New DH calendar
Article updated: 10/17/2013 6:58 AM

Ultra-easy ways to show off pumpkins for Halloween

A pumpkin can be made into a vase. This one is carved into a likeness of the animated character Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

A pumpkin can be made into a vase. This one is carved into a likeness of the animated character Jack Skellington from "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS/MEREDITH CORPORATION

 1 of 1 
 
text size: AAA
By Leanne Italie, Associated Press

NEW YORK -- When is a pumpkin not a pumpkin? When it's a jack-o'-lantern, sure, but Halloween's jolly orange elf can be so much more.

"For me, it's like my favorite time of year when you see them out in the marketplace," said Marcie McGoldrick, editorial director of holiday and crafts for Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Advertisement

Whether outside or at a party, pumpkins are an "icon of the season that people really try to transform every year," she said. "It's always fun to see what people do."

Some ultra-easy ways to show off pumpkins:

Pumpkin bowling

Decorate butternut squash like bowling pins and set them up on grass to entertain kids. Arm your young guests with a smaller variety, sugar pumpkins, leaving the stems on for easy slinging down the "lane," McGoldrick suggests. "The stems are really strong and make it easy for kids, and the pumpkins will still roll." Another good kid game: pumpkin leap frog, she said.

Pumpkin coolers

Cut a carving pumpkin open about a third down from the stem, or wide enough to accommodate wine, beer and soda. Clean and fill with ice. Insert a plastic or glass bowl to prevent leakage or softening as ice melts. Carve out toothy jags around the lip for effect. You can paint the pumpkin ghostly white or spooky black and adorn with store-bought webs crawling with faux spiders.

Pumpkin vases

Rather than cut, scoop and fill with ice, how about cutting, scooping and poking in your favorite seasonal flowers? Try orange Chinese lantern flowers. Or go for scary flourishes like faux flies and snakes wending through wilty blood red roses. Fill with dirt and use a pumpkin as a planter that can go straight into the ground after a few days on Halloween duty. Arrange small pumpkins, colorful gourds, Indian corn and crunchy leaves in a window box.

Pumpkin candle holders

Pumpkins are often set alight by votive candles, but try poking holes and turning them into candlesticks. Especially festive later this year for American Jews who want to turn their pumpkins into nine-candle menorahs as Thanksgiving falls on the night for lighting Hanukkah's second candle. Or cut out the stem and nestle a little tea candle in the crook of an uncut pumpkin. Find a tall, narrow one and add an inexpensive glass hurricane top to be lit by a votive candle.

Pumpkin bird feeders

Why should humans have all the pumpkin fun? Create bird feeders by poking holes along the pumpkin's sides for hanging with rope by a tree branch, or just leave one sitting on a fence post. Scoop and cut a wide hole or scoop, clean and cut smaller holes with perches. Any seed and any size would work. Live in deer country? They'd appreciate a pumpkin, too.

Pumpkin servers

Cut, scoop, clean and brush insides with oil. Season and bake on a baking sheet as individual servers for soup. Or use them raw for crudités or candy. Punch bowl? Yes, with a regular bowl inside. McGoldrick said individual servings of stew might also be good in a seasoned, softened pumpkin bowl.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.