Tuck candles and small pumpkins inside glass cylinders or canning jars. Chocolate- and caramel-covered apples make toothsome favors.
A sturdy bookcase provides the structure needed for this painted-tree idea to take root. Step 1: Begin by experimenting with the placement of pumpkins on your shelves. Your tree should gradually widen toward the top, with multiple smaller gourds on higher shelves. Also, if there's a good deal of space between two shelves, you may need to stack pumpkins to fill it (as shown here on the bottom shelf). In that case, trim any stems that interfere with stacking stability. Concerned about the heft of pumpkins on a particular shelf? Opt for lightweight, faux Funkins. ($16-$42; funkins.com) Step 2: Using a tree photo as a guide, draw the outline of a tree onto the pumpkins with a felt-tip pen. Start at the bottom and branch out as you move up. (You may need to use a stepladder to reach upper shelves.) Step 3: Working one shelf at a time, remove the pumpkins and fill in your outlines with a fine-tip brush and black flat acrylic paint. Let dry and replace pumpkins in your bookcase.
You can create all of these nifty designs using acrylic paint and painter's tape. For a two-tone, dipped look, bisect a pumpkin with a strip of tape (angle the tape for a diagonal effect). Use a foam brush to cover one section of your pumpkin with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat. Remove the tape and discard. Stop there, or repeat the steps to add another color to your pumpkin. To form chevron stripes—whether two or tons—link short strips of tape to make the zigzag patterns, using our photo as a guide. Use a foam brush to cover your pumpkin with two coats of acrylic paint, allowing 30 minutes of drying time per coat. Remove the tape and discard. Clean up the edges with a cotton swab if necessary. If you'd like the second color to be different than natural pumpkin orange, fill in using a small paintbrush and contrasting acrylic paint, as we did for the black-and-white pumpkin.
This gourd gets its graphic appeal from Pictorial Webster's ~ a volume filled with cool black-and-white illustrations. Choose your favorite drawings from the book (this one took approximately 120 for a medium-size Funkin, or faux pumpkin), then photocopy them onto off-white cover stock paper. Next, carefully tear out each photo-copied image, leaving about half an inch of white space around it. (The rough edges will give your finished product added interest.) Using a découpage technique, cover an entire Funkin with the images, overlapping their edges as you work.
A walkway lined with an eclectic assortment of pumpkins sets the tone for the Halloween decor and treats that await inside.
A passel of pumpkins provides the backdrop for a quaint village scene. Step 1: Carve a hole in the bottom of each pumpkin, scoop out the pulp, and return the cut pieces. Step 2: Print out house templates. Resize on a copier, scaling the images to fit your pumpkins. Step 3: Cut out stencils as directed on the templates and affix to pumpkins with masking tape. Trace on the designs with a felt-tip pen. Step 4: Remove stencils, then carefully carve along the drawn lines of the houses' windows with an X-Acto knife. Fill in the designs using a fine-tip brush and black flat acrylic paint; let dry. Affix a battery-operated votive candle in the base of each pumpkin with adhesive putty.