Saturday, October 29, 2011

Creative Halloween Pumpkins

This year I bought Zack a pumpkin that weighs about as much as he does.

He's eight.

That is one heck of a pumpkin.

We have stood on the front stoop, looking at it, mulling ideas over, trying to come up with a theme, ever since we brought it home.  How to decorate something the size of six perfectly normal pumpkins?  Carving was out of the question because our weather here in Maryland is so bipolar -- one day it's 70 and the next it's 40 and oh, don't forget about the rain.  We learned the hard way last year not to carve a pumpkin unless you want to end up with a scary mess worthy of CSI.

This is what we've made two years in a row.....

...but that, my friend, is over 200 beads pinned into the pumpkin with quilting pins.  A LOT of work, even with Zack doing a ton of it.  He put that red bead right in the middle of the top of her head because he thought it made her look "extra fancy".

Given the size of the mutant pumpkin we bought, we decided to let its sheer size speak for itself, and it stands unadorned; proud, a little lop-sided, and able to make a ton of pumpkin pies.

Pies.  Oh wait....

So this year I'll show you some photos of amazing pumpkins I've found on Pinterest

OMG.  I can't help how much I love this guy.  But that smolder is totally lost when he's King George IV in The Black Adder.  He's the fancy one in the blond wig.

Lumina pumpkins, black paint, and a steady hand.

Raid your sewing basket!  This is pretty easily done, especially if you have some steel wire you can cut long enough to press through the spools.

Zack and I considered doing this -- but as I sit here it's pouring the rain down and I shudder to think what that would do.  Melted mummy with shroud wrappings puddled around his neck.  Which actually might be pretty cool.  But.  No.

For the more adventurous, and those that can make a pumpkin snowman and not have it topple over.  I could see doing this indoors with those fake Lumina pumpkins you can get at Michaels, adding a faux finish, and some strong dowel rods in between the pumpkins to chunk them all together.

But instead, I have The Great Pumpkin.

This one makes me ALL sorts of happy because it's purple.  However it requires time that I just don't have.  Maybe next year!  On a much, much smaller danged pumpkin.

(Which reminds me -- Zack has those tiny little pumpkin gourds in his bedroom -- I'd better go check on the state of those.  Cute decorations, or horrifying science project?  Or worse -- lost?)

And a final trio of Lumina pumpkins (which you can probably tell I'm partial to).  The one on the left is made with sequin trim and a spider you can find at Michaels.  The middle one I just LOVE -- covered with lace.  And last, cute owls with eyes made with (I'm pretty sure) unhulled sunflower seeds.  

Now that I've written this post I feel like a total slacker with The Great Pumpkin.  But the important thing is the kidlet loves it, and The Great Pumpkin will magically put a pop-up Halloween card in Zack's lunch box on Monday and will welcome him home Halloween night when he dumps out his candy from his Star Wars bucket and declares it a pretty awesome day.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off. She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene and is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.


  1. Anonymous1:15 PM

    pretty cool ideas, i love the lumina ones too!

  2. Such clever ideas!!!

  3. Such clever ideas!!!

  4. thanks for sharing these cool pumpkins..
    i'm just a little jealous you have the Giant Pumpkin at your house.
    you might make a nest of fairy lights around the bottom if you want to spruce it up for halloween night.

  5. The owls are my fav!!

  6. Very cool pumpkins. My children (13 and 1) just have a per-decorated little desk one. Next year(hopefully) we will do actual ones. I am partial to the Lumina ones. So pretty.

  7. I keep driving by the pumpkin 'store' and not getting a pumpkin. Mostly for the same reasons you are not carving the great and almighty super sized pumpkin. But I love all these alternatives. I think the alternative I like best is not to carve or decorate the pumpkin at all. Just let the pumpkin be a pumpkin.

  8. I keep driving by the pumpkin 'store' and not getting a pumpkin. Mostly for the same reasons you are not carving the great and almighty super sized pumpkin. But I love all these alternatives. I think the alternative I like best is not to carve or decorate the pumpkin at all. Just let the pumpkin be a pumpkin.

  9. Carve the big guy.. just leave it for the day off or the night before :) That's when I always carve my guy. The odd time I'll decorate him up before hand then cut him the night before when I can roast those yummy seeds, but usually he sits unadorned on my porch and waits for the 30th .. or even, depending on the weather, the morning of the 31st! lol I love the look of the painted ones, but I just wouldn't be able to NOT carve out my jacko'lantern and light him up! that's a big piece of the magic for me :)

  10. I done carved pumpkins, magic marker pumpkins, the equivalent of "Mr. Potato Head" pumpkins, various sizes (never giant though), and many colors. The last few years though, we've gone natural--no decoration--and then we can enjoy until Thanksgiving unless the animals eat them all up first! Sometimes we buy little miniature ones and stack them on top of one another with our fall plants on the porch. That's our approach this year. A couple of tiny, wee pumpkins. :-)

  11. Awesome pumpkins!! :)

  12. Very fun to see all of the original pumpkins and I really think you are an amazing Mom to get that ginormous pumpkin for your little guy~~

  13. Wow! What a lot of great pumpkin ideas. Lara always carves a pumpkin she has done wolves, monsters all sorts I must show her your blog. She usually gets the giant pumpkin but this year it is a bit smaller.

  14. Greetings from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa.

  15. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Great job on the jewelled pumpkin! I also like the pic of the sewing pumpkin. Fun!

  16. I love your pumpkin - so adorable.


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