Lighted pumpkin vase

pumpkin themed vase

For the past few years, we have hosted Thanksgiving at our house. My husband fries the turkey in the driveway and everyone else makes a side dish. My primary job is cleaning and prepping the house for the 9-12 guests we will be hosting, including decorating. Our buffet this year will be decorated with this lighted pumpkin vase.

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Which is good because I’m not the greatest cook. My food is edible, just not swoon worthy. So being in charge of house prep and decorating fits my skill set. Although, I think I may be the only one who cares about the decorating part – starting with this Reduce and Reuse pumpkin vase.

[su_note note_color=”#fbf1ef”]Find out more about the Reduce and Reuse Vase concept and “the base”, read this post: Reduce and Reuse Vase Decor.[/su_note]

For this month’s Reduce and Reuse Vase decoration, we will be using the “base” and these items:

  • Itty, bitty pumpkins (grocery store or garden center, $2.00)
  • Paper towel roll (grocery store, technically free because you already used up the the paper towels for something else!)
  • Acrylic paint (, $17.99 or local craft store)
  • Paint brush (, $6.99 or even the dollar store!)
  • Glass/cup of water
  • Tea light candle or flameless tea light (Ikea HUGE bag of the real ones or for flameless ones)
  • Paring knife
  • Scissors


This month’s Reduce and Reuse vase is a bit more complicated than previous ones. Usually we just throw the 2-3 ingredients into the vase and voila! We’re done! But this time, there’s INSTRUCTIONS.

  1. Paint paper towel roll with Fall colors. I chose orange and black but browns and yellows and reds would work as well. It is supposed to look messy – don’t try to be perfect.
  2. Let paper towel roll dry.
  3. VERY CAREFULLY carve a hole into the top of the small pumpkin. I found a paring knife to be best because it was easier hold both it and the pumpkin. This is NOT something to rush. No need for a bloody pumpkin (although that might make a great Halloween decoration). In all seriousness though, please don’t hurt yourself!
  4. Clean out pumpkin using fork or spoon. These little guys still have seeds and stringy pump just like the big daddies!
  5. Test out tea light fitting (tip: if you carved the hole too big, like I did, cut another small piece of paper towel or toilet paper roll to fit inside to make it more snug)
  6. Cut the paper roll along the swirling line that make up the seems of the roll. This creates spirals of paper which looks better and provides more volume.
  7. Put in spirals of paper around the ice cream dish (or whatever you chose to hold your candle in your base).
  8. Place pumpkin into the ice cream dish (again, or whatever item you chose for your base).
  9. Put in tea light candle (or flameless tea light) into the top of the pumpkin.

When Thanksgiving is over (or when the pumpkin starts to rot – ew), just put the paper towel rolls in recycling and compost the pumpkin! No storage needed (except for the Reduce and Reuse vase, of course for the next post!)

Trying this craft out yourself? We’d love to see what you’ve come up with! We’ll feature it right here! Just email a photo of your creation to

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