Gourds come in many shapes, sizes and variations of colors. Ornamental gourds may come in solid colors, or be striped or splotched. Gourds are a member of the same family as pumpkins and squash. They prefer a sunny location with consistent watering and rich soil. They take 110 days to mature, so if you plan to grow your own gourds to use in centerpieces, start them in the garden early.
Hot glue three gourds that are about the same size around a short glass, making sure that the stem ends of the gourds are pointed away from the glass. Place a candle in the glass. The candle should be taller than the glass. Create several candle holders and place them around a pot of mums or other fall flowers.
Burnish the Gourds
Use gourds from your garden or store-bought gourds that haven't been shellacked. If the gourds have been waxed, remove the wax by immersing the gourds in very hot water and then rubbing with a terry cloth towel. Sponge gold, copper, bronze or dark green metallic craft paint on the gourd. Let the paint dry partway, and then wipe the paint off with a soft cloth to create a burnished look. Pile the burnished gourds in a clear glass bowl. Add a few fall leaves and walnuts. Put chrysanthemums in floral water picks and add them to the display.
Pumpkins and Gourds
Pumpkins provide several options for displaying gourds. For a simple centerpiece, cut the top off a medium-size pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Rinse the pumpkin, and turn it upside down to dry out. Fill the pumpkin with gourds.
For another look, find a waterproof container that fits inside the pumpkin but won't show from the outside. Pack the container with floral foam and put it in the pumpkin. Hot glue the gourds to wooden skewers. Arrange autumn flowers in the container. Accent the flowers by placing the gourds around them.
Another quick and easy centerpiece incorporates several floral symbols of fall. After scooping out and rinsing the pumpkin, fill it with fall leaves still attached to their branches. Crisscross the branches so they support each other and don't fall out of the pumpkin. Arrange the gourds in the leaves by gluing them to skewers, and then stabbing the skewers into the flesh of the pumpkin. Wrap a few stalks of wheat together with raffia and arrange them with the gourds.
Choose gourds that have a naturally curved shape. Hot glue them to the top and sides of a grapevine wreath. Add fall leaves here and there to the wreath. Place the wreath flat on the table. Fill the center of the wreath with apples, pears, mini pumpkins and mini ears of dried corn. If the fruit won't stay put, use toothpicks to secure them to each other.