I love the idea of having a unique family tradition for each holiday of the year. We have sweet traditions for most of the big holidays, but could never think of a good one for Halloween. We have always carved a pumpkin, but it always ended up a moldy mess by day three. I also wanted to think of something my daughters, ages three and one, could participate in. I’m all for doing hands-on crafts with my girls, but somehow the thought of giving them sharp knives didn’t seem like a good idea.
It was time to think of a pumpkin tradition that we could all enjoy. It needed to be simple, beautiful, and transitional – I wanted something that we could use as decoration most of the month and then carve the night before Halloween.
All you need are pumpkins, paint brushes, craft paint, sponges and scissors. Could it get more simple than that?
We used Martha Stewart craft paint, but I’m sure any brand would work. Having two girls, we had no choice but go with pink, but any color would work. I let my girls slather on the paint. I smoothed it out with a sponge brush, giving it a white-washed (or pink-washed, rather) look. The pumpkin color shows through, which I love, but you can add more coats if you want a more saturated color.
We let the paint dry for about an hour, then turned it over and let it rest on the stem to paint the bottom. It dried during nap time and then we had fun stamping it with sponges I had cut into two different triangle shapes. Again, any shape would do. I just wanted to use the traditional shapes you would see on a jack-o-lantern in an abstract way.
Next year I’ll definitely use some metallic paint to give it some shimmer. Each of my girls had fun stamping their little pumpkins. We let them dry for another hour and they were done!
What traditions do your family have for Halloween?
Amy Jacob lives a life of creative pursuit with her amazing husband of eight years and two sweet and energetic daughters, ages three and one. Whether it’s making tin foil boats for the water table, baking cookies for afternoon tea, or doing DIY home projects, Amy is up for the challenge. In between dance parties and princess dress-up extravaganzas with her girls she makes modern kids’ products for her etsy shop (www.gatheringwishes.etsy.com)