Pumpkins and inventive decorations

This goes out to all the SDMBer’s who are celebrating Halloween. This is in two parts.

Part 1.

I was talking about this today with a friend, and it got me to wondering, what are you guys doing with your pumpkins? Are you going traditional (simple cut outs), more elaborate (piercings, some stencil designs, etc.), or really elaborate, like carving the design in relief? Also, what types of designs do you all prefer?

As for me, I decided not to do the laborious relief carving I have been doing the past few years. This year it’s back to simple cutting out of the lines, and leaving it at that. I chose to carve a chinese style dragon chasing a flaming pearl. I kind of stopped doing the scarier carvings because one year the pumpkin I carved scared little kids so much they wouldn’t come up onto the porch for candy!

Part 2.

Also, what really inventive decorations are you all putting up? Anyone create their own? As for me, I got the idea to turn my home-made indoor fountain into a fountain of blood! (I’m gory like that). All I would do is dye the water in it with food coloring, and maybe drip some of that fake blood in a tube on the sides. If i see it scaring the kids too badly I’ll cover it up :).

My favorite thing to do is simple, yet silly. Take a plastic fork. Break out the two middle tines. Now push the fork onto your nose so that the remaining tines grip your nose. Ta-dah! Looks like you stuck a fork up your nose. I wore that last year while giving out candy and absolutely FREAKED out the little kids. If you’re into realism, I’m sure a little stage blood dripping down the handle would be nice.

As to pumpkins, I’m still waiting for inspiration. Martha Stewart was no help, the old ratbag.

For the first time, I used one of those stencil kits. My wife and I carved a cat’s face. Man, does it look cool! Now she wants to go out and buy more pumpkins.

I’ve done some of the stencil bits. They’re OK, but I can’t get into them.

OTOH, for the last 25 years I’ve been expanding (incrementally) on a single idea:

I get a HUGE pumpkin (orginally it was just a large pumpkin),
I get a medium-large pumpkin,
and I get a small pumpkin or large gourd.

The two smaller pumpkins get sliced in half, with and a face carved in the better half.

The largest pumpkin gets carved out with a huge diabolical toothy grin into which the medium-large face is inserted. The smallest face is then inserted into the teeth of the middle face.

The largest pumpkin gets eyebrows, ears, the whole works. The smaller pumpkins get as much detail as I can fit on them.

The jack-o-lantern takes two candles and sits on the step at the right height for a two-year-old to look right at it.
It’s a pretty standard crowd-pleaser.


I used to spend hours carving scenes in relief also and before stencil time ppl would have great comments and it would be worth all the effort. Now all I get are comments on where did I find that stencil or some just mutter to others as they leave…it’s just a stencil. Makes the labor intensive process not worth it. This year it will just be a face, at least I will have more time to concentrate on my costume.

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing, does the painter do good
things.” --Edgar Degas

We did just plain old pumpkins with evil like faces (the jigsaw does wonders carving pumpkins) but we have the front yard lit up, strobe lights, red spotlights, a graveyard with a real ornate entrance, a broken down rickety fence, scary sound effects, spiderwebs, the whole nine yards. SO gets very “into” Halloween, and is in construction so he builds all this stuff.

Last year, he dressed up in a long black trenchcoat, scary mask, boots, etc., and sat in a rocking chair in the front yard…just rocking very slowly. It looked fake, until the kids would walk past him and he would toss candy at them. We had a couple start crying, but the parents loved it. Even had a couple cars come from other neighborhoods to check it out. We’re in a new house this year, right along a very busy street, and people are slowing down as they drive by to check this out. ::grin::

My little 7-year-old redheaded friend Amanda is going as the Wicked Witch of the West this year. And has the Margaret Hamilton lines down pat; she does a perfect “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too.”

I don’t get too lavish on Halloween. Kind of a lopsided toothy grin on my pumpkin, a litle fake blood on a white shirt to answer the door.

Once I went to school before halloween carrying a saw and told everyone I was a “tree killer”.
– Sylence

And now, for my next trick, I will talk in spooky half-references.