How can you offer floral customers a fall and Halloween party décor “treat” that’s quick and easy to make?
Magic? Potions? Possibly helpful, but not necessary.
Instead, simply skip the pumpkin patch, gather a few materials and produce this all-floral carnation pumpkin in no time.
Whether intended as a fun family centerpiece or a special event decoration, this conversation piece will cast a spell over your clients so fast it’s spooky. You can even set up a kit for your DIY customers.
Here are three tricks for designing this ‘treat:’
Step 1: Form the Pumpkin
You can use a standing or a round sphere. This design uses the standing sphere because it has a flat base and sits more securely in place.
Place the sphere in water with flower food and allow it to submerse itself completely without pushing down. Full saturation takes less than two minutes. The top will rest at or below the surface.
Using a sharp knife, angle down to the center on the top of the sphere, cut away foam to make a pumpkin shaped form. Rub the wet foam form with your hands to smooth the edges and soften it into the shape of a pumpkin.
For extra security, add a grid around the pumpkin form with waterproof tape.
Step 2: Create the Stem
Begin making the pumpkin stem by cutting six or eight pieces of rustic wire into 10-inch lengths. Place them side by side atop one strip of UGLU.
Bend the form into a hairpin or U shape. Place a piece of UGLU in between the U so the sides stick together. If there are gaps between the wires, glue small pieces of rustic wire in the open spaces to give a smooth look.
Wrap bind wire around the form about one-third to half the way down the new “stem.” Bend some of the ends outward to sit atop the pumpkin shape. Cut away the bottoms of some wires at different lengths to taper the form into a pointed shape. Bind those ends into one tapering point.
Press the pointed stem into the center of the foam and use greening pins to hold it in place atop the form.
Step 3: Insert Carnations
Save time by cutting all the carnation stems at once to a 1-inch length with a sharp slanted point. The pointed ends hold in the foam in place better than a flat cut.
We used three bunches of carnations (75 stems) for this design because the blooms were fresh and tight and there was only one design being made. You can potentially use 2.5 bunches of open carnations if you’re making several designs at one time. Excess stems can be used in the next design to nicely fill in the shape.
You can also use different shades of carnations. You may notice that some blooms are one shade of orange and others a slightly darker hue. Interspersing the different shades throughout the design reflected the slight color variations of a real pumpkin.
You might also consider using mums, poms, daisy mums, mini carnations, roses or similar flowers make your pumpkin design. You can also choose from several sizes of spheres to adapt your pumpkin to fit your customer’s needs.
To add the fibrous wisps that often fray off a pumpkin stem, wrap bind wire around a pen or pencil to make some curls. We added three lengths of curled bind wire to this stem. Bend the piece of wire into a u-shape and wrap each around the stem, leaving both ends exposed.
Since the flowers are cut short, it’s a good idea to apply Floralock adhesive to the finished design. Be sure the arrangement is complete before applying, as the foam absorbs the adhesive and locks the flowers in place.
To help the long-lasting design last even longer, mist with an anti-transparent like Finishing Touch. Using orange carnations to create a practical pumpkin design is a fun way to incorporate fresh flowers into Halloween decor.
In addition to creating your designs to sell, encourage your customers to make their own pumpkin centerpieces. Provide a shop handout of DIY instructions and set up a vignette of necessary materials for the project. Ask your clients to post pictures of their finished designs and hashtag your shop.