Oh, My Gourd!

Usher in Halloween with 2 super-easy jack-o'-lantern ideas that require little to no carving. Oh, my gourd, it's pumpkin time!

Geoffrey Zakarian makes Vampire Fangs Jack-O'-Lanterns, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Geoffrey Zakarian makes Vampire Fangs Jack-O'-Lanterns, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Vampire Fangs Jack-o'-Lantern

What you'll need:

  • 1 mini pumpkin
  • 1 set of plastic vampire fangs
  • 1 small pumpkin-carving tool or serrated knife
  • A spoon or pumpkin scoop
  • 2 colored thumbtacks

Making this jack-o-lantern with vampire fangs is simple and requires very little carving. Start with a mini pumpkin and a set of vampire fangs (an easy find at any craft or party store). Trace a rectangle using the closed fangs as your template. If you want a jack-o-lantern with an open jaw, trace them with open teeth. In either case, use the wider side of the fangs to give yourself enough space to insert them into the pumpkin once you're finished cutting.

Use a small pumpkin-carving tool or serrated knife to cut out the rectangle. You may need to retrace a couple of times to make sure it will come out easily. Use a spoon or pumpkin scoop to remove any loose flesh. Insert the fangs and stick 2 colored thumbtacks above to make eyes. Now you've got yourself a silly, spooky jack-o'-lantern.

Sunny Anderson makes a Black Cat Jack-O'-Lantern, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Sunny Anderson makes a Black Cat Jack-O'-Lantern, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Black Cat Jack-o'-Lantern

What you'll need:

  • 1 small pumpkin (sugar pumpkin-sized)
  • 1 medium Cinderella-style pumpkin
  • Black spray paint
  • Scissors
  • 1 sheet of black felt
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • 2 large googly eyes
  • 1 sheet of pink felt
  • 1 roll of flexible 20-guage craft wire
  • 1 bamboo skewer
  • One 2- to 3-foot piece of black jumbo pipe cleaner
  • A small bowl of ice water (in case there are any hot glue mishaps)

This is a simple jack-o'-lantern with absolutely no carving. First, remove the stems from both pumpkins and spray-paint the pumpkins black. Allow them to dry completely.

Next, cut 2 equal triangles of black felt to make ears. Snip the bottom of each triangle vertically about halfway up. Use a hot glue gun to put a small amount of glue along one side of the cut. Press the 2 sides together, cupping them slightly to form an ear. Repeat with the other felt triangle. Once the glue has cooled completely, glue the ears to the top of the small pumpkin.

It's time to build the kitty's face: Glue on the googly eyes, then cut out a small pink triangle of felt for the nose and glue it in between them. Now it's time for the whiskers. Use scissors to cut six 3-inch pieces of flexible craft wire (found at your local craft store). Use a skewer to poke 3 holes on either side of the nose, making sure to do it at an angle so the whiskers can be inserted sideways.

Now you're ready to put the whole thing together. Make the tail with 2- to 3-feet of black jumbo pipe cleaner. Coil one end and tuck in the end. You can now shape the tail and place the looped end on top of the large pumpkin. If you're worried about the tail staying in place, add a bit of glue to secure it to the larger pumpkin, then place the small pumpkin head on top of the tail. The weight of the head should keep things in place. Now you've made an adorable black cat jack-o'-lantern!

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