Jack-o’-lanterns used to be straightforward affairs: carve three triangles and a smile, plunk a candle inside, and call it a day. Then the fine art of carving increasingly detailed designs took our Octobers by storm. Have we reached peak pumpkin? Maybe it’s time to elevate these seasonal squashes from their traditional perch on the porch steps. Get your glue gun ready, ’cause it’s time to get pumped for pumpkin season.
Pour-Over Paint Pumpkin
This is about as simple as DIY decor can get, as well as a guaranteed good time for younger crafters. All you need is a pumpkin and some acrylic paint. (Well, a drop cloth or some newspapers would also come in handy.) Slowly drizzle the paint on the squash’s top, around the stem, so that it drips down the sides. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color combinations and pour speed to achieve one-of-a-kind results.
A Garland of Gourds
How cute are these tiny felt pumpkins and fall foliage? We love the autumnal palette and the rustic twine. This darling garland would look great draped over a fireplace mantel, twisted, vine-like, around a banister, or decorating a doorway. Available on Etsy.
Light Up the Night
Another clever use for tiny pumpkins: tea light candle holders. Bore a hole in the gourd’s core (say that five times fast!) and remove the guts, just as you would with a jack-o’-lantern. Then tuck in a tea light or votive candle. A cluster of these makes for a charming centerpiece, or scatter them about the living room. For safety’s sake, it’s best to use a 1 1/2 inch drill bit, but you can also tackle it—carefully!—with a sharp paring or pumpkin carving knife.
Page-ing the Great Pumpkin
Upcycled crafts are fantastic, aren’t they? In addition to being clever and aesthetically appealing, they’re also keeping items out of our planet’s landfills. Tuck this beautiful book-page pumpkin on the shelf among your collection of mysteries, thrillers, and other spooky seasonal reads. (It would also serve as a perfect present for your book-club buddies.) Available on Etsy.