Old-style pumpkin carving

Veggie pumpkin recipes

Grow your own pumpkins

And a little for Charlie Brown good measure


I Saw the Great(est) Pumpkin!

by Taryn

Now is the time for all little boys and girls to acquire knives, hollow out the flesh of a round vegetable, and carve creepy faces in the side. The making of Jack-o-Lanterns is a strange way to observe a holiday, and yet its appeal is never-ending. From the magical moment you envision the design that tops all others to the crushing discovery that mean teenagers have smashed it in the street, the tradition is a captivating one.

But just because it's called a tradition doesn't mean you have to stick with old triangle eyes and toothy grin. This Halloween, we at Craftygal have decided to shake things up and try some variations on a theme. Perhaps you'd like to try your hand at some of these "alternative" pumpkin decorating techniques, or maybe they'll just inspire you to do something completely new and different--either way, diversity is key!


Selecting just the right pumpkin at the market is part of the joy of the whole experience. And any Tim Burton fan will tell you that finding one with the right stem is one of the most important considerations. You want something that adds a bit of mystery, gives it a bit of personality. Why, then, do we tend to ignore that bit when we decorate them? Here's a way to spice up your pumpkin with a little glam edge:

1. Spread a semi-thick layer of glue over the entire stem of your pumpkin, smoothing it out with your finger or a cotton swab.

2. Pour copious amounts of glitter over it, covering the adhesive area. Shake excess onto a piece of paper and reuse it, if you desire.

3. For additional effect, create "drips" by streaming some glue down the sides and adding more glitter--or connect those drips with curvy lines and draw a spider web with black glitter.

Variations: If you really want to get fancy (like Charles did), use two colors of glitter and very carefully alternate the colors on each side of the stem to create stripes.

Less is More

Size is over-rated in a lot of areas, and the pumpkin world is no exception. Everyone seems to think bigger is better, but this isn't necessarily so. Having several tiny pumpkins can actually be more fun than one huge one, because you can explore several different design ideas and get more bang for your buck. Here are several examples that we think prove our point:

1. Select a few tiny squash in an array of colors--white, orange, dark green with yellow stripes--hollow them out as you would the regular sized variety, and carve geometric shapes, the more traditional jack-o-lantern face, or turn them into votive candleholders.

2. Glue colored buttons in a random pattern, or create spooky shapes with beads, like ghosts and skulls.

3. Cut up unwanted CDs and hot glue the pieces to your pumpkin for a mini disco-ball effect.


4. Decoupage it with clippings from magazines. (Here, Charles used celebrity eyes as a theme--you have to admit, guessing who's who would make a great party game!)




Pincushion Pumpkins

1. Create whimsical patterns and faces with stickpins that have colored or metallic heads

2. No one can deny the Hellraiser allusion of this creation--a powerful effect for a few simple pins and a stabbing-heart charm.

3. Replicate Franken-pumpkin by drawing scar-like marks with a black felt-tip pen and stapling on some stitches. Sounds like an office project to me!

Here are some other ideas we didn’t get a chance to try but thought might be fun:

1. Drilling lace-like patterns in hollowed pumpkins.

2. Pumpkins painted with fluorescent paints and displayed under a blacklight.

3. Covering pumpkins with faux finishes like marbling, crackling, and patina.

4. Embossing pumpkins with halloween or fall-themed stamps.

5. Dipping pumpkins in a candy apple concoction and allowing to dry.






























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