6 Awesome Ways to Decorate with Fall Pumpkins

A chill in the air reminds us that autumn is on its way.

Autumn is often referred to as ‘fall’ because it’s the season of falling leaves. Fall is the perfect season to sell transitional designs that feature vibrant colors, rich textures, and unique forms.

Photo: Sharon McGukin

As seasonal activities move indoors, we’re inspired to take natural materials inside with us. Including the popular pumpkin.

Fall, Halloween, Tailgate and Thanksgiving seasons all offer awesome opportunities to showcase pumpkins. Creatively designed centerpieces make popular conversation pieces for special events.

Consider these six ways to decorate with fall pumpkins. Which one is your favorite?

  1. Arrange flowers in a fresh pumpkin

We often think of traditional pumpkins as oblate and orange. Our options keep expanding.

Photo: Sharon McGukin

In recent years, it’s the bumpy, odd colored, or mis-shaped pumpkins that have become the trendsetters. This unique sage-green pumpkin makes a trendy neutral container for colorful fall flowers.

If an uninteresting pumpkin needs some love, try rubbing it with dabs of metallic gold or silver paint to add a little charm. Or, use decorative wire to add unique wire work accessories.

Photo: Sharon McGukin

Mix and match pumpkin styles together to create inspiring sales displays. Featuring a variety of colors and textures will appeal to a diverse clientele.

Midnight foam makes a good companion to the great pumpkin. The black foam becomes an element of the design disappearing visually between the flowers giving it an updated look.

Photo: Sharon McGukin

To add flowers, simply cut off the pumpkin top off like a lid, clean out the pumpkin pulp and seeds. Fill a container, such as a lomey dish, with floral foam to keep the water from rotting the inside of the pumpkin. Re-attach the ‘lid’ with wood picks. Add flowers.

Check out the cool pumpkin-flower arrangements in this blog - 14 Bewitching Halloween Arrangements with Midnight Foam

2.     Cluster pumpkins for curb appeal

Pumpkins clustered together around the entrance of your floral business help direct traffic into your door.

Photo: Sharon McGukin

Guide your customers in updating their planters, window boxes, or entrance areas.

  • Sell loose pumpkins and mum plants of various sizes along with handouts of planting instructions.
  • Offer small tillandsia, succulents, or ferns for fun hair-like pumpkins fillers.
  • Hold in-store classes to share DIY pumpkin ideas with adults or children.
  • Fill vignettes with DIY project design materials for ‘grab-and-go’ impulse buys.
  • Carve out small pumpkins. Then, add a votive candle for a seasonal candle holder.

Create your own attractive mini pumpkin patch where your customers can photograph their kids selecting a pumpkin.

Rather skip the pumpkin patch?

3. Make a fresh flower pumpkin

Gather fresh orange carnations from your cooler instead, to create this simple pumpkin.

Photo: Sharon McGukin

This fast, easy design will cast a spell over your clients so fast it’s spooky!

Expand your ‘all-flower pumpkin’ sales by creating a DIY kits or offering hands-on classes for your ‘make-it-myself’ customers to enjoy.

Find the step-by-step instructions for creating this fresh flower pumpkin in this blog - 3 “Tricks” to Spooky Easy All-Flower Pumpkins    

4. Decorate the table with pumpkins

Research indicates that having fresh flowers and plants in the home adds to our quality of life and makes us feel happier.

Photo: Sharon McGukin

Offer a ‘feel good’ blend of fall flowers, foliage, grasses, twigs, etc. and of course – pumpkins, to bring seasonal beauty indoors for your customers to enjoy.

Tin, cork, and wood containers are a good choice for the season. A pumpkin adds dimension while creating a natural connection to the outdoors when used as a  centerpiece or accessory.

White pumpkins are especially popular as a carry-over to Thanksgiving.

Photo: Sharon McGukin @ Moss Mountain, AR

How can you dress up your leftover orange guys for the Thanksgiving table, too?

5. Paint those pumpkins

Don’t throw your traditional orange pumpkins away when Halloween is over. Paint them!

Spray each one with a shiny coat of paint. Choose metallics - gold, silver, copper, or trendy decorator colors that match shop displays.

