Thanksgiving is an American holiday in which we traditionally celebrate abundance and the harvest, while giving thanks for all we have. Families, friends and assorted groups of people gather, typically around a large meal featuring a turkey dinner, to give thanks. A Thanksgiving gourd basket is a colorful centerpiece that is relatively inexpensive to make and easy to put together. Any type of basket can be used for this centerpiece. A horn of plenty is a horn shaped basket filled with colorful produce, also called a cornucopia. Gourds come in a variety interesting shapes, colors and sizes. Create a harvest arrangement with gourds that come naturally in shades of orange, gold, yellow, cream and green. Making a colorful gourd basket is easy, as gourds on their own make an attractive display. The basket can be used as a centerpiece on the table, or set on a side table in the living room. Hardy gourds can even be used in an outside arrangement, charmingly welcoming guests at the front door.
Ten Tips for Making a Thanksgiving Gourd Basket
1. Purchase the gourds. Gourds can be purchased at a farm store, pumpkin farm or the grocery store. Once you start looking at the delightful shapes and colors, ideas for arrangements may start popping into your head. Select a variety of gourds in different sizes, shapes and colors to make an interesting arrangement.
2. Select a basket. Use a basket you already have, or purchase a new one for the occasion. The basket should be strong enough to carry some weight. Baskets come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. A basket with a handle adds height and interest to the arrangement. The horn shaped cornucopia basket is another excellent choice.
3. Wash the gourds and any other produce to be used in the basket. This is especially important for a dinner table arrangement, to wash off any bugs and dirt.
4. Line the basket with some type of liner to help hold the gourds in place. A plastic liner can be made from bunched up plastic bags. Shredded, or bunched up newspaper can also help to support the gourds.
5. Place the largest gourd in the basket, to anchor the arrangement. Pumpkins are an excellent start for the gourd basket. Place the pumpkin th the basket to be enhanced with smaller pumpkins, squash and gourds.
6. Arrange the smaller gourds around the larger gourd. Gourds can be place upright, or on their sides. A gourd arrangement is not an exact science, so have fun with it.
7. If using a cornucopia, the arrangement will start in the basket and spread out onto the table in front of the basket, as if the food is flowing out of the horn of plenty.
8. The gourd basket can be embellished with other fruits of the harvest, for additional interest. Possibilities include nuts, pomegranates, persimmons, cranberries, apples, oranges, Indian Corn and acorn squash.
9. Embellish the basket, if desired. The arrangement should already look great, but you can use your imagination to embellish it further. Fall leaves or flowers can be draped over the basket handle or tucked into the side of the basket. Autumn leaves add color and fit in with the fall theme perfectly. Use real leaves or purchase silk leaves from the hobby store. Bunches of grapes also fit in with th harvest theme. Use real grapes, or purchase decorative ones from the hobby store. A stem of colorful mums, real or silk, in fall colors also look great tucked into the basket.
10. After the tablecloth is on the table, place the basket. A square of colorful cloth can be layered on top of the tablecloth, underneath the basket, to set the arrangement off. Set the basket on the cloth. Small gourds can be placed outside the basket, as if the bountiful harvest spills over onto the table.