Monday, November 21, 2011

DIY Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage Centerpiece

When I saw white pumpkins a few weeks ago, I immediately saw the potential for a really fun project.  How can you see a pumpkin and not think of Cinderella's fairy tale pumpkin carriage?  It took awhile to think through how to make the carriage happen, but now I'm really happy with the results! The hardest part was coming up with a practical way to make the carriage wheels--I tried to find cheap wooden wheels that I could buy, but in the end it was much easier and cheaper to make them myself.  So for a fairy tale wedding centerpiece or a fun project, here's how to make a real pumpkin carriage:

Materials for wheels:
- wire
- modeling clay
- glue and paper for paper mache
- two bamboo skewers or wooden dowels
- hot glue gun

To make the wheels:
Step 1: Twist pieces of wire to form wheels.  Make two slightly larger than the other two.  (Twist one longer piece into a circle, then make spokes by twisting three short pieces across the diameter of the circle).  Press a piece of clay into the center to hold the spokes in place.

Step 2:  Cover the wire wheel with modeling clay to make it thicker.

Step 3:  To harden the wheels, paper mache each wheel with strips of paper dipped in watered-down glue.  Let each wheel dry completely before proceeding to step 4.

Step 4:  Paint each wheel with gold paint (or color of your choice).

Step 5: Cut your wooden skewers so that the wheels will rest against the pumpkin after you attache the wheels.  (This will be about the width of the pumpkin).  Paint two skewers or dowels with gold paint.  With a hot glue gun, glue the wheels to each end of the skewer.

*An alternative way to make the wheels is to buy clay that you can bake, and simply mold the wheels and paint them after they harden.  I didn't feel like spending the extra couple dollars to buying that kind of clay--hence the wire and paper mache steps.  

Materials for carriage:
- white pumpkin (or you can use an artificial carvable pumpkin like Funkins)
- carving tools (or for me, just a knife)
- gold puffy paint
- gold ribbon
- pins

Scoop out your pumpkin and carve out the windows for the carriage on both sides of the pumpkin.  (This is actually the first pumpkin I've ever carved, so I don't have any good tips, and I'm pretty sure my carving is pretty sloppy!)  Use gold puffy paint to outline the windows.

Decorate the pumpkin with gold ribbon by pinning the ends of the ribbon on the inside rim of the hole at the top of the pumpkin and at the bottom of the pumpkin.  Use gold puffy paint to add any other detailed decoration to the pumpkin.  Attach the carriage wheels to either side of the pumpkin.  Hot glue will hold the wheels in place, but can easily fall off.  You can attach the wheels more securely by "stapling" the dowel to the side of the pumpkin by bending a piece of wire into the pumpkin on both sides of the dowel.

Light a candle inside the pumpkin and place in a ring of ivy for a cool centerpiece!

Have fun!