Pumpkin Decorating Without The Carving

October is my favorite month of the year for a few reasons:

  1. The weather starts to drop, which means I can bust out my boots again!
  2. Pumpkin spice lattes, candy corn, and pumpkin shaped cookies return.
  3. The approach of Halloween means that I can have my friends over to celebrate with some pumpkin decorating.

kristinI hosted a pumpkin decorating party last weekend in honor of #3. Because I live in an apartment in Los Angeles, gutting a pumpkin and carving it isn’t ideal. (i.e. I don’t have a stoop to set the pumpkin on, which means any bugs that come to enjoy a hollowed gourd will soon become my new roommates.) But I do have a lot of acrylic paint and brushes, which means it’s time to craft.

IMG_1697I asked people to come with their own pumpkins, and I would provide the rest.

paintI picked up googly eyes, sequins, bat stickers, Halloween tape, fake mustaches, extra black paint, and glitter bowties from the craft store.


I also found some plain face masks that could be decorated as well, just in case people came without pumpkins, or wanted to create something they could wear on Halloween night.
IMG_1704I think they came out pretty cute, actually.

table2E and I also made sure to decorate the apartment to get everyone in a spooky mood. (Case in point: blood stained cloth from Target. So scary, you guys.)


E had a lot of fun putting his own touches around the place, like these rats trailing across the top of our new TV. (They are still sitting on the TV, staring at me as I type this.)


Plus we put out plenty of Halloween treats. (If I’ve learned anything, it’s that painting pumpkins works up an appetite for candy.) We had a snack bar set up in the kitchen, plus little hints of candy sprinkled around the house.

ciderFor drinks, we had beer, wine, and I made spiked apple cider in my crockpot. (All it takes is a half gallon of cider, dark rum to taste, plus a few dashes of cinnamon and 3 whole cinnamon sticks on low heat for 4 hours.)

eInstead of using my own glassware, I opted for some orange solo cups so people could draw on those too.

pumAnd if people were done crafting, I also had corners set up for Halloween-themed games, like this “Pumpkin Toss,” which was something like a carnival game and involved trying to toss a couple of balls into the buckets. It was actually much harder than it looks.


The results were a lot of fun, and in the end we’ve got two great looking pumpkins to keep out for the rest of the month. (Bonus tip: If you plan to paint your pumpkin, make sure to scrub it down in the sink with a brillo pad beforehand to help the paint stay on.)

pummyE’s pumpkin is the striped one on the far left, and mine is the all-black pumpkin next to his.






What Halloween in Hollywood Looks Like

This is Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in Beverly Hills. It’s probably the only proper pumpkin patch you can find anywhere near my house, unless you count the bin outside of Trader Joe’s. It’s just off of a main street, in a parking lot that’s converted into a patch for the holidays. In October, it’s home to pumpkins, face painting, bouncy houses, and plenty of carnival food. In November and December, the pumpkins get replaced with Christmas trees. It’s the perfect parking lot for the holidays, if you ask me.


Because it’s Los Angeles, and to quote Cher in Clueless, “Everywhere you go has valet,” of course you can pay to valet park your car at the pumpkin patch. And we did, naturally.


Another thing Mr. Bones is known for is attracting some celeb clientele. We didn’t see any there over the weekend, but we did see this rather amusing sign warning off any folks who try to photograph the famous people in their natural habitat.


There were plenty of pumpkins, of course.


Including these dudes who were pretty funky in color, shape, and warts of all varieties.


Then there was this little pumpkin. A pumpkin beanie, I should say, which just barely fit on E’s head. (E is my boyfriend, for those who may not know. He looks pretty good in a hat, right?)



This blowup Frankenstein fam towered over the patch.


I really wanted to jump into this pumpkin for a photo opp, but all of the kids scared me off. (Damn those kids!)


We ended up settling on our own pumpkins, of course. They weren’t on the main drag of pumpkins, but we found them off to the side. In that way, we felt like we’d rescued them from a life in a parking lot patch.




On a related note: I think whether or not you pick a pumpkin with a stem is a totally personal choice. In that I personally believe in stems.