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Front Page - Friday, October 30, 2015

Everything pumpkin

Do It Yourself

April Sherrill

With Oct. 31 quickly approaching, most kids are anxiously waiting to carve pumpkins, go trick-or-treating, attend fall festivals, and show off their costumes at Halloween parties.

I remember being a kid and being so excited to get home and go through all of my candy to see what loot I had brought home, just to be disappointed by my parents yelling for us to not touch it until they could look thru all of it. It would be so aggravating to have to wait on them, and I am sure they took their time intentionally. Now, I do the same thing to my children.

Oh, the circle of life!

We love all the fall festivities that are taking place this time of the year. We always attend at least one festival, have friends over to eat chili, have an adult drink, and see what kind of pumpkin creations we can come up with, and of course, trick-or-treating-in is still one of my favorite things to do. I love to see all the children so excited about their costumes!

This Halloween should be much easier for me as last year I was fresh out of a knee surgery. Walking around in a full-length leg brace with crutches is not on the list of things I love.

Whether your family attends Halloween celebrations or just celebrates fall, having pumpkins around the home always makes it feel authentic. Here are great tips to make carving a pumpkin easier (and less messy) or different ideas for pumpkins if you would like to skip carving altogether! I like to decorate inside my home with pumpkins as well, so I am always looking for ideas for pumpkin décor.


Instead of cutting the top off, cut the bottom out. This will greatly cut down on the amount of cleaning on the inside you have to do since most of it will come out with the bottom piece. This also allows you to be able to sit the pumpkin right over a candle or light instead of having to reach down in the pumpkin every time.

If you are artistically creative and do not want to use a pumpkin design template, simply use a dry erase marker to draw out the design. You can easily wipe it off until you get the design just perfect!

Using a dremel tool or jigsaw to cut the design out makes the process of carving a pumpkin not only quicker, but also much easier.

Always try to find a pumpkin patch instead of buying from someone on the side of the road. Farms always tend to have drastically lower prices on pumpkins. If you do not know of a pumpkin farm, ask someone or scour the Internet. Even most of the small farms tend to grow pumpkins.

Make sure to clean the pumpkin out thoroughly or you will catch the squirrels in them. Use an ice cream scoop or “lunch-lady” spoon to clean the pumpkin insides.

Use a bathroom mold and mildew cleaner after you have finished to keep the pumpkin fresh. This works fabulously!

Indoor design pumpkin ideas

Spray paint the pumpkin and sprinkle a coordinating glitter on top of the pumpkin or cover the entire pumpkin in glitter. I like to put my glitter only about half way down while the spray paint is still wet. The glitter does not flake off once the pumpkin is dried.

Use brass brads to create a pattern on a pumpkin.

Paint plaid, stripes, or any other design on the pumpkin.

Paint the pumpkin with a color block design.

Dazzle the pumpkin with rhinestones.

Glue all sizes of “googly” eyes all over the pumpkin. (My kids love this one!)

Tape leaves on the pumpkin, spray paint, and remove the leaves once dried.

Paint a pumpkin to look like a candy corn.

Buy at least three different sizes and colors of pumpkins, and stack them to create a pumpkin tower. Make sure all the bottoms of the pumpkins sit nicely.

Create a colorful pumpkin using a lighter and crayons by melting the crayon wax and allowing it to drip onto the pumpkin. This was the first year we tried this and my daughters loved it!

Decorating with pumpkins always seems to make fall seem real around my home. Pumpkins help create a homey and cozy feeling, and they can be used in décor all the way thru Thanksgiving.

This year when you are decorating for fall and carving pumpkins, try to make sure to think outside the box. Pumpkin fun will go as far as your imagination will allow!

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.