While autumn brings beautiful colors to the foliage on our properties, it also ushers in some new opportunities to make a unique impression, particularly around Halloween! Pumpkins are prime this time of year, and they can make a festive addition to your already great curb appeal. Most properties will put out an iconic Jack-o-Lantern, but here are some ideas to take pumpkins beyond the usual your property this year:
Speedball Cutters – Speedball makes a basic line of linoleum cutters that you can find in most art stores or art supply websites for under $10. The purpose of these cutters is to do what’s called “Lino Cut Printmaking,” but the same tools can be used to make some pretty awesome
pumpkin fronts. Try creating a stencil out of your property’s logo and putting it on the front of your pumpkin, or transfer the image with a water soluble ink. Cut in to the flesh of the pumpkin, but not to the middle, and take out the stenciled space, line by line. Be VERY careful with these cutters – it’s quite easy to jab them in to your hand by mistake. When your image is done, cover the exposed flesh in a layer of Vaseline, and put plastic wrap over the image before putting the pumpkin in the fridge each night. It should last about 5 days. The positives of this project include not having to actually open up the pumpkin and pull out the guts, and not having to worry about putting a light source inside the pumpkin. The downside: It’s really only visible during the day, but that’s when most of your tours happen anyway.
Paint – Rather that deal with the mess and molding of the traditional carved pumpkin, using paints to transfer a design to your pumpkin gives you not only a decorative piece that will last a little longer, but one that you can, with a steady hand, get almost perfect. You can either hand draw or use a print out of your logo to transfer the image to the gourd before painting, or you can use an X-acto knife to cut out a vinyl stencil from contact paper. The contact paper method takes longer, but the end result is cleaner and crisper if you’re careful while cutting it out. It also opens the paint party up to spray paint, which adds a whole new level of fun to the project since you can get glitter in spray cans for fairly cheap. Again, this isn’t a nighttime illuminated piece, but if done well, it will sparkle plenty well during the day.
Foam Pumpkins – Not the cheapest option, but if you’re going to invest the time to do a really nice set of pumpkins, you might want to consider using foam pumpkins. They carve very easily and look fairly realistic if you get a decent brand. Usually they cost under $8 a piece
at craft stores or home goods stores, and best of all, you’ll be able to use them again next year without having to reinvest the work.