Invitation: Using orange fun foam (available at discount stores in the crafts department), cut a pumpkin shape. (A cookie cutter works well to trace around.) Make dotted lines using a permanent pen indicating the eyes, nose, and mouth to be cut out. Put all the party information on the invitation and send.
Decorating: Carve two pumpkins with simple faces. Place one carved pumpkin atop the other one, stacking the two. Put a large candle in the top pumpkin, place on a tray surrounded with autumn leaves and light the candle for the main centerpiece.
- Use uncarved pumpkins in your favorite decorating spots, adding them to table arrangements, under picture groupings, and in large bowls. Choose gold, brown, green, and cranberry-colored candles and other accessories to complement the orange of the pumpkins. Finish each fall vignette by adding other autumn finds such as twig wreaths, birch-bark baskets, and autumn leaves.
- Make welcoming luminarias by using miniature pumpkins. Cut a hole large enough to hold a votive candle and holder in the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out as necessary to set the votive holder in the pumpkin. Place a candle inside and light.
- Fill a vintage wheelbarrow with pumpkins and place it by the door so guests can choose a pumpkin to carve as they come to the party.
Activities/Crafts: Stamp small brown paper bags with a Halloween motif. Make as many bags as you expect guests. Fill each bag with inexpensive pumpkin-carving tools and two sizes of permanent black markers (in case some guests prefer drawing on their pumpkins).
- After each guest has carved (or drawn) a character pumpkin, ask each guest to try to "make a face" to look most like his or her carved pumpkin. Vote on the best face and give a sack of candy to the winner.
- Have guests stand approximately 10 feet away from a hollowed-out pumpkin. Give each player a handful of dried pumpkin seeds to toss one at a time and see who can make the most "baskets."