Sunday, October 3, 2010
Autumnal Window Box & Pumpkins
I love living in the Mid West. We have four beautiful seasons and I look forward to celebrating and embracing each season. We have always gotten excited about hunting for the perfect pumpkins, gourds, squashes, corn stalks, straw bales and Indian corn. Putting everything together in a fall display was one of the very first family traditions we established with the kids. So for us, this is way more than simply decorating for fall.
Before: A Clean and Empty Window Box
After: Stuffed to the Brim with Fall Color
So, this is how we do it. We start by gathering up a bunch of things to use in our window box. I need a few essentials, but everything else is just what you feel like using. I am using: an old straw rooster, fall leaf bushes that were $1.00 several years ago, floral foam, one gallon nursery containers, two fresh Wal Mart pumpkins, a handful of fresh cat tales that I sprayed with cheap hairspray hoping to keep them from bursting open, two scarecrows from Wal Mart that were $1.00 each, and a big pile of old silk leaves and flowers in fall colors. My window box is over five feet long. Also, I like a crammed box that partially hides things. I do not like everything to be visible in one glance. I like some things to be visible from one angle but not another. You can certainly go with a more spartan look than I am going for here.
I use floral foam in the gallon nursery containers to anchor my display. So I cut down the foam blocks so that the foam does not stick out past the top of the container I am using. Cut off one end of the foam using a serrated knife.
Then, put the large piece of foam in the container and add the smaller piece along the edge. Just push the extra piece down until it is flush with the large piece of foam. You want the foam to be secure in the container you are using. Depending on the container you are using you might need a couple of pieces of foam per container.
I am using eight containers filled with foam and I will use two containers filled with dirt. The 2 containers filled with dirt is what the pumpkins will sit on. The containers filled with foam are not sturdy enough to hold the pumpkins. But the containers filled with dirt will not secure the stems of the items we need to stick into the foam. This is why we need two different fillings in the nursery containers.
Then fill your window box with the containers of foam and dirt. I decide right away where the pumpkins are going to be placed so I do not have to keep moving my containers around. Then just start filling in the box by sticking things into the foam to secure them. Bend the leaves and flowers to fill the empty spaces. I try to divide the box up in my mind so I can evenly space all the silk flowers and leaves.
Also take a look at your finished product. I thought I was all finished at this point, but it just seemed to be lacking something.
So I told the kids to run around and bring me some branches that had fallen off the trees. I started stuffing branches and twigs into the floral foam and it was the prefect touch. It added a little texture, a little height and the whole thing just seemed to come to life. My son was quick to remind me that nothing goes better with colored leaves than twigs and branches. So I seriously recommend looking around your yard, the side of the road, or even a friends yard for a few FREE props to take your project over the top.
Here is a behind the scenes look at what I see when I look out the window at the window box. You can see the floral foam anchoring the silk leaf bushes and the floral wire I used to tie a handful of cat tales together.
To hide the ugly floral foam, I stick some Spanish moss here and there so that the view from inside is more attractive.
A few other items you might want to think about using would be: a bushel basket or a wire basket of nuts, fake apples, leaves or gourds; pine cones, grapevines, a handful of wheat or grass, pheasant feathers, Indian corn, a few evergreen branches would be nice, a mini rake sticking out at an interesting angle, anything rusted and interesting, and lastly homemade scarecrows of any size would be great. I do not want to block my window, but I have always thought a life size scarecrow sitting on the window box would be awesome. If you do this, please send me a picture so I can see it. :-) Also, if you do not have a window box consider using a wheel barrel, an urn or even an old wooden crate. Again, your own fall display can have endless possibilities. Have fun.