October marks the start of the Halloween season. And what's Halloween without the traditional scary (and the not-so...
Hallow-Kin: DIY Pumpkin Ideas, Facts and Tips
October marks the start of the Halloween season. And what's Halloween without the traditional scary (and the not-so-scary) carved pumpkins on the porch? How did pumpkins land that Halloween spot?
Carved pumpkins with ghoulish faces which are illuminated by candles inside are popularly known as "jack-o-lanterns". It came from an Irish folktale about a guy named Stingy Jack who does tricks with a Devil just so his soul won't be claimed when he dies.
Soon after Jack died, God would not allow him to get into the heaven's gate nor will the Devil send him to hell as he upholds his promise to Jack that he won't claim his soul. So, the Devil sent Jack off the dark night with a burning coal to light his way on a carved turnip.
Irish and Scottish would carve their own version of Jack's lantern on some potatoes and turnips and place them on windows and doors to scare off wandering evil spirits. They brought this tradition as well after they immigrated to the United States. And when they found out about America being rich in pumpkins, they thought that pumpkins would make the best jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.
Pumpkin Fun Facts Your Kids Should Know
In 1584, a French explorer first called them "gros melons" which is "pepon" in Lain, meaning large melons.
Is it a fruit or a veggie? Scientifically speaking, pumpkins are fruits for they contain seeds but when mommy cooks them, they're normally referred as a vegetable.
An average pumpkin weighs at around 6 kilos (13 pounds).
In 2010, a giant pumpkin weighed at 1810 pounds during a giant pumpkin competition.
The United States produces over 1.5 million pounds of pumpkin each year with Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania as top pumpkin-producing states.
Morton, Illinois is the pumpkin capital of the world with over 100 thousand tons of pumpkin processed there each year.
80 percent of the pumpkins produced in the U.S are available during October.
Each pumpkin has about 500 seeds.
Pumpkin strips were dried and made into mats!
Pumpkin has over 45 different varieties with names like Hooligan, Orange Smoothie, and Cotton Candy.
Pumpkins are 90% water and are low in calories, They have more potassium than you find in bananas, more fiber than kale and full of magnesium and iron.
Pumpkin not only appear in Cinderella's story as a carriage but it also appears on Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hallow" and Shakespeare's "Merry Wives of Windsor".
How To Preserve Your Carved Pumpkin
I know you and your kids are too excited to carve that pumpkin but before you do it (yes, just hold on to it for now), you definitely need to know these helpful tips on how to preserve it after you have perfectly carved your pumpkins (which will take you hours, by the way).
- To prevent mold from forming, you should clean the exterior and interior of your pumpkin.
- Mix a bleach solution using 1 tbsp. of bleach per quart of water. Then spray the said bleach solution to the pumpkin's interior and cut out areas.
- Let it dry for 20 minutes.
- Smear some petroleum jelly all over the pumpkin's interior and other cut out areas. This will keep your pumpkin from drying out.
- Or if you don't have petroleum jelly at home, you may use vegetable or olive oil.
- If you opt for uncarved pumpkins to display, just spray WD-40 (spray) on its surface to keep it from drying out.
- Mix petroleum jelly with either hairspray, acrylic finish spray and Tabasco sauce to act as a repellent to keep away your pumpkins from critters.
- Don't carve way too far in advance for the Halloween night.
- Don't freeze the pumpkin.
- Keep your pumpkin away from sun or rain.
- Give your pumpkin a bath for few hours if it starts to wrinkle. Super-wrinkled pumps need a longer soaking for overnight.
Top DIY Pumpkin Ideas
Pumpkin ideas have flooded the internet and social media especially Pinterest. A lot of websites have actually compiled good ideas for you. So, instead, I'm compiling a list of sites which have insanely funny, artsy and spooky DIY pumpkin decorating thoughts for your reference.
That's insanely a lot, you think? But hey, they have pretty awesome ideas on the list. Here are my top picks from Country Living.
|The Howling City|
|Painted Pumpkin City|
|A Way With Words|
|A Cute Abode|
|Game of Thrones|
Most of the ideas are cute, funny and easy. Best suited for kids, I'd say.
And to wrap up this list, I have featured here some no-carve pumpkin ideas which your kids can help make. I found these on Instagram and couple of them went viral on Facebook. Check out my top picks.
Made by Kristin and was posted on Instagram. Aren't they cute? The eyes are made of coke cans which were cut off the top and nailed into the pumpkin. As for the eyeballs, they are packing materials of little thin piece of foam
Painted by Melissa. As for Gary's eyeballs, she stuck a thick wire to two balls of Sculpey clay, baked and painted them. After it dried off, she stuck the thick wire with balls into the pumpkin.
Painted by Nakia. Her son is so obsessed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle that she created this for him. The bandanas were her son's costume mask for dress ups play. Great work of art Nakia!
Have you done some DIY pumpkin arts before?? Pin it with us or tag us on Facebook
Texts Sources: Today, Today's Parent, Good Housekeeping