As the holiday season approaches, bloggers everywhere start boomin’ with super cute, super festive DIY crafts. Whether it’s crafts for the kids, crafts for gifts, or crafts for holiday home decor, DIY makes for the cutest blog additions. Insert my great idea. I was browsing the dollar section of Target, AKA the greatest section of the absolute greatest store ever, and I came across pumpkin decorating kits. Phrases like “mess-free” and “no carving required” instantly won my heart over as I unpleasantly reminisced on squishy slimy pumpkin guts. Plus, with Ava being so young still, I thought why not slide by one more year without the disastrous mess of actually carving our pumpkins from the patch.
Then my great idea turned brilliant as I realized this pumpkin craft would be a perfect fit for my very first DIY blog post. You see, artistic blog posts will probably be quite scarce around here. I’m not at all artsy, my home surely isn’t lavishly decorated, and now that I’ve gone back to work, I’m lucky if there’s enough time in the day to wash the laundry. I’m going to have to take advantage anywhere I can.
So I grabbed a few kits and two small bottles of paint from the craft section; I even tried to choose colors that were kid-friendly, yet still stylish enough to accent our living room. “No-Carve Easy Peasy Fall Pumpkins” was officially under way, a quick two-step guide to super cute pumpkins for both momma and baby.
Step 1: Paint the pumpkins. Recently, Leo has become quite fond of painting. Every now and then he gets out his watercolor palette and spends quiet time filling in all the little spaces of his dinosaur coloring book. So I let him go full force at the pumpkins. The orange and white pumpkin skin under the “Morning Mist” and “Avocado” shades really popped! I adored the look of them already, and from the looks of that handsome face down below, Leo was proud of his work so far! We let the paint set over night and anxiously awaited our next step.
Step 2: Apply the felt stickers and pumpkin tattoos. Sounds pretty simple right? A dab of water, light pressure, and cute alignment was the short list of requirements to make this work. Insert failure. That’s right, this DIY blog post just turned into “No-Carve Easy Peasy Fall Pumpkin FAIL.”
The tattoos were incredibly difficult to transfer. I kept dabbing on sponge-full after sponge-full of water, pushing it down and smoothing it out, and all but one tattoo actually transferred smoothly. Every time I would rotate the pumpkin to keep applying the tattoos, Ava would reach out and smudge the remnants of the damp tattoos. Then the paint began to peel. It was then that I specifically remembered reading another DIY post explaining how acrylic paint was a no-go in the pumpkin world. What did I buy? Acrylic paint.
So we moved on to the bat kit, which I was sure would work since it was simple foam cutouts with even simpler sticky pieces. The second we pulled it out I realized that it was meant for a pumpkin at least three times the size of the one we had. The picture had made it look so much smaller! But the bat face was even bigger than mine, the wings were huge, and Ava managed to get a hold of one and ripped the sticky piece right off.
By now Ava had spilled the bowl of water for the tattoos all over the floor TWICE. Leo was prancing around outside in his underwear. My coffee had turned cold and the lack of sleep was adding fuel to the frustration fire. At this point, his expression seemed to have changed a bit. Poor kid.
So what did work? The very last pumpkin kit, the felt witch. Leo and I stuck the pieces on carelessly, brushed away the cracking paint patches, and called it a day. This pumpkin did turn out quite cute, and since my angel babe made it, it’s an automatic home-run in my heart. To say we worked hard for it is an understatement!
The lesson has been learned. Next year I won’t cut corners. Next year we’ll take the traditional route and carve a big-toothed grin and beady, triangle eyes. We’ll scoop out the guts, roast the seeds only to waste them, and light up the lanterns outside the front door. The Target dollar section has never failed me before, so I have a feeling this defeat has more to do with me and less to do with Target!
Luckily, time spent with my babies is never wasted time. Another year of pumpkin patches, jack-o-lanterns, and crazy costumes is a blessing all in itself. Maybe I didn’t get a Pin-worthy DIY blog post out of it, but I did get a little laughter and some pretty special pumpkins to add to the living room. If you’ve had luck with these corner-cutting pumpkin kits, let me know! Maybe if I start putting together some ideas now, this momma might actually get a decent craft under her belt next Fall!