• When cutting out the top, place the knife at a 45 degree angle so the the lid will have a place to rest when you replace it. If you cut straight down, the lid will fall through.
• When cleaning the pumpkin, save the seeds. Toasted pumpkin seeds make a healthy as well as tasty snack. Use a large, heavy metal serving spoon or ice cream scoop to scrape the insides. If you will be lighting the pumpkin, the back wall should be scraped as smooth as possible since this is where the light will be reflected. A 1-inch thickness of the pumpkin wall is optimum.
• For longer life, soak the cleaned pumpkin a couple of hours in a bleach water solution of 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 gallon of water. Dry thoroughly, then rub inside and out, including all cut edges, with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly to prevent shriveling. If the pumpkin begins to shrivel, repeat the process. The soaking time will depend upon how dried out the pumpkin has become.
• Beginners should select a simple, bold pattern. Once you master the simple patterns, you can move on to something more difficult.
• Print out or draw the pattern on a piece of paper. Use small sharp scissors or a razor knife to cut out the areas you will be carving into the pumpkin. Tape the template onto the pumpkin and use a marker to trace the carving lines. Cutting slits in the paper will help it to conform to the round surface.
• As an alternative, you can tape the outline to the pumpkin and use a nail or large pushpin to score the carving lines onto the pumpkin. Connect the dots as you carve.
• A long serrated knife or a pumpkin-carving knife with teeth will be necessary to cut through the thick flesh. Use a sawing motion and take your time cutting along the outside edge of the marker lines so there is no marker residue.
• Consider cutting off the bottom of the pumpkin, as well as the top. The pumpkin will be more stable and also easier to carve. If you plan on using a candle to light your jack'o'lantern, be sure the opening in the bottom is large enough to fit over the candle. Place the candle on a fire-proof base large enough to accomodate the pumpkin. You can then easily lift off the jack-o'-lantern to light the candle.
• If you will be lighting your jack-o'-lantern with a candle, be sure to leave the lid off to avoid any fire hazard. Use a votive candle in a glass holder or tea lights in a metal case. If you want to leave the lid on, carve a hole in the unseen back side of the pumpkin to act as a chimney. Never leave a candle-lit jack-o'-lantern unattended for any length of time.
• A small battery-operated flameless candle is a safer choice than traditional candles for lighting your jack-o'-lantern.
• Sprinkle the bottom side of the pumpkin lid with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cloves to let your jack-o'-lantern do double duty as an air freshener.
• Place the jack-o'-lantern in a plastic bag and refrigerate when not in use.
• Try making an uncarved jack-o'-lantern by painting designs with royal icing. You can enjoy a decorated jack-o'-lantern but still use the pumpkin when Halloween has come and gone.
Age Guideline: 8 Years and Up Time Required: 25 minutes
Supplies You'll Need:
Clear Acrylic Spray
Craft Wire (18- or 16-guage works best)
Piece of Scrap Wood
How To Make Your Pumpkin Craft:
1. Lay your can on its side on a scrap piece of wood. Hold the nail on the inside edge, about a quarter of an inch down from the edge. Use the hammer to pound the nail through the tin can to make a hole. Do the same thing to make a hole on the other side of the can, directly across from the first hole.
2. Using orange paint, cover the entire outside of the can. Acrylic paint is preferred, but you can also use spray paint. Depending on the quality of your paint, this could take more than 2 coats.
3. Use black or any contrasting color of paint, to make a face on your pumpkin.
4. You can add some extra details to the pumpkin by mixing a little orange paint with a little brown paint and painting lines down the pumpkin. This step is optional!
5. This step is optional, yet highly recommend that you do this... Once all of the paint is dry, seal your pumpkin can using a clear acrylic sealer. Use several thin coats.
6. For the handle of your pumpkin can, cut a piece of heavy wire about 16-inches long. You can use either 16- or 18-gauge wire.
7. You can curl your wire to make a pumpkin vine by simply wrapping your wire around a thick pen or pencil and then carefully sliding it off.
8. Carefully poke the ends of the wire through the holes you punch in step 3. Push about a 1/2-inch of the wire end in each hole and then fold the wire end up to secure it in place. You might need a pair of needle nose pliers to bend the wire.
Your pumpkin is now done! Go buy some Halloween treats, fill your pumpkin, and give it as a gift to someone special.
Grandmas and teachers would especially like this craft!
