DIY no carve pumpkin projects to decorate your home for Halloween
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A half term Halloween is the perfect time to get crafty with children. Here are six spooky projects for you to try at home.
Halloween falls on a Monday this year so there’s a whole weekend of spooktacular fun to be had, and with half term this week there are plenty of seasonal craft ideas to keep little fingers occupied right up to All Hallows Eve.
The tradition of carving vegetables into spooky shapes to celebrate the night when all things wicked walk the earth is believed to have originated in 19th century Ireland. People would carve turnips into grotesque faces and place a candle in them, setting them on windowsills to ward off unwanted supernatural visitors. Now a grinning pumpkin is one of the most iconic symbols of the holiday – it even has it’s own emoji.
Pumpkin acrving requires a laborious process of scooping out the gooey innards and slicing out a funny or frightening face before lighting a flickering candle and lowering it in to the hollow. They make fantastically atmospheric decorations but once carved the gourds don’t tend to keep for long, and any crafting activity involving blades and fire is bound to give parents nightmares.Spare yourself the stress of sharp knives, sticky seeds, and naked flames and try one of these DIY no carve pumpkin decorating tips...
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Bats in belfry? Cats in the crypt? Create your own magical menagerie of petrifying pets and fangtastic familiars.
You need: black and white craft paper; craft glue; scissors; tape; toothpicks; black paint and a paintbrush
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Place your pumpkins on some old newspaper and paint them black – you might need to give them a few coats so they’re fully covered. Whilst you wait for them to dry cut your shapes from the black craft paper. For bats you’ll want to make two wings per pumpkin and long point bat ears. For cats you can snip out larger ear shapes and a tail. Tape the toothpicks to the back of the shapes, position them and gently press them in to the pumpkin. Make eye shapes from the white paper with black irises and glue them to the front of the pumpkins. A flock of bats created from smaller pumpkins would make a fun table decoration, whilst a witch’s cat could be used by the front door to guard against trick or treat-ers.
There’s no better time to get messy than Halloween and this project is perfect for really young children. Even if they can’t yet hold a paintbrush this is suitable for finger painting although you’ll want to lay down a lot of newspaper lest you end up with a horror show to clean up afterwards.
You need: several colours of paint; paper plates
Pour out the paint onto the paper plates, creating a temporary artists palette for each child (this is great for entertaining children en masse, so long as their adults don’t mind them coming back somewhat paint splattered). Encourage them to unleash their artistic abilities – the messier the better. Put the abstract masterpieces somewhere safe to dry before proudly displaying them.
Teens and tweens of the Instagram generation might demand something a little more filter friendly from their #Halloween décor. Satisfy their need for aesthetically pleasing pumpkins with these tips and tricks.
You need: masking tape; neon paint; metallic spray paint; craft glue; glitter
For the colour block pumpkins use the masking tape to mark out a sharp diagonal line across the pumpkin and paint one side of it with the neon paint. You might need to use a few layers to build up a solid colour. Once dry, carefully peel off the tape to reveal a crisp edge.
For the full glitter effect use the metallic spray paint to coat the entire gourd. Once dry, paint over it with glue and cover it in glitter. Use a bowl to catch the glitter that doesn’t stick the first time round so you can re use it until the pumpkin is fully coated.
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Keep it in the family with elegant gothic monograms. This one is probably better for older children with steadier hands, although you could always use a stencil and trace around to create an outline for younger children to paint within the lines.
You need: paint; fine tipped paintbrush; pencil
Use a pencil to trace the outline of the letters on each pumpkin – you might want to look up some fancy calligraphy characters beforehand or even print them out to use as stencils. Paint over the outlines as carefully as possible, adding curlicues either side and leave to dry. Do one for each member of the family or use them to spell out spooky words.
This quick and easy decoration is a fun way to decorate your doorstep if you’re in a rush to whip up some last minute dark decorations.
You need: black craft paper; scissors; string
Cut large mask shapes from the black paper. You can be elaborate in your shapes (and maybe even decorate them with curly filigree executed in a metallic silver pen) or opt for a swift and simple bandit mask. Use the point end of the scissors to poke a hole either side of the masks (adult supervision, please) then loop a piece of string through either side and tie in place around your unsuspecting squash. Voila – your own band of bandits, perfect for placing on a front step to frighten away bad spirits.
For a more aesthetically pleasing (read: not too tacky) take on pumpkin arrangement visit your local farmers market and pick an array of gaudy squash in all shapes and sizes to arrange at home.
As well as making eye catching centrepieces they’re a lot of fun to paint or draw so set children up with paints or pencils and sketchbook and challenge them create pieces of autumnal art that will last far longer than their compostable counterparts.