Thursday, October 24 2013

Halloween DIY: Jack up the jack-o’-lantern


Whether you’re interested in saving time or fingers, the no-cut pumpkin is becoming Halloween’s most bewitching decor.

If you leave the knife out of it, your creations are limited only to your spooky imagination.

The possibilities are endless in terms of materials, so you can Frankenstein whatever creepy jack-o’-lantern face you like, or abandon the scary aesthetics altogether (see heart and polka dots).

Here are just a few examples to get the crafty juices flowing.

Haute Halloween

Inject some unexpected drama into the traditional Jack O’ Lantern using decorative paper in fabric prints like leopard or lace to make the face.


  1. First, prime and paint the pumpkin, I used Martha Stewart Craft Paint in Mother of Pearl.
  2. Cut out facial features from paper and tape in place.
  3. After the party you can even remove the features for general seasonal decor or replace them with a different cutout, like say a moustache (Movember is coming).

Polka paper makeover

It’s almost a shame to make a pumpkin this pretty, only to have it rot, so enjoy it while it lasts or execute this look on a pumpkin-impersonating gourd that will keep well into the holiday season.I first saw the paper-stripping technique in the October issue of HGTV magazine and had to try it for myself.


  1. Cut the decorative paper of your choice into quarter-inch strips (use bigger strips for a bigger pumpkin) and Mod Podge around the pumpkin’s surface.
  2. Let this dry and Mod Podge overtop.
  3. Then take Martha Stewart Craft Paint in Mother of Pearl, or any metallic paint and roughly brush on the pumpkin’s stem for an antique look.

Black arts

The chalkboard paint pumpkin is perfect for the creative who likes to change their mind. Not happy with your Jack O’ face? Simply wipe off and re-chalk. This pumpkin is also great for parties, as guests will appreciate the opportunity to vandalize pumpkins with their own obscene messages and drawings.


  1. Paint at least two coats of blackboard paint and let dry in between.
  2. Cure by carefully rubbing chalk over surface.
  3. *Note: I found that the chalk chipped off some of the paint, so next time I will try priming it first. Learn from my mistakes!

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