Friday, October 28, 2011

Mr. Pumpkinhead - Last-Minute Pumpkin Decorating

Today Lu is stepping out from behind her usual Wednesdays on the Web, to share her delightful pumpkin accessories with us. Be sure to stop by Just Lu and check out her amazing Dahlia Top because trust me, you have to see it!

I plan ahead for the holidays. But only in my head.

In my head, I choose our costumes, our pumpkin carving designs, the candy we will hand out to trick-or-treaters before Labor Day.

Outside my head, I spend the day before our first Halloween party creating our costumes from whatever I can find, our pumpkins go uncarved, and the trick-or-treaters leave with spare change or pocket lint -- if we aren't turning off the lights and hiding :).

If your pumpkins suffer the same uncarved fate, never fear! With an hour or less of your time, you can make up for the uncarved pumpkins by introducing a new Halloween character:

Mr. Pumpkinhead is waaay cooler than his more commonly known tuber relative, plus you can keep your pumpkin around for further fall and Thanksgiving decor. You can mix and match faces, or put a face on each side of the pumpkin. Who says that pumpkin decorating has to be permanent?

I stole the Mr. Pumpkinhead idea from my creative mom, who borrowed it from Family Fun magazine. I've modified the process a little bit and provide my modifications and tips as well as a template below.

Mr. (or Mrs.) Pumpkinhead

You need...
  • felt in assorted colors - any kind will work. sticky-back felt will save some time. 
  • fabric paint or permanent markers
  • glue - hot glue, tacky glue, anything that works on felt
  • flat thumbtacks
  • toothpicks or bamboo skewers
  • cereal box, cardstock or manila folder
  • accessories template -- either printed on cardstock or just to consult for inspiration :)

And then you'll...
Draw or trace the accessories you want on to the flattened cereal box, or just print the template on cardstock. You'll only need to cut the outline of the shape, not the inside details like the pupils of the eyes or nostrils or anything.

Cut out each accessory shape.

For each of the facial accessories (eyes, nose, mouth, moustache, etc), place a thumbtack in the center.
For each of the other accessories (hair, ears, hats, etc), glue half a toothpick or a shortened bamboo skewer in the middle.

Glue each accessory to the color of felt that you want it to be, sandwiching  the toothpick or the head of the thumbtack between the cardboard and the felt.

Trim the felt just outside the cardboard shape.

Repeat for each accessory. Remember, some accessories, such as hair and ears, can be double-sided to give you two different options.

Add pupils, nostrils, and other details to the accessories using fabric paint, permanent markers, or other scraps of felt.

Start creating... You may need to use a separate toothpick or skewer to create a pilot hole for the accessories.

The Luigi look (center) is my favorite, because there's nothing cuter than hearing my two-year-old yell "Oopsie daisy!" and run to straighten the moustache on the pumpkin. :)
A few tips:
  • For ease in applying glue and decorating the accessories, stick each thumbtack or toothpick into a scrap of cardboard.
  • If you want to be able to mix up and reuse the accessories many times, I suggest using cereal box cardboard and bamboo skewers to help the accessories endure longer.
  • Be sure that your pumpkins are steady... one tip-over-and-roll and the ears are history. Poor deaf Mr. Pumpkinhead!
  • My accessories are best sized for average- to small-sized pumpkins. If you are decorating a bigger pumpkin, you'll probably want to make the accessories bigger to fit. 
  • If you draw your own accessories, make sure that the point(s) where you will stick them to the pumpkin are wide enough to fit the thumbtack.

This post is a part of the Month O' Pumpkin series at Housewife Eclectic. You can read the rest of the crafts, recipes and photography ideas in this series here. 
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