Miniature Cornucopia Thanksgiving Centerpiece
My family doesn’t do big Thanksgivings anymore, so my autumn decorating is slim to none. And in the interest of downsizing, my big dining table has been replaced with a small pub table. So if I do decide to fix a nice meal, I have a very small space for a centerpiece. This project is my scaled-down version of a traditional horn a’plenty filled with seasonal fruits and flora. It looks adorable by itself, but it also doubles as a menu card holder. Everyone deserves a little bit of abundance!
Non-stick mat, palette knife
Wood skewers, straight pin
Craft paints, small paintbrushes
Thin green floral wire
Round-nose beading pliers
Wire cutters, craft knife
Clear gel craft glue
Small paper diecut leaves
- Start by making a basic cone shape – roll out and trim a 6” half-square triangle of clay at about 3/16” thick. Roll the left point up to the top and press together, then roll the right point around to the back. Slide a palette knife under the clay to lift off your non-stick mat.
- Carefully smooth the seams together, pinch the back end closed and use your fingers to shape the cone into a horn. Roll a ball of clay to fit inside and poke holes in it with a skewer. The ball will fill the back end, help the horn keep it’s shape, and act as a floral frog when you’re ready to fill the front end.
- Add a basket texture around the outside with a skewer – make long vertical lines for the ribs of the basket and short strokes for the weaving.
- To help the horn keep its shape while the clay dries, curl and prop the back of the horn against a bottle with a cosmetic sponge and place a foam egg or ball inside the opening. After about 12 hours, carefully cut a slit in the center of the horn, down into the ball, then gently pivot the blade a little from side to side to widen the slit. Let dry thoroughly for at least another 24 hours.
- To make a bunch of miniature fruits, roll several different small sizes of balls, from 1/8” to 3/4” diameter. The smallest work for cherries, medium size are good for apples or oranges. For grapes, pinch and roll the next size balls into oblongs. For pears, gently pinch and pull up one side of the ball. For gourds (mini pumpkins), press the ball squat and carve lines around it with the skewer. Also make several plain pea-size balls to use for filler, behind the nicer fruits. Poke a hole inside each fruit with a straight pin and let dry for 24 hours.
- To make the fruit stems, bend short lengths of wire around the pliers and twist the ends closed. Pull the loop to oblong to mimic a leaf, or squeeze shut for a plain stem. Poke a stem into the hole in each fruit with a drop of glue and let dry. Arrange the grapes into clusters on top of a damp clay ball with a long wire stem, securing with a dab of glue.
- Hold each fruit by the stem with pliers and paint. Paint the cornucopia and let everything dry.
- Glue paper leaves on to two short lengths of skewer and poke into the frog inside the horn. Poke the grape stems in the frog next. Fill most of the horn with the small filler balls, then add the fruit in front, gluing into place as you go.
- After the glue is dry, place the corner of your menu card in the slot, if desired.
Designed by Lisa Fulmer