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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

{seasonal style} Modern Peek-A-Boo Pumpkins

Today I want to share the easy tutorial for one of the projects that you saw in my Halloween Home Tour last Friday - my modern peek-a-boo Jack O'Lantern pumpkins!

If you've been out shopping recently, you've probably noticed that these craft carving pumpkins are sold just about everywhere - from your local craft stores, to Home Depot, to Walmart - but the prices vary widely. I originally looked at some white craft pumpkins at Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but I just couldn't justify the $25+ price tag. Then I got a call from my mom letting me know she had spotted these at Walmart for just $7 each. That was much more in my price range!

I already knew that I wanted to paint the inside of the pumpkins and leave the outside white, but first I needed to carve the pumpkin faces. I was planning to draw them by hand, but then I discovered a free font called Punkinhead and realized I could use it to make quick and easy stencils.

With the Punkinhead font, each letter is represented as a different Jack O'Lantern face. I selected a few of my favorites, then printed them out two to a page at a good size for the craft pumpkins.

To create stencils, I simply cut out the black faces using a pair of small, sharp tipped scissors.

I then traced one face on to each craft pumpkin.

To carve the craft pumpkins, I used the same set of knives/saws that I would use to carve a real pumpkin.

The craft pumpkins are made of a thick foam that is fairly easy to cut, but it makes a big mess. When I was done - there wasn't an inch of my kitchen table or floor that wasn't covered in bits of foam. After carving each face, I also cut out a rough circle from the bottom of each pumpkin in order to have easier access for painting the inside of the pumpkins.

I could have instead cut the top each pumpkin {the way you would with a real pumpkin} but I opted to cut a whole in the bottom in order to make it less visible. I have a plan to also use these same pumpkins in my Thanksgiving decor, so I thought they would look nicer this way.

The last step before painting was to sand down all of the rough edges. I used a torn piece of a brown paper bag {which acts like a fine grit sandpaper}. I couldn't get the edges completely smooth - but they were smooth enough for my purposes.

I then began painting the inside of each pumpkin. To match the colors of our living room - I painted the pumpkins orange, yellow, teal {two shades} and grey. I began by using a medium sized brush which fit well through the hole in the bottom of the pumpkins, and painted as much as I could access.

I then used a much smaller paint brush to reach through the eyes, nose and mouth to finish painting the inside of each pumpkin. I quickly discovered, however, that the handle on my brush wasn't long enough to allow me to reach to the far side of the pumpkins, so I used blue painters tape to attach a disposable wood skewer - creating a handle extension that did the trick.

In addition to painting the inside of each pumpkin, I also painted each carved edge. In the process, I accidentally got some of the paint on the front of the pumpkin, but a baby wet wipe easily wiped it away. The key is to wipe up any excess acrylic paint quickly before it begins to dry.

Once all of the pumpkins were painted, I lined them up on my entry table and stepped back to admire them.

I originally wanted to light them on the inside with flameless {battery-operated} tea lights, but because the lights cast such a yellow/orange glow, they really messed with the two teal colored pumpkins, making them look a dirty brown. I am now on the look at for some white LED tea lights {and as of yet I'm not sure if such a thing exists}.

But even without candles or lights inside, the colors of the pumpkins stand out and modern, bold statement! I can safely say that these pumpkins are my new favorites among all of my Halloween decor, and in a few weeks I'll working on another project to make these exact same pumpkins a part of my Thanskgiving decor.

Looking for even more seasonal inspiration?! You might be interested in these fall and Halloween projects:

Friday, October 17, 2014

{seasonal style} Halloween Home Tour

The countdown to Halloween is on, and today I'm opening our doors and inviting you in to see how we decorate for the holiday!

If you are like me, and you love getting a peek in other people's homes, then you are in luck, because there are 14 other talented and stylish bloggers who are also sharing their Halloween Home Tours today! You'll find links to each of those at the bottom of this post!

But before you hop over to any of the other tours, let me show you around my place!

Not a lot of decorations on our front porch this year, but there are a couple of ghosts staked into the ground along the side of our front steps to set the mood. And I love the way the orange shades of the sunset reflect in our frosted glass front doors in the early evening - it creates quite the Halloween-y glow.

 I had originally planned to make a couple of Halloween wreaths, but decided to just leave up the peacock feather wreaths that I hung earlier in the fall. During the day, they are vibrant shades of blue and teal, but at night they appear nearly black and look quite appropriate for Halloween.

As soon as you enter the through the front doors, you'll find our entry table. While shopping at Ikea this week for my One Room Challenge space, I found this fun cobweb light set. I love the way it looks stretched across the modern painting above the entry table.

