Halloween just wouldn’t seem like Halloween without Jack ‘o Lanterns would it? That flickering grin just says “Halloween!”
But there are a few issues with your standard Jack ‘o Lantern.
1. It involves using sharp knives on hard surfaces.
That means an adult (or nearly adult) needs to do the actual carving. While the kiddos can enjoy watching (and we have ours draw what they want and then we try to replicate it) they can’t actually participate.
2. It’s messy.
Let’s face it. Pumpkin guts are ooey and gooey. The strings don’t want to come out and if you’ve got a big pumpkin you are up to your elbows in pumpkin while trying to scrape out the inside. The cutting process itself results in bits and pieces. We typically cover one entire half of the dining room table with newspaper prior to starting.
3. It’s fairly short lived, depending on your weather.
My sister posted pictures of the Jack ‘o Lantern that she and her kids carved a week ago. It was lovely, but she lives in Texas and my first thought was “you’ll be carving another before Halloween”. Pumpkins have a great shelf life if kept cool but not freezing–most varieties will store for at least 3 month, some up to 6 months! But once you cut into it the lifespan declines–the rapidity depends on the heat and moisture present. Most folks can depend on a carved pumpkin looking good for about a week or so.
4. It’s wasteful.
When you think about it, you are taking a nutritious food source, carving it up, displaying it and letting it go bad. Once Halloween is past the only thing it’s good for is the compost pile. No pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies or pumpkin bread for you! It just doesn’t seem very frugal, does it? They typical way you can avoid that is to carve your pumpkin on Halloween day–put it out for the night and then bring it in and peel, chop and cook it the very next day. Which works but puts you in a bit of a time crunch the next day. Plus you don’t get to enjoy the decoration for very long.
All of these things ran through my mind when Walmart asked me if I wanted to try decorating some pumpkins with Duck Tape this year. Duck Tape addresses so many of these problems. The kids can participate fully, it’s basically mess free, the Jack ‘o Lanterns last a really long time and when you are done you can still chop the pumpkin up and use it for cooking!
Duck Tape is one of the most popular brands of duct tape out there. These days it comes in all sorts of cool colors and patterns–and it only runs between $3-$6 a roll! I’ve found that my local Walmart has the patterned Duck Tape both in the craft section AND back in the hardware section. They also have Duck Tape Sheets now–a nice big square of the stuff in various colors and patterns to be used specifically for crafting. If you haven’t checked out the patterned Duck Tape recently, you’ll be amazed at the variety!
There is even a “Stick ‘o Treat” contest being run by Duck Tape–from now through November 1st you can enter a picture of your fantastic Duck Tape Jack ’0 Lantern for a chance to win $1000.
For our project I went off to Walmart and bought a nice selection of Duck Tape in various colors and patterns, picked up both big and small pumpkins and gave the kiddos free reign:
We’ll still carve a pumpkin closer to the holiday-but for now we have some very special Jack ‘o Lanterns to decorate the front porch.