TikTok user shares hack for pumpkin carving
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Replacing tacky, plastic Halloween decorations with the fruits and foliage of your autumn garden is a unique way to decorate your home this October. The rich autumnal hues of gardens across Britain make for stunning wreath decorations and Halloween plant pots. Express.co.uk spoke to the gardening experts to find out how you can switch silly for sophisticated through the spooky season.
How to make an autumnal wreath
Not only is this festive wreath an eco-friendly alternative to plastic decorations, but it is also a great way to make use of garden clutter like piles of leaves, pine cones and spent branches.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, MyJobQuote gardening expert, Samantha Jones said: “To make the wreath base, you need some strong wood vines such as grapevines, thin willow branches and wisteria.
“You should try to use vines that have curling tendrils as these will hold plant materials in place.”
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Choosing a wide variety of garden items will make for a colourful and authentic wreath.
Samantha recommends using the following items:
- Garden wood vines (try to use vines that are already spent)
- Autumn-coloured leaves
- Colourful foliage
- Pampas grass
- Black and orange flowers
You can even make natural glue to keep your decorations 100 percent organic – all you need is to stir half a cup of all-purpose flour with a pinch of salt, adding water gradually until gooey.
Take your strong spent wood vines and soak them in water for a few hours to increase flexibility and soften them up.
Lay the vines out in a straight line before using the longest strands to wrap into a circle to form the outline of the wreath, and wind in the other vines until you have the right thickness.
Add string to the top of the wreath and then begin attaching foliage and leaves.
Overlap foliage in between vines and spread them across the base
Add pampas grass and wheat, placing the stems in the same direction as the leaves
Add apples, flowers and pinecones, as well as black and orange flowers to finish off the wreath and make sure to evenly distribute before glueing.
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How to make a carved pumpkin planter
This staple Halloween decoration can be found ready-made in many stores, but Samantha says it’s very easy and much more affordable to make your own.
To create pumpkin planters, you will need the following items:
- Dried gourds or pumpkins that can be carved and hollowed out
- Plants such as spider plants, red spider lily, bat flower, Japanese blood grass, ghost plant and doll’s eye
- A pencil
- Wood stain
- Carving knife
- Lightweight potting soil and organic matter
Before carving, wash your pumpkin thoroughly with warm soapy water and leave it to dry before carving.
Remove impurities from the surface of your pumpkin using sandpaper to lightly exfoliate the bright orange skin.
Trace your carving design onto the outer layer using a pencil before removing the seeds and pulp with a strong spoon.
Preserve your planter using wood stain to buff the surface of the pumpkin then leave to dry and reapply another coat.
Add the potting soil to fill a third of the hollowed pumpkin.
Add established plants to the soil on the same level as their original pot.
Pumpkin table decor
Whether you’re hosting a festive party or tucking into a Halloween meal, painted pumpkins are perfect for an organic centrepiece.
Entertaining expert, Rosanna Falconer has shared her unique table decor method for a long-lasting autumnal table display.
Rosanna told Express.co.uk: “The nod to Halloween is pumpkins painted in antique gold.
“They’re one of the easiest ways to add a touch of the season without going full-on-fright-night!
Rosanna recommends using ‘munchkin’ pumpkins – the smaller the better.
Start by scrubbing your pumpkins with diluted vinegar so that the paint adheres.
Cover in water-based gold paint – this makes it safe for the pumpkin to decompose afterwards.
The vinegar will prolong the life of the pumpkin which should last around one month.
Rosanna added: “Be sure to hollow out the big ones – roast the seeds for salads and as for the flesh, add to flavour a curry!”
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