My sister-in-law recently got engaged (yay!), and my family and I decided to throw her a little family party to celebrate. As the weather cools down in Cleveland (love those 60-something days!), I can’t help but get in the fall spirit! For the party, I made a cute DIY paper pumpkin centerpiece for my mother-in-law’s home, and I filled it with mini zucchini bread muffins for guests to munch on. The simple to make basket used only one piece of craft paper and some ribbon and is a wonderful hostess gift or appetizer dish. My mother-in-law says she plans on using it again (Woot!).
This centerpiece also looks great with several grouped together on a dining room table, a few filled with Chex Mix on end tables, or just one put on display on a credenza. I can also see this centerpiece in black and white to represent a "ghost" or green and brown for "Frankenstein. I might also try white paper with blood drips (poster paint) as one of several Zombie Halloween Party Ideas to attempt this October. Check out my tutorials on the basket and the zucchini muffins below, and try some of our other Fall and Autumn Theme Party Planning ideas, too!
Pumpkin Basket Materials (makes one basket)
- 1 piece 12x12 orange craft paper
- 1 yard green ribbon (1 inch wide)
- Hole punch
- Bone folder (or something to score paper with)
Pumpkin Basket Directions
- First, you need to layout the folds on the back side of your craft paper. I made a sample template below with black marker, but you’ll want to use a pencil, so you can erase marks later. Using a ruler, draw four lines, one four inches from each side of the paper (see the four solid lines on template). Then, from the point of each crosshairs, draw a line to each corner (see the four dashed lines on the template).
- Score each line using a bone folder and ruler. Fold the dashed lines inward and the solid lines outward.
- Hole punch each corner fold. Then slide a ribbon through each corner, and tie a bow. Fill the basket with a party snack of your choice, or try making the mini zucchini muffins below!
- Two mini tart pans
- Cooking spray
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups shredding zucchini
(remove zucchini skins first)
- ¼ cups chopped walnuts (optional)
Mini Zucchini Muffins Directions
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Mix oil, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a bowl
until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients until well blended.
- Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until smooth. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts.
- Liberally grease the tart tins with cooking spray. Add a tablespoon of batter to each hole.
- Cook for 15-17 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are slightly brown. Allow the muffins to cool for five minutes before popping them out of the tin. (I used a wooden skewer to help me dislodge them from the pan, but I didn’t have any problems with sticking.)