Paint the outside of the tin can and the entire paper plate black. Once the paint is dry, cut the paper plate in half. Along the straight edge of half the paper plate, cut a scalloped edge: (you might want to fold the half of paper plate in half to get a more even cut)
Paint a mouth on one side of your can and add the wiggle eyes (you can also paint on eyes if you'd like). Once the face has dried, glue the wings on the opposite side of the can. Let the glue dry before you move it around!
Fill your bat can with treats for Halloween! (Be very careful for sharp edges!)
MR. NO-NO'S HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS!
Halloween is such a fun time for millions of children across the country. Unfortunately, there are thousands that end up in the emergency room due to preventable accidents.
So before you start picking out the perfect costume for your little goblins and begin gathering goodies; Mr. No-No has a couple of great safety tips that can help you to have a fun and safe Halloween.
Decking out the Pumpkin:
Have the little one's draw the design and you be their carving assistant
Let the little goblins push in the carvings (the eyes, nose, mouth, etc.)
You scrape the guts; they pull out the guts
Use battery operated artificial light inside the jack-o'-lantern
When Picking Out a Costume:
Pick a costume both you and your little ones can easily get in & out of
Wear bright colors (Add a splash of neon color to your costume if black)
Don't get Wands, swords, pistols, etc… (Kids can get hurt & you end up caring them anyway)
ALWAYS have them within view! Tell your little ones," If you can't see me, I can't see you"
Nothing should be in your child's hands except for their basket
Everyone should have a type of light stick on them at all times
Before the Sugar Rush:
Check ALL the Treats! Throwaway all suspicious and unwrapped candy
Completely sealed candies; Submerge your candy in a bowl of water… if you see air bubbles or wet candy, throw it away
Take treats to a court house or an airport and get it x-rayed if available
After the Sugar Rush:
Settling their tummies: Drink a glass of water or warm milk after filling up on candy
Brush teeth immediately after eating candy
Before bedtime do something relaxing; like read a good Halloween book
To learn more about how children can become more proactive in their own safety, you can visit them at www.MrNoNo.com
A Deliciously Messy Game, Great for Large Halloween parties!
How To Play:
1. Fill a large pot with cooked spaghetti noodles, and then bury ping pong balls in the noodles. See who can find the most balls in a set amount of time.
2. For an added twist you can color code the balls and have each color worth a different amount of points. After the set amount of time, count up the points earned by each player.
1 box (18.25 oz) devil's food cake mix
1 1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk
3 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cans (16 oz each) dark chocolate frosting
Decoration: black gel or paste food color, 24 marshmallows, 24 (4-in.) thin breadsticks (grissini) or lollipop sticks, a clean artist's brush, 24 grape fruit leather snacks (like FruitaBu), black decorating sugar, red nonpareil candies
1. Heat oven to 350°F. You'll need 24 regular-size muffin cups lined with paper, foil or Halloween-themed liners.
2. Beat cake mix, buttermilk, eggs and oil in large bowl with mixer on medium speed 2 minutes or until just blended. Divide batter between muffin cups (1/4 cup batter per cup).
3. Bake 24 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes before removing cupcakes to rack to cool completely.
4. Tint chocolate frosting black with food color; frost cupcakes.
5. To decorate: Slightly flatten marshmallows with palm of your hand. Insert a broken length of breadstick or lollipop stick into each marshmallow. Place some black frosting in a microwave-safe custard cup and microwave about 5 seconds, until thin and runny. Paint skeleton faces onto marshmallows with a fine paintbrush.
6. Using the photo as a guide, cut fruit leather into bat wings with scissors; press in decorating sugar to coat. Roll fruit leather scraps into small balls, then shape into bat heads with ears; coat heads in sugar. Attach 2 nonpareil candies for eyes with a dab of frosting.
7. To assemble: Using photo as guide, stand bat wings upright in frosting on top of cupcakes. Insert a skeleton head behind wings into middle of cupcake. Attach a bat head in middle of wings with frosting.Plan Ahead: You can bake cupcakes 2 weeks ahead and freeze. Frost and decorate up to 1 day ahead, cover and keep at room temperature.
8 Twinkies Snack Cakes (from a 15-oz box)
1 can (12 oz) whipped fluffy white frosting
Assorted mini M&M’s candies or M&M’s mini baking bits
You also need: pastry bag fitted with a 1⁄4-in. ribbon piping tip*