“Tack”ful Pumpkins

Pumpkin FaceI LOVE the fall.  I Love the beautiful autumn leaves, and the nip in the air.  I also LOVE the harvest: First, corn and berries, then peaches, cherries, and apples and then… FINALLY. The pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies and bread…. I’ll take one or all of those anytime.  HOWEVER, with that said I will mention that I have a little love/hate relationship with the beloved Halloween punkin’.  All that searching through fields, or bin digging and grocery store aisle seeking, looking for the perfect pumpkins.  Picking them out and lugging them home for the carving.  The kids love it.  Music playing, happy chatter, smiles and laughing. Newspaper covers the table as you dive into the stringy insides and remove the seeds. Very Norman Rockwell.  Next, you put your pumpkins on your porch with the a pride that could only be grander if you had raised your pumpkin from a seedling.  Creativity was on steroids as everyone carved away at their masterpiece.  And so you arrange a magazine worthy photo-op on your porch. Everything is perfect. Halloween can begin…..but then 5 unseasonably warm days later, that beautiful front porch of yours is making fruit flies and organic baby food all over your steps. OR somebody kicks one, rolls it a bit and you’ve got the snow shovel out for the wrong reason.  No thanks.

Tack Spiders

This year why not try something new and fun?  Your pumpkins will last longer with no mold. It’s Easy Peasy.  Think Mr. Potato Head with cooler, scarier parts. All you need is a glue gun, thumb tacks (small or large) eyeballs, spiders, little mice, fangs or bats. Anything fun you can think of. Simply glue the objects to the thumbtacks and poke them in. Your pumpkins won’t go moldy, and you can change them around and reuse them every year, adding fun new finds. Tack with Decorations If you’re in charge of the class party, this is easy and very inexpensive. The Dollar stores and party stores will have tons of items and you can use whatever you can find. Go after Halloween and buy the clearance to keep for next year. Creations are endless Happy Halloween! Make it a “tacky” one this year!  They’re bootiful!

DIY Easter Egg Piñata

 

Easter Egg Pinata

Want to make the easiest Easter Egg piñata ever? Our family makes a piñata  for Easter that’s so cinchy you could make one tonight.  One trip to the grocery store and you’re set. You only need a punchball, some decorative napkins and liquid starch.  (You’ll also need a few minutes, for the parade thrown in your honor)!

Blow up the punchball and tie it in a knot. Put it in a bowl so it doesn’t roll away.  Place the bowl and punchball on a cookie sheet or tray to catch the drips.  If you’re doing this as a family project, you could do it outside, but it’s not a hard clean up. Pour some liquid starch in a pie plate or large shallow bowl. Open the napkins and dip them in the starch and begin laying them all over the ball. You can start the piñata with plain paper towels and use the decorated napkins for the last layer or two. You’ll need about four or five layers of napkins.

When you’ve finished one side, flip the punchball over and do the other side.  Rest assured your kiddies will slap on some big balls and clumps.  Just keep smoothing them up a little. The last few layers will cover a multitude of  lumps. You can’t really mess it up too much.

The piñata  will take 24-36 hours to dry depending on the thickness. Flip the piñata over every once in a while so it will dry evenly.

When your piñata is dry, pop the balloon and cut a small “U” shaped flap at the top.  This opening should be just big enough to fill the piñata.  Make  two pencil sized holes across from each other roughly four inches from the top.  Thread a small rope through the two holes and tie them together to help keep the flap closed.  ( If you have the time, you could cover the seam with a few more napkins and starch.)  Leave enough spare rope to hang it.

If you have a large group, use a pool noodle for your first round of  “whacks” so everyone gets a chance.  We advise putting your treats in individual baggies with a few loose candies. You know as well as we do, that the older kids at a party will mow a three-year old over faster than you can slap a tick!

Have fun!