Anyone can carve a jack-o-lantern! Show your pumpkin passion with these eight weird ideas...
1. Break a record
Use your pumpkin to be a Guinness World Record holder! Perhaps you can beat the fastest time to carve a jack-o-lantern (16.47 seconds), the farthest distance to fire a pumpkin (1,690.24 m) – or the fastest 100m paddled in a pumpkin (2 minutes 0.3 seconds).
2. Make a necklace
One for those blessed with patience, this crafty activity makes use of pumpkin seeds. First, scoop out the seeds from your pumpkin, then roast them. Once they’ve cooled, paint them in whatever colours you like. Then, thread a needle and, placing each seed on a sponge, gently press the needle through the seed and push it back along the thread – and repeat until you have your colourful piece of jewellery.
3. Put it on your face
These autumnal orange berries (yes, that’s right) are loaded with vitamins A, E and C – as well as oodles of beta-carotene, zinc, potassium and antioxidants – and are great for the skin. Make a pumpkin face mask by pureeing up cooked pumpkin. Mix 2tbsp of it with 1/2tsp of honey and a splash of milk, smooth it onto your face and chill out for 20 minutes before rinsing off.
4. Drink it
Surprisingly, there are plenty of tempting-sounding pumpkin cocktail recipes available online – try combining flavoured vodka (ginger or vanilla would work well) and honey with pumpkin puree for a novel Halloween tipple.
5. Make it into dog food
Many pups seem to love pumpkin, and its high fibre and water content makes it great for helping to treat both constipation and diarrhea. Try adding a couple of teaspoons of pureed pumpkin (with no added sugar or spices) to Rover’s food to help keep him regular. Porky pooches can also benefit from substituting part of their meal with pureed pumpkin to aid weight loss. (Always call your vet if symptoms persist).
6. Feed the birds
Take a hollowed-out pumpkin and fill with lots of tasty treats for feathered visitors. Make a few holes and thread twine through the pumpkin’s sides before hanging it up in a quiet spot in the garden.
7. Make a pumpkin pinata
A messy but fun party game, definitely best played outside. Fill your hollow pumpkin with sweets and choccies and hang it from a tree in your garden using some twine threaded through the sides. Then get blindfolded guests to try to smash it open with a bat.
8. Plant some flowers in it
Complete the circle of life and return your hollowed-out pumpkin to the earth in the form of a plant pot. Simply fill with compost and tuck in your chosen plants – it’ll look lovely for a few days as a garden decoration, after which you can plant the whole thing in the garden. The pumpkin will decompose and provide nutrients and protection to the plants growing inside.