If you haven’t gotten your pumpkins yet, there’s still time! I just picked out mine at the Milk Pail. They have a great selection of pumpkins and gourds in all different sizes and colors. After purchasing way too many (I just couldn’t decide), I knew I had to come up with some creative uses for them. Here are my favorites:
1. Create Vases — One of my favorite things to do with pumpkins is create fun vases. First, cut out a small hole in the top and scoop out the insides like you would if you were carving it. Once it is hollow, draw designs on the outside with a Sharpie (silver and gold look really pretty), or use paint. When it’s finished and dry, use fresh or dry flowers to put in the hole at the top. The smaller pumpkins look especially cute and this is a great activity to do with kids.
2. Make A Bird Feeder — I love bird watching. In the northeast, a lot of the birds don’t migrate. You might not recognize their bright feathers as they become more muted during the winter, but often you can attract more birds during this season because it is harder for them to find food. If they find your feeders, they often come back for more food. A great way to use your pumpkins for the holidays is to create feeders to hang in your yard. Just cut your pumpkin in half, dig out the insides, and puncture two holes—one on each side. Then, tie a rope or string to both holes and your feeder is complete. Hang over a branch and fill with seeds. Orange pumpkins look great on the bare trees. I always swap out my regular feeders for these home made ones during the fall.
3. Whip Up A Pumpkin Cocktail — This holiday season, you’re sure to throw a party, even if it’s just for family. Did you know that you can use pumpkin puree to make cocktails? It’s simple and very flavorful. First, start out by Googling a recipe for pumpkin puree. It’s fairly easy and anyone can make it. When you have it completed, use a couple tablespoons of pumpkin puree and add it to vodka. Mix it in a shaker with honey, cinnamon, lemon, or anything else you enjoy. Pour it over ice.
4. Design Gourds To Make Candles And Place Settings — You’ve probably used pumpkins and gourds as festive centerpieces. Now, you can actually make them useful. If you carve out a hole just big enough to fit a tealight candle, the candle falls into place just enough on the top and the gourd looks like a candleholder. To create a place setting, slice the top of the stem of the gourd in half just enough to stick a paper nameplate through it.
5. Stack Pumpkins In A Fireplace — If you really have a lot of pumpkins and don’t want to spend time cleaning, painting, or cooking them, stack them in a fireplace that you don’t use. This always creates a nice effect to any house, and adds a lot of holiday spirit.
These five are my favorite creative tips, but remember, there are many other uses for pumpkins, especially if you love to cook. A lot of recipes can be found online. Enjoy!