Fresh Ideas for Pumpkin Decorating
This Halloween, your front porch will be sporting a new take on the traditional jack-o'-lantern. Check out these new ways to paint, sculpt, and embellish your pumpkins.
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Boo-tiful Button Pumpkin
Give this pretty pumpkin a ghostly message in a few minutes with some glue, a jar of black buttons, and an elegant bow. Paint the pumpkin stem using black crafts paint; let dry. Print a Halloween message in a large font from your computer; cut out individual letters with scissors. Position the letters on the pumpkin, trace around them with a pencil, and remove. Fill each letter with black buttons, adhering them with glue. Tie a black wire-edged ribbon into a bow around the pumpkin stem to finish.
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Emblazon your initials on pumpkins to welcome trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. Print letters from your favorite font(s) and use them as carving patterns for your pumpkins.
Editor's Tip: You could also trace the letters onto pumpkins and paint them for a similar effect.
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Tangled Web Pumpkin
Decorate a pumpkin with a knotted spiderweb. Using heavy, metallic black stitching braid, cut web "spokes" to the desired lengths and knot each end. Tack the ends in place on the pumpkin using short black map pins. Circle the intersecting web pieces in the same manner, knotting the ends and using pins to hold the braid in place. Complete the look by hot-gluing a spider or two onto the web.
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Funny Face Pumpkin
Instead of carving, use found objects to fashion jack-o'-lantern faces. We raided the sewing basket to design this clever personality: spools of thread for the eyes; a spool of thread and bobbin for the nose; and a tape measure for the mouth.
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Use lace to create fancy and fashionable pumpkins. Lay lace fabric over the pumpkin, gathering it at the bottom with your hand, to determine the location for the stem opening. Remove the lace. Cut a small circle (for the stem) with scissors and lay the lace over the pumpkin, inserting the stem through the opening. Gather the lace at the pumpkin bottom, trimming the excess, and secure the lace in place using running stitches in a wheel-spoke pattern.
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Grab odds and ends -- door hinges, upholstery tacks, old keys -- from the junk drawer to embellish these pumpkins.
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Stage a Halloween car chase with automobiles crafted from pumpkins and gourds. Then choose your drivers. We opted for a raven and a mouse as our racing creatures.
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Grim Reaper Pumpkin Tower
Watch out -- this menacing jack-o'-lantern dude may be looking for you. With a tall stature and snarling face, he is the keeper of Halloween fright.
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With minimal carving and a little bit of glue, plain pumpkins become cute owls. The secret embellishment? Sunflower seeds.
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You can't go wrong with a triangle nose and eyes with a crooked grin. But when the traditional jack-o'-lantern face is carved into a green pumpkin, it stands out amidst its orange counterparts.
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When darkness falls, this shrouded pumpkin lights up and casts an eerie aura. The secret? Cheesecloth brushed with glow-in-the dark paint.
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Flower Power Pumpkins
Metal cookie cutters create a fantastic floral design on pumpkins of all colors.
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Etched Flowers Pumpkin
Illuminate flowers instead of jack-o'-lantern faces. For this blooming pumpkin, use an apple corer to carve out the flower centers. Then use a triangle clay loop tool (available at art stores or dickblick.com) to etch petal designs around the holes -- scraping away only the pumpkin surface.
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Glam up a pumpkin with silver sequins, rhinestones, and a metallic silver spider.
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Green-Face Monster Gourd
Search farmer's markets for unique varieties of pumpkins and gourds as alternatives to classic orange pumpkins.
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This tower of pumpkins mimics his winter cousin: the snowman. Start with three pumpkins in graduating sizes. Drill a hole through the center bottom of each pumpkin. Feed the drilled pumpkins onto a thick dowel. Poke stick arms into the sides of the middle pumpkin and drape a scarf of fall garland around base of the top pumpkin. Draw a jack-o'-lantern face onto the top pumpkin and crown with a dapper black chapeau.
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For a sweetly smiling pumpkin, use dried fruit, berries, leaves, and other natural elements to create a face. Simply plan your design then hot-glue the objects in place.
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For those who don't shriek at the sight of spiders, download and print our free pattern, enlarge to a size to fit your pumpkin, and cut out the pattern pieces. Trace the pieces onto construction paper, using the photo as a color guide. Layer the eye pieces and secure with crafts glue. Glue the eyes, mouth, and fangs to the pumpkin. Poke four wires into the pumpkin on each side of the face and bend to form eight scurrying legs.
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Whip out the power drill to carve intricately detailed pumpkins. These faces were sketched first, then a power drilled to make evenly spaced holes along the drawn lines.
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Pretty Pumpkin Pots
Three pumpkins -- two orange and one white -- form a clever keeper for mums or other fall blossoms. Cutouts from the white pumpkin form striking accents on the base, while a smaller pumpkin holds the flowerpot.
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Leaning Tower of Pumpkins
Stacked pumpkins are a Halloween architectural treat. Choose four pumpkins in graduated sizes, hollow them out, and carve simple geometric shapes into each one. Cut a hole in the top of each pumpkin slightly smaller than the base of the pumpkin that will sit on top of it. Stack the pumpkins, with tops off, to test their fit. If needed, carve larger openings so the pumpkins nestle slightly into one another. Or push a sturdy metal garden stake through the center of the tower to secure the stack. Place the lid back on the top pumpkin.