Junk-o'-Lanterns

This Halloween, impress your little ghosts and goblins with friendly junk pumpkins. The JunkMarket mavens show you how!


For Halloween, Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer of JunkMarket turned bumpkin pumpkins into junk-o'-lantern masterpieces.

In lieu of carving (and scooping out all those slimy seeds), make scary, funny, or goofy faces out of junk. Any extra piece of hardware can be used to make an entire junk pumpkin family, including wing nuts, garden fencing, rubber feet, window latches, curtain ties, and drawer pulls.

Dig through your junk drawer for any leftover tacks, hinges, or springs with smooth edges to protect little ones' hands. When you're finished nailing on the junk, don't keep the pumpkins out in the sun too long. And if the puncture holes get a little loose, slip in a piece of scrap wood or a toothpick to tighten them up.

Cinderella's Coach

Every little princess will love playing fairy godmother. Instead of a magic wand, "Give your kids a table, some munchies, lots of junk, and let them go. Just like Mr. Potato Head, there's no right or wrong with these masterpieces," say Sue and Ki.

For this project, Sue and Ki used corn planters for the wheels, a soap dish for the driver's seat, a drawer pull for the door, and a sink drain for the window. The little mice are mini pumpkins with upholstery-tack noses, wire whiskers, and nail feet.

Here for the Party

With a drainpipe mouth and caster ears, and two eyes made out of brackets, this pumpkin is transformed into the belle (beau?) of the Halloween ball.

Other Ideas
  • Try fashioning a ladybug by attaching upholstery-tack spots, a wing-nut head, and nail feet to a small pumpkin. Sturdy 18-gauge wire makes the antennae.
  • Create fluttering butterflies from old door hinges nailed onto the pumpkin for wings, and 18-gauge wire twisted to form the antennae. You could also add vintage keys and upholstery tacks.
  • For quick and easy access to miscellaneous hardware, separate pieces in an old muffin pan. Keep them organized after you finish the pumpkin projects so you won't have to rifle through the junk drawer later.

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