Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Double Project Wednesday: No-Carve Pumpkin + Halloween Wreath

Are you excited for Halloween yet?  My kids are, as usual.  Hailey has decided that she wants to be a Black Cat.  I think I can handle that!  A friend of ours has a tail and ears she can borrow.  I just need to pick up a black body suit and tights and she will be good to go!  Samantha, on the other hand, has it in her mind to be Pocahontas.  Not necessarily the Disney Pocahontas, but a Native American girl.  She's been reading the American Girl books and one is about a Native American girl.  That's where the idea for the costume came from. That leaves it to me to pull it off! Last year I made princess dresses for the girls.  Hailey was Cinderella and Samantha was Tiana {from Princess and the Frog}.  They were so cute!  Once again, I neglected to blog last Halloween {did I just take the whole year off, or something?}, so I guess I should share some pictures from last year.  The photos aren't very good. I don't know why I continue to insist I can take good pictures with my phone.  I guess you just go with what's handy.

So, although I am completely capable of sewing a Native American Girl dress for Samantha, I'm totally not wanting to do it.  Last year I wasn't really working and so I had a ton more time to do things like that.  I need to just do it.  I shouldn't allow work to keep me from doing the things I love with my kids.  In later years, Sam might not remember what she was for Halloween this year, but she will remember that I took the time to do this service for her.  I'll have to keep it simple, though.  Last year I think I went a little over the top.  Gotta keep it all in perspective.

Okay, now that I've made you look at some pictures of my kids, it's time for some quick and easy Halloween decorating ideas!

Project #1 is: No-Carve Pumpkin

First up, the easiest way to decorate a pumpkin.  You will need a cutting machine for this project.  If you don't have one... well.. why not?  Maybe just become best friends with someone who has one.

I don't particularly enjoy carving pumpkins.  My main reason is because of the mess.  Now, if you know me, you'll know that my house is one big pile of mess.  I always point out my lack of housekeeping skills when people say how creative I am.  Perfect, I certainly am NOT.  The truth is, I don't like the mess of the pumpkin guts because I don't want to have to clean it up!  We got a large pumpkin at the farm last Friday and I've agreed to allow carving as long as it's done outside and I don't have to clean up after it.  I'm trying, just barely.

I prefer pumpkins in their natural state.  Then I can bake them into pies.  Mmmmm... delicious! My solution is to decorate them with vinyl!  I think it took me longer to get out the vinyl and cut it off the roll than it did to cut it and apply it.  I'm not even writing a tutorial on this.  Just do it!

I used the tree, raven and bat from one of my new designs, Page Scene Haunted House.  You can use whatever design and you'll be done in no time!  It certainly adds an extra element to my creepy shelf.  This is on top of my piano music bookshelf.  My students are loving it!  The effect is especially cool on a white pumpkin.  I wonder if these are good for pie?  I guess we will find out!

Project #2 is: Halloween Wreath

Here's another relatively quick and easy project idea.  No vinyl, this time {shocking, I know!} but I did use my cutter to make the banner.  I'm sure you could use a pre-made banner or even cut your own by hand if you don't have a die cut machine.  I went with a little E.A. Poe theme.  By the way, you can read all about the popularity of Ravens on this weeks Trendwatch Tuesday and also watch a great rendition of Poe's The Raven while you are at it.

I looked all over the craft store for a black wreath but couldn't find one.  I purchased a plain grapevine wreath about 20" in diameter for a few dollars.  I figured since I was painting those little pumpkins to look like mercury glass, I could just spray paint the wreath while I was at it.  It definitely took a lot of paint to get in all the nooks and crannies of the wreath.  I think it turned out great.  I love the glossy look of the paint.  I used a few of my painted pumpkins in the wreath, too.

I also decided to use some autumn flowers I got on sale to add to the wreath.  For extra creepyness, I painted them and a few leaves black, too.  I didn't want to add a lot, but I love how these few little things add to the wreath overall.

My only word of warning on this project is... while it may seem like an easy task to spray paint a few flowers and leaves, you may be surprised when you blast that first leaf with the paint and it flies away.  You will then be tempted to just pick up the leaf and hold it while you spray it.  Trust me when I say, this is really not a good idea.  Unless, of course, you want to be best friends with a cotton ball and bottle of nail polish remover followed by a scrub brush for the next hour.  Better to use a stick or something to hold the leaves and flowers in place while you spray them.  I'm sure I'll remember to do that next time.... right.

Do you need a tutorial for this one?  I used hot glue to assemble everything.  The banner is made from my Flag Banners 3 design with some letters added.  The patterned paper is from Teresa Collins and the solid is Colormates Treasures.  I tied it all together with some homemade bakers twine.  Easy peasy!  No tutorial necessary  just get out some of your supplies and get inspired.

Do you feel creative yet?

Time to get crafty, people!

Linked at:

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The Shabby Nest


Barbara said...

Nice projects, Jan! The girls were so cute in their costumes!

Here's a tip: If you make your own cutting mats like I do, then you must have some repositional adhesive like Krylon Easy-Tack, right? Spray a box bottom with some of it and let it dry. Stick your flowers on it and spray away. The flowers won't move and you won't have to hold them down.

Shabby Baker said...

Thanks for this very interesting post! i am one of those "talentless" carver who can't carve pumpkins from scratch so these no-carve pumpkin carving ideas are pretty handy for me. I'm gonna try some of them this year. Happy Halloween!

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