How to Make a Handmade Cornucopia for a Festive Fall Centerpiece
Attract guests to your dinner table this holiday season with a handmade cornucopia. The cornucopia is a universal symbol of bounty, making it an item closely associated with Thanksgiving in America. In Greek mythology, the cornucopia—Latin for "horn of plenty"—is thought to be a magical goat's horn that fills itself with whatever food and drink its owner requests. While the cornucopia we're showing you how to make might not have magical refilling properties, it does make for a delightful centerpiece for your Thanksgiving festivities.
Unlike your carefully planned fall flower arrangements, this festive focal point has a long shelf life and can feature produce that can be eaten or incorporated into some of the season's most anticipated recipes—baked apples or a pear tart are just a few ideas that have us inspired. Plus, this craft calls for an array of simple materials, including a wicker cornucopia that can be found at most craft stores, burlap for the interior form, and raffia for the exterior. With only eight easy steps and our helpful photos to guide you, creating this handmade cornucopia for your own holiday tablescape is a breeze, which means the hardest part of this project really is deciding what you'll fill it with. We're partial to featuring items from the autumn harvest, like gourds, pears, and apples, but items with interesting textures, like wheat, can be added to the bottom of the bundle for more visual appeal.
Whether you're a dedicated crafter or you're just getting your feet wet, this fall project is sure to wow, and after swapping out its contents, it can be used year after year.
What You'll Need
Pull the burlap around the wicker cornucopia frame and tuck it inside. Trim any extra burlap with scissors, leaving enough to fold under at the edges for a finished look.
Hot glue the burlap to the frame, lifting the fabric in several areas to apply the glue. Press firmly for several seconds so the burlap sticks. Inside the frame, fold the burlap edges under to make a clean hem and glue them to the frame.
Assemble a hank of raffia about 3/4-inch thick; using string, tie a knot around one end of the hank, and clip it to the table. Then wind the string around the raffia at 2-inch intervals to make a yard-long rope. When you get to the other end, tie a knot and make another raffia rope. Then, using a short piece of jute string, tie the two ropes together end to end to create one double-length rope. Make a total of nine double-length ropes to cover a cornucopia of this size.
Create the Mouth of the Cornucopia
For the lip of the cornucopia, make a double-length raffia rope, about 2-1/4-inches thick, tying the string around it at 4-inch intervals so the result is looser.
Tie to the Frame
Tie the end of the raffia rope to the tip of the frame with string. Wind the raffia around, and apply glue as you go. At the end of the rope, tie it to another with string, and continue. When all but the lip is covered, tie a long piece of string to the end of the last raffia rope and wrap it around the frame; knot it.
Attach Raffia Rope
At the basket lip, attach the thicker raffia rope to the last thin rope with string, tying at 4-inch intervals. If your cornucopia has a protruding, tray-like base, as this one does, you can cover it with more raffia; but if you line it with wheat, the base won't show.
Apply more hot glue where needed to secure the raffia ropes to the frame. To display, line the opening with stalks of dried wheat, and add long-lasting fruits and vegetables.