Frightening Food Crafts

Oh. My. GOURD! The Kitchen has two delightfully gourd-gious decor ideas to ready your porch for fall.

Jeff Mauro makes a Pumpkin Witch, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Pumpkin Witch

Make a playful pumpkin witch using unique heirloom pumpkins. We used Jarrahdale pumpkins, also called Queensland or Australian Blue pumpkins. These pumpkins are a beautiful blue/green hue and are perfect for making an odd little witch. They are widely available at local farmers' markets and organic grocery stores.

Choose 1 large pumpkin with a somewhat flat top and a second one that is slightly smaller and has a curved stem. Carve out the eyes and mouth on the top of the smaller pumpkin. The stem will be your witch's nose. Place the head on top of the larger pumpkin.

Use a hot glue gun to glue raffia into a witch's hat to make scraggly hair. Place the hat on top of the pumpkin head. Next, cut 2 gooseneck gourds for the witch's legs. You'll need to cut the neck off at an angle so they rest on the body of the large pumpkin. Slip an old pair of shoes or boots onto the gourds and the pumpkin witch is complete.

Geoffrey Zakarian makes a Pumpkin Topiary, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Pumpkin Topiary

Another fantastic idea for your porch or front stoop is a dramatic pumpkin topiary. Pulling one together is easy. Once the flowers or other foliage die off in the fall in your planter, level off the soil to prepare the base. You'll need 3 grapevine wreaths of descending width. The largest should be the same width as the planter you're using as the base. You will also need 3 pumpkins of descending size, with the largest as wide as the planter. We used Cinderella pumpkins, but choose any classic pumpkin shape in various colors.

We decorated the wreaths with dried fall leaves. You can purchase preserved real ones, but synthetic ones are just fine--you can find them at your favorite craft store. Once all of your wreaths are decorated with the colors of fall, you're ready to stack. Start with the largest wreath and add the largest pumpkin. Continue this pattern to the top, ending with the smallest pumpkin. This fall decor idea can extend the life of a footed planter or urn well past the first frost.

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