Sometimes it can be fun to work outside your usual crafting arena. It’s always good to include kids to expand their little minds (while taxing or losing yours). So I thought I’d do a Thanksgiving Craft Project with our 4 year old grandson.. Something we’d never done before. Something he’d like and be able to participate in. It would be colorful and messy but create a good memory for both of us. I wanted to use simple supplies; mostly items we already had on hand. The reason for this was to emphasize that it’s possible to scrape together a good craft without forking out lots of money for random parts and pieces you might not use in another project..ever. Sooo~ what we needed for our family get-together was a colorful Thanksgiving Craft project that would contribute to the dining room table for our meal together.
I chose to decorate a pumpkin. To really make it show up better, a white pumpkin would be preferable. So I began the hunt for the perfect small, white pumpkin. This was harder than I thought it should be. What I found were those little white (gourd) mini-pumpkins at the Farmer’s Market. This wouldn’t be enough surface to decorate for our Thanksgiving Craft Project. I really wanted something bigger than that. Then I found some heirloom-type “Ghost” pumpkins at a farm stand; but they were odd dimensions (flat ones or mis-shapen; what I call, “Oops”) and strangely colored (greenish/orange, brownish/cream, orange/grey). Finally, at Walmart I found an old-fashioned, round, clean, white pumpkin to use :)
Here are the supplies needed to decorate a white pumpkin (our grandson calls this list a “menu”):
one pumpkin; your choice of size, shape and color
assorted crayons (great for using those broken, odd leftover ones)
glue gun with glue stick
1~ glue crayon pieces to the top edge of pumpkin
2~ aim hair dryer at them til they melt/drip down
That’s it ! Simple, right ? Easy enough for a 4 year old. The perfect Thanksgiving Craft project.
Here is my helper, ready to go. We have covered the coffee table with white butcher paper (because you just never know..). We gathered our supplies and everything is in place to begin. (Yes, for safety reasons, he decided he needed to wear a fireman hat..)
Firstly, in order to glue crayons onto the crown of the pumpkin, they must be unwrapped from their paper labels. This set us back several minutes but allowed the glue gun to warm up nicely. Our grandson made neat little piles of shredded paper. On finding a sharpener in the crayon box, he decided to sharpen a few of the crayons before glue-ing..
Next, we glued pieces to the top of the pumpkin. No particular pattern; random colors and sizes, randomly placed. I applied glue and we took turns putting on crayons. Basically, make a puddle with glue, then hold a crayon in it til it sticks. Don’t worry; you won’t see the excess glue after the melting is done :)
Next step: turn on the hair dryer and point it at the crayons. HOWEVER: just a gentle warning, you probably want to remove the torn paper label bits and pieces of crayon sharpenings FIRST. We did not. When I pointed the hair dryer at the pumpkin, all the trash detritus was instantly blown off the table and under the couch. We had a chuckle over that. Good way to clear the table. Also, if you look carefully, you can see tiny splash spots (photo below). These were splattered off the pumpkin onto the table covering. It got messy quickly. Suggestion: either do this outside or place the pumpkin in a box at this stage of the project !
We placed the pumpkin in a box and continued with the hair dryer. It took a long time (maybe 15 minutes ?) to get these crayons to really melt ! Later I was told my hair dryer doesn’t get that hot :( But it’s still possible if you keep going..
Of course you could choose a narrower color scheme: Fall shades or just Orange and Black, etc. But I let our grandson pick colors he wanted to use and we carefully placed them to his preference. I love CoLoR so this was fine with me ! And here’s a few pics of the table decor…
I was happy with the process and our grandson was thrilled to create a
mess lovely decor item for the Thanksgiving meal. Would I do it again ? Yes ! I love working with kids and crafts; this was a good Thanksgiving craft project, even for a 4 year old. He loved doing every step. It was fun to see him recognize his finished project on the dining room table a couple days later.
Total Cost: $2 for the grocery store pumpkin.
Total Time: about an hour, start to finish (plus another 15 minutes sweeping crayon bits out from under the couch).
I’d love to see photos of your holiday projects ! You can email them to me at: Cheri@OodlesofPincushions.com
When I receive enough photos, I will feature them in Reader-enhanced blog post :)
~~~ Happy Crafting to You ~~~