Get creative with Halloween pumpkins (hint: they’re not just for carving anymore)
Halloween is almost here and if you’ve already spent an afternoon at the pumpkin patch, the next logical step is carving up your haul.
Naturally, the easiest way to carve pumpkins is with a pattern and a carving set, like the Pumkpin Masters kits available at Target. The sets start at $4 and include a scraper to get out the gooey insides of the pumpkin, a poker to—you guessed it—poke the pattern into the pumpkin skin and saws to cut out the pieces. The sets also include a couple of patterns, but you can find more creative and intricate designs with a simple online search.
But don’t carve pumpkins alone—round up your friends and host a pumpkin carving party! It’s a great way to spend a fall afternoon … just remember to mention it’s BYOP (bring your own pumpkin, of course.) Oh, and have plenty of newspaper or plastic bags on hand to keep the pumpkin mess in check.
If you do throw a carving shindig for families, it’s good to provide options for little ones that don’t involve sharp objects, and one of the best alternatives is paint. Let children paint their pumpkin with brushes—or their hands—and watch their creativity blossom. You also could provide glitter, feathers or even googly eyes for funny pumpkin faces.
For a more grown-up painted pumpkin, consider using chalkboard paint, which you can pick up at Michaels. With two coats of the special paint, plus a quick rub-down of white chalk, your pumpkin will be ready to go. Use a chalk marker, also available at Michaels, to write spooky sayings on your new message gourd.
Another non-traditional pumpkin idea gaining popularity is covering pumpkins with patterned tights or panty hose. This works best with a white pumpkin, which offers more contrast, so you could paint an orange pumpkin, or, better yet, grab one of the Celebrate It Halloween Craft Pumpkins that are already white and currently 50 percent off at Michaels.
As for the black patterned tights, Kohl’s has a great selection, and, for less than $10 you can pick up a pair in floral lace, polka-dots or chevron patterned. Hint: Buy the largest size you can so it will cover the pumpkin without tearing. Now, to create your patterned pumpkin, cut off one leg of the tights and then cut the foot off of that piece. Next, carefully slip the leg over your pumpkin. Around the stem, use a slip stitch to pull the fabric together and keep it in place. Then, pull the tight from the bottom so that the pattern lays as you wish and wrap the tight with a rubber band on the bottom. Simply trim the excess tight and your patterned pumpkin is ready for display.
Finally, if you think carving is where it’s at, you, too, should consider opting for craft pumpkins instead of the real deal. By using craft pumpkins, you can create a collection of creepy carvings that won’t wither away on your front porch and can be used year after year.