Besides Old Tannenbaum, the most famous and popular holiday tradition for most American families is the carving of the Halloween pumpkins.
Originally used as a beacon to call home deceased loved ones and to protect homes against malevolent spirits during the Celtic holiday Samhain, the Jack-O-Lantern has become a modern holiday staple. From scary carvings to brilliant renditions of famous faces, the choices are endless when it comes to decorating these massive orange globes.
Why not branch out this year and try something a little different with your pumpkin decorating? Sure, you can still carve a good old triangle-eyed visage for tradition’s sake, but while you’re at it, here’s a few alternative pumpkin decorating ideas to add to your home’s décor this year.
Mums the Word
Many people love to plant mums around their yard in the fall as their autumnal colors and long-lasting beauty usher in the season. Why not combine your decorating needs by making a pot holder out of a pumpkin? Simply choose the right sized pumpkin (one that sits evenly), cut open the top wide enough to fit a small pot, remove the innards and insert the potted mums. The combination of the pumpkins and the mums is perfect for decorating the exterior of your home and odds are it will be the one idea your neighbors never though of! Just be sure to keep the mums in the pot because the pumpkin will begin to wilt after a few days. Once that happens, just throw the pumpkin away and you can still keep the potted mums in place.
Painted pumpkins have grown in popularity over the last few years as this allows younger family members to get into the “carving” spirit without touching dangerously sharp tools. Visit your local craft store and let your imagination go crazy. Paint, beads, metal wire, sequins and many other craft items can combine to make truly unique pumpkins perfect for decorating your home inside and out.
Rather than lighting candles and setting them in an unattended Jack-O-Lantern, turn your pumpkins into candleholders instead. Cut a small hole in the top of the pumpkin so it will hold a battery-operated candle securely. Decorate the pumpkin as you wish and insert the plastic candle. Set them up along your walkway for a wonderfully welcoming sight.
Don’t Forget the Small Pumpkins
For most families, the goal of entering the pumpkin patch is to find the biggest, fattest pumpkin they can. While that’s great, don’t forget about the little guys! Pick up a handful of smaller pumpkins and use them to make a homemade wreath to deck out your front door. Add some leaves, moss, acorns and a bow and you’re all set!
The Pumpkin Totem Pole
What can be better than a great pumpkin on a porch? How about five or six great pumpkins, one stacked on top of the other? Pumpkin totem poles are fun to make and they offer a different approach to decorating with these carvable gourds. Find a stable pole and cut the bottoms and tops of your stackable pumpkins to fit. Rather than using candles to light these pumpkins, string the pole with white Christmas lights for a truly glowing experience!
Pumpkins bring a versatile, festive look to any home and with the leaves gently falling to the ground; they can provide the perfect finish touch to your seasonal decorations. There’s no bad way to decorate a pumpkin. Open up your mind and let your creativity flow!
Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.