photographed in front of the biggest pumpkin winner. Its weights 1,630 pounds!
Each year, Montréal Botanical Garden organized the Great Pumpkin Ball. Visitors can admire the best decorated pumpkins made by the participants aged 6 years and up. We saw the exhibition last Friday with my son’s day care. If you are in town, the Great Pumpkin Ball is open until October 31st.
Topics were diverse. Recurring ideas include comic characters, superheros, sports and TV personalities.
Garfield pumpkin from the 6 to 12 years old category
Spider smurf pumpkin from the 6 to 12 years old category
Amongst the classic Halloween themes, I particularly enjoy the Dracula pumpkin, the magician and the beautiful mask lady pumpkin.
Dracula pumpkin decorated by a family
Mummy pumpkin from the 13 to 17 years old category
This masked lady pumpkin won first prize in the adult category
I will return to the Great Pumpkin Ball next year to admire the craft projects of our youth.
Jack-o’-Lantern can take many faces. The design of these pumpkins will caught the attention of your visitors even if might not really scare them. And you will win points for the originality of your execution. I particularly like the all stitched up pumpkin.
+ Jeepers Creepers Jack-o’-Lanterns at FamilyFun.com
+ Wacky Face at Chicago Tribune
+ All Stitched Up Jack-o’-Lantern
You have one week left before Halloween to decorate your pumpkin. If you need last-minute ideas for adorable pumpkins, I scoured three playful designs. First, look how sunflower seeds and a glue gun can turn a pumpkin or a squash into an adorable owl.
Or you can turn your pumpkins into a candy jar. The witch around a campfire is so cute.
+ What a Hoot tutorial at Family Circle – photo: Alexandra Grablewski
+ Mini Witch And Cat Pumpkins at Martha Stewart
+ Lantern-o’-Treats at Martha Stewart
Is there anything chalkboard paint can’t make more fun? I love this clever pumpkin project from Zakka Life. Not only is it easier than carving a pumpkin, the matte black paint finish is pretty chic all on it’s own.
Kids can draw a new jack-o-lantern face every day leading up to Halloween. Try using glow-in-the-dark chalk for an extra-eerie touch!
If you haven’t found the perfect pumpkin style yet, don’t miss Kim’s round-up of creative carving ideas.
+ photo: Zakka Life
I scoured the Web for beautiful, fun and unique style pumpkins. The main constant is to stay away from the orange pumpkins.
+ The carve-by-color technique gives this Night Owl pumpkin a cool and unexpected twist. One element that it not mention on the online instructions is that you also need to paint your pale Lumina pumpkin on page 6. (via Martha Stewart)
+ Anyone can do this nice trick. The effect of the sneaky trick or treat pumpkin is obtained by placing your stencil for the trick backward on the back of the pumpkin. Put a candle inside the pumpkin and simply position the pumpkin to see a reflection of the word trick on the wall. (via Sunset magazine)
+ An antique plate inspired the design of the Thorny Vines Pumpkin. Country Living carved the vines on a perfectly shaped blue hubbard pumpkin.
+ The Black & White Painted Pumpkins were done with the typical pumpkins that were brushed with a coat of white flat acrylic craft paint. You can skip that step if you buy white pumpkins. (via Country Living)
+ The leafy pumpkins seems to be giant zucchinis that also grow on width. (via Sunset magazine)
Halloween props can transform the simplest idea into a unique party decor. For example, integrate the pumpkin into a scene to create a theatrical effect.
Here a simple polka dot pumpkin become creepy if you put it next to a mice feast scene. The only tool you need to make the polka dot pumpkin is a melon baller. The same pumpkin design can be used for a cute family-friendly option or a creepy version. For the family-friendly version, paint or affix one or two silhouette mice on the pumpkin and position the rest of the mouse and a mouse hole on a foam core to make a backdrop.
The creepy version
The creepier vignette involves a herd of Halloween mice eating your food. Stop at the farmers market to grab a pack of decorative corns on the cob and squashes.
+ Polka Dot Pumpkin Instructions
+ Oxo Good Grips Melon Baller $8.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Martha Stewart Mice Silhouettes 12-Pack $5.99 USD at Toys”R”Us
+ Martha Stewart Mice Silhouettes 12-pack $3.80 USD at Martha Stewart’s shop
+ Bag of 12 Halloween mice props $9.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
We never have too many pumpkin carving stencils. These are perfect for a young family. The images should not scare young children. The skull could go with the spooky chic Halloween table I presented yesterday. Download them at HGTV Canada.
