There are many and various tales of the origin of the pumpkin. One goes like this.
There was once a man named Jack
Who lived in a quiet, Irish Village
Lazy & selfish was he, never straining his back
Relaxing, drinking and gambling for a life’s wage
One night around all Hallow’s Eve
The Devil appeared, Jack’s span spent
Downing a pint a cunning plan he conceived
To bargain for another year to repent
If you’re really the Devil then prove it to me
As a dying wish grant me a last ale
Turn yourself into a shilling for the fee
I’ll toast to your health, unless you fail
Pride wounded, he morphed revealing his power
Jack flipped him mid air and clutched the falling silver
The hand that bore an old cross shaped scar
Now trapped the Devil was forced to deliver
Another year passed, his heart still black with sin
The fiend returned & was challenged to a dice game
Jack’s loaded cheat conquered his snake eyes for the win
His deception earned him another year to better his name
The shadow of death consumed his mortal form
But the Devil didn’t show so Jack wandered, ethereal on
The Pearly Gates were sealed to the man too lazy to reform
And at Hell’s doors Jack was meant by the Devil’s scorn
He tossed him a glowing, burning, coal
Doomed him to roam the wide world over
Neither Angels nor Demons wanted his soul
A hollowed pumpkin and cinder for the eternal rover
Add some pumpkin power to your Hallowe’en party
What you will need: Thin orange card and one sheet of green, compass or CD, soup bowl etc to draw around, scissors and glue.
a.) Draw around something circular and cut out ten orange circles.
b.) Set one circle aside and fold the others in half and then half again.
c.) With each of the nine quarters, unfold them back into halves and cut along the centre folded creases about 3/4s of the way to the edge.
d.) Take the green card and cut a long, thin rectangle about the length of twice your circle’s diameters.
e.) Fold the strip back on itself to form a double thick strip about the length of one diameter.
f.) At the two open ends, fold back the card about a centimetre to make two tabs. Open them back at right angles to the long length; add glue to the bottom of the tabs and attach them to the centre of your unfolded circle.
g.) Now back to your cut orange halves. Open them out a little and slot each one onto your unfolded circle around the circumference. To make your pumpkin more secure you can glue each half circle to the one beside it.
h.) You can then add a green leaf to finish your paper pumpkin.
Simple Egg Box Pumpkins
What you will need: An egg box (empty!), Orange paint, Paint brush, Green card, Black felt tip pen, glue and scissors.
a.) Cut your egg box up into six card board egg bowls.
b.) Turn three over and glue them to the three bowls to make oval, pumpkin shapes.
c.) Paint your pumpkins with orange acrylic paint and let them dry.
d.) Cut a straight, thin strip off your green card and roll it tightly up to form the pumpkin stalk – glue to stop unravelling.
e.) Cut out a proportional green leave and glue your stalk and leave to the top centre of your pumpkin, egg box.
f.) Add the finishing touches by giving your pumpkins ghoulish faces with the black felt tip pen.
Pumpkin Candy Bag
What you will need: A3 orange card x2, black marker, hole punch, string, a sheet of green card, scissors and glue.
a.) The easiest way I find to make a bag is the present wrapping style. Lay one sheet of your orange card on your work surface. Take an old shoe box, drinks cartoon, biscuit tin etc (something rectangular) and place in centre of card.
b.) Cut the card to size as if you were wrapping a present. Fold one side to the centre top of your box and fold the other in to meet it overlapping slightly and sellotape or glue to secure. Let card poke over end of box about two inches. Fold top inch down over end and fold over two pointy sides at ends in a triangle flat against box. Glue down. Fold up last edge to seal the end of the box. (It’s hard to explain how to wrap a present so basically you’re just wrapping one end of the box.) Glue to secure, hold and allow to dry.
c.) Keep the box in the card – it’s easier to work with. Cut the open end of the card to desired depth of bag.
d.) Measure depth of bag and cut your second orange card to the same depth.
e.) Lay this card on top of your box and mark the edges of the box with a pencil on the card leaving about 3inches overflowing on one side.
f.) Take off box; draw straight pencil lines down rectangle to show where the box will be. Draw a semi circle from the top of each line to the bottom, facing out so you have a basic pumpkin shape. Do this twice (one pumpkin for each side of the box).
g.) Take your black marker pen and trace the shape of the pumpkin. Rub out the pencil lines. Cut out your two pumpkin shapes and decorate – Draw on eyes, nose, mouth etc and fill them in, in black and draw curved lines from top to bottom like the curves of a pumpkin. Cut out a stalk and leaf from your green card and glue them onto your pumpkins to finish the effect.
h.) Glue the pumpkins to each side of your card covered box. At this point you can take out the box.
i.) Use the hole punch to make holes on both sides at the top of your bag.
j.) Cut off two lengths of string about two feet in length (or however long you wish), thread one length through the holes on one side and tie a knot at the ends of the string. Do the same on the other side and you have your completed pumpkin trick or treat party bag.
What you will need:
Soup/fruit etc tin/aluminium can (empty), orange paint (spray paint is handy), hammer, nail, black marker, about a foot of wire (can buy jewellery wire from craft shops or find some gardening wire in garden centres), and wire cutters.
a.) Tear any paper label from can and wash away any sticky residue. Obviously the can should be empty and have no top/lid.
b.) Fill the can up with water and place in freezer until it solidifies to ice. Ice makes the next part easier.
c.) Draw on the basic pattern of eyes, nose, mouth etc.
d.) Use a nail to hammer in small holes along your penned outline.
e.) Also punch a hole near the top of your can on either side of your face.
f.) Paint tin orange and allow to dry.
g.) Fill in features with black marker.
h.) To finish cut a foot length of wire and thread each end through top holes. Bend wire back over edge to meet your wire hole and wind the ends around the wire to secure.
i.) Now you have a pumpkin lantern, candle lantern! You can hammer a small nail into the centre of the bottom to spear candles on or the old faithful – burn your candle down a little and drip some of the melted wax into the bottom the tin, set candle on top of it and allow to dry – hopefully it will stick.
And finally – Paper Mache Pumpkin
What you will need: balloon, one part flour and three parts warm water to make paste, orange/black/green paint, old newspaper and scissors.
a.) Preparation: Blow up balloon. Cut newspaper into strips. Mix paste. Lay down newspaper to keep the place clean.
b.) Dip strips of paper into paste, run your fingers down the strip to smooth out paste and layer onto balloon.
c.) Completely cover your balloon and allow to dry.
d.) Repeat with another layer and allow to dry.
e.) Paint (or use orange paper in paste) and add your own pumpkin decorations to your creative taste and style.