Friday, October 28, 2011


Halloween is practically upon us and I, for one, can not believe how quickly October has flown by!  I was hoping to publish one or two more posts before The Big Event but, given the time, will squeeze all that I have into this post.  And, if I can guarantee you the projects here are quick (even though the article will be long...)

First however, a note for the reader who requested, via a comment, more instruction for my "Sewn Harvest Pumpkins" post:  it has been updated to include a step by step tutorial.  An email was not provided so I have no other way to inform them that it has been completed.  To all other readers, if you ever have any questions regarding my projects, comments are great, but also feel free to email me at the address in my profile.  I read all emails and comments, love getting them, and try to respond as quickly as possible.  I thank all who have corresponded already! 

Here is a group shot of the Halloween 2011 dudes in this article.
Funny little guys.

So.  Here I go.  Halloween is Monday.  Already.  Wow.

Project One - Goofy Vampire Pumpkin:

As I have been looking through this year's Halloween books and magazines it appears that the big trend in pumpkins  is to decorate them rather than carve them.  It's as though all the editors got together and said, "forget carving this year, let's dress the pumpkins up instead!"  Some are decoupaged with fabric, tissue paper, or book pages (including mine from my last post); some are decked out with glued on embellishments such as rick rack and other trimming; some have been painted a solid color (white or black has been the norm) with a silhouetted image painted (or glued) on.

To be honest, I think we have Martha Stewart to thank for the development of pumpkin creativity.  She has been stepping up the innovative ideas for a while now and the pumpkins in her magazine this year (Martha Stewart Living, October 2011 issue) made me laugh outright and are again different from the mainstream.  She started with a couple of small pumpkins and on one, put zany eyeballs and a goofy smile, and decked the other out with vampire teeth and red map pins for eyes.  I combined the two and made my own goofy guy.

I printed the templates from Martha Stewart's website and, after laying the mouth template on the pumpkin, poked holes all along the outline into the pumpkin to transfer the design.

This lets you know where to cut.  For the eye holes, I cut cone-shaped holes, slightly smaller than what I was going to use for eyes.  As much as I enjoy Martha's creativity, I must admit that I find her instructions to often be vague and missing steps.  In this case, I was a little flummoxed as to how to go about reaching through the tiny mouth hole to scoop out the innards.  I used a long iced tea spoon but it wasn't easy.  Additionally, I am not really fond of scooping out pumpkin guts...

You can use store-bought eyeballs or you can make them.  Last year I made some from Styrofoam balls in my post titled: "Fall is Here - and With It Comes Halloween."  One of my readers made an anonymous comment offering an interesting suggestion: " FOR REALLY GOOD EYEBALLS, open up empty cans of Guinness Stout. The things that float and rattle inside and make it foam when poured look exactly like white eyeballs. All they need added are the pupils."  I decided to give it a try.  They were right!  I used colored Sharpie markers to draw in the features and a pair of eyeballs was born.

Thanks for the great idea Anonymous.  Good thing my husband likes Guinness Stout!

Project Two - Squash-kins:
I think the various magazine and book editors agreed not to discriminate against  the squash family since there is an abundance of decorated butternut squash, acorn squash, as well as other lesser known varieties of squash showing up .   Naturally I had to jump on that bandwagon as well.  I have seen many photos of  pumpkins and squash painted white and adding black silhouettes of ghost faces, lettering ("boo").  So I decided to make a white butternut squash ghost for this post to demonstrate the idea but when I flipped the squash over to paint the bottom and leave it to dry, I noticed that the shape was similar to another common Halloween standard - the skull - so I went with that idea. 

My skull came out somewhat less scary and more like a dude in aviator glasses, I think, but he goes well with my wacky "Martha Pumpkin".

While there are many resources that provide ideas for painting squash I initially inspired by the "Ghastly Ghosts" project in the book titled "Reader's Digest - The Ultimate Halloween Book," by Deborah Harding.

I like the variety of projects in this book and many of them are quick and easy.  My Cool Dude Butternut squash above just took a couple coats of white paint and some details applied with black paint.

Project Three - Black Cat Acorn Squash:

The author of that same book took the painted squash project one step further to include an acorn squash that was painted to look like a cat.  I was really running out of time but wanted to make the cat too.

The author cut shapes from paper, colored them individually and glued them onto a spray painted acorn squash (leaving the stem unpainted for the nose).  For the sake of time and my sanity I ran a google search for cat eye images, cut my selection out and glued them on to my painted squash.  I cut black construction paper for ears and cut a yellow anchor-shaped mouth from felt.  I cut several pieces of wire for the whiskers and simply poked them into the squash. 

Project Four - Broomstick Treat Bag:

Now, some people like to throw Halloween parties and put some treats in individual bags.  Here are a couple of ideas for "different" treat bags.  I found the first one in the Family Fun, October 2011 magazine issue. 

Making it is very simple.  Cut lengths of raffia and tie onto the end of stick stuck into a brown paper lunch bag filled with treats.

Project Five - Pumpkin Tag Treat Bag:

I traced around templates that I drew freehand onto paintchip cards to make the individual sections.

After I glued them together I added a small curlicue made from floral wire and a tiny stem.  I also used a brown marker to apply a little shading within the segments, smudging it with my finger before it dried to blur the line a bit.

Project Six - Fabric Treat Drawstring Bag:

This photo was from an earlier post that I did titled  "Drawstring Bags - One Technique, Many Uses" since it included a Halloween treat bag I thought I should include the photo here.  Instructions can be found in that article when you click on the title. 


No comments:

Post a Comment