Thursday, October 13, 2011

pumpkin topiaries

Last weekend I headed outside with the kids to make our pumpkin topiaries for the front porch. I used to do this when we lived in TN. But then we moved to GA and it seemed pointless because 1) we lived about 150ft from the street...hence, NO one could see them, and 2) it was too hot & humid & I didn't want to go through all of this effort for them to last less than a week. 

But now we're in WA and it's much cooler & a lot less humid so I was happy that I could start doing my topiaries again. 

Plus, I have a great porch to put these on :)

I don't remember where I found the original inspiration as it was about 8-9 yrs ago. Maybe a Southern Living mag?? Anyway, I'm sure there's tons of inspiration out there but I didn't bother to check since I've done these before. 

So here's how you make them:
Grab yourself 3 pumpkins in 3 sizes...think of it as making a pumpkin snowman :) 
Doesn't that small pumpkin have the best stem??

Of course, you don't have to do 3, 2 would work really nice, too. (The fatter, rounder ones work better than the taller, more oval ones)

Then recruit the minions to help de-gut the pumpkins...
You'll want to cut a hole in just the top of the fattest pumpkin and a hole in the top and bottom of the 2 smaller pumpkins. 

After gutting 6 pumpkins I realized I really need some cool pumpkin carving tools like they have on Halloween Wars :)

Set the pumpkins on each other & adjust the holes so they sit better.
Then fight with your kids over the power tools...cause power tools are fun :)
I used 2 different drill bits. The top pumpkin has small holes, the middle has big holes & the biggest pumpkin has both. Of course, it's your pumpkins & you can do what you want! 

That type of drill bit that is in the pic makes a cleaner hole. I had 2 different kinds of drill bits & the bigger holes didn't quite cut as clean of a hole. But I had to use what the hubby had!

Then clean them up a bit...along with your grass that looks like a pumpkin massacre has taken place.
All those pumpkin guts are just from the drilling!

Stack the pumpkins on top of each other in an urn or something similar. I have flower pots/urns that are on my porch year round & usually use those. I find that I like to use something to somewhat hold them together. Usually I use garden stakes but since I couldn't find those I used some metal bbq skewers. 
Hey, they worked! Just use something to stake the pumpkins to each other. You don't need a ton. I only used 3 per topiary.

Then feed some lights through all 3 pumpkins. I used 50 mini clear lights with a white cord for each one. I find that the white cord looks better than green when it's lit up.

You'll need to cut a smaller hole in the back of the large pumpkin for the cord to come out. You should probably do that before putting the lights in.
Wrap some grapevine garland around the pumpkins & add some fall foliage.
The grapevine garland I think helps hold the pumpkins in place a bit, too.
I also added a cute little scarecrow (Michaels on sale for $4.99) sitting on a small hay bale (leftover from last year) to hide some of the cord.

And at night...
I wish I had a better pic. It really does look so much better in person :)

So here's a few things to keep in mind:

If you live in a hot/humid climate your topiary won't last as long. When I lived in TN I would usually get about 2 weeks out of this before it would start to smoosh in. Although, when we would have a warmer month I would barely get a week and a half out of it.

If your topiary is exposed to the elements (like rain) it probably won't last as long. (Mine are on a covered porch)

I've thought about doing this with fake pumpkins but haven't for 3 reasons: 1) I'm thinking it might be a fire hazard to have lights inside of those fake pumpkins (but not sure), 2) they are so light that I would worry about my topiary not staying up, and 3) real pumpkins are just so much more pretty!

Like I said, you could also do this with just 2 pumpkins. Or cut a design that flows through all 3 pumpkins. You can really get creative with this!

Happy Fall!!!


Carol said...

Oh my word! Those are awesome!!! Do you wrap the lights in all 3 pumpkins, or just put them in the bottom one and they light reflects out of all of them? Love it!

Traci said...

love it! looks great! i have always wanted to do poke-a-dotted pumpkins!!!

Micki said...

Super cute! I love this idea!

Vidya @What Ur Home Story said...

Love the idea. Pinning it.

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