Friday, October 9, 2015

Halloween "Dumpkins"

Dumpkin? Pumpernut? Whatever you decide to call them, these festive squash were a hit!

Sometimes it's really fun to make something purely for your own amusement, because it's cute, because it's festive, because you want to! I do so many projects that feel serious and important (to me) that it can be really rewarding to just let go and play. I love Halloween, art projects, sprinkles, donuts, and making treats for friends, so these were perfect in every way!

Pumpkins by Studio DIY
Originally, I was inspired by the project posted by Studio DIY, where she created beautiful little pastel gourds with individually painted colorful sprinkles.

I decided that I wanted to create some that looked like they were really frosted, and to save myself a little time by using cute holiday sprinkles instead.

Materials needed:
   -  acrylic paints (brown, white, orange, and yellow)
   -  Golden gel medium, Gloss
      (you can get this at most craft stores, or online)
   -  festive sprinkles
   -  mini-pumpkins
   -  a big, soft paint brush

Project time: approx. 1 hour, for 15 pumpkins

I liked how Kelly, the Studio DIY blogger, had applied a base coat that was a bit less pumpkin-y orange and closer to donut color. I mixed the yellow, orange, and white with a touch of brown to make a color that looked like what a donut-pumpkin-hybrid (or offspring?) would resemble. I lined up all the little pumpkins on paper grocery bags that I'd cut up for a craft surface, and coated them with the paint I'd mixed up, including the stem.

In order to make the paint super shiny like frosting, I mixed in a large amount of the gel medium (about 50/50 paint/medium), and applied it to half of the pumpkins. I did the white "vanilla" batch first. Start with a circle a little less than half an inch away from the stem, and make a bigger circle about a third of the way down the mini pumpkin, so that you can then you can messily "frost" the area in between.

The pumpkins in the back have just the
base coat - ready to be "frosted"
After they were all frosted, I sprinkled on the decorations! Do this right away, before the paint dries. If it's not tacky enough, and the sprinkles are falling off, you can dab on a bit more paint and stick them on individually. Use your fingers to place more after you've sprinkled on the initial ones, to arrange them. For the white pumpkins, I tried to use a bit more of the orange and black sprinkles for good contrast.

Repeat this with the brown "chocolate" frosting set, and you'll have a great mixed batch! In fact...wouldn't it be ADORABLE to do a set of 12 and find a pink pastry box...?

I passed these out for friends and co-workers, and they were such a big hit that people were demanding more even after they were all gone. To make them more festive, I put them in small plastic treat bags with a few candies and halloween treats, and tied it with an orange bow. NOTE: If you do give them out in a plastic treat bag, let the recipient know to take them out right away -- the moisture from the pumpkin made the sprinkles melt after a couple days, for those that were left in the bags. I might consider a little box or muslin bag instead, if I make them again.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you try it out and have fun experimenting! Thank you to Studio DIY for the inspiring craft ideas.

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