When I was little I used to tag along with my grandmother while she ran errands for family gatherings. We’d go to the market and pumpkin patches to pick pumpkins and gourds, and I’d love arranging them in pretty setups on the table (a party planner in the making obviously). Even when we were going to dinner at other people’s houses, she’d stop to pick out pretty flower arrangements or bring pumpkins during October. She taught me to never show up to someone’s home empty handed, and years later I still think about that when me and my student budget do the rounds at family gatherings.
Not only is it polite to bring something for your hostess, even if it’s family, but it’s such a nice way to thank them for opening their home to you, and likely all your loud, crazy relatives. But like many early twenty-somethings, I can’t exactly afford gorgeous florals or hurricane vases full of pretty sparkly gourds (a la grandma one year). So I’m on the hunt for inexpensive ways to make ordinary fall gifts special, and I think this one is easy, affordable, and works for any fall get together.
Luckily, this weekend happens to be Thanksgiving, so you have time to make this SUPER QUICK hostess gift idea!
All you need is a potted mum (you can get them everywhere right now, but check your local flyers because they’re usually on sale somewhere. I sent Justin so I had to take what I got, but if he can find mums in whatever grocery store he hit up, so can you!) and a pumpkin. When you’re choosing your pumpkin make sure it’s rounder than your mum. Or, in other words, make sure it’s wider at it’s thickest point than your mum’s pot.
Trace the bottom of the planter on a piece of paper. Don’t worry about it being perfect, it’s mostly to give you an idea of where to start cutting.
Try to keep your helpers under control. This one took my pen and threw off my tracing my a solid ten minutes.
Slide the piece of paper over the stem of your pumpkin and carve slits about an inch or so outside the traced line. Again, don’t stress about it being perfect, you will tidy it up later.
I probably don’t have to tell you how to scoop out a pumpkin, but I wanted to share the FIRST PUMPKIN GUTS OF THE SEASON anyways. You’re going to want to experiment with how wide to cut the mouth of the pumpkin. I liked having the mums stick up a bit, so I cut it wide enough to take all but the widest part of the planter (the top) so it is suspended in the pumpkin. Alternatively you can cut it so the planter fits right inside and the mums look more compact. However you like it, trim your pumpkin cavity a bit at a time until you like the way it looks.
My mums came with these cute burlap wraps, so I took them apart and pushed them into the cavity. You can opt for that or not.
Slide the mum into the pumpkin planter and all. That means no extra dirt (or weight!) and you can easily take it out/swap it out depending what goes first (your green thumb or your pumpkins natural lifespan). These babies look great inside (if you live in an apartment that’s a good thing!) but they’re also hearty enough to live outdoors, so they’re perfect for your hostess’s front doorstep.
And that’s all! What do you think? Will you give this a try for Thanksgiving?