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Video: Get creative with pumpkins

  1. Closed captioning of: Get creative with pumpkins

    >>> celebrate the season. *

    >> where do we find this music? this morning on "today's home," it is pumpkin picking season, and because kids love to run around the fields and pick as many as they can, we have the editor of " southern living " magazine here with us for great ideas. hi, elizabeth. great way to decorate and inexpensive.

    >> inexpensive, fun and kids can do it.

    >> kids love this. this is something you did with your kids, right?

    >> so easy. all you do is take your pumpkin , cut your top off like normally. cut it a little lower and look for a wide pumpkin for this. scoop out all the inside. then what you're going to do is go to the hardware store and buy copper wire . cut eight equal lengths and you can be like superman. you bend it and buy a copper cutter. it's $10. then have your kids push the legs into the pumpkin like that. you've got the legs. then you're going to fill it with ice.

    >> ice?

    >> you can put sodas, whatever. it just makes -- it's fun. you can do a few of them.

    >> a pumpkin cooler.

    >> it's a spooky pumpkin cooler.

    >> very cute.

    >> next, when serving, it's so easy to hollow out a pumpkin and use it for dip or any kind of serving.

    >> soups are great.

    >> the great thing is you do it ahe ahead. you can put this in the refrigerator, take it out, put your chips. couldn't be easier.

    >> yeah. that looks really cute. i love this idea here. you've actually lit up this pumpkin .

    >> this is very pretty as the alternative to the carving. also so easy. this is actually with a fake pumpkin . if you're going to do the work, you can do it and store it year to year. all you do is take painter's tape. the only reason you do this is so that you know you can cut in a straight line.

    >> right.

    >> then take a 5/16 drill, you drill the hole and then just take your christmas lights out early --

    >> not hard to do at all.

    >> make sure they work. stuff them in the bottom. by the way, you've carved out the whole bottom. stick it in there, then thread the lights in through the hole like that, and then just plug it in and put it at your door.

    >> and it's safer than i would imagine the candles, which are not extremely safe.

    >> and you can use it year after year.

    >> great.

    >> super easy.

    >> this is beautiful. this is a wreath made of pumpkins?

    >> go to the florist store, any craft store. you can buy a wreath wire. you take the small pumpkins. these are so cute. take the florist wire --

    >> be careful when you're pushing them through.

    >> you attach them to the form and then just buy moss, which you can buy at a florist shop or a craft shop.

    >> so it's actually a round wreath form.

    >> it's a wreath form and you wrap them around. it's so easy. you can make them more three-dimensional, add more pumpkins to it twist it, hide it and then add a black ribbon for a festive look to your door for trick-or-treaters.

    >> then you decorate it with the moss around it, too.

    >> you cover the wire form like this, cover the wire with the moss with the glue gun or you could actually just stick it on there and it will stay.

    >> now, look at this gorgeous centerpiece, right? this would be perfect for a dining room table.

    >> well, it's actually a little high for a dining room table --

    >> might be.

    >> unless you don't want to see --

    >> you don't want to talk to your friends.

    >> but for a pumpkin , this is great for a housewarming gift for somebody's house. you know in the south we love to bring house warming gift.

    >> two southern living girls.

    >> you just cut out the center, but you have to really put a glass vase in. so measure your vase to your pumpkin beforehand. fill it with water and it will last for months at a time.

    >> gorgeous idea. okay.

    >> now, for your dining room table, it's nicer to do something flat. just take a platter, take pumpkins, put it together with peppers and tomatoes. just stay within a color palette . assemble it --

    >> then you get a beagle and then you stay in the patch all night and you wait --

    >> i love charlie brown . and then a copper pot.

    >> that is pretty cool.

    >> put it --

    >> if you don't cut it, how long do they last?

    >> they last quite a long time. when you buy it, make sure the stem is stiff and there's no blemishing.

    >> all right. just like the way i like my co-anchors.

updated 9/28/2009 2:34:51 PM ET 2009-09-28T18:34:51

Pumpkins aren't just for carving. Here are some ideas that go beyond the traditional jack-o'-lantern. Southern Living shares some clever ideas about how to use these festive gourds in decorating and entertaining. These ideas are easy to do and can add style to your home without costing much time or money. Since pumpkins are in season, you can pick them up at your local farmers market or grocery store or make a day of it and go pumpkin picking.

These ideas are hip and contemporary:

1. Create spooky spider coolers as a festive way to keep drinks cold
This is an easy DIY project.

The idea here is to cut a top off the pumpkin and hollow it out.

To create the legs, you can buy copper tubing and a copper tube cutter at a hardware or home improvement store. You'll need to make eight legs for your spiders, so measure and mark them out before you cut, then cut them. If there are rough edges, you can file down with an emery board.

To make curved legs, simply bend them and poke a hole in the pumpkin and insert. This can also be fun for the kids to help you create.

If you're putting the spider pumpkin on a piece a of furniture that can get damaged, simply line the pumpkin bottom with a plastic bag before pouring the bag of ice in and putting in your drinks!

See the how-to video on the Southern Living Web site.

Image: Spider pumpkin
Jennifer R. Davick
Forget the usual jack-o'-lantern and do something fun with your pumpkin, like this spider-shaped cooler.

2. Another fun, entertaining idea: pumpkin bowls
Fill a small pumpkin or winter squash with dip if impromptu guests come over or for your next party.

You will need a platter to put the pumpkin on. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the inside. Put onion dip inside (any kind) and some colorful clips next to it (as shown in video above).

3. Use a pumpkin as a vase for a festive flower arrangement
Hollow out a pumpkin and put a clear glass vase inside and flowers. It makes a great centerpiece or hostess gift.

4. Pumpkins with other colorful fruit for a gorgeous centerpiece
This is an elegant and unexpected way to pair pumpkins with other colorful fruit for a gorgeous centerpiece for a dinner party. It's like decorating: See what colors would best complement each other. Take creative license, mix and match, have fun. Mix smaller, deep orange pumpkins with pomegranates, berries and cherry tomatoes for an eclectic arrangement.

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5. Create a flower arrangement with things you already have in your home
Use a household copper pot, twigs or berries from your backyard, place the pumpkin inside and surround with sunflowers and greenery. Place florist foam at the bottom of the pot, the pumpkin in the center and the vines around it. The foam acts as a watering agent and gives the pumpkin height.

6. This twinkling pumpkin is a fun way to welcome trick-or-treaters
This is best for a Cinderella pumpkin, which refers to its shape. All you need is a knife, painters tape, a drill to make the holes and one strand of Christmas lights.

Cut a circular hole at the bottom of the pumpkin scoop and out the inside. Then use painters tape to mark the middle of the pumpkin. With an electric drill and a 5/16 drill bit, drill holes in the pumpkin, around then up the sides.

Poke Christmas lights from the inside out for a scary pumpkin. This can also work with an artificial pumpkin so you can keep it from year to year.

See the how-to video on MyHomeIdeas.com.

7. Wreath of small pumpkins
Use tiny pumpkins to create a pretty autumn wreath that makes an inviting entry to your home. It's a great use for those mini pumpkins you see in grocery stores and at produce stands this time of year.

It's easy to do: Just wire the tiny pumpkins to the wreath form and use sheet moss to fill in the spaces between them. Then cap the wreath with a big black bow and hang it on the front door. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Use the end of heavy-gauge florist wire to make a hole near the bottom of a miniature pumpkin. Run wire through pumpkin and out the opposite side. You could also use a nail to make a hole on either side of the pumpkin, and then insert florist wire.

Step 2: Place the miniature pumpkin on the form; on underside of wreath, twist wire ends together to hold the pumpkin in place. Continue threading and attaching pumpkins with wire until wreath form is completely covered.

Step 3: Cover exposed areas of wreath form with pieces of sheet moss, securing with florist pins.

Step 4: Twist a piece of florist wire around the top of the wreath to make a loop for hanging. Make a large bow from wide black ribbon, and attach it near the wire loop. Hang the wreath by the wire loop from a nail or hook inserted in the front door.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints


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