How to Decorate Halloween Pumpkins with Food

We've made this year's jack-o'-lanterns with goods from the grocery and craft store.

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November 30, 2015
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Photo By: Jeffrey Westbrook

Photo By: Jeffrey Westbrook

Photo By: Jeffrey Westbrook

Photo By: Jeffrey Westbrook

Photo By: Jeffrey Westbrook

Photo By: Levi Brown

Photo By: Levi Brown

Photo By: Levi Brown

Photo By: Levi Brown

Photo By: Levi Brown

Photo By: Levi Brown

Photo By: Ralph Smith

Photo By: Ralph Smith

Photo By: Ralph Smith

Photo By: Ralph Smith

Photo By: Ralph Smith

Jumbo Hershey Kiss

Step One: Carve the top off a pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and flesh. Paint the pumpkin and its lid (but not stem) with liquid silver leaf (available at craft stores); let dry.

Step Two: Paint the stem with white acrylic craft paint. Let dry, then write KISSES with blue acrylic craft paint. Let dry.

Photography by Ryan Dausch

BUY IT - Metallic Silver Leaf: Amazon, $10.75

Giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

Step One: Carve the top off a pumpkin in a zigzag and scoop out the seeds and flesh.

Step Two: Paint wavy horizontal stripes, each about 2 inches wide, with light yellow acrylic craft paint. Let dry, then outline each stripe with brown acrylic craft paint; let dry.

Photography by Ryan Dausch

BUY IT - Paint Brush Set: Amazon, $11.99

Colorful Starburst and Rainbow Skittles

Starbursts

Step One: Carve the top off a pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and flesh. Place 1/8-inch masking tape (available at craft stores) vertically down the entire pumpkin, spacing the strips of tape about 1 inch apart.

Step Two: Repeat, placing the strips horizontally, to create a grid. Fill in every other square with acrylic craft paint in red, yellow, pink and light orange, alternating colors. Let dry, then remove the tape and paint a second coat, filling in any gaps between the squares left by the tape. Let dry.

Skittles

Step One: Carve the top off a pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and flesh.

Step Two: Paint 2-inch-wide vertical stripes, alternating red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink acrylic craft paint; let dry. Paint a second coat and let dry.

Photography by Ryan Dausch

BUY IT - Colore Acrylic Paint Set: Amazon, $17.99

So Twisted Twizlers

Step One: Carve the top off a pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and flesh. Spray-paint the pumpkin red and let dry. Pull apart a piece of Pull ’n’ Peel Twizzler.

Step Two: Using hot glue, attach six strands in the shape of an asterisk. Starting from the asterisk’s center, hot-glue curved shorter strands to create a web.

Photography by Ryan Dausch

BUY IT - Twizzlers: Amazon, $16.99

Ghosts

Carve a hole in the back of the pumpkin and scoop out the insides.

Eyes: Carve two ovals, then pin yellow or orange fruit leather to the pumpkin from the inside to cover the openings. Stick a pin through yellow-and-black or pink-and-black licorice rounds (from an assorted pack) and then into the fruit leather to create pupils.

Arms: Mold two large marshmallows into rounded triangles and pin to the pumpkin.

Mouth: Carve a small teardrop shape, then pin fruit leather to the pumpkin from the inside to cover the opening.

Mummy

Eyes: Attach two yellow-and-black licorice rounds (from an assorted pack) to the pumpkin with straight pins.

Wrapping: Use pins to attach long strands of white Wrigley’s Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape gum (Triple Treat flavor) to the pumpkin at varying angles, leaving the eyes exposed.

BUY IT - Assorted Licorice Wheels: Amazon, $19.99 for 1 lb

Witch

Carve a hole in the back of the pumpkin and scoop out the insides.

Hat: Affix black licorice twists around the brim of a (nonedible) witch hat with hot glue.

Hair: Thread wire through the center of green Sour Punch Straws, leaving extra wire at one end. Insert the exposed wire into the pumpkin, then bend to shape.

Brows: Attach small pieces of green Sour Punch straws to the pumpkin with pins.

Eyes: Form green Airheads into tiny beads; hot-glue the beads to yellow Necco Wafers, then hot-glue the wafers to the pumpkin.

Nose: Press two green Airheads together and sculpt them into a nose. Attach a green candy dot wart with glue, then pin the nose to the pumpkin.

Mouth: Carve a sideways droplet-shaped hole, then outline the perimeter with red licorice, securing with straight pins.

Teeth: Pin two Jelly Belly Champagne Bubbles gummy candies along the inner edge of the mouth.

BUY IT - Sour Punch Straws: Amazon, $16.64 for pack of 12

Cat and Mouse

For the cat:

Head: Paint the pumpkin with black acrylic paint and let dry.

