Thanksgiving is just a few days away—can you believe it? You’ve got the menu planned, and the seating assignments set. Now for the tabletop. For a gorgeous, seasonally appropriate, and unique centerpiece, we’ve got this fabulous “how-to” from Amy Howard, our favorite DIY expert. Read on for all the instruction you’ll need for a festive table all season long.
Gilded Thanksgiving Pumpkins
This is the time of year where your home decorations become truly special. Whether you’re adding a little shine or a little sparkle, taking a project to the next level is not only appropriate but it’s necessary. This year I wanted to make a Thanksgiving centerpiece using pumpkins. Painting these pumpkins and gilding the stems welcomes us into fall and leads us into Christmas with a gorgeous design statement. Painting the pumpkins white enhances their beautiful organic shape while the gold leaf adds a sense of luxuriousness to your table. This is so incredibly easy to do. I hope you love it as much as I do!
For this project you will need:
Amy Howard at Home© Gold Leaf™
Amy Howard at Home© Gilding Size™
Amy Howard at Home© Clean Slate™
Amy Howard at Home© One Step Paint™
Clean lint-free rag
Nylon bristle brush
Round tapered nylon bristle brush
Natural bristle brush
Using your Amy Howard at Home© Clean Slate™ and clean lint-free rag wipe down your pumpkin making sure to remove all dirt and grime. Let the pumpkin dry before painting. Cleaning your pumpkin first will prevent the paint and gold leaf from peeling off, a look you do not want in this particular project.
After your pumpkin is completely dry, it’s time to paint! Here I am using Amy Howard at Home© One Step Paint™ in Ballet White. Make sure you stir your paint first before applying. Using your nylon brush, apply as many coats as you desire, making sure to let each layer dry between coats. I achieved beautiful color and coverage with two coats of paint. Don’t forget to paint the stem!
Let your pumpkin completely dry. To speed up this process you may use a blow dryer. Keep the blow dryer at least 10 inches away from your pumpkin. Too much heat will cause the paint to shrink and crack.
Now it’s time to gild the stem! Using your round tapered nylon brush, apply a layer of Amy Howard at Home© Gilding Size™ to the stem of your pumpkin. Make sure your coverage is even and consistent. Let the gilding size dry until tacky. Clear and transparent gilding size is what we’re looking for. Drying time is usually 15-25 minutes.
Finally, my favorite part! Take your Amy Howard at Home© Gold Leaf™ booklet and apply it to your pumpkin stem. Be sure not to touch the gold leaf until after application. Oils from your fingers may transfer onto the gold leaf resulting in a poor application. Make sure there is a piece of tissue paper between your hand and the gold leaf at all times during application. Wrap the gold leaf around the stem pressing firmly until the gold leaf has transferred fully. You can go back in with another sheet of gold leaf for a full coverage stem. You may now use your fingers to press down any lingering pieces of gold leaf.
With your natural bristle brush, gently dust off all excess gold leaf left behind. I just love the way gold leaf catches the light!
Now we are ready to piece our project together. Here I am using a wooden crate to put my greenery and pumpkins in. Fill your crate with plants or flowers of your choice and place the pumpkins in whatever fashion you desire. It is now ready to be the star of your table!
Now it is your turn to enjoy the bragging rights™!
To get more great ideas for restoring antiques and elevating your home, go to Amy’s site here.