|one of Dad's jack-o-lanterns|
I have fond memories of watching him carefully saw open the top, scoop out the seeds and innards, and carefully go about creating the face. It was never the simple triangle features found on our neighbors' front porches. No, his had wrinkles, scars, pointy ears, snaggly teeth, arched eyebrows, and realistic eyes with pupils. Upon completion of his work, we'd turn off the kitchen lights and wait with abated breath for the grand finale when he'd add a lit votive to illuminate its scary features. Then we always stood in awe.
Once I grew up, married, and moved into my own house, Dad still created his Halloween masterpieces for each of his daughters. He'd drive to our houses to deliver his hand-made works of art to display by our own front doors. I loved it! I didn't dare try making my own even though about this time, stores started selling those pumpkin-carving kits, complete with ornate templates. I felt like those kits were cheating.
|one of my sad attempts of a scary jack-o-lantern|
The following year, I found large plastic pumpkins at Michael's on sale after Halloween. I had an idea! I would have my dad carve one of these, so we would forever have one of his originals! During his next visit, even though it was no where near Halloween at the time, he graciously set out to carve one of his jack-o-lanterns so his grandsons wouldn't be denied his handy work. They sat next to him on the sofa as he went to work. That was about seven years ago, and even though we've since moved back to my hometown where my dad is able to carve us a real jack-o-lantern that he proudly delivers before dusk on Halloween, I still have the plastic one and display it inside our house.
|Dad carved one of his special jack-o-lanterns for my son's kindergarten class.|
Then my eight-year-old son came home with an assignment: Decorate this cut-out pumpkin. We could use anything we wanted, but seeing that he pulled it out of his backpack the day before it was due and the day after I'd already made a trip to the craft store, I told him he was stuck with two options: orange scrapbook paper or paint. That's when we realized he could carve this pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern following the scratch art concept from our Summer Bucket List.
We gathered our supplies:
- pumpkin cut out of card stock
- sponge paint brush
- orange tempera paint
- Dawn dish soap
- cup and stirring stick
- paper clip
This time, he stuck with green on the stem and yellow all over the pumpkin. I had already mixed the orange tempera paint with a couple drops of the Dawn dish soap, so he was ready to paint. He went off with his dad and brothers to attend a school football game while the paint dried.
That evening, he scratched off the stem and started carving out his pumpkin's face using a paperclip. Lacking the scars, eye brows, and ears of his grandfather's jack-o-lanterns, his looked more common place, but he had fun making it, and I was relieved that our project was finished before bedtime.
Whether it's for a school project or just a fun autumn activity, I hope you'll give our scratch art jack-o-lanterns a try with your children. And if you do, please share them on my Facebook page or Google +!
I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties here or here.