+ photos: HGTV.ca
Carving pumpkins is great but we do not all have the talent of making complex design. And if you have young kids at home, they will prefer simpler images.
What you need our a few printable carving templates and stencils. You do not have to carve the pumpkins, you can simply paint a silhouette or do both.Then, you create a vignette to give life to your theme.
I selected on Better Homes and Gardens 4 pumpkin decorating projects that anyone could do it without passing all day on the project. These cute pumpkins will not give nightmares to young kids. If you put your painted pumpkins outside, apply a varnish to protect the painted silhouette from the outdoor elements.
+ The Haunted Mansion pumpkin was realized by chiseling the windows of the painted mansion. Then, they added a moon behind. Get the haunted mansion template.
+ This is the happiest pumpkin. This interpretation of the cat pumpkin is girlie. Add a bow and ears to your drawing. Print first the Feline Stencil.
+ The creepy crow is a classic. Tufts of garden moss or ornamental grass help keep the pumpkin stable inside the birdbath. You can punch the eye of the black crow stencil.
+ I like the simplicity of the Spooky Spider Stencil with its luminous web. The lines of the web are carved just deep enough to let the glow of the candle shine through the pumpkin walls. pumpkin photo
I recalled how many of you looked for pumpkin-carving ideas last year. Do not worry, I will bring you more inspirations until Halloween starting with these wonderful pumpkins that I found on Martha Stewart. The key is to decide on a theme. You get an extra WOW when you create a vignette.
One thing that Martha taught us is to not simply rely on pumpkins. Gourds and squashes fit the occasion as well. One detail is to carve the gourds and pumpkins from the bottom. This way it keeps the stems intact. Mixing sizes and forms is another design lesson when you are planning your vignette.
The Arise for the Dead pumpkin was carved by a reader of Martha. Jacquie W. used photos of New England headstones as templates. You can shape animals (see top collage) by cleverly assembling several pumpkins together. Or roll lino ink over the silhouette to add a sophisticated touch to your carved pumpkins.
The headless horseman and the skeleton rider pumpkins were created by a master carver named Tomas Gonzales. Tomas is an artist.
GET THE LOOK:
+ Pumpkin Alligator and Snail
+ Birdbath Family
+ Pumpkin Raccoon Bandit
+ Spooky Silhouette Designs
+ Spider Squash
Gladly for us, Nick Dickover is really into pumpkin carving and sculpture. Since 2000, you can admire and learn how to do his Jack-O-Lantern creations online on Fantasy Pumpkins.
He gives most of his templates for free. His patterns are not for the novices. With such levels of details, many are in fact extremely difficult to do.
Learning How to Carve
With a template, you need time and patience to be able to reproduce his works. If you want to learn the tricks of this art, Nick recommends the Carvingpumpkins.com community board. You will find on Carvingpumpkins.com more free patterns and lots of advice on how to carve pumpkins.
Every year, he exhibits his creations outside. Last year he exhibited 25 magnificent pumpkins. Each pumpkin pattern takes between 2 to 23 hours to carve.
He excelled with the shot where Malificent casts her curse. With good reasons, Jack Sparrow was a bit hit in 2006. People mentioned this was the sexiest pumpkin they had ever seen.
If you are in the Washington DC area, Noel prepares an outdoor exhibit every Halloween. You can admire all the pumpkins he made at 14223 Hartwood Court, Centreville VA, 20121. It sounds like a treat.
+ images from FantasyPumpkins.com
If you live with teenager boys, a sure way to get them interested in helping you to carve pumpkins is to go with a science fiction theme.
Let them reproduce their favorite character, robot or space ship. Wired magazine runs last year a contest. The big winner was a Death Star Pumpkin carved by the super talented Noel Dickover of Centerville, Virginia.
If you wish to make your own, Noel published a tutorial on how to carve the Death Star from Star Wars. I am impressed! Technically, The Death Star is a hybrid between a pumpkin carve and a pumpkin sculpt. Allow between 4 to 10 hours to make it.
Other favorites were a Cylon Jack-O-Lantern, a Gollum, and a R2 Jack-o’-lantern.
+ Via Shak In Style