8 Ways to Use Pumpkins

Over one billion pounds of pumpkins are produced in the United States ever year. That's a lot of pumpkins! It also means ample opportunities to incorporate the wonderful array of shapes, colors, and sizes into a lot more than jack-o-lanterns and pies (not that I don't love both jack-o-lanterns and pie). From natural potpourri to candleholders, check out these creative uses of Fall's medium: The Pumpkin.

1. Candleholders. For years my mom has been using mini-pumpkins as candleholders, and they couldn't be easier to make. Simply use a carving knife to cut out the tops of the pumpkin to fit your candle, and place candle inside the pumpkin.
2. Pumpkin pie potpourri (via Martha Stewart). An easy way to achieve the ambience and fragrance of pumpkin-scented candles without all the artificial chemicals of commercial candles.
3. Floating pumpkin candles. A DIY way to make pumpkin votives, via Care2.
4. Soup bowls. Use small pumpkins (pie pumpkins) to serve hearty stews and soups. Plus, you can bake the pumpkins beforehand to create edible soup bowls, via Simply Blue Weddings.
5. Hanging pumpkin lanterns. These seasonal lanterns are a more versatile twist on traditional jack-o-lanterns. These would look really lovely as outside d├ęcor for a fall party, via Candle and Soap.
6. Pumpkin pie simmer pot. This doesn't exactly use a pumpkin, but it is a natural way to infuse your home with the smell of pumpkin pie. Add one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, one teaspoon of nutmeg, and one or two cinnamon sticks to a small pot of boiling water. Simmer on low heat until your home smells delicious.
7. Vase. Using a pumpkin or gourd as a vase is a nice way to celebrate the rustic beauty of the season. For the vase pictured, I filled a Ball jar with water and cut a hole in the pumpkin wide enough to fit the jar.
8. Art. Before being cooked or carved, the pumpkin in its purest form is really quite an elevated thing all on its own, as shown in this gorgeous print available from LyndaNaranjo on Etsy.

Related Articles:
5 Simmer Pot Recipes To Make Your Home Smell Like Fall
Extending the Life of Your Carved Pumpkin

(Images 1, 6, 7: Julia Brenner)
(Images 2, 3, 4, 5, 8: as linked)

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