Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin decorating

I've come to terms with the fact that I lack any solid pumpkin-carving skills.  Last Halloween, Josh and I downloaded a Justin Bieber template from the Globe & Mail website, carved out Bieber's smug mug, and asked everyone who came to our Halloween party who they thought it was when they arrived.  No one knew the answer until we gave some pretty strong hints that may have included some really terrible singing.

Needless to say I was relieved to find a lot of great pumpkin decorating inspiration on blogs, design websites, and even at Anthropologie this year. 

Anthro had a great fall display at their Calgary location - but unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me.  They used silver tacks to create designs on pumpkins and gourds, similar to the photos below.

The tree-hugger in me wonders if people remove all these pins after the display comes down so that they can compost the pumpkins.  Somehow I don't see it happening.

On Sunday, I drew inspiration from the following...

  House & Home - watch the video

I bought a few pumpkins of various sizes at the farmers market and got to work Sunday afternoon - taking one too many breaks to eat salted, roasted pumpkin seeds and drink apple cider - yum.

The House & Home video shows how to decorate a pumpkin by drilling holes into it and inserting clear marbles. I couldn't find clear marbles, but these coloured marbles from Toys R Us did the trick.

The marbles varied in size, so although some fit perfectly, others were too small and fell through.  I had to use two different sized drill bits to make it work.  You also have to leave a few holes open to allow oxygen to circulate once you have a candle inside. You'll notice I didn't cut the top off - cutting off the bottom instead gives it a more polished look.

I used both 1/2" and 5/8" spade drill bits.  They created a wider hole than Josh's regular drill bits.

Et voila...

Here's a tip if you're drilling A LOT of holes in a pumpkin: don't be impatient like me.  The drill was getting heavy so I started drilling like Speedy Gonzales, but that only made things worse.  If you drill too quickly with a spade drill bit, you'll tear the skin off the pumpkin around the hole - as you can see I did over and over again with the pumpkin on the left.  

I had some leftover paint from my mirror DIY for these two little gourds to create the dipped look.   After reading a how-to on Inspired by Charm I learned it's not a good idea to actually dip them in paint.  I didn't have a foam brush handy so I just taped off the section I didn't want paint on.

Here's hoping they last until Halloween :)


Mary said...

Nice work!!!!!!!! Love what you did, they look so great! P.S. How is your kitchen shelf so perfect looking?

Sephie said...

wow! love love love!!! we haven't even bought pumpkins yet!!

Jules said...

thanks ladies! LOL...the shelf only looks good as I have a lot of cabinets and a big pantry to hide away the less pretty things. Only cookbooks and shiny things get a spot on the open shelves!

Syl- it's probably a good thing you haven't bought them yet...I'm not sure these will look as pretty come Halloween!