Although carving pumpkins may very well be the most recognized Halloween craft for the Halloween holiday, it might not be conducive to the climate in which you live. For example, if you live in Texas the humidity would cause the pumpkins to suffer a much too early demise. Also safety concerns arise when using a sharp santoku knife to carve them, it is not exactly an activity that everyone, especially the children who are so in love with Halloween, can do.
It became my mission to find an alternative to pumpkin carving. During a recent trip to a pumpkin patch, I discovered a Halloween activity, which included pumpkins, that even the youngest members of the family can participate in and explore their creativity in a new way; Pumpkin Painting.
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Pumpkin painting is a fun and safe way to celebrate autumn and Halloween without the mess and safety concerns of pumpkin carving and your pumpkins will last much longer. With just a few supplies: big or small pumpkins, paint and paint brushes or markers, fake hair, plastic eyes, glue or sealer and your imagination, anyone can transform a plain pumpkin into a whimsical, life-like character.
By tracing a pattern onto the pumpkin, young children can “paint by numbers” and create their own Halloween masterpiece. Or allow them to design their own unique pumpkin face or image on the pumpkin giving them freedom and a sense of accomplishment. Have a pumpkin painting contest, within the family, of who can come up with the most original piece of work. Display the pumpkins outside on the porch so that when trick-or-treaters come by they can vote on their favorite masterpiece. This would be especially fun if you were new to the neighborhood and wanted to meet your new neighbors.
The best feature of painted pumpkins is their lifespan. A pumpkin, once carved, will last three to five days at the most before it begins to collapse and rot. A painted pumpkin, when finished properly, will last four weeks or longer!
A great way to make your pumpkin work double duty is to paint one side for Halloween. When Halloween is over, turn the pumpkin around, paint some autumn or Thanksgiving scene on the opposite side to add to your cornucopia of fresh gourds or to stand alone. Be creative and enjoy!
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