Pumpkin Carving 2017

My favorite day of the year has finally come and I had so much fun carving pumpkins this year! Sticking with the Harry Potter theme (did you see Jax’s adorable Dobby costume?!), I had planned to make Mad Eye Moody and Snape pumpkins. However, my local Sprouts only carried these beautifully perfect round gourds and I faced some pattern sizing issues.

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7 Favorite Pumpkin Carvings

Can you smell it? Can you smell that tangy, gourd-geous smell? It’s pumpkin carving time!

Every year, I get ramped up for pumpkin carving. I start planning in September, scouring the internet for inspiration and templates. This year was no exception but the brainstorming started with my dog Jax’s costume and then the pumpkin. Officially a fur-mom. Oh, but he’s going to look so cute! Nope… I’m not telling you what it is… yet.

In the meantime, you’ll just have to enjoy these Pumpkins of Halloweens Past. These are my 7 favorite pumpkin carvings.

  1. Lock Shock and Barrel from The Nightmare Before Christmas – This carving was my gateway drug into serious pumpkin carving. If I remember correctly, this pumpkin took me three hours due to small holes but the result was so worth it. If only I had a better camera to capture the awesome design.
    lock-shock-barrel-2008
  2. Rising Ghosts – This pumpkin got such a fun response from trick-or-treaters! The template is from one of those carving books available in the grocery store. The only thing I did differently is carve each ghost as a single piece. Then I used toothpicks to mount the ghosts on the pumpkin as if they were rising.
    flying-ghosts-2010.jpg
  3. Bowser from Mario Brothers – I carved this pumpkin for a work event. We did a Super Mario Brothers department theme and I decided the set-up needed a pumpkin to match!
    pumpkin-carving-2016-bowser.jpg
  4. Slimmer from Ghostbusters – Slimmer was a stressful pumpkin to carve! To achieve his rolls, I had to carve long thin pieces that kept making the pumpkin weaker and weaker. I was super stressed but the finished product was beautiful.
    slimmer-2014.jpg
  5. Scary, Scary Bird of Death (as my best friend calls it) – This raven piece was perfectly creepy. I left bits of pumpkin guts on the inside to add to the effect.
    the-raven-2013.jpg
  6. Eye of Newt – Gosh, this witch was so fun to carve! This pumpkin took the longest of any pumpkin I’ve ever done (I even had to take breaks). But isn’t she just creeeepy?! I’ve often wanted to recreate this pumpkin just for fun.
    eye-of-newt-2012.jpg
  7. The Corpse Bride from Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride – In honor of our upcoming nuptials, I carved my favorite Halloween bride last year. And watched “The Corpse Bride” about 50 times. Haha.
    pumpkin-carving-2016-the-corpse-bride-3.jpg

Tricks of the Trade:
I get many of my pumpkin carving templates from Zombie Pumpkins.
My Pumpkin Carving Tool Box makes all the difference. Don’t bother buying a new grocery store kit every year. Create a safe place to keep all your supplies and they will last you years! Find out what you need for your tool box here.

You can see all of my Pumpkin Carvings in my gallery here. 

Halloween Spellbook Scrapbook

I’m not a fan of scrapbooking. In my post about our wedding scrapbook, I described scrapbooking as “condensed hoarding”. I find the entire process to be overwhelming – collecting the pictures and stickers, thinking of clever layouts and designs, and ugh! the time it takes to put everything together! However, occasionally, I come up with an idea that is too much fun to resist.

I’ve always wanted to make a spellbook for Halloween decorations, but I couldn’t see putting in all the effort for something that would just sit on a shelf and never be looked at. No matter how many fake potions or spells I put into the book, it would never be looked at. So what purpose could it serve? Why, a scrapbook, of course! Read More »

Halloween Witch Cross Stitch Pattern

One of my favorite crafty projects is cross stitching.  For me, it feels like putting together a puzzle – I can focus on little areas at a time and suddenly a picture has appeared!  Though tedious, learning and mastering cross stitch has taught me patience and acceptance of flaws.  You see, I’m an insufferable perfectionist – but with cross stitch, most errors cannot be seen nor detected.  My cross stitches are riddled with errors, but can you tell? No sir.

