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🐈‍⬛ Paint, glitter and ghouls: unleashing your inner pumpkin artist

Paint, Glitter and Ghouls

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“Halloween was the best holiday, in my opinion, because it was all about friends, monsters, and candy, rather than family and responsibility.”

– Margee Kerr

Halloween is just around the corner, and it’s a wonderful time to dress your home and celebrate an ancient pagan and Celtic tradition that dates back more than 2,000 years.

When you think of Halloween, you may envision super-scary decorations evoking ghosts and ghouls or kids walking from house to house, trick-or-treating. For me, it’s all about the pumpkin.

A Halloween without a hollowed-out pumpkin as a decoration just isn’t a Halloween. But why does the festivity focus on a heavy, round orange vegetable?

Back in the day, the Irish and Scots used turnips and potatoes for decorations, but we Americans changed all that because we’re blessed with an abundance of pumpkins.

The vegetable was originally called “gros melons”, named by a French explorer in 1584. It wasn’t until the 17th century that we referred to them as pumpkins. Culturally, the word was popularized by its appearance in the fairy tale Cinderella, in which a pumpkin turned into a carriage, symbolizing her transformation.

Pumpkins are grown on every continent except the Antarctic, and America produces approximately 1.5 billion tonnes of the vegetable yearly. Some 95% of our production is harvested in Illinois. The fine town of Moreton, Illinois – population 17,000 – calls itself the Pumpkin Capital of the World.

Now that you know your pumpkins from your turnips, here’s a few ideas for decorating them for this year’s Halloween. Have a wonderful, super-spooky celebration!

The Classic

You can’t beat the traditional Jack-o’-Lantern: a face with triangle eyes and a toothy grin illuminated by candles inside the hollowed-out pumpkin.

Get witchy

Put a canonical witch’s hat on top of the pumpkin, use wool offcuts for hair and paint a super-scary face. Candles inside the hollow shell will complete the decoration.

Haunted house

You can carve the facade of a house into a pumpkin, cutting windows and doors and painting the skin to look like an old, haunted house. Add to the effect with candles or a string of solar-powered LED lights. 

Glowing

Use glow-in-the-dark paints to give your pumpkin an even creepier appearance. You can also paint characters on them, such as zombies and mummies.

Waxy witches

You can use a hairdryer to melt crayons of any color on top of the pumpkin, giving it some crazy-scary hair as the crayons melt like wax in the heat. It’s the perfect hair-do for an ugly old witch.

Go glam

Try something different this year by using black and silver glitter on the skin of your Jack-o’-Lantern. All you have to do is paint on some glue, and the glitter will stick with dramatic effect.

Vegan vamp

Why not use carrots and tomatoes to create funny or scary faces on your pumpkins? 

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