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5 Simple DIY Pumpkins You Can Enjoy Year After Year!

halloween pumpkins

Once in awhile Michaels (the craft store) will send me a “craft challenge” of some sort. I appreciate the opportunity because it pushes me to try new things I normally wouldn’t. You see, while crafting isn’t really my forté, I actually really enjoy it!

The challenge this time was to take some of their craft pumpkins and decorate them for Halloween. When the 3 pumpkins arrived I was stumped as to what to DO with them! So I reached out to all of YOU on Facebook and asked for your ideas. You guys are ROCKSTARS!  There were so many great ideas I had to run to Michaels to buy a few more pumpkins because I couldn’t settle on just three!

I honestly can’t say which one I like the best! There are things about all of them that not only do I like from an aesthetic point of view…but from an execution standpoint as well. Working with a “hot knife” was something new for me, but once I got the hang of it (after burning a hole in one of my favorite shirts!) I was hooked! I felt like Michelangelo sculpting the statue of David by the time I was done. :-)

Here are the fruits of our labors!  OK, MY labor, your brain power!

CHEVRON PUMPKIN

halloween pumpkins

STEP ONE:

Tape off your pumpkin using masking tape.  I didn’t use any measuring device, I just eyeballed the spacing of the tape and then trimmed the ends with scissors to make clean corners.

halloween pumpkins

STEP TWO:

Spray your taped pumpkin with white, flat paint. I used Krylon brand.

halloween pumpkins

You’ll want to do 3 or 4 light coats (letting it dry for a few minutes in between each coat) in order to get complete coverage without drips.

halloween pumpkins 5

STEP THREE:

After the last coat, let dry for approximately 30 minutes. (It dries really fast!), and then carefully peel the tape off. (Tip: when peeling the tape, don’t rip it off too fast or you will end up taking some of the pumpkin surface off with it! Trust me.)

halloween pumpkins

This pumpkins turned out WAY better than I thought it would. The taping was the most time-consuming part of this, but worth the final product. :-)

GLITTER PUMPKIN

halloween pumpkins

STEP ONE:  

For the glitter pumpkin you will need some glitter glue (or mod podge) and glitter.   No, this is not an advertisement for Martha Stewart’s line of craft projects, I just find them easy to work with. I actually looked at a bunch of different glitter colors and this “fire opal” was my favorite.

halloween pumpkins 9

The nice thing about this glue was that it came with a little brush attached to the inside of the lid. But, of course, you can use your own brush.

halloween pumpkins

STEP TWO:

Brush the glue (or mod podge) onto the pumpkin in sections and sprinkle liberally with the glitter.

halloween pumpkins

STEP THREE:

After your pumpkin is covered with glitter, spray with a clear, protective spray finish. This will keep the glitter from getting all over everything! LOVE the sparkle!

CHALKBOARD PUMPKIN

halloween pumpkins

STEP ONE:  

Spray paint your pumpkin all over with a black chalkboard paint. Once again, I used Krylon brand. The directions on the can said to use two coats, letting it dry for approximately 15 minutes between coats.

halloween pumpkins 11

After 3 hours the paint is fully dry.

halloween pumpkins

STEP TWO:

I printed off a cute chalkboard art design I found on Pinterest to use as a guide, and attempted to do a “free-hand” version of it using a liquid chalk pen.

halloween pumpkins

Mine definitely isn’t as “artistic”….but I think it turned out OK. :-)  The fun thing about this pumpkin is that when Halloween is over you can “erase” it and draw a different phrase on it for Thanksgiving! :-)

POLKA DOTS AND DIAMONDS PUMPKIN

halloween pumpkins

STEP ONE:

I knew I wanted to try my hand at “carving” a couple of these craft pumpkins with the hot knife that Michaels provided, but wasn’t confident in my ability to do it without some sort of guide. These sticker stencils (that you can reposition) were perfect! Just stick them on where you want the design to be……..

halloween pumpkins

STEP TWO:

…..and start cutting. Be very careful with the hot knife! It is very HOT and very SHARP.

halloween pumpkins


And don’t worry if your cut-outs are perfect….they are very forgiving when you put a light inside them!

BOO! PUMPKIN

halloween pumpkins

STEP ONE:

That darn Martha Stewart has so many cute Halloween products! :-)  This package of 48 different paper Halloween stencils was just the ticket for my second carved pumpkin. All you need to do is choose a stencil design and tape it to your pumpkin in the desired position.

halloween pumpkins

STEP TWO:  

Outline (inline?) the stencil using a pen or pencil and cut out with the hot knife.

halloween pumpkins

STEP THREE:

Cut a circle opening in the top (just like you would a real pumpkin) and place a battery-operated tealight inside.

halloween pumpkins

I just love the simplicity of this one. :-)

halloween pumpkins

I really, REALLY enjoyed working on this “challenge!”  Thank you Michaels, for once again getting me outside my crafting comfort zone! I hope you will be inspired to do some pumpkin creating and “carving” of your own!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

MORE IDEAS FROM

Holidays

  • It all looks amazing and great ideas, but I have decided to forgo Halloween this year. I don’t have any children anymore, they live so far away! Most of the children in our neighborhoods go to parties at churches and schools, so they are not on the street, trick-or-treating. I miss the “little-uns” in their cute little costumes.

  • Heya i’m for the firdt tiume here. I came across
    this board and I find It truly useful & it helped mme out much.

