Monday, October 24, 2016

The Year Without a Pumpkin Patch

It's fall! My favorite. It's when I get the urge to nest, to create, to be crafty, to get outdoors after a summer spent trying to manage the heat, and I love it. I love Halloween and spooky homemade crafts and pumpkin patches and jack-o-lanterns, roasted pumpkin seeds, costumes and a sugar-buzzed night spent trick-or-treating.

But, here's the thing. My kids? Not so much into the pumpkin patches anymore. Or the crafting. They still want the candy and the costumes and the trick-or-treats (and my older one even got wrapped up in watching the Spookley the Square Pumpkin special on TV the other day), so my fall has been sans pumpkin farm. No petting zoo, no "how tall this year picture, no jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin seeds in my oven.

But I still want my Halloween.

So, I went to Natural Grocers and grabbed a bag of roasted pumpkin seeds (theirs are so good) and hit the craft store. I had all of these empty jars lying around the house and I do love a craft that takes something I have already and turns it into something fabulous. Why not jack-o-lanterns?

Here's what I bought to use with my jars (which I thoroughly washed, removing the labels):
  • Washi tape 
  • battery operated tealights
  • candy corn
  • Jack-o-lantern stickers
That Washi tape is my new secret weapon—seriously, this stuff is awesome. The jack-o-lantern stickers are felt faces already cut out and ready for you to stick on your pumpkin (in lieu of carving) that work perfectly for this application.

I'd seen a variety of different jar projects on Pinterest (like ya do)—some involved painting, some decoupage—and that's originally the direction I was going to head in. I've done a silk leaf and tissue paper decoupage to make a fall-themed candle jar, but when I saw this orange Washi tape, I realized that was the direction to go in for this one.

For the my first try, I used the striped and dotted tape (those came in a set) and alternated vertical stripes around the jar to mimic the natural lines on a pumpkin. There were a few places where the tape creased or bubbled, but those are easily smoothed out with a fingernail. This stuff is super forgiving.

When it was all covered, I trimmed the top along the top rim of the jar even though it looked cool like it was—almost like flames.

Then I remembered that I had a green wood-grain roll of tape in my craft drawer and that was the perfect topper to the pumpkin. Seriously, what an adorable little pumpkin!

Even cuter with a face.

Though my kids were at school when I made these, this would be a super easy craft for kids to help with. My daughter thought up lots of different ideas for themes, including using white and gray washi tape and making a ghost jack-o-lantern. Altogether, materials were under $10 and they make an easy and inexpensive decoration or gift.

I made a few others with a woven pattern (that one was a bit of a challenge) and horizontal stripes, then added in some other more Halloween-themed tapes. I also found a stick-on "BOO" made from googly eyes (how do you even resist that?) for one of them when I ran out of felt faces. They all turned out great. Seriously, you can't mess these up. 

And now is a great time to make your own or buy supplies for next year, because the Halloween stuff is going on sale. Just save some for me, okay?

1 comment:

  1. Super Cute! Planning to buy some pumpkin seeds this weekend from sprouts. Thanks for the tip Mari!