Autumn Inspired Paper Raffia Pumpkin

Paper Raffia Pumpkin

Now that the the trick-or-treating is over and I may or may not have eaten 5 pounds of chocolate, it’s time to put away the spooky stuff and focus on celebrating autumn and Thanksgiving.

Pumpkins seem to always be on my mind this time of year, but today in particular, because it was Pumpkin Day at my daughter’s kindergarten. She learned all about the pumpkin parts and the growing process. It was so much fun! So when I got home from Pumpkin Day I decided to make my own pumpkins out of paper raffia.

pumpkin supplies

This project is so easy, all you really need is a spool of paper raffia, 22 gauge floral wire, scissors and/or a wire cutter and glue. Of course I added glitter, but you don’t have to. Oh and candy helps too.

chunky holiday gllitter

Oh and speaking of glitter… For the past few years, I’ve been partial to the fine glitter, especially Martha’s. The chunky kind was always for kindergarteners (shhh, don’t tell my daughter!) But this year I have fallen hard for the chunky glitter! I’m head-over-heels for this holiday glitter pack I found yesterday at Michaels.

To make the pumpkin, take your raffia, and start wrapping it around 3 or 4 fingers (depending on the size of pumpkin you desire.)

photo 5

Keep wrapping…

raffia wrapping

Just when you think you have enough…add more.  Then, before taking your hand out of the raffia, pull the wire through your raffia and twist it tight.
photo 2-1

Oh look, I have a labrodoodle helper!

labradoodle helper

Fan out the raffia, with the wire holding it together hidden in the middle. If at this point you feel that your pumpkin is too spare, grab more raffia, wrap it around your fingers, repeating the process, so it’s the same size and use the wire to attach the center of your second one to the center of the first.

Next, make a stem, using the same process, but only wrapping the raffia around 2 fingers.

pumpkin stem

Wrap it around 5 or 6 times, then start wrapping the raffia around itself.


Tie it off and glue it into the center of the pumpkin.

Now it’s time for the fun part.

glitterI made a glitter paste by using Decoupage glue, both of my glitters and a few drops of water. Then I used a paint brush and haphazardly painted on the paste. So much less messier this way!

I didn’t want them super glittery, just enough to be festive.

pumpkinAnd it’s done!

autumn table


photo 3-2


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caramel apple rum balls

What treat says “autumn” more that caramel apples? Today, I’m taking part in the Improv Cooking Challenge, where we are given two ingredients and come up with a recipe including those two ingredients. For October, it’s apples and caramel. While I love a good green apple dipped in warm caramel sauce, I wanted a more grown up treat. Enter the yumminess that is apple flavored rum..

Although quite decadent, rum balls are ridiculously easy to make.


Putting the hot caramel sauce into a Ziploc bag and cutting a itty-bitty tip off the corner of the bag, seems to be the best way to get a controlled drizzle. I had to wrap a dishcloth around the bag because the sauce was hot. Ouch!

Hold the caramel bag close to the rum balls and slowly drizzle it on. I say slow because the caramel tends to roll off the powdered sugar if you go too fast. 

When you’re done, put the balls in to mini paper baking cups or layer them in a martini glass for a fancy, grown-up treat!
The Improve Cooking Challenge

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