My boys are particularly fond of the cobweb lights, but two words of warning: (1) as an Ikea holiday light newbie, I didn't realize that I had to buy the AC adapter separately, which meant that hubby had to make another trip to Ikea to pick up the adapter for me; (2) if you think untangling a strand of holiday lights is a challenge, imagine untangling a web of lights...and once they are untangled, hanging these lights is definitely a two person job to avoid immediate retangling.

I added a giant spider that I picked up at our local party supply store.

The fillable lamp on the entry table is a relatively new addition. For my fall decor, I filled the lamp base with wine corks {and I'll put the corks back in for the Thanksgiving season}, but for Halloween I wrapped the outside in cobwebs and added a few black, plastic spider rings. You'll see that the cobweb theme of this year's decor continues throughout the main floor.

My favorite part of the entry table display, however, is the row of white Jack O'Lanterns.

These are faux, foam pumpkins that are easy {but messy} to carve. For months I have envisioned white Jack O'Lanterns with bright pops of color on the inside, and now that they are a reality - I love the way they turned out!

I'll be sharing the tutorial for these fun Jack O'Lanterns next week, so be sure to come back for that! {You can even sign up for emails at the top of the sidebar on the right to make sure you never miss a post!}

The entry way is open to our living room. For the fall, I swapped out our pillows to oranges and yellows, and added some other pops of these colors throughout the space. Since these colors are also fitting for Halloween, the living room decor hasn't changed since my Fall Home Tour. I'll show you a few pictures of the living room, but encourage you to take the full Fall Home Tour if you want to see more!

The Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe that I created remains a bit hit with my boys!

Around the corner from the entry, you come to the kitchen, passing the powder room along the way. In the past, I have never decorated this powder room for the holidays, but this year I just couldn't resist.

My mom made me that tissue box holder years ago when plastic canvas was the crafting rage - but it still fits perfectly with my decor! And the cobwebs and spider on the mirror are window clings that I purchased at Target this year. You'll see more of these clings as the tour continues.

As soon as you enter the kitchen, you see a pennant banner hanging in front of the the stacked stone of our kitchen fireplace.

The pennants of this banner are made from chalkboard fabric. I simply wrote on them with a bistro chalk marker, and hung the pennants with some orange twine. My mom made these reusable chalkboard pennants for me, and I'll be sharing the simple tutorial in the coming weeks!

During my trip to Ikea this past week, I also finally purchased the black and white blanket that I've been wanting. I have a feeling this blanket will be making appearances in just about ever room of our home over time, but for now it looks great in the kitchen sitting area paired with a simple white pumpkin.

On the kitchen table, I grouped three cobweb placemats together to create a table runner.

The sideboard in the kitchen is one of my favorite places to decorate for holidays.

I printed a creepybottle label with a skull onto to a sheet of window cling decal paper, and stuck it to a glass decanter. I grouped it together with two other bottles from our collection that had a bit of an old fashioned look to create a simple Halloween bar display.

By displaying these bottles in front of a framed piece of Halloween scrapbook paper, they have much more presence!

As I often do for holidays, I took advantage of our long, think kitchen window, as well as the space below it, by adding a few more Halloween decorations. In the window I hung three glow in the dark ghosts, and below the window I hung an inexpensive tissue paper skeleton garland that I recently picked up at Target.


I couldn't resist adding a little something to the chalkboard wall, as well. I drew in a quick spider web at the top of the wall, but left Beckett's artwork displayed at the bottom.

A few weeks ago I made some simple and reusable drinking glass clings to temporarily turn our regular glasses into Jack O'Lantern glasses for the holiday. It's so much fun to entertain with these glasses.

I am really happy with the way the kitchen decor came together, but it's especially fun at night when all of the candles are lit!

Even after using the spider and spider web clings in the bathroom and on the wall above the kitchen sideboard, I still had quite a few extras, so I decided to add a little something I knew my boys would appreciate ... spiders leading the way up to their bedrooms.

It turns out that beige carpeted stairs don't make a very interesting photograph, but you get the idea. Beckett got so excited when he saw this!

One last spot in the house that I want to show you before wrapping up this tour is the basement. Since the basement is decorated in orange, grey and white, it lends itself perfectly to Halloween decor. 

These Mason Jar Jack O'Lanterns that I made last year are one of my all time favorite projects, and I think they look perfect sitting on the mantle in front of that orange accent wall!

And they are their absolute best when they are lit up and glowing from the inside!

Thanks for taking the time to tour our Halloween decor! Next up, head over to each of these other fabulous homes to see how they are decked out for the holiday!

Clockwise from Top Left:

If you enjoy home tours, then you may want to take our Fall Home Tour {where you will also find links to tour the fall homes of more than 35 other bloggers}!  And if you'd like to see what our home looks like when it's not dressed up the holidays, you can also take our regular home tour, which includes all of the bedrooms.

Looking for even more seasonal inspiration?! You might be interested in these fall and Halloween projects:

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