It's Halloween, and patches are full of pumpkins just waiting to provide spine-tingling thrills on the big fright night. Carving them into jack-o'-lanterns is always fun, but transform a few into candy holders with looks that could chill, and they can play a crucial role as keepers of the goodies.
To make monstrous mugs, your little goblins can get creative with -- what else? -- candy! Chewy treats are easy to bend and snip, and they stay in place with ball-head straight pins (choose ones that match the color of the treats so they aren't too noticeable). For hard candy, attach pieces with hot glue.
Hollowed-out pumpkins can function as candy jars when you put a bowl inside ("mummies" -- or daddies -- should saw open tops and thin out rims with a serrated knife before kids start decorating). Or pumpkin heads can lurk intact as lids atop clear candy-filled containers. Whether these creatures hover at a party or simply haunt your house, they'll be spook-tacular.
The pumpkin here is rated PG (Pretty Gross), but kids love a good gag. Put your hand under its mouth or lift its eye patch, and out spills a surprise: jelly beans or chocolate eyeballs, fed through tubes in back.
Tools and Materials
Large carvable synthetic pumpkin (it's reusable)
A pumpkin-carving saw
Two paper-towel tubes
Plastic nose (we cut ours from an eyeglass-and-moustache set)
Orange acrylic paint
Red construction paper
Eye patch (we made ours from cardboard and black felt)
Ball-head straight pins
Creepy Candy Containers How-To
1. Saw top off pumpkin; set aside. Draw circles for mouth and left eye by tracing a paper-towel tube; draw circle for right eye slightly smaller than plastic eye; saw out circles.
2. Apply hot glue around plastic eye; insert snugly into hole. Hot-glue nose on.
3. Paint tubes inside and out to at least 3 inches from end. Roll up red paper; place in one tube to stick out 2 1/2 inches; cut a tongue shape.
4. Insert tube into mouth from front; saw another hole in pumpkin's back slightly higher than front hole, and slide end of tube in. For left eye, do same thing to fit second tube.
5. Pin strings of eye patch to inside of pumpkin, positioning so patch covers left eyehole. Set top on pumpkin. Feed candy through tubes from back.