I decided I wanted to try making my own cross stitch pattern.  I wanted to create a great beginner’s pattern that required minimal materials.  I did a lot of brainstorming and debating and have come up with a few to finally debut!  Meet the first pattern!

Cross Stitch evokes a vintage, old-world aesthetic and what time of year is this most appreciated?  Well, Halloween, of course!

This Halloween Witch Cross Stitch Pattern was inspired by two greats, Shakespeare and Harry Potter.  Does the witch look familiar?  If so, then you’re a huge Potter-head!  She was inspired by The Leaky Cauldron sign.

Again, this is a great beginner’s pattern.  All you need is an 8″x10″ piece of “Sandy” aida {the fabric}, DMC 3371 {the thread}, a needle and some scissors.  Ready to give it shot?

IMG_9947

$4.00

7 Favorite Halloween Decorations

‘Tis the season to be spooooooky! Over the years, I’ve collected a number of Halloween decorations whether through buying them myself or being passed down from my parents. Opening my large orange bins every year brings me such joy – and not just because they inexplicably smell of stale candy. As I pull out each item, I’m reminded when I got it and begin to dream up its new destiny amongst my home decor. I love this process.

As I sit here admiring all the fun decorations I have, there are a few that hold a special place in my heart. Here are my 7 favorite Halloween Decorations I’ve acquired over the years.Read More »

Pumpkin Carving Tool Box

 For the first few years of dedicated pumpkin carving, I repeatedly purchased the $5 carving sets that came with a book of templates.

Don’t get me wrong – I love these sets. {As you will soon see.}

However, as my skills began to expand, I realized that some tools are better replaced with more robust tools. Even for beginners, some of these tools will make your life a whole lot easier.

That being said, here is what you need to build a pumpkin carving tool box.

Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit 01

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13 Days of Halloween Countdown

13 Days of Halloween Countdown 30

Every Halloween, I try to find ways to make the holiday last.  It seems that if you don’t have kids, aren’t a kid yourself, or aren’t in college {you know what I’m talking about}, Halloween is simply a night to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.  Not anymore!  I designed this 13 Days of Halloween Countdown calendar to stretch out the excitement and fun of the holiday for everyone.

The absolute best aspect of this calendar is all the activities are held on by magnets.  This allows for rearranging the fun every year to adjust to your changing schedule.  A huge bonus, in my book!

All of my materials were purchased at Michaels, unless otherwise noted.

Would you like to make one yourself?  Here’s how!Read More »

7 Favorite Disney Villains

It’s no secret that I love Disney and I’m thrilled to see them growing the use of their villains during the Halloween season. Without villains, there can be no heroes. So I’m glad to see the villains getting a little bit of show time.

Naturally, over the years, I’ve developed a fondness for certain villains. My appreciation of them does not necessarily rely on how I feel about the full story in which they exist. Meaning, just because I’ve ranked a villain number five doesn’t mean it’s my fifth favorite Disney movie. Speaking of which, I did think it would be fun to rank the villains for this week so the list will go in opposite order (to build suspense – of course). Read More »

Simple Paint Pen Halloween Pumpkin

I’ll admit I’m a sucker for anything monogrammed or featuring a family name. There’s something about seeing the family pride that feels old world-ish to me. There’s a charm to it.

Wanting to add this type of charm to our Halloween decorates, I decided to do one of the easiest and fastest projects on the planet. Seriously. Anyone can do this with limited supplies and 15 minutes.

Here’s what you need…

  1. A Fake Pumpkin
  2. Black Paint Pen
  3. Pencil
  4. Tape

Optional: Black Permanent Marker and Computer PrinterRead More »