A Succulent Adorned Cornucopia With A Twist

A horned shaped container, what’s up with that?  What do you do with it?


I remember being 6 years old and marching around the house with our cornucopia on my head although clearly that’s not what they’re meant for.  It’s true, cornucopias have been pooh poohed over the years but I do like them.  Growing up in New England, we always had 1 full of fruits and nuts for Thanksgiving and switched it over to pine, cones, berries and balls at Christmas.  I wanted to put a modern twist on this holiday decoration and besides using seasonal produce and foraged goods, just had to include some of my beloved succulents.

My client had ordered the cornucopia, which was filled with autumn blooms, for her Thanksgiving table last year from 1 of the online floral companies. It was run of the mill until I brushed it with silver metallic paint, leaving the rim, base & interior untouched.  Already it has a more updated look!

The Cornucopia, also known as horn of plenty of plenty, signifies abundance and nourishment as the ingredients spill out onto the table.  These 2 things are traditionally associated with Thanksgiving so it seems fitting that this peculiar basket should grace the center of our table on that feast day.   I’m sure many of them get tossed after the meal is over so I was determined to put this 1 to good use to show you a less conventional way to use it.

You can follow the steps I took to making this centerpiece:

Bountiful gourds

A sampling of the bounty I used: pimiento peppers, persimmons, delicata squash, red jalapeños, cranberries, walnuts & acorns.  As you can see, I studded 1 of the delicatas with cranberries just for fun.

A variety of greenery

The greenery included Myers Fern, California Pepper & aeoniums.  I had the palm seed stalk laying around the garage & decided to use it too.

Preparing to glue the items together

 I’m getting ready to glue cranberries on to the aeoniums.  I like how they carry the red up to the top of the basket, a little surprise.

Decorative cornucopia

Looking down on the piece you can see that I decided not to fill the basket up & make the centerpiece asymmetrical for a bit of modern flair.

Carefully place the centerpiece components

Making the final adjustments.  Things may have to be rearranged to your liking – this always happens!

This untraditional cornucopia arrangement could be used at either Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Just in case you need a little more inspiration, here are 4 more fall centerpieces which could grace your Thanksgiving table as well as 2 centerpiece how to’s for Christmas, 1 traditional and 1 modern.

You may not be able to find the seasonal produce I used as Santa Barbara County is a major agricultural region and we enjoy a year round farmers market.  Here are some ideas for bounty you can substitute with:  mini pumpkins, gourds, apples, oranges, pears, grapes, eggplant, Indian corn, flowers and wheat.  So, it’s time to pull that dusty ole cornucopia out of the closet and put your own twist on it.

Happy Fall, Happy Thanksgiving!

All the best,

Signed by Nell Foster

Want More Fall Decorating Tips? Check These Out!

Autumn Decorating Ideas For A Festive Fall Season

The Best Plants That Will Make Your Home Festive For Fall

5 Porches That’ll Welcome Fall To Your Home

Fall Readymade Natural Wreaths 

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas With Natural Elements 

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