Thursday, October 14, 2010

A craft for the totally un-crafty: Blackboard Pumpkins

So I may have mentioned that October is my favorite month (ha). And one of my favorite things about October is pumpkin. Pumpkin patches, pumpkin pancakes (a seasonal treat at our favorite diner) and pumpkin carving. In fact, I used to host an annual pumpkin carving party each year -- a booze-filled shindig that went on hiatus the year I was pregnant, and which I just haven't had the energy to reinstate since (do you know how much work it is to prep for 30 drunk folks to wield KNIVES in your house? Add to that the interior guts of a pumpkin and you get quite a messy party).

So naturally, I've been really excited to share my pumpkin love with Kate. However, I've watched that chick with a fork and there is NO WAY she is touching a carving knife. And all the little stick-on kits I've seen at craft stores are for kiddos three and up. And while pumpkin PAINTING could have been an option, last time we used paint I ended up washing her mouth out with soap.

So, you guys, I swear on everything holy I came up with a craft idea ALL ON MY OWN. Yeah. THIS gal. Who can't bake bread, sew a button or build a spooky cookie house. And I'm pretty proud of it. Below is a tutorial on how to make Blackboard Pumpkins -- a decorating treat for the pre-preschool set.

Head on over to your local craft store and pick up a couple fumpkins (fake pumpkins) and some chalkboard spray paint (maybe the coolest thing ever invented).  You could probably use real pumpkins, but these are so light that Kate has taken to toting her pumpkin everywhere she goes, which is cuter than her dragging a rotting gourd around with her throughout the month. And PS, I have a picture of the spray paint can, but it is ugly, and if you can't figure out what chalkboard spray paint is when it says it RIGHT THERE ON THE CAN... you shouldn't be working with flammable materials anyways.
Prop your pumpkins on something so that you can spray underneath. These mini clay pots I found in my garage worked gangbusters. 
And spray! Make sure to coat them fully and then put on a second coat after 24 hours to ensure chalkboardy goodness.
Let dry for 24 hours and then let the kiddo loose!
I don't have a picture of Kate looking at the camera, because as soon as she saw the pumpkins and chalk she said "OOOOO" and we lost her for a good 20 minutes.
The artist at work.
Deep concentration is needed here. When your toddler has the attention span of a gnat and she focuses on something for more than 2 minutes, I would call it a success. Blackboard Pumpkins? SUCCESS.