Support us with Kachingle!
October 18, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Photos by Rachel English
Pumpkin is the gourd we can’t get enough of, the squash we can’t quash. But carving is so been-there-done-that. Lace up your Martha Stewart apron because we’ve got some decorations to make. No knives or goo scrapers necessary.
Glamorize your pumpkin by concocting the perfect sparkly paste — Modge Podge with loose glitter. Once the paste has a smooth consistency, it’s time to paint. For the bling-aholic, a complete coating is the best way to let your gourd shine. But for those seeking a more subtle sparkle, Epsom salts and Elmer’s spray glue can replace the above formula because the salts will dissolve in the Modge Podge. Kelsey Hammond, coordinator of MSA/GPC Craft Studio, advises using watered down Elmer’s glue. But first, Hammond says to put down newspaper, like Vox (after reading, of course), to funnel unused glitter back into its container so the shimmer sticks to your pumpkin and not your kitchen table.
This prickly project is adorable and cathartic. Stick thumbtacks into your pumpkins to create fun designs. Coat the entire surface or monogram your initials for nifty home decor. If you choose to cover your entire gourd, make sure to spray paint it the color of your tacks so the orange won’t show through. Hammond recommends using a hammer if your pumpkin has a harder rind. She also notes the importance of visualizing the design on your specific squash, accounting for lumps and all, so that you aren’t surprised by a misshapen arrangement. Tacking on festive ribbons or glittery pins are classy ways to dress up your decoration even more so they look their best come Halloween night.
Be the Picasso of puff paint, and craft three-dimensional designs on any pumpkin. Puff paint illustrations such as spiders, webs, bats and ominous trees are fantastically festive, but feel free to go less creepy-crawly. The most important part of this project is to remember to flow, not fight, with the natural lines of the rind so the paint doesn’t run off. Hammond advises priming your squash with everyday primer first to help the coat adhere and using the puff paint to add details. Use glow-in-the-dark paint so your pumpkins will greet trick-or-treaters on their nighttime strolls.
Leaves can be pretty even after falling from the trees. Rake up those piles littering your front yard and glue them on your gourd for the most elegant pumpkin on the street. White pumpkins look best to offset the color of the fall foliage. First, flatten the leaves by pressing them in a heavy book for several days. Cut small slits into the edges of the leaves to fit the curvature of the pumpkin. Hammond suggests another method of taping the leaves to the pumpkin, spray painting the entire orb and peeling off the leaves for a stenciled pattern. Better Homes and Gardens magazine recommends spreading decoupage glue over the entire piece when finished. For a fancier look, spray paint the leaves metallic gold. This is definitely the Dior of no-carve pumpkins.