/chopstick. 

Slide the skewer/chopstick with the gourd attached into the dirt in a spot where the gourd will be nestled in the leaves of the plant. You many need to adjust the length of the skewer/chopstick; this is easily done by breaking off the excess. Repeat with the second gourd. Depending on the size of your plant, you may choose to use a third gourd. I tend to like things in odd numbers.

This centerpiece makes a great gift as you can write or place a personal message like “Happy Thanksgiving” or “Happy Holidays” on the paper. The gourds make this project seasonal but the double vessel concept with the recycled paper can be adapted to any plant or season.

And there you have it.