Carved pumpkins usually go solo -- the jaunty jack-o'-lantern perched on a stoop, greeting Halloween callers with a toothy smile. But presented in a cluster, these late-October luminaries really shine. This year, why not assemble dramatic vignettes to set the stage for a season of spine-chilling fun? Beckon treat-seekers with glowing orbs that radiate a spider theme on the steps of a dimly lit doorway. Or set a harvest table with pumpkins from which an ominous scarecrow and a black cat loom. These are just two of the scenes you can create using the techniques that follow. Before you visit the pumpkin patch or the farm stand, draw a sketch of your composition to determine how many pumpkins you'll need. Then, with an eye for sizes and shapes, choose ones with slightly flat faces, which will make it easier to transfer the designs. When carving time comes, invite friends over to partake of the craft of transforming pumpkins, large and small, into scenes full of watchful ravens, screeching cats, and fluttering moths. Your gang of pumpkins will bewitch the night so effectively, you'll want to enjoy them long into November.
Once the carving is complete, wrap string lights around the glass jar, then place jar inside pumpkin. We prefer this technique because you won't have to worry about the lights going out in your display.
You can also use fruits of various sizes in the same arrangement. (Keep in mind that smaller pumpkins are harder to work with.) We paired three basketball-style pumpkins with a small, smooth-skinned pie pumpkin.