Painted Halloween Pumpkins DIY

Here is a little walk-through for the painted pumpkin ornaments I made. They are very easy, so I feel a little silly calling it a DIY, but maybe reading through the whole process will be helpful to some.
The main supply for this project is foam pumpkins and gourds. I found mine in the Fall section of Walmart. The small sizes were 97¢ each and the large one which I used as a tree topper was $5. I love all the various shapes and sizes they come in. I have seen foam pumpkins elsewhere, lots of craft supply shops carry them, and they are sometimes sold grouped in a bag. The noses came from Michael’s craft store. I found them in the aisle with some of their floral Christmas picks. I picked up two sizes but perfered the larger size. The small ones would be great if you have smaller foam pumpkins.
You’ll also need craft paint, paint brushes, and if you’d like them to be ornaments you’ll need string and a big needle. I used some black elastic I got on clearance at Joann Fabrics, but string will go through the rubbery stems a lot easier.
I think the key with painting these fellas is to just go for it. Free hand some various eye shapes and let them dry. Even though I used a high quality craft paint I still found I had to go over my eyes a second time. Once my eyes were dry I liked to go ahead and snip off a berry leaving a stem of wire that was about 1/2 inch long. Since the pumpkins are foam you can just push the nose in place with the wire, no need to even glue it there. The mouths only took one coat of paint, and then I added the blacks to the eyes.
Once all that paint has dried you can just dab on little teeth and highlights in the eyes. I didn’t worry so much about making any of the faces perfect, and even ones I didn’t like so much while painting look really great when they are all grouped together on the tree. So try not to stress about painting them. Most of all just enjoy yourself, and have fun! I especially liked painting the grumpy ones.
You can even add leaves and tendrils to the top of your pumpkins and gourds just by pushing the wired areas in the foam like the nose. My berries came with a few leaves so I used those. If you’d like to make a tree topper like I did, just paint the large pumpkin the same way and then use a knife to carve a small deep hole into the bottom. Since they are foam it cuts really easily. I then just pushed the pumpkin down onto the top of my tree and it stays put perfectly.
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Recipe – Jack O’Lantern Pot Pies

mypapercrane.com Nothing is quite as cozy as a pot pie on a brisk fall evening. We like to celebrate Halloween throughout the months of September and October so I actually made these just the other night. It might not have been brisk out, and technically it is still the end of Summer, but they were perfect for getting us into the Halloween mood. I had found dark purple potatoes and paired them with some carrots for a very festive pot pie, but you can use whatever potatoes you have on hand, the jack o’lantern faces will festive them up!
Here’s what you’ll need:

Jack O’Lantern Pot Pies

-7 oz of frozen puff pastry
-1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-1 yellow onion chopped
-2/3 cup of carrots chopped
-1/2 cup of yellow squash chopped
-2 cups of potatoes chopped
-1/4 cup of all purpose flour
-2 cups of vegetable broth
-2 cups of fully cooked protein (I like quorn brand vegetarian chicken chunks)
-1 cup of milk (we use almond milk)
-(optional) 2-3 Tablespoons of plain potato flakes
-(optional) 1 egg slightly beaten for egg wash

Remove puff pastry from the freezer and allow to sit out covered with a towel on a cutting board. Preheat oven to 350F and lay out ramekins on a cookie sheet. I used 12 small ramekins for mine, you can also optionally use one large pie plate and create one jack o’lantern face for the top. Find a circle cup that is about the same size as your ramekins for cutting out the faces, or save one ramekin aside for cutting.

Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan. Add veggies and sauté until onions are translucent. Pour flour over veggies and stir until all the veggies are coated, allow to cook for about two minutes. Add veggie broth and allow to simmer until veggies are tender. Add milk and a fully cooked protein (I use quorn brand fake chicken chunks) and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly to thicken. If your mixture is still too thin or watery add a few tablespoons of plain potato flakes. Stir the flakes well and allow to absorb the broth before adding any more. Spoon the stew into each ramekin.

Uncover pastry and use your cup/or extra ramekin to cut out your circle faces. Then use a small sharp paring knife to cut out faces. Basic triangles work best and the dough is easier to cut if it’s not fully defrosted. Lay each face on top of a ramekin and press lightly around the edge to seal. If doing an egg wash beat 1 egg in a small bowl and brush beaten egg onto each face.

Bake the cookie sheet of ramekins in preheated oven for about 20 mins until faces are lightly browned.