Just as horrific as the pumpkin shortage of 2009…there was a…DUM dum DUUUUUUUM…Cornucopia shortage last year.
Well, by shortage, I meant that I looked over SEVERAL craft stores and high-end home decorating stores and was annoyed to find only ONE place had a cornucopia (and staff who knew what one was). So why didn’t I just buy it? $40??? I don’t think so. So I decided do a throw-back to a short-lived, but fondly remembered, craft of my childhood: basket weaving. Last year around Thanksgiving, I had a lot of spare time while “dog-sitting” Billy for my parents while they were in Australia anyway. With my new found free time, I decided to make my own cornucopia.
I consulted two sources. The first was a local shop called The Canning Shop. First, let me say that the people at The Caning Shop were super helpful, and even tried to help me find books from their library to help me get a pattern. We came up blank on a pattern, but they did help me find all the material I needed for a pattern I had already found on the internet. The pattern was from the aptly named BasketMakers.com. This site has a TON of free patterns to share with you. They even have an entire section of their website dedicated to helping beginners like me.
You can find the pattern to the cornucopia basket here. I made 2 cornucopia last year. One for me to take back up to the bay. And a second for my host, TwinkleToes, who was letting Billy “study abroad” in her OC home. Okaaay, so Kim did make some of her basket…But she was more focused on the wine and cookies than the basket 😉
Here are a couple of pictures of the cornucopia as a work-in-progress.
The hardest part of the entire process was 2-fold. Starting and finishing. Just carefully follow the directions to start, and it will work out. Once you have that done, making the body is pretty straight forward, especially if you know how to braid. It was really the end that I couldn’t do. I think I had used too much of my primary stokes, so they weren’t quite long enough to make the beautiful braid seen in the pattern.
This is the whole basket once it was done.
I didn’t attach the feet, as suggested in the pattern, but if you attach the feet you can give support such that the very tip of the basket can point upwards. Whereas mine lays flat on the table, which is good enough for me!
And this is how my rim turned out…I’m pretty sure I didn’t do it right…But it works!
Lastly here is how I decorated it with my “bounty.” I got some wheat from the Caning Shop during my trip to line the bottom. It was super cheap. If a grocery store is trying to charge you $20 for tied wheat, laugh at them. Go to a craft store or basket supply shop. Then I used some Indian corn to add a colorful touch.
Then on top of the corn and wheat, I put a clean towel. That’s because the wheat sort of smells like allergies to me. That’s if allergies had a smell…But if you get hay fever, you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, I laid the towel down because on top of the towel goes your fruit! The towel layer will help keep the fruit clean, especially if you, like me, will recycle your wheat year after year. I used apples, a persimmon, and cuties. Other things you might want to try adding are grapes, miniature pumpkins, squash, carrots, assorted nuts, and cinnamon sticks. Or if you want to stuff it with some non-perishable items, try getting some fall-colored leaves from your local crafts store and gathering pine cones from your neighbors.
So now I’m ready for…Thanksgiving? But it’s October! Ok. So I went to Trader Joe’s and got their Baby Pumpkin Tree to pair with my cornucopia to make it a little more early-fall feeling. Plus I wanted to post this super early for any of you that might be interested in making your own cornucopia.
So what will be my cornucopia challenge this year? Bread cornucopia! Watch out, Mom. I’m taking over your double-oven kitchen this Thanksgiving! 😉