As my kids grow older, I find that my holiday decorating has evolved from the plastic manufactured holiday decorations, to decorations that are mainly handmade and carry a theme with their color and presentation. There are no more plastic clings in the windows that have been stuck on with spit. I still like whimsical decorations, but they are sprinkled among more sophisticated items that say “adults live here and they still like to have fun.”
Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the crispness to the air, the leaves crunching under my feet and the warm glow of a fireplace or candles. The house I live in now does not have a fireplace, but my kids are now old enough to deal maturely with a room lit with candles. I decided since my kids don’t really care if they carve a pumpkin anymore, I would still get a pumpkin for myself. I made a fall candle holder using a pumpkin as the base. It looks great as a table centerpiece, but would also be pretty on a fireplace mantle or side table.
The instructions for this candle holder can be altered to fit any size pumpkin by adjusting the size of the candle used.
Pumpkin-mine was about the size of a basketball
Serrated knife or pumpkin carving tools
Pillar candle-Mine was 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall
Spoon or scoop of some sort
Object to use as a pedestal
Fall floral decorations
Hot glue gun-optional
Carefully cut around the stem of your pumpkin and remove it. This cut does not need to be a perfect circle, but it does need to be smaller than the diameter of your candle.
Stand the pillar candle over the hole and trace around it with a marking pen. If the top of the pumpkin is not level, tip the candle to a level position before tracing around it. Cut around the traced line, keeping the cuts straight up and down. You do want to be fairly precise with this cut. The candle will fit inside this hole snuggly to prevent a lot of air flow. The less air in the pumpkin, the longer it will last.
Dilemma: To clean out the guts or not to clean out the guts. I decided to clean and cut away the guts directly below the hole I had carved, but I left the rest inside. The guts inside are not going to show anyway. The spot below the hole needed the space for a pedestal to place the candle on. I figured the candle would begin to sink after a few days if it didn’t have a stable surface to rest on.
Scavenge for a plastic or glass object that will fit inside the hole of the pumpkin to create a pedestal for your candle. It needs to sit flat on the bottom of the pumpkin and the top of it needs to sit below the cutout opening. I used a glass bud vase. Place your pillar candle inside the hole and resting securely on the pedestal.
Decorate around the base of the candle. Place a fall floral candle ring around the candle, wind a short section of a fall garland around the candle, or hot glue a variety of silk fall leaves, flowers and berries around the candle. The first two ideas are much more frugal. The pumpkin will eventually decay and you can recycle decorations for a new candle holder.
There are a couple of safety tips I feel I should mention. One, do not leave your candle burning in an unoccupied room and two, place your pumpkin on a plate or flower pot saucer to prevent any seepage from destroying your table’s surface.