Life & Design

How to make a pumpkin planter – for tables and porches

This pumpkin planter will give your fall and Halloween decorations a sophisticated, stylish edge

pumpkin planters
(Image credit: Bloom & Wild)

Learning how to make a pumpkin planter is one of the simplest ways to elevate your autumnal decor. 

Whether you're planning to use it as centerpiece for a fall party or as an unexpected alternative to a planter on your front porch, this easy and on-trend craft is a must-have part of your Halloween decorating repertoire. 

'Pumpkin vases are a fun autumnal alternative to a classic vase,' says Amelia Christoffers, floral stylist at Bloom & Wild

Here's the step-by-step to help you create your own.

How to create a pumpkin planter

pumpkin flower vase

(Image credit: Bloom & Wild)

Making a pumpkin planter can be done with either a real or faux pumpkin. If you use the fake kind, just be sure it's hollow on the inside and labeled 'carveable.' 

We used a real one. If your choose faux, you'll follow almost the same steps, with a few exceptions as noted in the directions, below. 

1. Make a hole in the top of your pumpkin

Dot a circle (7-8 inches radius) around the top of the pumpkin, not too wide that all the flowers will fall to the side, and not too narrow that they all face towards the sky. Use a knife, and safely cut out the top as if you were going to carve a pumpkin

'If you are finding cutting into the pumpkin difficult to do – perhaps it's accuracy of shape you are struggling with or the thickness of the skin, tracing onto the pumpkin skin first with a marker, then poking a fine barbecue skewer through to the pulp every inch or so along the line will make it easier to cut,' says Kaitlin Madden, Homes & Gardens editor-at-large. 

This will be a useful technique, too, if you want to try other pumpkin carving ideas on your hollowed pumpkin.

2. Prep the inside of the pumpkin planter

pumpkin planter

(Image credit: Alamy)

If you're using a real pumpkin, once the top is off, scoop out the seeds and pulp with a metal spoon.

When everything's been cleared out, place some wet floral foam at the bottom of the pumpkin. This will soak up any excess water, and acts both as a support to keep the flowers in place and as a preservative to keep flowers in bloom for longer.

If you're using a faux pumpkin, place your floral foam into a container before putting it into the pumpkin, since not all faux pumpkins will be water-tight. You can also use a small potted plant (placing mums inside makes a cute outdoor Halloween decorating idea).

3. Add blooms to a pumpkin planter

pumpkin planter

(Image credit: Alamy)

Now's the time to get the creative juices flowing and to arrange your foliage and flowers. We'd recommend a mixture of reds and pinks, colors that complement the pumpkin's orange, but any hues will do. 

Flowers like celosia, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums can evoke that autumnal look, while aster, dianthus, ornamental peppers, and red hypericum berries can give you that vibrant feel.

Whichever flowers you choose, trim the stems in varying lengths, starting with  blooms that are just taller than the opening of the vase. This which will give your floral planter a full, professional look. 

How to make a pumpkin crown

pumpkin flower vase

(Image credit: Bloom & Wild)

If you're looking for another way to add flowers to your pumpkin, as a complement to your pumpkin vase or simply instead, try topping it with a flower crown. The simple method below is actually a no-carve pumpkin idea, because you won't need to clean out the pumpkin's insides. 

1. Make a mark

Instead of cutting a hole in the top of the pumpkin, dot the outline of your flower crown onto the pumpkin with a marker.

2. Poke holes and trim stems

Next, use a metal skewer to poke holes (about 1in deep) into the dots and then trim your flower stems (at an angle) so they’re about three or four inches long. 

3. Choose your favorite flowers

Slide your flower stems into the holes you've made.

How do you use a pumpkin flower arrangement?

A pumpkin flower arrangement can be used in lots of ways around the house. The most obvious is, of course, as a centerpiece on a table. Place one large pumpkin vase in the center of a round table on Thanksgiving, or make three smaller arrangements to stagger down the middle of a rectangular table for clever Halloween table decor, for example.

It's also an elegant pumpkin carving idea if you want to carve your pumpkin to roast the seeds, but are looking for a more sophisticated take on Halloween decorating ideas.

Pumpkin vases can also be used as Halloween porch decor, filled with real or faux flowers, or even a small chrysanthemum plant. Finally, you can set them on a fireplace mantle, the kitchen island, or an entryway table to add festive flair. 

How long will a pumpkin planter last?

A pumpkin planter will last for up to a month if left outdoors. Indoors, in a heated room, it will last only around a week before it starts to break down.

What is the best pumpkin for a planter?

The best pumpkin for a planter is one that is rounder and flatter rather than tall – and it should have a flat bottom, too. This shaping will ensure it will stand up more reliably and will have room to take a container. If you can't find the right shaped pumpkin for a planter, you can of course remove the bottom of the pumpkin so that the flower pot or vase of flowers sits straight onto the surface below – perhaps the porch floor or on a pretty plate if on a table.

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.