A cornucopia or horn of plenty is an autumn or Thanksgiving centerpiece. It is filled with fall colored fresh, silk or dry flowers and leaves or freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. Colorful corn, apples, oranges, gourds, nuts and other edibles are quick fillers for a small to large container. Cornucopia containers are purchased at florists and craft, specialty and big box stores.
Traditional cornucopias are fashioned from bread, paper, crochet cotton, twigs, glass, ceramic and basket making supplies. The most common symbol of plenty is made from strips of rattan or wicker. A cornucopia is made in the shape of a cone or horn. The tapered end has an upturned point. It is placed on a table or hung by a built-in ring on a door or wall. The rim or opening of the cornucopia is the widest point of the cone shape. The cornucopia centerpiece is also made in baskets, bowls and non-traditional carved pumpkins or gourds.
The cornucopia centerpiece displays edible foods, fresh or silk flower arrangements. The centerpiece may be purely for decorative purposes. The fruit, vegetable and nut filled cornucopia will be disassembled after the Thanksgiving meal. Dessert and candies are a creative non-traditional cornucopia centerpiece filler.
A traditional food or flower cornucopia centerpiece is made in an appropriate size to fit the center of the dining room table, the sideboard or buffet. The pointed end of the horn is filled with artificial food-safe grass or excelsior or floral foam wrapped in plastic. The interior contents flow out of the mouth of the cornucopia for another 6 to 12 inches in length.
Crafters and school children hand-make cornucopias from a variety of materials. Cones of parchment paper, card stock or cork are fashioned into the holiday centerpiece by school children. Crafters make the projects with fiber, cloth, clay and ribbon. Wet or dry floral foam stabilizes the floral arrangement centerpiece.
The cornucopia adds decorative color to the table. It doubles and serves as a container for edible snacks and meal component storage. An empty cornucopia is refilled with Christmas ornaments or a festive holiday floral arrangement. A silk or dried cornucopia is stored with autumn home decorations to be re-used for another season.