If you’re not a fan of that’ pumpkin guts’ smell, then why not ‘carve out’ some of these Jack-o-lantern inspired crafts that won’t leave your wallet as hollowed out as a gutted gourd!
Mason Jar Jack-o-lanterns: I have tons of old Mason jars laying around, but if you don’t, you can find them for dirt cheap at the resale shop. Open the lid and have your kids pour leftover orange paint (from those little suncatcher kits at the craft store) into it. Then swirl the paint around and let it dry. I used electrical tape to make the eyes and mouths. Then hot glue a wine bottle cork and a twisted up green pipe cleaner to make your ‘stem and vine’ on the lid. Finish by putting an led candle inside as a safe way to get that eerie Halloween pumpkin glow.
Construction Paper Pumpkins: I stole this idea from the library last year. First cut an orange piece of construction paper into strips, then cut the strips into squares (here’s a good opportunity to practice shapes and scissor skills). Then glue all the orange squares onto a full-sized square of construction paper (any color). Glue on jiggle eyes, a brown construction paper stem, and a mouth in any shape or color you like to complete your pumpkin. Ours is square to look like Spookley the square pumpkin which was the featured book that day. You can make yours any shape you like. If you are interested in listening to the tale of Spookley, then click on the link below.
https://youtu.be/K-acOrQ3aSo The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin read aloud
Pumpkins ‘Rock’: Have fun hiking and collecting rocks in any shape and size. Then use all that left over paint (from the sun catcher kits again) to paint your ‘pumpkins’ orange. Wait till they dry all the way and use a black sharpie to draw on the faces. For a fun game to play with them check out the link below:
Pumpkin Painting: If your kids are not fans of the whole pumpkin carving process or they’re too young to wield a carving knife safely they can always paint a face or design on their pumpkins. Use washable paint and set them loose to create their very own pumpkin masterpiece. Pro Tip: If the weather is nice set them up outside to paint so mother nature can take care of the mess next time it rains.
For information on the most affordable places to get your pumpkins from:
Cupcake Liner Pumpkins: If you have some old, white cupcake pan liners and some orange, black, and green markers laying around then you have yourself a quick and handy art project. Have the kids flatten out the cupcake liners. Then color them orange. Then use the black marker to draw on any type of jack-o-lantern face they want (here’s an opportunity to practice emotions and facial expressions). Lastly, add your green stem with the green marker. If you want to supplement this activity with a themed book on facial expressions, then check out the link below:
https://youtu.be/VhhpTduaIlw (Practice facial expressions with this link to It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse! as a free read aloud)
Baking Up Some Pumpkin Fun:
These cupcakes look like they took hours to make, but were actually super easy. I used Halloween Funfetti box mix and the matching frosting (available at Target, Walmart, and Meijer- check out the link below). The advantage of the box mix is that it is easy for the kids to help. You literally only empty the bag of mix and add eggs and water or oil. Then top with the premade icing (the bats and sprinkles are included). I did take the liberty of embellishing with some of those Brach’s candy pumpkins which are sold separately everywhere this time of year (Walmart, Target, Meijer, Walgreens, Dollar Tree, Jewel).
https://www.meijer.com/shopping/product/pillsbury-funfetti-halloween-cake-mix–15-25-oz/1330060753.html?cmpid=22_P2_MJR_GOOG_SE_SSA_LIA_NA_NB_All_Products:SE_SDS_GOOG_LIA_NA_NA_ORD_NA_NA_FULLFP_NA_CPO_Ad_group:all%5Cother%5Cother:GOOGLE&gclid=Cj0KCQjw-fmZBhDtARIsAH6H8qjVp1VB-NVrwqv2OEYbDkgRvxoA39HEcvr5Bm1JIomxLhw4lMioNKkaArVEEALw_wcB (link to Meijer Funfetti box mix- cheapest)
Cut Out Cookie Fun: This is much messier and way more time consuming, but the kids have a great time trashing the kitchen, decorating, and then eating their cookie creations. Follow this quick and easy sugar cookie recipe at the link below.
https://bellyfull.net/easy-sugar-cookie-recipe/ (cookie recipe)
https://www.target.com/p/6pc-metal-mini-cookie-cutter-set-hyde-38-eek-boutique-8482/-/A-85301372?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&DFA=71700000012764142&CPNG=PLA_Dining%2BShopping_Local%7CDining_Ecomm_Home&adgroup=SC_Dining_Catch+All&LID=700000001170770pgs&LNM=PRODUCT_GROUP&network=g&device=c&location=9021516&targetid=aud-1739091816921:pla-543192200298&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1247068&gclid=CjwKCAjwv4SaBhBPEiwA9YzZvC5VW5_nX456x1JHm2DGCeBY5zeL3SbM66GgMuKud4LcrF_83ah9zhoCrtEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds (Halloween shaped cookie cutters available at Target)
Pro Tips: Pop the raw cut outs in the fridge or freezer for a couple minutes before baking to avoid the shapes puffing up/melting and distorting during baking. Use pre-made icing to save money and mess. I usually scoop up a bunch on clearance at the end of the season as they have pretty generous expiration dates. Look for Halloween shaped cookie cutters at garage sales, resale shops, and flea markets- they are WAY cheaper! You can also modify the Funfetti pre-made mix (see link below) and use it to make your sugar cookie dough to save a lot of time and mess.
https://www.madetobeamomma.com/funfetti-cake-mix-cookies/ (modifying Funfetti mix to use as cookie dough)
Hungry for More Ideas:
Check out this paper plate pumpkin from Glued to my crafts Blog. For instructions use the link below:
For instructions to make this fun little construction paper pumpkin check out the link below:
For some hauntingly affordable Halloween craft ideas check out:
For some other Fall-tastic craft ideas check out:
Hope you and your family picked a patch of fun this Fall!