It's 2016 and the jack-o-lantern of the past just won't cut it. Gone are the days of triangle-shaped eyes and toothy smiles. Today, pumpkin carving and decorating has grown to new heights. Artistic designs and intricate carvings dominate the scene. You can even enter local contests, showing off your carving skills. But hey, not everyone's artistic or good with a paring knife, so here are some fun ways to put your own stamp on a Halloween pumpkin (or pineapple).
Halloween tends to be a black-and-orange affair, but if you gravitate toward cheery color, this melted-crayon, no-carve pumpkin is just the decoration to brighten up your corner. Place the pumpkin on a trash bag to minimize mess. Apply vertical swaths of tacky glue (craft store, about $2) near the pumpkin stem, radiating outward; when it's sticky enough, place crayon pieces on the glue, also radiating out. When they are secure, the fun begins: Use a hairdryer to gently melt the crayons and direct the drips downward; let dry. You can try a rainbow effect or go for a blend of your favorite hues, but handle carefully after it's dry to keep drips intact. - Martha Lynch
The big trend in jack-o-lanterns this year? A tropical pineapple carved with spunk. This refreshing update to the normal pumpkin lineup adds sass with a simple carving process. Just slice off the top, remove the insides (this may require the use of a specialized tool, or some very crafty skills) and carve out the facial features. Next, add a candle or light inside and replace the "hair" (the leaves of the pineapple) back on top to complete the look. - Michelle Dederko
Masking your emotions
It's so simple it's genius. Whether you're feeling happy, sad, shocked or a little uneasy give your pumpkin some personality with an emoji mask, available at emojimasks.com. A medium-sized pumpkin is all you'll need for this one. Just attach the mask and you're done. Genius. - Liz Bowen and Anthony Tarantino
For pumpkins that are reflective of your grown-up sophistication try a metallic paint. For total coverage of the pumpkin, the best option is spray paint. Stop by a local hardware or craft store and pick up a can of Krylon, Rust-oleum or any other multi-surface spray paint. Try silver, brass, rose gold or a variety of other shiny colors for a chic decoration. Another method (which is pictured) to try is hand painting the pumpkin with acrylic craft paint. While the later process lets you control the paint coverage (let some of the natural colors of the pumpkin come through for a bit of an antique look), be warned that this type of paint doesn't adhere strongly, so be careful not to bump it after paint dries. - Leslie Hackett
Draw it with chalk
Try coating your pumpkin in chalkboard paint. All you'll need is the paint, a paintbrush and chalk. Make sure to paint the pumpkin several times. It can be difficult to get the paint to stick, but be persistent. When you think you're done painting, give it one more coat. Now here's the fun part. Let your creative-side loose and draw away. And if you make a boo-boo, that's OK, just wipe it away with a wet cloth and give it another shot.- Anthony Tarantino
So not everything goes with orange. Give your pumpkin a coat of white paint for a clean canvas. Acrylic paints allow you to add your own personality, from a checkerboard pattern, to stripes or freehand drawing a scary monster. Again, be careful - as with the metallic pumpkins the paint can peel. While it may get a bit frustrating, stick with it. You will be pleasantly surprised when it's all said and done. - Anthony Tarantino
Traditional pumpkin carving
If Halloween just isn't complete with the pumpkin guts and detailed carving, there's still room for that as well. Back by popular demand it's The Pearl's pumpkin carving contest. Grab your pals and gals and put your creativity to the test. The top three pumpkin carvers will walk away with some groovy goods.
When: Check-in at 8 p.m. Oct. 25.
Where: The Pearl Hotel, 1410 Rosecrans St., Point Loma
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org (space is limited)
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