chalkboard and luminary pumpkins

This year the family went to a pumpkin patch where you pick your pumpkin off the vine yourself; have you ever been to one? My little dove had such a great time running around the rows and rows of pumpkins and the price was comparable, if not less, than what you see at the grocery store. We picked out one "family" pumpkin and let our little man pick out one small enough for him to carry himself.

Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy carving pumpkins. However, for our family pumpkin this year I wanted to do something a little easier and a little different. I had been wanting to try just drilling holes into a pumpkin to make luminaries for awhile now and finally got around to it this year. I simply used a drill and drill bits ranging in size up to 5/8" and drilled holes onto the pumpkin in kind of a random way, more near the top and slowly decreasing down the pumpkin.

For my little dove's pumpkin I tried to think of some way for him to be involved and the idea to do a chalkboard pumpkin came to me pretty quickly. This isn't a novel idea, there are plenty out there on the Internet; however, I didn't want the whole pumpkin to be covered in black chalkboard paint, so I marked off a stripe all the way around with painter's tape and only painted the middle portion. I thought about hollowing it out and drilling holes around the border of the chalkboard paint, but decided the pumpkin would last longer if I didn't and I'm hoping to use it as a welcome sign for the rest of the Fall season.



By the way, you know how to get your carved pumpkin to last longer? Bleach. Bleach will kill the bacteria and mold that causes a pumpkin to rot. Mix 1 tablespoon of bleach per 1 quart of water in a spray bottle and spritz your pumpkin periodically to keep it rot-free. One website I found suggested doing this initially, waiting 20 minutes, then covering all carved surfaces with petroleum jelly to help it keep from drying out. However, if you live in a cool climate and you'll have it out less than a week, you probably don't need to worry about it drying out too badly.

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