Ears: Pin two triangular gummy grapefruit slices to the top of the pumpkin, then hot-glue black licorice twists around the edges.

Eyes: Carve two semicircular holes. Make vertical slits in two green gumdrops, then insert a black licorice piece into each. Place the gumdrops in the eyeholes, using hot glue if necessary.

Nose: Attach a gummy raspberry to the pumpkin with hot glue.

Mouth and Whiskers: Attach small pieces of red and white Twizzlers Pull ’n’ Peel Candy with hot glue.

For the mouse:

Ears: Push the sticks of two swirled lollipops into the top of the pumpkin.

Eyes: Push tiny pieces of black licorice laces into the holes of white Life Savers, then attach to the pumpkin wih hot glue.

Nose: Pin a black jelly bean onto a red gumdrop, then pin onto the pumpkin.

Whiskers and Mouth: Cut pieces of purple Twizzlers Pull ’n’ Peel Candy and black licorice laces and attach with hot glue.

Tail: Thread wire through the center of red Sour Punch Straws, leaving extra wire at one end. Insert the exposed wire into the pumpkin, then bend to shape.

BUY IT - Hot Glue Gun: Amazon, $9.99

Skeleton

Eyes: Carve round holes, then hot-glue coiled black licorice to the inside of each hole.

Nose: Cut two thin slices of black licorice twists and hot-glue to the pumpkin.

Mouth: Carve a thin mouth with perpendicular stitch lines.

Hand: Thread heavy-gauge wire through mini and large marshmallows and shape into a hand and wrist.

BUY IT - Jet Puffed Marshmallows: Amazon, $1.96

Ginger Queen

Ginger Crown: Trim the base of the gingerroot. Use a T-pin to attach the back of each piece to the pumpkin.

Radish Eyes: Carve two eye sockets slightly smaller than the radishes; push them into the holes.

Broccoli Nose: Carve a circle in the center of the pumpkin to hold a broccoli stem.

Kale Hair: Use T-pins to attach the leaves.

Photography by Levi Brown

BUY IT - Stainless Steel T-Pins: Amazon, $5.99

Uncle Buck

Scallion Antlers: Trim the white part of two scallions. Thread a wooden skewer through each green stalk, then push into the pumpkin.

Parsnip Horns: In front of each antler, carve a hole to hold a parsnip.

Artichoke Lids: Cover the back of two artichoke leaves with craft glue and paste one above each eye cutout.

Eggplant Nose: Carve a hole to hold a purple eggplant, stem-end out.

Carrot Grin: Bend a thin carrot into a smile and attach each end to the pumpkin with a straight pin.

Photography by Levi Brown

BUY IT - Elmer's Craft Glue: Amazon, $7.84

Nutty Professor

Beet Ears: Use T-pins to attach the back of the beets to the pumpkin.

Kale Hair: Use T-pins to attach kale around the beets.

Shallot Nose: Press a toothpick halfway into the pumpkin, then push a shallot onto the exposed half.

Dill Mustache: Trim stems and use T-pins to attach bunches above the mouth cutout.

Almond Teeth: Push the pointy ends of almonds into the upper edge of the mouth cutout.

Photography by Levi Brown

BUY IT - Blue Diamond Almonds: Amazon, $10.72

Bok Choy Cyclops

Bok Choy Hair: Split a head of bok choy, leaving some of the stem intact. Fan the leaves out over the pumpkin, and pin in place.

Rutabaga Eye: Carve an eye socket slightly smaller than the rutabaga; push it halfway into the hole.

Dill Eyelashes: Drape a thin bunch over the top of the rutabaga and pin in place.

Pepper Nose: Carve a circle to hold a pepper.

Photography by Levi Brown

BUY IT - Vivreal Pumpkin Craving Kit: Amazon, $13.99

Veggie Locks

Artichoke Hair: Working from the bottom up, use T-pins to attach artichoke leaves to the pumpkin.

Almond Pupils: Push the rounded end of an almond into the lower edge of each eye cutout.

Pepper Nose: Carve a circle to hold a pepper.

Photography by Levi Brown

BUY IT - Artichoke: Amazon, $3

Doctor Peppers

Potato Nose: Press a toothpick halfway into the pumpkin, then push a small potato onto the exposed half.

Pepper Ears: Press a toothpick halfway into each side of the pumpkin, then push a pepper onto the exposed half.

Parsley Whiskers: Use T-pins to attach small bunches of parsley above and below the mouth cutout.

Photography by Levi Brown

BUY IT - Good Cook Toothpicks: Amazon, $2.58

Goblin Zombie

Eyes: Attach a mint to a red licorice wheel with hot glue, then attach to the pumpkin. Or attach a red candy-coated chocolate to a thumbprint cookie with hot glue, then glue to the pumpkin.

Mouth: Carve a hole and, using straight pins, outline the mouth with red sour straws (or just make the outline).