  • Promote painted pumpkins as impulse DIY buys for elegant Thanksgiving tablescapes.
  • Mix crystal, mercury glass, gold leaf vases or other decorative elements in the sales display with the ‘Thanksgiving pumpkin’ for an upscale look.

Want more out of the box ideas? Try the tips in this blog -  7 Tips to Think “Outside the Pumpkin” and Increase Floral Sales

6. Build a Pumpkin House or Tree

If you have the space, a pumpkin house as a great way to attract customers and celebrate the season.

Photo: Sharon McGukin @ Moss Mountain, AR (2017)

As P. Allen Smith knows, pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween decor. Allen uses the colorful fruit to decorate his Moss Mountain property throughout the fall season.

You can find the wire or wood forms needed for the base of pumpkin house designs by googling for suppliers online. Pumpkins houses are also popular at festivals and state or craft fairs.

If a life-sized pumpkin house isn’t practical for your floral business, consider a pumpkin tree or mum tree instead.

Photo: Sharon McGukin @ Moss Mountain, UMN Arboretum

The size of these designs can be scaled up or down. Again, search for the necessary foundations online.

Still too large? 

  • Make mumkins instead. Carve out a pumpkin, add a plastic liner or lomey to catch water, and drop in a mum for a fast and easy centerpiece.
  • Create a display of empty pumpkin shells (with liners inside) planted with succulents, or other small plants, for centerpieces that will last the season.

Not into pumpkins?

A trendy mix of fresh and dried fall flowers adds visual warmth to any room.

Here’s the Garden Style Vignettes video of how I designed this basket arrangement for a TV episode of P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home.

Photo: Sharon McGukin

When you add fruit or plant material with flowers the tactile blend of surfaces proves that opposites attract. Rough and smooth. Large and small. Shiny and matte. Round and linear.

The juxtaposition of opposing materials adds visual interest to any space.

Autumn is an awesome time can expand your floral business profits by incorporating seasonal materials into your fall designs.

Of these six pumpkin decorating options – which one  is your favorite?


This year I drilled tiny holes in top of the pumkings & poked live succulents into the moist flesh…hope it works! Thank you for so many great ideas. Bee

Bee October 11, 2020

I can only guess as to whether or not you can use floral adhesive to glue fresh carnations to a live pumpkin. My guess is no.
At the very least – not easily. The pumpkin rind is hard and smooth, the carnation has a semi-pointed base and the pumpkin offers no soft space for insertion.

If you cut off the stem from the head of a flat-backed flower like a button pom, perhaps you could use floral adhesive (aka cold glue) to glue the back of the pumpkin rind. I’m not sure that will work either, but it’s worth a try. Good luck!

How long a carnation will last depends on how fresh the flower is when used. The carnation certainly will not last as long without a water source as it will when designed in water or wet floral foam.

Sharon McGukin December 18, 2019

curious—how do you keep gnats away from your cut pumpkins

Tara Tatalovich December 18, 2019

I really haven’t had a gnat problem with my pumpkins. I clean the inside pulp out thoroughly. I use a liner inside the pumpkin so the water and wet foam do not come into contact with the pumpkin flesh. I dispose of the pumpkin once the flowers have expired or the season or event is over.

I know that some designers like to seal the outside of the pumpkin by rubbing it with floor wax. Perhaps you could try painting the inside of the pumpkin with floor wax, as well. Just a thought!

Thanks for commenting! Please encourage your floral friends to subscribe to the blog at – https://oasisfloralproducts.com/floral-ideas/

Sharon McGukin December 18, 2019

Can I cold glue orange carnations to a carved pumpkin? How long will the flowers last without oasis?

Wayne Bahr December 18, 2019

Thanks for your comment, Wayne! So glad you enjoyed it!
Please encourage your flower friends to subscribe to the blog as well.

Sharon McGukin December 18, 2019

I love the Autumn basket. So beautiful!!

Maureen Johnson December 18, 2019

Thank you! So glad you enjoyed the blog. What other topics would you like to read about?

Sharon McGukin December 18, 2019

Thanks for sharing it gives me great ideas.

Wayne Bahr December 18, 2019

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published