by Bridget Kulla
It’s pumpkin season! The time of year when Jack-O-Lanterns adorn front steps and neighborhood porches are packed with a variety of gourds. There are pumpkins with the traditional triangle-eyed faces or unexpected ones that turn heads—all are fun to pore over.
This year, you can pump up your pumpkin game with some cool gadgets and creative ideas. Weather you carve, paint, pushpin or even tape your pumpkin—it’s good to have a few design inspirations ideas in your own skull. Squash previous years pumpkin designs and craft gorgeous gourds with our roundup of ideas and gear. Your home’s fresh festive curb appeal will be a treat for the whole neighborhood.
Go for the gold.
Out with the orange and in the pastel pumpkins. Turns out, pumpkins come in shades of pink, white and blue and snagging a not-so-usual shade can add interest to your display. Make your pastel pumpkin the perfect palette for geometric shapes and patterns hand-painted with a small brush and stylish gold craft paint.
Invest in tools.
With the right set of tools you can cut, carve, scoop, chisel and drill your pumpkins like a pro. The 3-piece Pumpkin Meister Set includes a pumpkin scraper to thin the pumpkin walls and scoop the pulp, a sawtooth carver to easily cut out your design, and an etching tool for fine etching details—all in a bright Halloween orange hue.
The Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit is a fast, precise option for more involved pumpkin designs. Or make like a potter and use the Bailey Hole Cutter Set for a perfectly polka dot pumpkin.
1 The 3-piece Pumpkin Meister Set. Photo Credit: Messermeister 2 The Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit. Photo Credit: Dremel
There’s nothing quite as cute as a mini pumpkin, except maybe one decorated with Washi tape. There are endless tape roll colors and patterns to choose from and it’s easy to work with—if you mess up you can lift and restick your tape where you want it.
1 Washi tape pumpkin decorating. 2 Cookie cutters by Williams-Sonoma.
Involve the little ones.
Getting the kids in on pumpkin decorating is simple with cookie cutters. Just pop the cutter where they want it, use a rubber mallet to jam it into the pumpkin, remove the cutter and an adult can finish cutting out the shape. Other ideas? Douse your pumpkin in chalkboard spray paint and let the kids decorate with chalk, or if they’re old enough they use pushpins to make a fun design. Decorating while donning a glow-in-the-dark skeleton smock only ups the fun, and it’s perfect for wiping off pulpy pumpkin hands.
1 Skeleton smock by Williams-Sonoma. Photo Credit: Williams-Sonoma
Snack on seasoned seeds.
During a pumpkin party, there’s no better decorating snack than seasoned pumpkin seeds. Here’s the scoop on how to make them extra crispy:
1. Soak the pulpy seeds in a bowl of water to loosen the remaining pulp, then place them in a strainer and rinse.
2. Put the clean seeds in a pot of salted water to boil for 10 minutes, drain, and towel dry.
3. Sprinkle on a baking sheet with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt (add garlic powder, cayenne if you like a kick)
4. Bake the seeds at 325 for 20 minutes