A couple of years ago I heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project; the goal being a fun and safe Halloween for all children, including those with food allergies. The idea is simple enough, paint a pumpkin teal and place it on your front porch to let children and parents know you have non-food treats available for trick-or-treaters.
For our household though, Halloween is a stressful time. Not only am I embarrassing our fur-babies by making them wear costumes, but the constant stream of strangers coming to the front door is just too much for our protective border collie. So I had to find a way to participate in the project without making our dogs think the zombies really were coming to eat our brains.
I found some plastic jack-o-lantern trick-or-treat buckets at a local thrift store. What I liked about this find, was the three colors: traditional orange, purple, and green. Then I went to the hardware store and bought spray shellac (love this stuff), teal spray paint (for plastic), and teal spray glitter. A stop for rubber balloons and I was ready to go.
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I blew up the balloons inside the buckets to act as a barrier so that the shellac, paint, and glitter would not get inside. Because my tape was not adhering properly, I did not mask off the facial features. But I will paint those back in later – easy. Then laying out some cardboard as a sacrificial surface, I lightly layered the teal paint over the green pumpkin. I liked using the green as a base color; I feel the orange would have contrasted too much.
While that dried, I applied a quick coat of shellac to the purple pumpkin. It dries so quickly and makes an excellent base coat for painting surfaces where you aren’t sure the paint will stick. Or in this case, the glitter. Once that was dry, I covered the purple pumpkin in the teal glitter. I also applied a light coat to the now teal pumpkin just for fun.
Both pumpkins were sealed with the shellac. Again, I love this product so much. Once all of that had cured, I painted in the eyes, noses, and mouths.
So this year for Halloween, I will leave all three jack-o-lantern buckets outside at the end of the driveway (hopefully this keeps the doorbell quiet for the evening): the orange holding the chocolate, gluten, and peanut laced candy; the purple and glitter will have only sugar based candy; and the teal pumpkin will have a variety of small toys like bubbles, little ninja figures, dinosaurs, and spider rings. I will also be including a sign explaining the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Every child should have a safe and fun Halloween!
See all of our diy Halloween projects on Create Whimsy.