How to pick, prep, and decorate the perfect pumpkin
For Those Who Can Carve
To ensure a creative jack-o-lantern, examine your pumpkin and decide which side you want to carve. You can draw your design right on the pumpkin, or you can tape a stencil onto the pumpkin. It is best to use a serrated knife or one that comes with a pumpkin carving set. A slow, sawing motion works better than a slashing one. When you have cut your design, simply push on the pieces to see your pumpkin’s new face.
Creative Ways for Children to Decorate
If your children are small, there are many ways your child can participate in pumpkin decoration without actually cutting the pumpkin.
- One of the best ways for your toddler to decorate his pumpkin is to buy festive stickers and allow him to stick them all over. This allows an easy and clean way for your child to participate with you.
- You can also buy a shape or character stamp at your local craft store and let your child stamp all over her pumpkin.
- Let your toddler use stencils! You can create your own stencil by using a brown bag or construction paper and cutting your design. Store-bought decorations also work well. Tape your stencil onto the pumpkin, put paint and water in plastic bowls, and have your child “color” in with paint whereever there are holes in the paper.
Pumpkin Vases for the House
By now you might have a sticker pumpkin, a carved pumpkin, and a painted pumpkin. How about using one of them for a flower vase? The pumpkin with the roundest shape usually looks the best, but any pumpkin shape will do.
To make the flower holder, cut a round hole in the pumpkin top and scoop out the insides. Then fit an empty whipped topping bowl in the bottom of the pumpkin. In the bowl, put floral foam and then secure the foam by using floral tape. Insert fresh or dried flowers into the foam. Make sure that the flowers are placed at varying heights and cover all the space. Saturate the plastic bowl and floral foam. You will need to check on this daily to ensure that your arrangement does not dry out. Be sure to place the pumpkin on a small dish or plastic mat to prevent blemishes on furniture.
Flower shops around the country are charging up to $70.00 for this arrangement; you will be able to do it for the fraction of the cost and these vases will make great presents for friends, neighbors, and grandparents.
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