According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will blow $7 billion dollars this Halloween. Is that nuts or what? That could be GDP of a small country. That could lower our own federal deficit a little. I never liked Halloween because it’s so wasteful but this figure blows my mind! I mean, this type of spending will stimulate the economy alright but, most of the goods come from overseas, probably across the Pacific, in container ships. If they were all manufactured in the U.S., with the planet in mind, heck, spend $7 billion dollars. Our economy needs it, right?
But sadly, that’s not the case. Most of them are cheap plastic that’ll get thrown away shortly after Halloween. I know. I used to buy those awful smelling, cheap quality, (but expensive, considering it’s quality) “Made in (Beep)”, Buzz Lightyear and Snow White costumes too.
Only if I realized, then, how much I would have saved if I made the costumes, treats and decorations at home! And they would have been so much greener too! Well, it’s better late than never, as they say, right?
Fast forward ten years…..
I’ve been making decorations at home for a few years now. And since my kids outgrew “Trick or Treating”, they don’t need costumes but this year, I made a witch’s costume, for myself! That was a hoot!
But today, I want to share a real easy peasy everyone’s Halloween “must have” decoration with you – Jack-O-Lantern. I originally posted this tutorial on Crafting a Green World but I revised the tutorials a little to make it even simpler than the original.
I love going to my local farms to pick apples and pumpkins. And I love their cider donuts even more. But I always feel like I get ripped off when I buy pumpkins. They are expensive and I have to throw them away after Halloween. I wish I can keep them forever but I can’t. They look ugly when they rot on my porch. And they smell.
So this year, I made a reusable, solar energized Jack-O-Lantern. It’s so simple to make that I wondered why I didn’t make this sooner! And it’s safer on my porch too since it uses solar lamps and I don’t have to worry about kids knocking down candles when they come trick or treating.
You will need:
- Pumpkin Shaped Glass Bowl
- Masking Tape
- Orange Color Spray Paint
- Solar Garden or Walkway Lamp
- Black Sharpie Marker
Glass Bowl: I am using a glass bowl that I had but you can buy a fish bowl or a round glass jar at a craft or thrift store for less than $3.99.
Spray Paint: I am using my mom’s old orange spray paint in this picture but if I had to buy one, I would buy Krylon H2O Latex Paint in Bay of Bengal Orange color. The paint is eco-friendly with low VOC.
Solar Lamp: You can buy a solar walkway lamp for $2.88 at Home Depot. Buy the one that you can twist the top portion off so you can use the lamp. It’s an economical way to use solar lamps for your crafts. You can use one of those battery operated flickering candles if you already have them but the idea is to use solar energy!
In a well ventilated area, with mask and gloves on, cover the bowl evenly and completely with the spray paint. If needed, spray on a second coat, making sure the paint is completely dried before applying a second coat.
Make sure you turn and move the bowl around so that paint doesn’t drip, as you can see, it happened on mine. Or, you might like it drippey and scary – it’s up to you. My daughter thinks its looks scarier with paint dripping.
Let the paint dry completely.
OK. I don’t have a picture for this next step but I think you’d understand the direction.
Use a black permanent marker to draw the facial features. Was that simple or what?
Next, insert the solar lamp base into the bowl. Make sure solar lamp stays out in the sun during the day to get charged so that it stays lit up on Halloween. Otherwise, you’ll have a dark pumpkin sitting on your porch and that’s not fun.
If you have one of those fancy flickering battery operated lamps, you can use those too. But you should buy a solar lamp since it doesn’t use any batteries and sun gives you FREE energy to light up your Jack-O-Lantern!
Now was that easy enough or what?