    I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  • […] is an EASY and yet adorable chevron pumpkin!!!  Would look good in black too.  Here are the details. Glitter up your pumpkin this Halloween!  Detailed info […]

  • I made a small glitter pumpkin this morning, and thought I was doing something wrong, and when I tried to “fix” it, I just made a bigger mess, lol. I think it will still look okay outside our door. I also made the “blackboard” pumpkin and that was a lot of fun, too. I used a bottle of blackboard paint instead of the spray paint, and it was still pretty simple. With the glitter pumpkin, despite the mess I made, I was surprised how little glitter it needed! Thanks so much for the ideas, I haven’t done any crafts for a long time other than simple bookmarks I make from paint chips.

  • I have a neighbor who doesn’t celebrate Halloween. Every Halloween, when we start to carve our pumpkins, our next-door neighbor’s dad (priest) and his son comes to “help” us. When it first happened I thought they come to judge us and tell us how it is so wrong to celebrate Halloween, but when the dad asked that can his son help us with carving, I realized that what they really wanted, was just to have fun, but couldn’t do that at home!
    Now when I know that, I buy couple extra pumpkins, just for them.

  • My favorite pumpkin carving memory is all my kids sitting on the kitchen table helping us carve pumpkins and eating the roasted seeds! Love this time of year!!

    • That is my favorite time too, with my niece, nephew and daughter, all at the kitchen table and my brother and I helping them to carve pumpkins for Halloween. The ideas and the creativity was so awesome and the imaginations of those kids! It was worth cleaning up the mess and we always had plenty of pumpkin seeds to go around. I miss those times!

  • In October my children’s elementary school hosts a pumpkin decoration contest. Our family looks forward to this event every year. The kids and I start planning a month before. We spend hours picking out our pumpkin, deciding on the theme, and taking a trip to Michaels to gather our decoration supplies. In those hours we have created Tooth fairy pumpkins, scary Werewolves, and memories that will last a life time.

  • I love these pumpkins!!!!! My idea of Halloween decorations is pumpkins and maybe scarecrows. My husband on the other hand loves all the ghool and gore. So my plan is to make lots of pumpkins so there is no room for his stuff this year. Sneaky? Darn right

  • […] here are five more Simple DIY Pumpkin ideas to add to the washi tape version – I’m liking the chalkboard pumpkin the best, I think […]

  • Jillee, I LOVE these [almost as much as I love OGTBJ]! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, especially since our son was born (my gosh, this will be his 9th Trick or Treat – too big, too fast)! My favorite pumpkin carving memory is from two years ago when we had our first annual neighborhood pumpkin carving party. Everyone in the neighborhood rounds up all of the children in our lives and has a party where we carve pumpkins, eat delicious fall inspired food, enjoy autumn inspired beverages, have a campfire and take lots of pictures! I take all the “guts” and roast the seeds using different spices and seasonings for each batch and package them up for each family (so delicious and nutritious). My friend, and neighbor, that came up with the idea makes the best pumpkin pies, and she makes enough for all of us to enjoy some at the party and EACH TAKE ONE HOME :). Last year was just as much fun as the year before… we have some very creative people in our neck of the woods! This year we are going to hand out award certificates for different categories (scariest, cutest, funniest, etc).. We ALL are super excited, because Michael’s just opened in our town on August 25th! How perfect would it be if we were lucky enough to win a gift card to use for our Third Annual Neighborhood Pumpkin Carving [Contest and] Party? Thank you for shooting your crafty side with all of us – love it!

  • We didn’t celebrate Halloween as a child, so I get to make new memories with my own kids. My kids are too young to carve, so we paint a pumpkin every year!

  • A few carving tidbits of learning to…

    …use kitchen tools like the ice cream scooper to help quickly and efficiently clean out the insides of pumpkins.

    …use non-kitchen tools like a Dremel to create clean layers that don’t poke all the way through through the flesh.

    …simply season and roast the seeds for a snack from what would have been trash.

    And those are all in the past few years!

  • My favorite pumpkin carving memory is what could have been a very bad memory. I was 6 and it was the first time my parents let me carve my own pumpkin. I worked really hard on it and was so proud. We put them outside that night and went to bed. The next morning, we woke up to find that someone had smashed my pumpkin during the night. I was so upset and cried. My big sister, who was 8, about an hour later told me to come outside. She had picked up all the pieces and put it back together for me. It was just so sweet and I still remember how good that made me feel.

  • My Best memories are my Fall memories, It was the one time a year my entire family including extended family would get together and go pumpkin picking. It was a crazy mess trying to put together and stuffing family friends and kids into cars so we all went together but it was something that would just warm the heart to be surrounded by family. Going to the country store and smelling the sweet smell of pumpkin pies baking, and watching the fresh from the oven apple cider donuts cool down, picking up some fun decorations for the home and my favorite was the delicious chocolate custard pie which my mom would buy me one of my own. The entire family would plop down in the meadow with our pumpkins, pies, donuts and fresh apple cider and just enjoy the wonderful crisp air and the beauty of the ever changing colors of fall. We would then go home and the gigantic task of craving pumpkins, it would make the biggest mess, pumpkin seeds being cooked by the moms, dads trying to carve straight lines and kids wanting crooked creepy smiles. Its a memory that will be with me forever…. I’m so excited for fall!!!!! Its a tradition my sisters and I make sure to keep alive with our children!!

  • Every year my family carves 4 pumpkins together. A mommy, a daddy, and 2 smaller pumpkins to represent our kiddos. We enjoy it so much, and make a new memory each year:)

  • Every year is memorable. We go to the patch and each pick out a pumpkin. Then we come home and carve them. Last year we decided that we would decorate each pumpkin for each person in our house. My husband’s had handcuffs for him being a cop, my daughters had a band instrument, my son’s had a baseball cap, our youngest daughter had a balloon coming out of her mouth like bubble gum, and I had a camera for me being a photographer. So fun!

  • I loved carving pumpkins with my kids – they got to draw the designs on while my husband actually did the cutting. And I love roasting the pumpkin seeds!!
    Thank you!

