I love Halloween, and making your own decorations is just one more thing to enjoy. Kids love carving pumpkins, so why not throw a party? That way everyone can revel in the fun. Plus that can mean more pumpkin seeds for you to flavor and roast. It’s the perfect after carving snack.
If it’s still warm enough outside, throw the party on the deck. It makes cleanup a little easier. But if you need to be inside, just cover the table with some plastic wrap and then cover with newspaper. The wrap keeps stains off of your nice dining room table, and the newspaper makes it easy to tote the leftover pumpkin guts to the trash,or your compost bin.
Spooky Snacks and Devilish Drinks
You can’t have a party with out some goodies. Make this party extra special by decorating your food for the season too. Homemade chocolate sandwich cookies cut like bats, individual ramekins of veggie or meaty meatloaf topped with mashed potato ghosts, pea soup topped with a black cat crouton, served up with a slow cooker full of hot mulled apple cider is sure to set the scene for your party.
I have an extensive collection of Halloween recipes links you are welcome to use for inspiration. Please leave any you have in the comments or email to me. I’m always looking for more!
Pumpkin Decorating Methods
Depending on how little your kids are, it may not be their year to use a knife or other sharp object involved in carving. There’s no need to rush into it, or to leave them out of the fun. Here are a few alternatives for their pumpkin designing. For painting and gluing you can use craft pumpkins instead of real ones. That way you can bring them out every year.
Painting a pumpkin requires no knives, and can be done by all ages. You could even have everyone paint if you don’t want to deal with pumpkin innards. Better Home and Gardens has a great slide show for painting inspiration.
Start out using washable markers to make your initial drawings.This way you can wipe them off and start over. Once you have what you want, then you can use permanent marker or paint to fill the lines. You can use stencils to make a coloring pumpkin for the youngest ones. You can use inexpensive acrylic craft paint. You can also use masking tape to make an outline to keep the paint where you want it.
Use spray paint and add some glitter to get that glam effect. This will most likely be a choice a teen will make.
Get Out the Glue
You can use ribbon, buttons, and scrapbook cutouts to glue on your pumpkin for a modern look. Get out old catalogs and magazines. All you need is some safety scissors and glue, to make a pumpkin collage.
4 Years and Up
Got a Mr. Potato Head around? If not, they even make costume sets especially for pumpkin decorating! No child would feel left out making a pirate, witch, or skeleton pumpkin. They are very cute, and can be used year after year.
Mostly Traditional Carving
You’ll need to either ask parents to bring carving tools, or purchase a few sets of your own. You can use household steak knives, but the new sets come with scoops, large and smaller saws, and etching tools. You can spend between 3 and 18 dollars a set. If this is a one time deal go for the cheapies, but think about buying one good set a year if you plan on this becoming an annual event.
Free Downloadable Patterns
Better Homes and Gardens pumpkin stencils
Hershey’s site has some stencils marked easy/intermediate/advanced
Tons of patterns at the bottom of the page on DTLK’s site
The Pumpkin Lady’s free patterns
Kraft Foods has some great for little ones
Martha Stewart’s printable pumpkin templates
Teens and Adults
Extreme Pumpkins is a site that brings out the scarier and grosser side of Halloween. If you won’t be having little ones at your party, take a look at their site for some gruesome inspiration. Even the most bored with Halloween teens will start having fun!