Carving pumpkins has become more of an art form it seems, with people using different tools, pumpkins, and materials to create these classic Halloween decorations. Here are a few ideas of what you can do with your pumpkin this year, other than the classic smiling Jack-O-Lantern.
One idea is to use your pumpkin to help decorate for your favorite football team. From “Go Devils” to “Da Bears” or “Boilers,” you can decorate for Halloween and show your team spirit all at once.
Another alternative to carving the traditional face is to use other pumpkins and gourds in your Halloween display. You can carve the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a grouping of pumpkins, adding the correct colored headbands, of course. Or you could use a miniature pumpkin or gourd that’s being eaten by your much larger pumpkin (see photo). Carving a scared or surprised face into the small gourd as it gets devoured by the much scarier larger pumpkin.
Going along with using little gourds, you could skip the traditional pumpkin altogether and pick out one of the many interesting gourds to carve instead. Use a white pumpkin or one of the large blue gourds and carve it just like you would a pumpkin. Scoop out the insides, and get creative with the faces. There are lots of unique gourds to choose from, and even a few extra-warty pumpkins that could make great witch faces for your porch.
There are also a lot of ways to decorate your pumpkins without having to get out any knives and spoons. Pumpkins can be easily painted with black or dark purple paint, adding scary faces or just polka dots. You can also use the miniature pumpkins and paint to make creative place cards for any fall dinners or your Thanksgiving table. Simply paint the first name of the guest on the pumpkin, and they have a party favor to take home as well.
Another way to use pumpkins to decorate is to create a stack. This is very popular with Cinderella pumpkins. These pumpkins are not as round as your traditional Jack-o-lanterns, and come in shades varying from a pale yellow to a deep red-orange. Simply get three pumpkins that range in size from small to large and stack them, as pictured. Add a little bit of straw or fake spider webs to fill your urns for the fall.
Finally, a great use for pumpkins is to use them as your planter. Cut the top of the pumpkin off and clean out the pumpkins as you would if you were going to carve them. Then fill them with dirt and create a beautiful fall arrangement, or simply drop in a large mum. This unique planter gives a creative spin on the usual bushel basket planters you see on everyone’s porch, but they do not last as long as traditional pots. Much like a carved Jack-o-Lantern, the carved pumpkin will begin to rot after 2-3 weeks.
Happy Halloween & Happy Planting!