If you are a writer, an avid reader, or an artist at heart, you’ll enjoy putting a creative pen to a pumpkin or two this fall.
What’s not to love about decorating pumpkins or gourds with markers, instead of carving? There’s no mess to clean-up. (However, the pumpkin can be baked and the seeds roasted, at a later date, and used in all your favorite pumpkin recipes.) You can draw original, freehand designs on your pumpkins or gourds, or use craft stencils. Select a favorite poem or passage from a book to create a storybook pumpkin. Pumpkins can be used to welcome guests outdoors, and attractively displayed indoors on a fireplace mantle or table.
All you need to make a storybook pumpkin is a plump pumpkin, and a permanent marker such as a Sharpie®. As you can see in the photograph, I used an orange pumpkin, but a white one would yield a greater contrast. Select a mysterious, scary or action-packed paragraph or two from a favorite book or poem. I used a couple of paragraphs from a story that I wrote. If you have a writer in the family, feature their work.
Place the pumpkin in the kitchen sink and gently scrub with a soapy, wet cloth to remove any soil. Rinse with water and place on a towel. Dry thoroughly.
Set the pumpkin on a stool or counter. Start writing the selected title and text at the top of the pumpkin with a black sharpie marker. Turn the pumpkin as you write large, flowing cursive, a line at a time around the entire pumpkin, dropping down slightly as you arrive at the starting point, continuing to wrap your story around the pumpkin in a spiral.
Display for all to see and try reading the story on your pumpkin to family and friends.
Before decorating, wash the pumpkin, rinse and dry, as directed above. You can browse sites like Pinterest for decorating ideas and instructions, and your local craft store for fall stencils and markers.
Popular seasonal, nature designs using sharpie markers include: autumn leaves, owls, bats, ravens or crows, and a spider in a web. To make a spider web, draw vertical lines from stem to base in the crevices. Then draw a series of horizontal lines around the pumpkin, leaving space between each row. Draw or stencil a big, black spider on the web.
Make a set of geometric pumpkins. Decorate each with a different shape or design: circles, diamonds, paisley, plaid, doodles, etc. A really cute design young children love which features circles is a caterpillar. Decorate a curved train of about 7 pumpkins with colorful circles. Outline each circle with a different color. Draw large eyes and attach pipe cleaner antennae to the first pumpkin to put a friendly face on the caterpillar.
Other popular designs feature large monogram letters or words, such as, give thanks, fall, or a family name. Stencil the house numbers or Welcome onto one or more pumpkins to create an inviting display for your front stoop.