Tower of Pumpkin Power

Scare up the most fearsome-looking creatures you can find to form a tower of grinning ghouls that light the night.

You'll need six pumpkins for this tower. Cut the stems off all the pumpkins except the top one, and remove the bottoms of all six pumpkins, scraping the insides clean. Enlarge the patterns for each design to fit the pumpkins. Transfer each image to a pumpkin with a sewing tracing wheel or sharp poking tool.

For the cat pumpkin, use two pumpkins; use a crafts knife or saw to cut out white areas of the pattern on the pumpkins. Pat the surface dry. Using black crafts paint, paint the dark areas of the pattern. Referring to the photo, insert a black faux-grass stem into the side of the pumpkin for the cat's tail.

Cat patterns

For the Frankenstein pumpkin hair, cut a square from a black faux-grass welcome mat to fit on top of the pumpkin. Hot-glue into place. Measure around the top of the pumpkin with a tape measure, transfer the measurements to a piece of black crafts foam, and trim to the size needed. Note: You may need more than one piece of foam. Cut the top edge of the foam in a zigzag pattern to create the hair edge. Shape the foam sides into sideburns. Wrap the foam around the pumpkin, lining up the zigzag pattern with the edge of the grass mat. Hot-glue the foam to the pumpkin. Cut half-moon-shape ears from pumpkin scraps and place on the pumpkin sides using toothpicks or bamboo skewers. Attach bolts by cutting circles slightly smaller in circumference than the bolts on each pumpkin side. Push the bolts into the holes to the desired depth. After carving the vampire pumpkin, attach red acetate or red vellum inside the eye holes.

Frankenstein pattern

To create bat wings, use the pattern. Fold a black plastic tablecloth or trash bag in half. Lay the fold of the plastic along the upper edge of the wing pattern. Cut along the bottom edge of the pattern only. Flip the pattern and cut a second wing. Drape the plastic over a straightened wire clothes hanger, keeping the folded edge along the hanger. Use spray adhesive to secure both sides of the wings together over the hanger. Insert excess wire into the side of the pumpkin. Shape the wings as desired.

Bat wings pattern

For the remaining pumpkins, use a crafts knife or saw to cut out the design; with your fingers, push the pieces out of the pumpkins.

Wrap and tape white Christmas lights (make sure the cord strung between the lights is also white) around a 6-foot length of white 3-inch PVC pipe. Insert the pipe 12 to 18 inches into the ground. Stack the pumpkins on the pipe to make a secure tower.

Vampire pattern

Skeleton pattern

Base pattern

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