Adventures in Wonderlab

Adventures in Wonderlab

Fun science adventures for all ages!

Fall Decorations plus Cleaning & Preserving Gourds and Pumpkins

Welcome, Fall! For our family, it is usually the busiest and most fun season of the year. So far, we have celebrated 4 family birthdays (my husband, my father, my son, and my nephew), I ran my annual half marathon (yipee!), and in the meantime, I have been working on my fall decorations.

First up, how to clean and preserve gourds and pumpkins.

Clean/Preserve Gourds and Pumpkins

In past years, I just wiped down my gourds/pumpkins and hoped for the best. This year, I actually took more time (and really, it’s not much) and made sure I properly cleaned and preserved my gourds and pumpkins. I followed the following steps (my original source is here):

First, wash the gourds/pumpkins in the sink filled with warm water, a squirt of dish detergent, and 2 Tablespoons of bleach.

Pumpkins/gourds in the sink

After about 30 minutes in the soapy bath, let them dry on a towel. Finally, spray them with a matte sealing spray (optional). I used Valspar clear sealant spray – I already had this from our rock painting days – and sprayed them outdoors on top of an old piece of cardboard.

pumpkin cleaning process

All clean and ready to go!


Fall Wreath and Planters

I still had my spring wreath and planters at our front door, so it was definitely time for a change!

The wreath

This year I made the easiest fall wreath ever. I used an 18″ grapevine wreath, burlap ribbon, 2 bunches of fall stems, and some straw/wood pumpkins. I discovered two simple tricks that really made the wreath making go by quickly. The trick tools are: 1. pipe cleaners, and 2. staples.

Pipe cleaners make easy work of binding fall stems together. I also used pipe cleaners to attach the stems to the grapevine wreath by threading the pipe cleaner through the grapevine and then tying around the fall stems. In the past, I have used a hot glue gun, which can get very messy, and doesn’t always stick where you want it.

pipe cleaners

For my next trick, I used a stapler for making bows. So simple, and it really holds the ribbon together! I measured out lengths of ribbon for the size bow I wanted, looped it around to form a bow shape, and then stapled each side of the ribbon in the center. I placed each bow loop at an angle on top of each other, and stapled them together again in the center. *I made a total of 4 bow loops, only 3 made it to the picture*  I covered up all the staples with a lacy piece of ribbon in the center of the bow (see in picture of wreath below).

staples for bow making

Staples are circled in the picture above

A picture of my wreath on the front door:

fall wreath

The planters

Because my planters do not get any direct sunlight, I usually put non-living decorations inside. No watering needed! This year, I kept some of my spring painted pinecones, and added some fall-colored ornaments that I found at Tuesday Morning on clearance. I also added a few straw/stick pumpkins that I had left-over from my wreath (the pumpkins were another great find at TJ Maxx). Finally, I wrapped a fall-colored sparkly ribbon (matching the ribbon band on the right side of my wreath) around the planter.

A close-up of the planter:

Fall planter

The fall wreath and planters together:

For a quick comparison of my spring/summer front door versus my fall front door:

spring to fall decor

Hope you all are enjoying this busy and fun-filled season!


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One Response to Fall Decorations plus Cleaning & Preserving Gourds and Pumpkins

  1. Some really cool decorations you’ve created here. I’ve actually got some pumpkins I purchased for Halloween decorations but decided not to use them – So I might give your guide a go!


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