Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 Days of Halloween 2012 - Day 2: Monster Gourds

Last year, I saw the most adorable pumpkin decorating ideas in an issue of Martha Stewart at my mother-in-law's house.  Honestly, I hadn't seen anything that original in a long time and couldn't wait to try it out.  Mine ended up being a tad bit different, but I actually like that.  Very rarely does my end result look just like the pattern or tutorial, but it is very much "mine".  Here's what I did differently:

Here is a picture of Martha's Zombie pumpkins:

Martha's Zombie pumpkin tutorial
She used larger pumpkins and what appear to be candy eyeballs, even though it says plastic in the instructions.  (What plastic eyeballs are covered in foil like that??)

I chose to use smaller pumpkins, and because the pumpkins were so small, I didn't bother carving them or cleaning them out.  The result was that by the end of the month, they had rotted a bit and the openings had shrunken in on themselves.  I didn't get any pictures of this, but I actually thought it made them look better, because it made them look even creepier and monster-tastic ;) 

For this zombie, I bought a bag of plastic eyeballs at the dollar store - you could really get them anywhere this time of year - and I had plenty left to save for this year.  I used a small carving knife and cut imprecise, raw, and jagged holes for the eyes (because really, why take the time to make the holes look nice - it's a zombie!).  Do a little bit at a time and keep trying to stick the eyes in.  If you make the holes too big, the eyes won't stay in by themselves.  And voila!  You're done with that one :D

AHHHHH!!!  Zombies!!!!

Then there was the vampire.  ADORBS!!  Here's Martha's version:

Martha's Vampire pumpkin tutorial

Again, I went with the small pumpkins.  Carefully cut a mouth hole, just like the zombie eyeholes - a little at a time, checking the fit of the teeth.  This one looks so great when it has rotted a bit.  Makes the vampire look so much more legit.  Then I just used 2 red-headed sewing pins for the eyes.  And here's my cute little blood-sucker:

I vant to suck your blood...

Now, the cyclops in this picture was my idea.  The shape of the gourd really lent itself well to it.  He was a little difficult, though.  I tried just cutting an eyehole, but with the neck of the gourd being so narrow, I had to cut a slit underneath to get it done.  Which, as you can see, just worked out perfectly and made him look so silly and goofy.  I stuck the eye in as much as I could, then took two sewing pins and, through the "mouth", stuck them up and into the eyeball so that it would stay put.  I just love his little, staring, buck-toothed face ;)

Martha also had a mummy pumpkin:

Martha's Mummy pumpkin tutorial

I'm cheap and  lazy and didn't want to go to the store to buy streamers, so I used what I had on hand - toilet paper!  I also had silver thumbtacks already, so I used those for the eyes and put a black dot in the center with a sharpie.  That's literally all I did for this guy:

And last but not least, the Ghost Gourd.  This guy was my idea, too.  I'm telling you, the shape of this gourd just looked like a ghost, so I went with it.  With a little bit of white craft paint, a foam brush and some thumb tacks, I got the cutest little ghost on the block:

Have fun with this project - go buy one of those assorted bags of gourds at the grocery store and see what they look like.  Use these ideas, or come up with your own and send me some pics.  I'd love to see what you come up with!!  Happy Decorating!

***I fully recognize that any amount of intelligence or creativity I have is a gift from God.  What I have been freely given, I freely give.  But if you choose to use these tutorials to sell items from, I would ask that you consider joining the Let Justice Flow Initiative, where you commit to donating either 10% of the total purchase price of each item, or designate a specific item for sale where the entire purchase price is donated to an organization that helps fight injustices around the world.  There are specific groups listed to give you an idea on the LJF page.  And feel free to snag the LJF button and put it on your page or etsy site.  Thanks!!***

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