Teeth: Pin Chiclets along the edge of the sour straws.

Photography by Ralph Smith

BUY IT - Chewing Gum: Amazon, $7.78 for 9 packs

Frankenstein's Monster

Complexion: Paint the pumpkin with green acrylic paint; let dry.

Hair: Unroll licorice wheels and snip into 3-inch pieces; affix to the pumpkin with hot glue.

Eyes: Cut a sugar cookie in half and use hot glue to stick a raisin on each piece. Affix to the pumpkin with hot glue.

Brows: Cut the tops off two asparagus stalks; affix to the pumpkin with hot glue.

Nose: Cut a Persian cucumber in half lengthwise, then cut a piece off one end. Use toothpicks to attach to the pumpkin.

Lips: Cut a pea crisp in half lengthwise; stick both pieces to the pumpkin with hot glue.

Ears: Cut a slit into each side of the pumpkin. Snip the stick off two lollipops; insert a lollipop into each slit.

Neck bolts: Pin a button mushroom to each side of the pumpkin.

Photography by Ralph Smith

BUY IT - Sargent Acrylic Paint: Amazon, $9.69

Bride of Frankenstein

Hair and brows: Paint uncooked ramen noodles and let dry; affix to the pumpkin with hot glue.

Eyes: Pierce a raisin and apple slice with a toothpick, then insert into the pumpkin.

Cheeks: Affix a gummy peach with a toothpick.

Lips: Slice a Swedish fish in half, then affix the pieces to the pumpkin with hot glue.

Photography by Ralph Smith

BUY IT - Instant Ramen Noodles: Amazon, $3.84 for 12 packs

Scary Clown

Face makeup: Paint a circle on the pumpkin with white acrylic paint; let dry.

Hair: Pin large florets of purple cauliflower onto the pumpkin.

Eyes: Pierce a black jelly bean and a slice of star fruit with a pin, then insert into the pumpkin.

Nose: Use a toothpick to attach a small red potato to the pumpkin.

Ears: Stick one end of a toothpick into a yam slice, then press the other end into the pumpkin.

Mouth: Carve a hole with a knife. Outline with red licorice, securing with pins.

Teeth: Pin candy corn into the cut edge of the mouth.

Photography by Ralph Smith

BUY IT - Brach's Candy Corn: Amazon, $7.70

Count Dracula

Hair: Snip a cabbage leaf into a widow's-peak shape and pin to a white Lumina pumpkin.

Brows: Pin a piece of black licorice to the pumpkin.

Eyes: Attach a red ring-shaped candy to the pumpkin with hot glue; glue a black licorice nib into the hole.

Nose: Peel a parsnip and trim the stem end. Cut it in half lengthwise and use a toothpick to attach it to the pumpkin.

Ears: Affix gummy grapefruit slices to the pumpkin with a pin.

Lips: Secure red pepper slices with pins.

Teeth: Slice a Chiclet in half diagonally; attach to the lips with hot glue.

Collar: Place the pumpkin on two curled cabbage leaves.

Photography by Ralph Smith

BUY IT - Red Cabbage: Amazon, $3.73

Sweet Teeth

Mouth: Carve a crescent shape out of the pumpkin with a serrated knife. Insert a toothpick into a piece of candy (we used gum, candy corn and gumdrops) and push the other end into the pumpkin's mouth.

Eyes: Cut a gumdrop or marshmallow in half and press the sticky side onto the pumpkin. To add pupils, poke a hole in each eye with a toothpick and fill the opening with a piece of licorice string or Nibs.

BUY IT - Dots Gumdrop Candies: Amazon, $1.21

Mad Scientist

Edible glue: Sift 2 tablespoons meringue powder and 1 pound powdered sugar into a bowl. Beat in 6 tablespoons water until glossy. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag; snip the tip of one corner to pipe.

Hair: Attach cotton candy to the pumpkin with icing.

Eyes: Separate 2 sandwich cookies and, using icing, attach the 2 pieces that have filling to the pumpkin, filling-side out. Stick 1 M&M into each cookie.

Ears, nose and mouth: Attach Circus Peanuts with icing for the ears and nose, then draw a mouth and eyeglasses with the icing; cover the lines with licorice.

BUY IT - JustSnackin' Cotton Candy: Amazon, $8.99

Aliens

Eyes: Use a spoon to carve out small holes, then push in gumballs so they fit snugly. Draw pupils with an edible marker. For the eyelids, attach pieces of sour belt candy with royal icing.

Ears and mouth: Attach 2 sour watermelons with royal icing for the ears, then add a sour apple ring or a peach ring (either whole or cut in half) for the mouth.

Antennae: Push 2 lollipops into the top.

BUY IT - Original Gourmet Lollipops: Amazon, $28.80 for 60 lollipops