Living in a rural, agricultural area has some distinct advantages. Tractors drop kids off to school, a “traffic jam” often consists of a bunch of ducks in the road, and fresh produce is abundant at harvest time. In fact, at this time of year, the sheer amount of fruit and veg running around the place is daunting. Pumpkins, potatoes, onions and sugar beets bounce off overloaded trucks at every sharp corner or bump in the road, and my husband and kids return from walking the dog with a selection of vegetables they’ve had to dodge along the way. (Way more exciting than dodgeball, by the way. I highly recommend Fenland vegetable dodging.)
In addition to the farm produce, every third neighbor has an allotment or vegetable garden and is perennially astounded at the yield of oversize courgettes and pumpkins. You can’t visit a neighbor for any reason without them pressing their surplus gourds on you with a slight air of desperation, as their kitchen surfaces are obscured by piles of marrows the length of your arm. And since waste is very uncool in this area, you’re forced to hit the internet in search of 165 new ways to disguise squash so that your children will consider eating it at every meal for the next two months. (If you’re struggling with your own overload of pumpkins and marrows, visit my fellow mumsnet bloggers umisushimakes and hertfordshiremummy for some ideas!)
The result? By Halloween, I am thoroughly pumpkined-out. The idea of carving up one of the buggers for fun, just so it can glare at me malevolent from the windowsill while the kids crunch on its seeds and I attempt to make soup from its innards… it doesn’t appeal.
So this year I’ve opted for less vegetable-based decorations for Halloween. They’re upcycled and re-useable but still sticky enough for the kids to enjoy making them.
What you need:
- Old Christmas baubles or light bulbs
- Tissue Paper (black and orange, ideally)
- Glue (Mod Podge for the win)
- Some string.
- Snip your orange tissue paper into small 1-2cm squares and glue them to the bauble, overlapping until you cover the entire surface.
- When the bauble is covered in orange, brush a layer of glue over the entire surface to smooth down any bumps or rough edges. Allow to dry.
- Cut small shapes from black tissue paper for the face and glue them to the bauble. When the face is in place, brush with another coat of glue to seal.
Then once they’re dry, just string them up and enjoy.
Feeling extra creative? Try using other colours to make monster faces. Or maybe some blue and white tissue to make:
…some nice googly eyeballs. Actually, I like these so much that I plan to use them to give my Christmas tree a funny face too. And after that, I may just hang them somewhere random in the house too. Like the bathroom cabinet. That way visitors will look up and discover a pair of eyes peeking out at them while they pee. That will teach them to ambush me with their vegetables!