  • We carved our first pumpkins for our new home (when our kids were little) as a simple jack-o-lantern. Apparently we did a great job, because someone stole it! The kids were heartbroken. All of our our Halloween decorations were indoor after that…except the door wreath. But we had a great Halloween anyway!

  • I follow OGT on facebook and pinterest!

    Favorite memory was helping my daughters nursery school class scooping out pumpkins and baking the seeds for snack time. Twenty 3-4 yr olds with pumpkin guts up to their arm pits, so fun!! Of course the seeds for snack were delish!!

  • I think I got this idea from Martha Stewart (ha!) to make holes all around the pumpkin with a drill and different size bits. I tried it — using my husbands work drill, of course. It turned out really cute but the drill was a mess. LOL.

  • My first year of college, my dorm had a pumpkin carving party. It was a great way to get to know everyone, and also the first time I got to actually carve a pumpkin. When I was little, we always painted pumpkins (nice and safe, no knives necessary).

  • I don’t think I have one specific memory…I just remember going to a pumpkin farm to pick out our pumpkins and getting freshly pressed apple cider. Such good times growing up as a kid!

  • I love these ideas! My favorite part of pumpkin carving was always getting to roast the seeds & eat them with my dad…he & I always did the pumpkin carving each year.

  • I have 2 & 3.5 year old girls, so every year memories are getting made…however the first Halloween we all celebrated together in 2011 (girls were 3 months & 1.5 years old) was so stinkin’ cute I have to share! We got 2 pumpkins…cut out the tops, cleaned out the insides & cut 2 leg holes in the front of each one. We put each girl inside each pumpkin with only a diaper on & took the cutest Halloween pictures I’ve ever seen! 2 beautiful little pumpkins…lol…if tere was a place to attach a picture I would gladly share :) happy Halloween!!!

  • My favorite pumpkin carving was pretty much the only time I have tried it and it was when I grew the pumkins myself, carved them into funny things and then toasted the seeds. (3 years ago)

  • I remember one year my dad bought a giant pumpkin. It was probably 3ft tall. What we didn’t realize was that the walls of the pumpkin would be so thick. By the time they got the walls shaved down, we were ready for bed! Pumpkin carving is still a big tradition, now my mom & dad come over and we help carve my kids’ pumpkins.

  • Well when I was around eight I planted pumpkins in the garden with my grandmother. They grew so fast and furious that they grew right over the chicken wire garden fencing. I watched and waited impatiently for the small green pumpkins to grow. Evidently my dog (Doby) was watching as well. One morning I went out the garden to check on the progress of their growth and to my amazement I found my dog had been eating the pumpkins. Bites and chunks missing out of all the pumpkins as they ripened. I was upset and amused by my dog. My grandmother introduced me to plan B, The Pumpkin Patch. Pumpkins as far as the eye can see of all shapes, sizes and colors. We made a day of pumpkin picking and brought home a half a dozen or so. This was the fall I learned to carve and decorate our pumpkins. I learned the joy’s of crafting and have loved it ever since!

  • My best memory is carving pumpkins with my boyfriend for the first time a couple years ago and we were going to have a friendly ‘contest’ for the best pumpkin. I myself had not carved a pumpkin since I was about 12 years old. My boyfriend said he and his family would do it every year when growing up. Needless to say, I thought it would be fun to re-enact childhood memories of carving pumpkins.

    I started cutting and of course, I had some ugly, jagged, childlike cuts and gashes in my pumpkin. It was not going to be a pretty, artistic pumpkin. I looked over at my boyfriend who had outlined and sketched a face on his pumpkin. (now why didn’t I remember to think of that?).

    However, I knew I was going to lose this contest when he pulled out his power drill.
    This was obviously not his first rodeo at carving pumpkins. I ceded the contest right then and there, although I could have probably made a case for cheating on his part! :-)

  • my favorite memory was when our daughter was in 1st grade and wanted to do the pumpkins that looked like they were throwing up seeds out of their mouths….have no idea where the idea came from but she loved it and it grossed her out at the same time!

  • Both of my son-in-laws do wonderful pumpkin carvings each fall but one of my favorites was when my son-in-law Mark carved both of his kids faces into the pumpkin! How original!

  • I have always loved carving pumpkins. I use to use the templates to carve the beautiful pictures of Halloween. My favorite memory was last year my son’s elementary school held a pumpkin decorating contest. It couldn’t be carved. We made a Dracula pumpkin cape and fangs included.

  • My all time favorite pumkin carving memory is when I let my boys do it allll themselves. I carved where they told me, they glued, painted, stickered everywhere else. They were some funky pumpkins, but what a joyous time we had!!

  • The first year my husband and I were married I wanted to make a polka dot pumpkin but the pumpkin was very large and thick so I decided it would be too much work not to mention tedious. After cleaning out the inside I turned it over to my husband and went to tend to my son. When I returned he had made the most perfect polka dot pumpkin using a power drill with a very large bit.

  • I LOVED THIS POST! These pumpkins are just soooooo cute! Jill, you did a fabulous job! I especially like the first chevron one! Not sure I’d have the patience to do that, OR try to cut anything with that hot knife. But I love what you did!!

  • I have good memories of carving pumpkins with my children and grandkids. Always a fun time.

    I like One Good Thing By Jillee on Facebook.

    I follow @JillsGoodThings on Twitter

    I follow One Good Thing By Jillee on Pinterest and love it!

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love Michaels.

  • I loved decorating pumpkins with the kids afterschool group at our church. The kids loved getting messy pumpkin “guts” out and it smelled wonderful!
    I also love the black, bling pumpkins at Michael’s! The more you have gathered together the better they look.

