Autumn Centerpiece in a Muted Palette

Autumn Centerpiece - MattandShari.comSo often at this time of the year we see an autumn centerpiece and wreath in “autumn” colors of gold, red and brown.  This combination of colors is beautiful for the season and I’m definitely not knocking it.

Autumn Paper Napkins as Inspiration - MattandShari.comHowever, this year I wanted to try something different for my autumn centerpiece. I started with a paper napkin I found that depicted pumpkins, but the background was a soft washed gray and the pumpkins were a little softer than usual and I kind of liked the gentle tones and thought it would be interesting to build a floral arrangement using the napkin as inspiration.

Autumn Centerpiece Materials - MattandShari.comWell, it was tougher than I thought to find flowers in the muted colors I was after. I did find a white faux pumpkin which seemed perfect, and then I grabbed a collection of off-white, ivory, soft orange and brown foliage. I also selected a soft orange ribbon to make a bow. Here is a list of all the materials you will need:

Materials List:

  • Faux plastic pumpkin
  • Serrated knife
  • Block of floral foam
  • Hot glue gun
  • Greening pins
  • Variety of flowers and berries of your choice (about 12 – 15 stems)
  • Wire cutters
  • Ribbon


Autumn Centerpiece Preparing the Pumpkin - MattandShari.com1. Start by cutting out the stem at the top of the pumpkin so you have an opening to insert your floral foam and flowers. I carved this just the same way I would cut the top out of a jack-o-lantern. Use a serrated knife and just be careful.

Autumn Centerpiece Hot Glue the Foam - MattandShari.com2. Next, cut the block of floral foam to fit into the pumpkin. Add hot glue to the base and push it down and hold it for a minute so it sticks to the base of the inside of your pumpkin.

Autumn Centerpiece Greening Pins - MattandShari.comI used greening pins that I pushed up and into the floral foam from the outside of the base of the pumpkin for added security.

Autumn Centerpiece Focal Flowers - MattandShari.com3. When it comes time to start building the arrangement of flowers for the autumn centerpiece, use the rule that states you should start with your focal flowers, placing them where they will be seen around all sides.

Autumn Centerpiece Filler Flowers - MattandShari.com4. Next rule, add your secondary flowers – mine are the dark roses, and then the filler flowers. I used both berry stems and eucalyptus as filler flowers in my autumn centerpiece. Make sure to turn your arrangement so you place your flowers evenly and all sides look filled in.

Autumn Centerpiece with Eucalyptus - MattandShari.comHere’s how it looked once all of the stems had been added. It filled in nicely and really brightened up with the addition of the eucalyptus.

Autumn Centerpiece Bare Edges - MattandShari.comNow notice here that the edge where I cut the pumpkin looks a little bare. There isn’t enough foliage on the stems of the flowers to cover it.

Autumn Centerpiece Added Leaves - MattandShari.comSo, to remedy this, I gathered together several large leaves that were cut off the hydrangea when I cut the stems down. I found appropriate places for them and simply hot glued them in place directly to the pumpkin. This simple step makes the whole arrangement look more finished and professional.

The last step is to add a bow if you like. I used mine to also fill in an open space along the edge of the pumpkin and the flowers. I used the hot glue gun to hold it in place as well.

If you like this idea but would much rather display live flowers, instead of putting floral foam inside the pumpkin once you’ve carved off the top, insert a plastic container or a vase. Fill with water and add your live flowers. You could even use a real pumpkin instead of the plastic variety.

Another way to make your autumn centerpiece stand out this season is to add some sparkle to it. Almost everything this holiday season has a bit of glitter. I did buy a small container of craft paint that has glitter in it and thought I might add a wash of color, stripes or even polka dots for fun on my faux pumpkin. In the end I preferred to leave it plain, but my daughter would bedazzle it in a minute!