Make your pumpkins elegant with just ribbons and paint

  • By Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian The Kansas City Star
  • Friday, October 25, 2013 3:06pm
  • Life

Jack-o’-lanterns are fun. But they do have a limited shelf life.

The first of November rolls around and the grinning or grimacing face that you’ve carved into that big orange orb seems to be either mocking you or begging for extermination.

So why not do something a little different this year? You know, less flash in the October pan, more enduring fall glam.

Sure, you could leave your pumpkins just as they are: uncarved. They look OK like that and will last through the season.

But with a little creativity and a few simple, inexpensive supplies, you can turn an ordinary gourd into a gorgeous, boutique-like accessory that’ll last from the start of fall through November.

I created these particular pumpkins after browsing the Internet to get inspired. Websites like Pinterest, Houzz.com and Better Homes &Gardens are full of great ideas for decorating and displaying pumpkins.

Then I stood around in a craft store staring at little bottles of acrylic paint and spools of satin ribbon for, oh, about 23 minutes, until I came up with color schemes and a concept that I like to call Painted Pushpin Pumpkins.

I could go on and on about what I did next, but you can look at them and pretty much figure it out on your own. Nevertheless, here are the simple steps:

  • Paint the pumpkins.
  • Wrap satin ribbon around pumpkins and attach with tacks, hot glue or an adhesive.
  • Stick pushpins, upholstery tacks and linoleum nails into pumpkins in various patterns.

I tied pieces of gold ribbon and twine around some of the tacks on the biggest platinum pumpkin to give it a textured look. Then I spread moss on the candle and cake pedestals and plopped some of the pumpkins on top of them.

How much easier can a craft project get? It’s inexpensive to boot.

Pushpin pumpkin supplies

  • Pumpkins
  • Krylon Brushed Metallic paint in satin nickel (for the biggest pumpkin)
  • Krylon ColorMaster paint in white gloss (for the black and white pumpkin)
  • Folk Art Extreme Glitter blue acrylic paint (It automatically created the streaky opaque pattern on the orange pumpkin.)
  • Folk Art Metallic paint (for the green pumpkin with brown ribbon)
  • Apple Barrel matte acrylic paint in pewter gray (for the pumpkin with the gold horizontal ribbons)
  • Offray satin ribbon in varying widths, colors and patterns
  • Crown Bolt yellow zinc linoleum nails (tiny heads) and antique brass upholstery nails (darker heads)
  • Brass thumbtacks
  • Loctite Stik’n Seal

More in Life

How did 300 feathers get stuck in that old utility pole?

Artful adornment in Everett is the creation of a retired Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer.

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Herb Alpert aims to uplift the world in two recent albums

The Tijuana Brass bandleader releases a Christmas record and an album of covers.

Prioritizing permanence and putting down roots

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I’m at a loss… Continue reading

Foo Fighters bounce back with new album ‘Concrete and Gold’

Foo Fighters, “Concrete and Gold”: Can you hate the Foo Fighters? Not… Continue reading

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Stock your winter bookshelf with these animal and nature reads

Four new books cover outdoors topics from butterflies to wolves.

Newfangled cooker isn’t for those with tried and true methods

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley recently succumbed to peer pressure and purchased an Instant Pot.

Now is the time to assess your student’s back-to-school plan

Take a good look at how your kids are managing their new routine, class, teacher(s) and homework.

Most Read