  • My fave memory is when my grandson wanted to carve the pumpkin to look like his baby sister, with only TWO TEETH on the bottom! I think about how cute that pumpkin was evey year!
    I’m following on facebook, twitter, instagram and pinterest.

  • Each year we have a family pumpkin carving contest. Sometimes judged by the grandmas, another time by phone pics to my son away in the Army. More than anything it is fun to see everyone digging into their pumpkin and competing with their winning designs.

  • My fave pumpkin carving memory is when my grandson was 4 and his baby sister had two bottom teeth, he wanted to carve the pumpkin like his sister teeth, just two on the bottom! It was so cute!
    I’m following on pinterest, instagram, facebook and twitter.

  • My favorite memory was my grandpa would hook-up a trailer and the horse to take us out to the garden so that my sister and I could pick out the pumpkins that we wanted. We of course always wanted the biggest ones we could find haha but he would lead us to a few that were a little more manageable. We would then load them up and take them back up to the house where we would eat dinner with them. My parents would then take us home to help us carve our pumpkins. My daddy would cut the top off and mom would clean them out so she could toast the seeds for us to snack on while we were busy designing our masterpieces. Dad would help us each with the cutting of whatever face that we had decided we had wanted that year and then mom would put the candle in it to see how it looked. We would sit on the porch for awhile eating toasted pumpkin seeds and mom and dad telling us how well we did. My grandparents and parents are now gone but those memories are some that I treasure more than anything.

  • Every year I try to get as many pumpkins as our budget will allow. I love pumpkins! My husband and kids do the carving- whatever strikes their fancy- and I roast the seeds. It’s our tradition and I wouldn’t change it for anything!

  • Watching my young daughter scoop out the guts and then the wonder on her face after giving her a freshly roasted and hulled pumpkin seed. The funkins look great!

  • My children participated in some decorating contests when they were young. The pumpkins that were winners were: A pumpkin house with a picket fence around it with a husband (Ken) and wife (Barbie) who were portraying the nursery rhyme “Peter, Peter pumpkin eater, had a wife and couldn’t keep her. Put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well.”
    Our other winner was Cinderella’s coach. We used some wheels from a toy car, horses from a play set, and of course, Barbie as Cinderella.

  • When my kids were little it was always fun digging out the “guts” of the pumpkin. Now that my grand daughter is old enough, we have fun doing this with her.

  • I first starting using your page as my go-to recipe book for Cafe Rio, and when that was a hit I started exploring more. These pumpkins are great! With a one and two year old at home, I don’t get much time for crafting but this would be something I could use year after year! Love it! Love you! Love that you’re in recovery too!

  • I don’t have a specific favorite time of carving pumpkins, but I do it every year! I just turned 30, but I still look forward to a “pumpkin party” with my husband and our friends! We go to a local pumpkin stand, pick out a few pumpkins each, and we always get some acorn and butternut squash to cook up later. We make an evening out of it! Put on a scary movie, bake some seeds…it’s so much fun!

    Now I’m super excited for Halloween and fall! I just might have to craft my own pumpkins as well:)

  • My favorite pumpkin carving memory was all the way back in college. My roommates and I all carved our pumpkins together and planned for them all to work together somehow. With our senses of humor combined, we had 1 huge pumpkin carved to be the monster with it’s huge mouth wide open and a bunch of small pumpkins carved with terrified faces, being eaten by the huge pumpkin. It was pure awesomeness.

  • I am following you on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

    My favorite carving memory was watching my son (10 months at the time) play with the inside of the pumpkin before we carved it.

  • Growing up, every year my whole family would all gather around the kitchen table and each of us four children would get to carve our own pumpkin (with help, of course) which we would then put on the front porch and put lights in them. When we were teens, we still continued the tradition, but found that our pumpkins were stolen (and usually smashed on the road). So my dad started booby-trapping the pumpkins with sirens and flashing lights. We would then all sit quietly in the dark after the trick-or-treaters were gone, and watch. It never failed, teenage boys would come to try to steal the pumpkins. When the lights and sirens were triggered, pumpkins would go flying and so would the boys! We all laughed to hard! I think my dad was the one who got the biggest laugh of all.

  • My favorite memory was at a church harvest party. We REALLY carved the pumpkins. My husband and I cut them lots of varied pieces then teams had to put them together with toothpicks! Kinda different but pumpkin carving none the less!

  • Pumpkin carving is something that has carried on through the years and now there are not only my own sons but my grandchildren as well, making a mess, laughing and of course let’s not forget harvesting the seeds to roast and enjoy later!!

  • I don’t remember carving pumpkins as a kid but I have wonderful memories with my own boys. The first time I bought stencils my boys picked them out. Of course they picked the hardest most scariest but they came out great. They wouldn’t let me throw them away until they went moldy sitting in the front yard.

  • It was a family thing. Daddy cut the top off, and Mother cleaned it out. (She always got the messy jobs.) My 3 brothers and I decided what it would look like and fought over who would draw it on the pumpkin. Then Mother and Daddy cut out the design we had drawn.

  • My kids and I loved carving pumpkins, but their best memory is ALWAYS the oven toasted pumpkin seeds and the pumpkin pies we made after we were done with Halloween. :-)

  • A friend of mine has a b’day on Halloween. Every year she gets a group of friends together to carve as many pumpkins as her age! She turned 50 last year -yikes!

  • My favorite memory of carving pumpkins is when I would dig out all the ‘guts’ and seeds. We always roast our seeds!
    I am going to stencil a fake pumpkin for each of my friends and carve their last name!

  • Last year was the first year that we carved pumpkins with our son. My husband had so much fun making a Batman jack-o-lantern with him, I don’t think I will ever forget it. It was so sweet. Can’t wait to do it this year, with both of our boys!

  • Our library had a pumpkin carving contest a few years back. I found a great stencil of Frankenstein and used actual big bolts sticking out of his neck. It was a lot of work to carve it, but a lot of fun too. I was so proud of myself because it turned out really well. I am not a crafty person either but if the project is right I can really get into it!

  • One of my favorite Halloweens was just a couple of years ago. My grandkids live in Colorado and I live in Las Vegas, so we miss a lot of holidays with them. However we were in CO this particular Halloween and cut pumpkins on the living room floor with stacks of newspaper protecting the carpet. We had so much fun saying “Ewww – gross” when cleaning out the pumpkin. By the time we were done we had “pumpkin” on our faces and in our hair and laughing hysterically! (The kids were 4 & 7 at the time.) We saved the seeds and baked those for later and the pumpkins turned out fun!

    Sure miss the holidays with my grandkids, but that was a fun Halloween!

  • I have many memorable carving pumpkins experiences. I always enjoy carving a pumpkin with my first grade classroom, But last year was the absolute best I got to carve a pumpkin with my 1year old son for the very first time! The look on his face when he stuck his hand down inside to get the slimy seeds out was priceless. He had so much fun and so did we!! We used his hand and foot outline as a template for his very first pumpkin. It turned out adorable!

  • When I was young, my parents finally caved in one year and let us carve a pumpkin for Halloween. This was before you could purchase packages of pumpkin seeds at the store, so when my Dad told us to save him the seeds so he could roast them for us, we immediately became more interested in the seeds than the pumpkin. I don’t remember what design was used for the jack-o-lantern that year, but roasted pumpkin seeds became our new family tradition–at least until pumpkin seeds became widely accessible (yes, this was a long time ago). And now I’m craving some….

  • My favorite Halloween memory is the year that my boys (age 5 and 7) grew our own pumpkins. When the time came to carve them, the boys drew their own designs on their pumpkins and we carved them. We then roasted the seeds and ate them while we waited for the sun to go down to light out pumpkins! The smile on their faces when they saw what all their hard work has created was AWESOME!!!

  • Jillee I follow you on your blog, Pinterest, Facebook and pretty much everywhere! My favorite pumpkin carving memory is the first one my then 4 yo son remembers. We picked out pumpkins at the patch and he kept trying to pick up more than one and had to put the one he was carrying down. He finally picked up 2 of the little “gourd” pumpkins one in each had an announced that he’d carve them. I think we made do with a Sharpie and drew on a rather wobbly fact. Plus every Halloween we read the Pumpkin Patch Parable. Great memories. Last Halloween he didn’t trick or treat but rather opted to hand out candy instead. Sigh, my baby is growing up.

  • My favorite memories (I have so many) was when my first born son was a newborn. We were invited to my in-laws for a halloween party (my son was only 4 days old. His due date was on Halloween – thank God he came early) and had the best time ( at least I did) the whole time we were there, everyone wanted to hold Joshua. It gave me a needed break and Joshua was the hit of the party. Now, he’s 32 years old and still the hit of the party…………………………beautiful pumpkins and thanks for the giveaway …………..

  • When my children were little we always carved the pumpkins as a family project. They weren’t always pretty but they were fun and it leaves a great memory in my mind

  • My favorite memory happened two years ago. We took a trip to a local farm where my three children got to pick out the biggest pumpkin they could carry. Instead of having to be careful on the dining room table when carving, we took them out on the back deck. It was SO much fun because we didn’t have to worry about being messy and we got to enjoy some sunshine :)

  • My favorite is the year we decided to carve gourds instead of pumpkins. It was way harder then we planned b.c the skin is so think but in the end so worth it. * as a side note instead of carving the top to make a candle lid, carve a hole in the bottom of your pumpkin then when it starts to age the lid doesn’t cave in. Best secret ever from my mom!!!!

  • Every time is my favorite time. We always go to a local farm to buy or pick our own and love to compare designs. Now my oldest does the same with my granddaughter. I also follow “like” you on facebook and your web site!!

  • Carving pumpkins was always a grand event at our house. Papa would take us to pick out our pumpkin – which was a difficult decision. Once we got home we would carve our faces and carefully place our candles – anxious for the big reveal later. Mom would take the pumpkin seeds and get ready to roast them for us. Donuts and cider were our rewards for the hard work. Once evening arrived we would take our pumpkins out to the front steps and “light them up!”

  • Hi Jillee! I LIKE you on Facebook and I FOLLOW you on Pinterest. Sorry I don’t tweet or instagram. Amazing Pumpkins! Now I’m on my way to Michaels to get me some pumpkins and a hotknife.

  • I am following you on facebook and pinterest. My favorite memory is when my kids wew small, and cleaning out the pumpkins to carve evolved into a pumpkin guts war! We had seeds and goo everywhere but it was so much fun.

  • I don’t have a favorite memory because I have NEVER carved a pumpkin (don’t judge me). This year I decided I was going to finally tackle the pumpkin carving craze. So I have been pinning away for crafty pins. Thanks Jillee!

  • My mom was never one for messy projects, so I remember my dad helping me to carve my first Halloween pumpkin. It was the standard Jack-O-Lantern face, but it did the job!

  • These pumpkins are fantastic! I have good memories of carving pumpkins with my family growing up. I remember sitting on the kitchen floor that was covered with newspapers and digging into the guts and seeds to clean them out. It was fun!

  • It’s not a good one, but my sister in law ending up in the ER after a nasty cut trying to show her kids how to carve a pumpkin is definitely my most memorable.

  • I work in a nursing home, a few years ago we helped residents carve the pumpkins. The resident I assisted was very disabled. So I drew on the face he described, cut it out for him and got it all cleaned up. He was so excited about that pumpkin he took it back to his room and displayed on his dresser until Christmas! He was so proud of it! I will never forget his smile when he talked about the pumpkin.

  • My daughter was two years old. I cut the top out of the pumpkin and sat her on top of the kitchen table with the pumpkin. She had such a great time digging the insides of the pumpkin out. I took lots of pictures so we’d never forget how much fun she had and how cute she was!

  • I already follow you on Pinterest and am on your email list (YAY!) This year I planted miniature pumpkins and plan to use some of your ideas on them.

    If I could do it, I would make a mold for the outside of the pumpkin so I can create non-edible, keep-to-next-year pumpkins. Maybe you can give me a clue how to do this: How to make the pumpkin mold and how to coat the inside of the mold to make a sustainable shell.

  • Wow, so many pumpkin carving memories. The best Halloween memory is actually my daughters first “trick or treat”. The look on her face was priceless as she tried to take in all the different sights and sounds going on around her. Not too interested in the candy portion as she was with everything else. As for the carving, watching her reach into the pumpkin to scoop out the seeds for the first time. She wasn’t too sure about the feel of the seeds, etc. Great memories!!

  • Hmm….I think my favourite pumpkin-carving memory was a few years ago, when my roommates and I, and a friend that was visiting from England, got a couple of huge pumpkins, and spent an afternoon/evening, trying to scoop out and carve them, while our newly-purchased carving tools kept breaking. We wound up improvising, and we got some great pumpkins! Some of the best I’ve ever had. They even had nicknames, like “Scaredy Sam” and “Freaky Fred”. :D I also managed to get some toasted pumpkin seeds out of the fun!

  • My dad, brother and I carved pumpkins every year together before Halloween. As we got older the competition for the best pumpkin got more and more intense, resulting in some hilarious designs and great memories. My brother passed away 5 years ago, KIA in Iraq, but we were blessed with a son 2 years ago. We have carried on the tradition with my son. It is so precious.

  • My favorite pumpkin carving memory was with my best friend when I was 16 and had first gotten my license. We drove to the pumpkin patch, and bought a bunch of those little tiny pumpkins, thinking they would be so cute. We didn’t realize how difficult it is to carve those tiny little things!

  • My favorite pumpkin carving memory can actually be deemed a “pumpkin-fail”! My first child, Emily, arrived on October 8, my dad’s 60th birthday. While my parents and siblings were in town to meet her, we did a TON of baby

    watching. ( First grandchild/niece. . . You know. . . ). After many moments of cooing, gurgling, crying, and yes, sleeping ( funny how interesting it is to watch a baby sleep!), we realized it was time to take on a different activity. Pumpkin carving was decided on and the challenge began, culminating in 3 marvelous pumpkins. Fun was had by all! The “fail” comes in a month later. Family is gone, Halloween festivities over, new “mommydom” had kicked in. . . The reality of late nights, colic, emotions, etc. etc. Cleaning up our tiny apartment just hadn’t been at the top of my priority list. If it had, that month old pumpkin would have made it to the trash can. As it were, the old thing remained perched on the window ledge behind my rocking chair. One long, trying night while rocking my beloved princess back to sleep (say 3:30 am-ish), I heard the “glump of all glumps” noise behind me. . . Rivaling any diaper-filling, gas relieving noises that sweet baby could have ever made. Yep, the pumpkin finally gave up and slipped off the edge onto the floor. Orange mush sprinkled with dots of mold now oozed its way into the carpet. Ahhhh, the joy of that moment. As every young mother would do. . . I smiled to myself, chalked it up to “pumpkin fail”, (NOT mommy-fail, naturally!) continued rocking,
    and filed this one in my memory bank! #onetiredmommy

  • We got to know a French college student who didn’t know about the pumpkin carving tradition. It was a party with neighbors while introducing the student to the art of carving pumpkins…

  • When our children were in school, there was a contest for decorating pumpkins. Since The Smurfs were big back then, the 3 each did a different Smurf. To our amazement, they won. The pumpkins weren’t perfect, but so much fun for our family. Just good memories.

  • Love the glitter & chalkboard pumpkins! They will make nice move in gift for my buyers. Thanks for all your great ideas & information. Look forward to your daily emails. Hanks again & have a great Labor Day :)

    And I did everything in order to enter the contest! I have never win any contests but I really hope I win today! Thanks again for all you do…..it’s so inspiring!!!

  • When my boys were young, I would let each of them pick a pumpkin and decorate it however they desired. One year, my older son put a pair of bunny ears on his and cut out eyes and a bunny nose and used pipe cleaners for the whiskers. Then he put his Easter basket next to it, filled it with plastic easter eggs, and drew a pumpkin face on each one! Very original!!

  • My favorite carving memory is the first time I carved pumpkins with my children. My oldest was just 4. The look on his face when we opened up the pumpkin to scoop it was priceless. Even better, his comments “mama eww it has guts!”

  • We still carve pumkins every year with some fancy stencils as a guide or sometimes just circles or stars and we always roast the seeds too – kids are 16 and 19 and still look forward to it! These I could keep much longer though and put out earlier.

  • my favorite pumpkin carving memory was oddly enough, my first year teaching. We were letting the kids help pull out the gooey stuff and one kid almost lost her cookies!

  • I just remember carving pumpkins with my kids each year as they grew up. We always had a good time. One year we took our little grandson to a lot where he could choose his own pumpkin, then we took it to his house and carved it. I now look forward to carving pumpkins with my little grandchildren. I hope that we can make it a tradition that will last for years to come.

  • I remember when I was a kid we each got our own pumpkin to carve! We would all get to go pick our own pumpkins and then after carving we would roast the pumpkins seeds in the oven and then ear them! Fun times!

