Mess-Free Halloween Pumpkins

WRITTEN by CATHI WARREN

JACK ‘O LANTERNS HAVE BEEN A HOLIDAY TRADITION FOR MANY YEARS, but the time, effort and (let’s be honest) mess can dampen Halloween enthusiasm. Instead of sharp knives and diminished patience, there are easier, faster and more enjoyable ways to celebrate the season and express a bit of personal creativity. Transform your pumpkin into a spider, a mummy, vampire or witch. The only limit is your imagination. Let the pumpkin decorating begin!

Ghost Pumpkin

Cut white material to drape over the pumpkin. Paint big eyes or glue fun googly eyes (best with mini pumpkins) onto the front. When Halloween has come and gone but your pumpkins are still good enough to be used as decor for the Thanksgiving holiday, simply remove the white material to pack away for the next year’s spooky season.

Mummy Pumpkin

Dye white material strips in a weak tea or coffee solution. Once dry, the material will have an aged appearance. Wrap around the pumpkin and secure. Paint eyes and a wide open mouth so the mummy can moan if it pleases, just like in the movies.

Harry Potter Pumpkin

Paint black hair around the top of the pumpkin. Paint eyes and the infamous lightning scar just underneath. Add Harry’s trademark spectacles over the eyes, either a real pair or painted facsimile. Finish up with a striped scarf (a bonus if you can do it in Gryffindor colors!) wrapped around the base of the pumpkin.

Black Cat Pumpkin

Paint the pumpkin black. Add black felt ears and a tail, with black pipe cleaners for whiskers. Paint two “I’m always going to be smarter than you, mere human” eyes and complete with a nose and mouth. A festive and completely maintenance-free pet for the holiday.

Pirate Pumpkin

Glue traditional jack ‘o lantern black felt eyes, nose and mouth to the front of the pumpkin. Wrap a bandanna around the top, just above the eyes. Finish with an eye patch to cover one eye. Aargh, matey!

Witch Pumpkin

Tip your pumpkin onto its side with the stem facing the front. Paint the pumpkin and stem a sickly shade of green (the stem will be the witch’s nose). Paint on eyes and mouth. Attach a small bundle of raffia to the pumpkin’s top for hair. Finish with a traditional pointed black hat.

Vampire Pumpkin

Paint the pumpkin white. Add dark smoldering eyes, a nose and a mouth with a few sharp teeth (for a less child-friendly version, paint a few droplets of blood by the mouth). Wrap black material around the body of the pumpkin and secure with a pin or ribbon in the front to simulate a cape.