Some Pumpkin Carving or Decorating Thoughts

As promised last week I am continuing the Halloween theme, this time with pumpkin centered decorations, some of them for outside and some of them for outside. Just as I did last week, I ransacked Martha Stewart's website to find these fellows.
These instructions and templates for undead pumpkins work best with white pumpkins, which are not that hard to find where I live. I'm lucky enough to live near several pumpkin patches that offer a wide variety of contemporary and heirloom pumpkins. If you can't find the ones specified in this column go with what you have. You can paint them if you like or come up with another creative solution. This particular Jack-O-Lantern calls for some phony eyes, which should be available in plastic or as giant, bloodshot gumballs.

Fanged pumpkins, the tiny cousins of the undead-pumpkins, are made in a similar fashion, but with those plastic vampire teeth instead of gruesome eyes. Also they get some jolly red pushpins for eyes. Almost as good as the button eyes in Coraline.

This next one is so easy you could do it in your sleep, so long as you feel comfortable chopping things in half while you're snoozing. You take a biggish pumpkin, whack it in two, line the bottom half, then plop in some ice and some beverage bottles and whammo, you have a nifty ice bucket. Just make sure you chop the pumpkin horizontally, not vertically.

Spider squash sounds like a distant relative of Whack-A-Mole, but it's really a dark green type of squash. The spider shape really stands out against the dark background. This item requires the use of a linoleum knife, so keep that in mind if you're planning to make decorations with young children.

A long time ago, in a city far, far away, I won a category in a pumpkin carving contest by making a Jack-O-Lantern with a carrot for a nose. Now Ms. Stewart has come up with some that are similar, with a minimalistic face. I would make a bunch of these using different types of pumpkins and leave them scattered all over as though they just finished brawling.

This mouse motel also reminds me of a prize winning carved pumpkin I made once. Mine was a cat pumpkin, with a little mouse on its head. The mouse was made from a radish, or maybe it was a beet? Anyway, these mice are rubber mice, no fuss no muss. I might be tempted to make a few of these in different types of pumpkins and put a different fake animal in each one. Snakes, bugs, worms; you get the picture.

This snake is a great way to light up your walkway without the use of fire, which can be a worry with small children running around. A string of Christmas lights run down the middle of a bunch of pumpkins, with their glow coming through small holes poked in the head and body. You need a drill for this one. Do drills mind being covered in pumpkin?

If you're the type that doesn't want to hand out candy but still wants the kids to get some treats from your house, you might like this pumpkin that holds lollipops. Made from an artificial pumpkin it features holes lined up that hold the candy. You can just set the whole thing out on your porch if that's the way you roll.

This next item is more fall themed than Halloween. I think it looks great. Basically you lop the top off a pumpkin and drop some fall flowers in. The final effect is very autumnal.

Next week maybe we'll take a look at some seasonal eats as we count down to the best holiday of all.

Bonus Treat:
This week's bonus treat is a bit different from the usual fare. It's from Neil Cicierega's Tumblr and it's probably not safe for work, what with all the swear words and whatnot. It is a fake series of books for children that have the worst titles and tag lines ever. Example: Go Touch a Fire, Hogmap Burn your disgusting hand on a roaring flame. And that's one of the milder ones. They get funnier as you go through, probably because the shock doesn't wear off, it just gets stronger.