Thursday, November 7, 2019

DIY Pumpkin Succulent Centerpiece

diy Pumpkin Succulent Centerpiece

It's pumpkin season!  Now is the perfect time to round up some pumpkins and create unique centerpieces as a festive touch for your holiday celebrations.  A DIY pumpkin succulent mini garden will be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving decor.  Not only will it be a real attention-getter when you host guests for the holidays, but you will have the benefit of enjoying your new container garden long after you finish all those turkey left-overs.

Here's What You Need:
  1. One large flat pumpkin 
  2. A variety of succulents
  3. Clear gel glue
  4. Spray adhesive
  5. Moss
real pumpkin
It's best to use a flat pumpkin with a slightly indented center .
While I prefer to use a pumpkin in its natural state, I chose to paint mine for this demo project.  I used a lovely Solstice Blue paint color (a subtle blue-gray) that will blend in with the woodland theme I am using for my holiday decorations.  It reminds me of the beautiful shadows you see on fresh snow.  A neutral colored pumpkin better accents the succulents.

removing a pumpkin stem for diy project
Removing the Stem

Once the paint was dry, I used my Dremel with a cut-off wheel to remove the pumpkin stem. 

spraying on craft bond
Spraying on Elmer's Craft Bond 
I then sprayed adhesive on the center top of the pumpkin where the moss will be placed. 

pressing and gluing  moss on pumpkin
Press Moss Into the Adhesive
While the adhesive was still fairly wet and tacky, I pressed a nest of moss onto the sticky surface.  It seems I got a little moss happy.  Could have used a bit less moss, but it would have made a big mess to attempt to remove it.  I let the adhesive set for several minutes before moving to the next step.

cactus with roots showing
Preparing the Roots for Planting

While the adhesive was setting up, I gently removed the soil from the cacti roots in preparation for planting them on the surface of the moss.  I also separated the succulent clusters so I would have more options for spreading out individual plants.

Pumpkin Succulent Centerpiece
Vary Succulent Colors, Textures, and Heights
Start your succulent placement with your largest plant.  Visually, it is most pleasing to the eye to position the first cactus off-center and toward the edge of the pumpkin.  It is also a good idea to group your taller cacti near that first featured plant.  You will use clear gel glue to fasten your succulents to the moss.  Don't worry!  The glue won't hurt your succulents.

mist the moss on a pumpkin centerpiece
Time to Lightly Mist the Moss
Once your pumpkin succulent centerpiece is complete, carefully give the moss a light misting of water.  You will provide moisture to the moss about once a week.  It's important not to let water pool under your plantings.  It will lead to premature rot.  Simply tip your pumpkin slightly to the side to drain any excess water after each misting.  

To extend the life of your pumpkin, and to give your succulents what they need, carefully choose a location away from heaters.  Try to situate your succulent container garden such that your cacti get the sunlight they need without getting too much heat on the pumpkin.  Likewise, take care to protect your succulents from freezing if you will be displaying your centerpiece on a porch or outdoors.

One last tip:  Place your pumpkin on a piece of cork or thick cardboard to keep the bottom from early decay (especially if placed in a location where surface dampness occurs).  Take care to protect your indoor furniture with the use of a waterproof planter mat.

With proper care, your pumpkin succulent centerpiece should last several weeks.  Once the pumpkin has reached the end of its season of life, you can either cut off the top of the pumpkin and plant it on top of appropriate cacti soil, or transplant the newly rooted succulent cuttings to another container.  Of course, you may also choose to use a faux pumpkin to eliminate this step.

It's easy to see why these pumpkin centerpieces are so popular.  Besides being unusual and visually stunning, they let you take your creativity to a whole new place.  This DIY centerpiece is sure to be a fun conversation-starter at your next gathering.  Why not make one to share for a hostess gift?  Who wouldn't love such a thoughtful gesture? 

Enjoy this project and my best wishes to you for a blessed holiday season.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Beautiful and a wonderful centerpiece for your Thanksgiving Table. Looks easy to make and lovely to look at. I will keep this in mind for next year as we have already celebrated Thanksgiving. May I wish you and yours a lovely time of togetherness and lots of good memories in the making.

    1. You Canadians like to get any early start on thankfulness and gratitude. Must be why I love all of my northern friends so much. Thank you for the warm wishes. Always appreciated!

  2. The perfect centerpiece to a Harvest time décor. The one you feature as your example is delightful, despite you getting moss-happy with the beginning steps. :) Thanks for this fun DIY Décor, Diana.

    1. Thanks, Elf. I had fun experimenting. The possibilities are endless as long as the world's moss supply holds up to my demands. Ha!

  3. What a beautiful and unique idea for a fall centerpiece! I love it!!! As I was reading, I wondered if I could use a faux pumpkin simply because I didn't want the risk of the pumpkin rotting before I was ready to give up my centerpiece. I appreciate your anticipating my (and I'm sure, others) question about that. This is truly a great DIY idea. My son loves succulents, which means I already know this centerpiece will be a big hit in our home. Once he starts raving about it, everyone else will note it's unique beauty too.

    1. A faux pumpkin is certainly a smart option. Depending on the lining of the pumpkin (solid foam, etc.), you could hollow out a section and plant the succulents with their soil inside the pumpkin. Maybe you and your son could make one of these centerpieces as a holiday activity. Does he like DIY projects?

    2. Yes, he does. He also enjoys gardening. Seems like a project he would very much enjoy.

  4. Wow that is absolutely beautiful. So creative and you could change the center area to reflect the Christmas holiday season as well. The white pumpkin makes it more flexible too.

    1. Thanks. I have been imagining the Christmas version. I will swap in some berries, small pine cones, and perhaps some burgundy-colored flowers. I am glad I went with the lighter pumpkin color.

  5. You are so talented !!! I love this idea. Thank you for sharing it. I love hens and chicks, and I love this idea.

    1. Well, gee. You certainly made my day with these lovely comments. Thank you! I, too, love the Hens and Chicks cactus.

  6. Holiday centerpieces are often "cutesy" rather than beautiful. Yours is not only beautiful but also elegant and sophisticated! While I really like the idea of a natural pumpkin, I love the idea of hollowing out the center of a faux pumpkin and turning it into a permanent planter for the succulents, making it something that can be enjoyed year-round and featured in the fall season year after year. That Solstice Blue paint really elevates this project! Thanks so much for sharing your latest craft creation and directions for making it.

    1. Thank you for appreciating my take on the holiday centerpiece. I really should create an example of a faux pumpkin model to add to this demo.


Most Recent Reviews on Review This Reviews

Search for Reviews by Subject, Author or Title

The Review This Reviews Contributors

SylvestermouseSylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMbgPhotoMbgPhotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasWednesday ElfWednesday ElfOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaThe Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieLou16Lou16Sam MonacoSam MonacoTracey BoyerTracey BoyerRenaissance WomanRenaissance WomanBarbRadBarbRadBev OwensBev OwensBuckHawkBuckHawkDecorating for EventsDecorating for EventsHeather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G


Review This Reviews is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten

“As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and or Etsy (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement