25 Clever Halloween Pumpkin Ideas
Paul Lowe, a New York City stylist, found inspiration in a classic toy for his celestialcreation: "I wanted to mimic the look of a Lite-Brite, so I punched holes to create asimple crescent moon -- shaped image, then added a string of tiny bulbs to make itglow," he said.
1. Cut your pumpkin around the stem, remove the top, and scoop out the pulp. (Or to avoid visible cut lines, carve a hole out of the bottom of the pumpkin and remove the pulp that way.)
2. Print the template from countryliving.com/oct-templates. Use a copier to resize the image if necessary, then center it on the pumpkin and affix with masking tape.
3. With an awl ($3.39; createforless.com), punch the outline of the design through the pumpkin's flesh.
4. Remove the template and fit each hole with a bulb from a set of battery-powered string lights ($4.50; noveltylights.com).
5. If you've removed the pumpkin's top, fit it back into place.
Bare-limbed trees provide the perfect ghostly perch for jack-o'-lanterns, candlelanterns, and a flock of faux black crows (don't be surprised if a few real onesalight). Make sure the tree limbs are sturdy enough to support the weight of theitems you are hanging and take care not to overdecorate, which can lessen theoverall effect. Funkins (styrofoam pumpkins) are an especially good choice for thisproject, since they're lightweight and won't rot.
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Freehand Surface Carving
Motif When choosing a design, consider the location in which it will be placed. Pick yourmotif, inspired from an element in that location; focus on a single element and turnthis design into a pattern you can re-create. The screen in the background inspiredthe "S" design on this pumpkin.
Spell out your greeting in mini pumpkins gathered at a prominent location.
Step 1: Pencil letters on hollowed pumpkins (carve out the opening from thebottom).
Step 2: Using a drill with a half-inch bit, bore holes to form each letter.
Step 3: Hang strings of Christmas-tree lights, gathered in small bunches, toilluminate each pumpkin (unscrew bulbs where the string descends to the next row).
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Skeleton Gourd Decoration
These ghastly gourd skeleton-like scarecrows are easy to make: Paint bottle-gourds white and draw in features with a black felt-tip marker. Spear the gourds on painted sticks or branches and put in the ground or, as pictured, in styrofoam blocks inside urns.
Create your own cosmos by using different-sized stars all around your pumpkin.
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Vermicelli Curlicue Pumpkin
Achieve enchanting effects by scoring the skin of a pumpkin with motifs taken fromyour home's décor. The curlicues here were inspired by the "Vermicelli" wallpaperfrom Farrow & Ball. The flesh was scooped out from an opening cut in the bottom,then the motif was inscribed with a linoleum cutter.
A passel of pumpkins provides the backdrop for a quaint village scene.
Step 1: Carve a hole in the bottom of each pumpkin, scoop out the pulp, and return the cut pieces.
Step 2: Print out these house templates. Resize on a copier, scaling the images to fit your pumpkins.
Step 3: Cut out stencils as directed on the templates and affix to pumpkins with masking tape. Trace on the designs with a felt-tip pen.
Step 4: Remove stencils, then carefully carve along the drawn lines of the houses' windows with an X-Acto knife. Fill in the designs using a fine-tip brush and black flat acrylic paint; let dry. Affix a battery-operated votive candle in the base of each pumpkin with adhesive putty.
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Moth Decal Pumpkins
The secret to these moth-adorned marvels? Weather-resistant vinyl decals ($1.50 for a three-inch moth, $3 for a six-inch moth; wgwalldecals.com). Show them to their best advantage against white pumpkins: Use a foam brush to cover each pumpkin with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat, before applying decals.
Hometown Pride Pumpkins
Let revelers know they're at the right address by emblazoning your house number—and hometown—on pumpkins. First, you'll need number stickers ($8 for four; etsy.com/shop/doodlebugdesignstn), as well as a decal in the shape of your state ($4.99; vinyldecals.com). Use Fiskar's star punch ($11.50; amazon.com) to mark your location on the state decal. Apply it to one pumpkin, and the numbers to another, then use a foam brush to cover both pumpkins with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat. Remove the decals and discard. If you'd like the numbers or state to be a different color than natural pumpkin orange, fill in using a small paintbrush and contrasting acrylic paint, as we did for the green-and-white pumpkin.
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