Pumpkin Pileup

Gone are the days of simple jack-o'-lanterns lined up in a horizontal row. These clever ideas give your creativity a chance to glow.


Metal cookie cutters create Flower Power, a fantastic floral design on pumpkins of all colors. Choose an extra pumpkin or two for cutting the flower shapes.

To find pumpkins in unusual mix-and-match colors, check out local nurseries or pumpkin farms.

Choose three pumpkins: one small, one medium, and one large -- each of a different color.

Also choose an extra pumpkin for additional cutouts (we used an additional white one for this design) and two cookie cutters: one in the shape of a flower and the other in a small circle (small enough to cut flower centers).

Remove the stems from the large and medium pumpkins. For all the pumpkins, cut off the bottoms and scrape the insides clean. Trace the outside of the flower cookie cutter on the small and large pumpkins in a pleasing arrangement. Mark a corresponding number of circle holes on the medium-size pumpkin.

Cut the desired number of flowers from the small and large pumpkins. To do this, push the cutter straight into the side of the pumpkin, using a small piece of plywood to provide even pressure on the cutter. Tip: Don't use copper cutters, which bend easily.

Push the cutter all the way through the pumpkin and remove the cut shape by pushing out from the inside. Using the circle cutter, remove an equal number of holes from the medium pumpkin.

Keep the shapes moist as you work by spraying them with water. Place the cut circles from the medium pumpkin into the holes in the other pumpkins to mix and match the colors.

Drill a hole in the center top of the medium and large pumpkins. Run a dowel through these holes -- stacking the large, then the medium pumpkin -- and into the ground to secure the tower. Place the small pumpkin on top.

Three pumpkins form a clever keeper for mums and other fall blossoms with Pretty Pumpkin Pots. Cutouts from a white pumpkin form striking accents in the base, while a smaller pumpkin disguises the flowerpot.

Choose your favorite fall blooms -- yellow mums and purple asters work well -- in complementary colors. If you can't find a white pumpkin, substitute a drift of beautiful fall leaves; just adhere them with hot glue.

Choose one small and one large orange pumpkin and one white pumpkin. Trace the bottom of the small pumpkin on the large pumpkin's side; cut out a hole in the large pumpkin along the tracing. Scrape the inside of the large pumpkin clean.

To create the leaf accents, push a leaf cookie cutter straight into the side of the white pumpkin, using a small piece of plywood to provide even pressure on the cutter. Tip: Don't use copper cutters, which bend easily.

Push the cutter all the way through the skin and remove the cut shape by pushing out from the inside of the pumpkin. Keep the shapes moist as you work by spraying them with water.

Remove an equal number of shapes from the large orange pumpkin using the same method. Fill the holes in the orange pumpkin with the shapes from the white pumpkin. Use a craft knife to gently scrape a vine connecting leaf to leaf.

Set the small pumpkin inside the lip of the larger pumpkin; adjust so that the small pumpkin rests securely inside the larger pumpkin. Cut a bit more out of the top of the large pumpkin if needed to increase the stability of the small pumpkin.

Set a flowerpot or other plant container on top of the small pumpkin. Trace around the bottom of the pot or container onto the pumpkin; cut out a hole along the tracing. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean. Plant fall flowers in the pot or container; insert into the pumpkin. Water the container regularly.

Add some twinkle to the night sky in your own pumpkin patch of Night Lights. Pile up a grouping of pumpkins in an interesting mound -- the more the merrier! Using unusual-shape pumpkins in a variety of sizes also adds appeal.

Remove the stem and drill a hole in the top of each pumpkin, completely penetrating the rind. Wrap a battery-powered candle (usually found in hobby stores or the Christmas decorations department of craft and general merchandise stores) with stripes of black or orange electrical tape. Insert a candle into the hole on each pumpkin.


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