  • I have a 9 year old son that is the *king* of growing pumpkins. I don’t know what kind of magic he uses, but it works. When he was in 1st grade he grew about 15 pumpkins. When they were harvested, he REFUSED to carve them. He said they worked hard all summer, he wasn’t about to cut them up! So we put them on the stairs inside. They lasted until May when we cut them open (sadly) and planted the seeds again. Does that count since its the opposite of a carving story? =)

  • We love taking pictures each year so we can see the progression in our kids’ pumpkin designs & skills. :-) Even thought I love the intricate stencils they now use, I still kind of miss the crooked triangles and toothy grins from younger years.

  • Best pumpkin carving memory: when the kids were young and really enjoyed scooping the seeds out then eating them roasted with a little bit of salt, sugar, and cinnamon.

  • i like you on facebook, follow you on pinterest, and attempted to follow you on instragram, but my computer’s acting a little funny :-/ super cute pumpkins! i’ve always been a little iffy on craft pumpkins, but now i’m seeing the possibilities!

  • I *love* the masking tape pumpkin! Here in Tennessee the orange and white just screams “Go Vols”, I’m sure it would be a big hit! And I am dying to try the hot knife!

    My favorite memory about carving pumpkins as a kid is getting to bake the pumpkin seeds for a yummy snack :) I’m also following you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

  • My favorite memory is at the kitchen table with my brother and parents. We would wait all afternoon/evening for my Dad to get home from work. He would bring in extra newspapers from the recycling bin in the garage and we would spread them all over the table. The anticipation was always the worst part, but now it’s something I remember fondly, looking out the window and waiting for my Dad. I don’t even remember what my carving was from year to year; it was the family time that mattered.

  • My first pumpkin carving was about ten years ago. My mom never let me do it at home because she said it was so messy & then rotted. I can understand why after I did it at my own house. But these lil pumpkins look like fun! I follow you on Facebook & Twitter.

  • My favorite memory was when my oldest child was 4 years old and he was so traumatized by the carving of our real pumpkin. He literally cried about the “scary”insides of the pumpkin and stayed inside the whole time!

  • My favorite pumpkin carving memories are each of my 2 kids first carving year. The face a toddler makes when they see, then touch the inside of a pumpkin is priceless. Also, how they are amazed at the finished pumpkin product and how great the seeds taste when roasted…

  • When I was in the 8th grade my school held a pumpkin carving contest. Not only did my design win, but the pumpkin I carved was one I had grown myself in the backyard. :-)

  • As a child, I loved digging the gooey stuff out of the pumpkin and baking the seeds. These days, these creative pumpkins from Michaels are more interesting.

  • My favorite pumpkin carving memory…..hmmmmm…….how do I narrow it down to just one? Every year of carving them with my kids when they were younger is a special memory. From the trip to the pumpkin patch to find that “perfect” pumpkin for each person in the family, to the planning of designs of how their “special” pumpkin would come to life, to the final “OOOOOO AHHHHHHH” moments of each one’s special reveal, and then coming home each night to see them lit up on the porch.

    Oh how I miss those days. My kids are all grown up now, so those days are no more. But I thank you for making me rethink about the memories. :-) Love your pages and sites, Jillee!

    Love Michael’s too! So much of my paychecks go to them! :-) Have a blessed day.

    Linda

  • The year after I bought my first house I hosted a “pumpkin party” for friends and family with tons of small pumpkins and gourds for everyone to paint. All the kids were lined up on the picnic table glittering and painting to their own unique style while parents and friends visited around the fire pit. I loved that day!

  • My favorite memory is that my son when he was little would never touch the guts of the pumpkin he grew up to be a big bad football player

  • LOVE these pumpkins. Also – never heard of this knife but will check it out when I go to Michael’s this afternoon. What a great invention! My greatest pumpkin-carving memory was watching my artistic father carve the pumpkins after I drew the scary face. We had so much fun that afternoon!!!

  • My favorite memory is when my son was 3 and we went to the pumpkin patch picked out a pumpkin and went home to carve it. He wanted Blue from Blues clues on his pumpkin. He was all for helping me until he saw the “guts”! Needless to say I did it all but he was so proud of his “Blue” pumpkin!

  • My favorite pumpkin-carving memory is just last year – I work in a school with children who have sensory difficulties. Watching some of them scoop the “guts” out of pumpkins was precious (for those that weren’t 100% bothered!)

  • Honestly? It’s not having to carve them (the real ones). When my kids grew up and were old enough to do it themselves I couldn’t have been happier. I am a bit OCD about gooey things and pumpkin carving about “did me in”. Now that they are gone they really enjoy doing it with their kids and/or nieces and nephews but Nana just takes pics and watches.

    This kind of pumpkin decorating I can really sink my teeth into!!!

  • My favorite pumpkin memory is many as I LOVE Halloween, it’s my favorite holiday. We didn’t always get to do pumpkins as kids so once I was an adult with my own place I was going to have pumpkins on the porch. Well of course I picked a nice big pumpkin to start with after finding one of those pattern books. Getting the top off was easy but that was the last thing that was. This thing had so many guts it took me over an hour to get it clean. It also had thick walls, so the small “knive” the patterns came with just wouldn’t cut it (pun intended)! I had to break out the toolbox and get very creative to get the job done. Yes it was a lot of work and I learned to go with smaller pumpkins when it’s just me, but it really looked great on the porch for the Trick-or-Treaters.
    Love all your ideas Jillee

  • Years ago when our kids were much younger, we blew the entire grocery budget on pumpkins and used one of those stencil kits to carve scary faces of vampires and werewolves, spider webs and scary ‘Happy Halloween’ into all sizes of pumpkins. The last pumpkin I somewhat carved involved drilling holes in the hollowed out pumpkin to form the word BOO! I then inserted tiny purple lights into the holes to light up the word. It was a huge hit with the Trick or Treat crowd.

