It just wouldn’t be Halloween without a few carved pumpkins, also known as Jack-O-Lanterns. Patterns are readily available online, or you can flex your creative muscles by coming up with your own designs. What does your pumpkin say about you? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
From the goofy to the spooky, there’s something for everyone.
There are numerous options for lighting your pumpkins: Lit candles flicker in the breeze. LEDs produce high intensity and sometimes color-changing light. Glow sticks give off softer, otherworldly light. Spotlights and flashlights light up the face while also creating some eerie dark shadows inside the pumpkin.
Even pumpkins have moments of surprise and awe. I wonder what he sees?
Little details make all the difference. This carved pumpkin owes its devilishly good looks to the absence of a nose. That one little detail, plus the intensity of the light within, gives him a more ghoulish appeal.
This one brings a whole new meaning to the name “Jaws.” After carving the teeth, the orange skin around the perimeter of the mouth was removed to reveal the white flesh beneath. If that seems like too much work, you could use a white Sharpie marker to define the mouth.
Nightmare Before Christmas is a very popular Halloween movie and decorating theme, and this pumpkin doesn’t disappoint. A little dry ice, or a fog machine takes the spooky vibe to a whole new level.
Cat lovers will appreciate this creative design. Black cats and spiders are staples in Halloween décor.
This frightening character has menacing eyes surrounded by flames above and below.
This ghoulish ghost is another Tim Burton inspired design from his nightmare movie.
It’s Happy Hour for Jack-O-Lanterns only! Honestly, if I saw a gathering like this in my backyard, I would probably run away! It looks like a scene from a Steven King movie.
Pumpkin carving isn’t for everyone. There’s also nothing wrong with displaying your pumpkins “as is” with the added bonus of being able to keep them on display for Thanksgiving too.
If you like to paint, you could paint designs on real or artificial pumpkins. These decorated pumpkins can be accomplished with a few Sharpie markers, and they will last longer than the carved variety.
Another great option is painting a wooden plaque like the one shown above. It can be used for years and is very inexpensive to make. Over time, the sun, wind and weather can take their toll. Whether you are painting a brand new pumpkin, or giving a makeover to an existing one, the steps are the same.
How to Paint and /or Repaint a Wooden Outdoor Halloween Decoration:
Wooden Pumpkin Decoration (30” high x 22” wide x 1/2” thick)
Orange Outdoor Spray Paint – OR – Orange Outdoor Acrylic Paint (See Step 2)
Outdoor Acrylic Paint – black, green & brown
Black Sharpie Marker
Step 1 – First you will need to clean off the dirt and debris, and lightly sand the surface and edges in preparation for paint.
Step 2 – You have two painting options here: Spray Painting versus Brush on Painting.
For Spray Painting: Apply multiple coats of orange outdoor spray paint. To be honest, I’m not a fan of spray paint due to the toxic fumes. I also was not satisfied with the paint coverage. I’m not sure why, but the consistency was very thin like water.
For Brush on Painting: – Apply 3 coats of orange outdoor acrylic paint with a brush. Be sure to coat all the edges and the back of the plaque as well to protect and seal the wood from water damage.
Step 3 – Add details such as stems, leaves, and the surrounding ground at the edges. You may want to outline the details first with a Sharpie marker.
Step 4 – Draw the faces and add curved lines to give the pumpkins a three-dimensional effect. Outline the leaves and stems in black to make them stand out better.
Step 5 – Fill in the faces with black paint.
After spending a day at the spa, these pumpkins have been renewed, rejuvenated, and are ready to greet your guests at the door. The choice of pumpkins is up to you. Whether you decide to use real, artificial, or any other material, the enjoyment and celebration of the holiday will always come through in festive style.
Happy Halloween & Happy Crafting!