  • I come from the UK but now live in the USA.So one year I went to get a pumpkin with some foster children that we had. We took out all the seeds etc and made a great face and the children love doing this as they had not done this before . So I though I would make Pumpkin Pie just like they do in the USA and we would have it for Halloween. We had the pie it was so bad. We said we would never have that again. I move here 12 years ago. And I told my new friend about the pie and she laugh so much and told me that I had the wrong Pumpkin and its not the one you carve.No I know there is many Pumpkins. LOL LOL

  • I love painting and carving pumpkins with my daughter. She’s finally getting to the age that she can try carving one on her own this year and I can’t wait.

  • My favorite pumpkin goes over the porch light. I cut down the back of a plastic pumpkin and cut off the bottom. Then it will slide over my porch light. I leave the handle attached to keep it from falling off. It makes for a great orange glow all October.

  • The second year I tried carving pumpkins I carved one with a haunted house. It had a tombstone in the front yard, a big leafless tree with an owl, bats flying around and of course, a ghost. It was very intricate and time consuming, but fun. I displayed it in our bay window (previous years tricksters smashed my pumpkins almost immediately). The first trick or treaters came ( a hobo and his little fairy princess sister) and the hobo said “AWESOME PUMPKIN!” That made all of my efforts worth while.

  • My favorite pumpkin carving was when my kids we’re little and up on the table with their pumpkins
    and scooping them out. Just having a great time enjoying the pumpkin guts, they had such a great time
    playing and creating!

  • My favorite pumpkin carving memory is when my deaf son was 2 and my daughter was 5 months old. We sat on the kitchen floor and my son directed us to “cut, cut, cut” and “scoop, scoop, scoop”. He was just learning to talk. It is my favorite pumpkin carving picture we have too.

  • My most favorite memories of pumpkin carving, was watching my big, burly husband, sit at the kitchen table with our four little girls and help them carve their pumpkins. It was a special time as we had hot cider and donuts!

  • My favorite pumpkins that we did with our children was: We took out the craft kit and let them deocorate their pumpkins any way they wanted
    Feathers, rocks and long pieces of ribbon were glued on one. And square wood cut outs and jewels on the other.

    Sweet Sweet Memories!
    Now that my son and daughter are 13 and 14 it would be fun to try our touch at a more up scale project.
    Thanks for the give a way.

  • I remember trying to carve out words before understanding why the stencil’s alphabet wasn’t completely connected. I ended up with huge holes where the letters were supposed to be readable! I smashed it myself!!!!

    Beautiful pumpkins, Jill!

  • My best carving memory is when our kids were old enough to participate! Seeing the joy in their eyes as they drew the shapes and we cut out their masterpieces! :)

  • We enjoy the whole experience if spending a fall day in the car driving along the river and stopping at small towns along the way. Sipping apple cider to picking out the perfect pumpkin while enjoying the trees change color. Once home, decorating to our prized pumpkin and displaying our “masterpiece” on our front porch.

  • I love choosing just the right pumpkin, his features are important in making
    the design. Also enjoy the process of scooping out seeds, baking them always, but never really eating those seeds. Guess it’s the idea of healthy pumpkin seeds?

  • When my daughter was 3 she really wanted a ‘Shrek’ pumpkin, so we searched online for a template we might be able to carve. She settled on a neat one of ‘Puss n boots’… But it looked complicated. My husband spent hours with the dremmel to carve the pattern! But it turned out phenomenal in the end, fanciest pumpkin we’ve ever had!

  • My favorite pumpkin carving memory is my 3 girls(8, 6 and 2 at the time), my husband and I all around our kitchen table taking turns scooping out the ‘pumpkin guts’ as my girls call them. Then my oldest talked us into roasting the seeds. Our carving is mediocre at best but they got so excited about our handy work you would have thought it was headed to a gallery:). I cherish those times of all of us around the table laughing and just enjoying each other.

  • Yearly trips to the “Pick Your Own” farm, then pumpkin carving and pumpkin seed baking with our three daughters, and then with our 5 grandchildren……so many wonderful memories! Last year we didn’t carve, (our youngest grandchild is now 15) just lined up some pretty pumpkins on our front steps. It was sort of sad at the time. And as winter set in, I just carried the pumpkins to the small grassy area in our back yard and enjoyed them a while longer, until they finally froze and just sort of shriveled in on themselves.

    Hmmm. Fast forward to early summer, when I noticed some new interesting plants, which quickly sent out vines, produced blossoms, then blooms and eventually small bulbous things! Those bulbous things have grown into pumpkins……I have my own patch with more still coming on!!! I have no idea what to expect of them in the next weeks, but I can’t wait to see, and can’t wait for the family to “pick your own” right in the backyard!!! I LOVE God’s fun surprises! NEW favorite memories in the near future….HA!

  • My favorite pumpkin carving was when my children were elementary age and we’d go to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins, lay newspaper out on the table and carve away! Afterward we’d roast the pumpkin seeds…yum!

  • I already follow you on Pinterest but now I “like” you on Facebook.

    My favorite pumpkin carving was about 20 years ago. Friends of mine had a big pumpkin carving party with aboout 30 people and tons of pumpkins, all the power tools you could think of, huge bins to dump the insides and butcher paper everywhere. As we carved some people saved their seeds and we baked those with different seasonings in every batch. The whole house smelled amazing. There were tons of great artsy fartsy folks and the pumpkins were stunning! Additionally, my hands were the softest EVER. Apparently an hour of sifting through pumpkin guts to get the seeds out was the best moisturizer a girl needed!