October 7, 2008

A little Fall crafty goodness.

I had 45 minutes all to myself this morning so I made monogrammed pumpkins for the girls. I posted photos when I made these last year too and got lots of questions about how to make them. I thought I'd save you the time and trouble of digging through my non-indexed archives to find the direction and instead just post the instructions here.

I bought Funkins this year. (Funkins are carvable fake pumpkins available at craft stores.) I'm not a fan of fake flowers, or fake anything for that matter, but since Funkins are good enough for Martha Stewart I decided they're good enough for me. Plus, they won't rot on the fireplace mantel and that alone is worth something. You can, of course, use real pumpkins or gourds instead of Funkins.

To begin, I printed out a single initial on my computer printer. I used Curlz font in 550 point for the orange pumpkins and American Typewriter in 300 point for the white pumpkins. You can use any font you want. I printed from Microsoft Word but it doesn't matter what software program you use as long as it will allow you to enlarge your font to a size appropriate to the size of your pumpkin.

For the white letters, I used the printed-out letter as a pattern and laid it on top of second piece of plain white printer paper and cut around it. For the brown letters I just printed the letter in brown ink jet ink. The brown actually looks gold with the Mod Podge over it and is much prettier than I expected. If you plan to Mod Podge over ink jet ink, you'll need to test your ink first by putting some Mod Podge on something you've printed to see if it runs.

You can also use any colored or patterned paper but it needs to be thin paper, not card stock.

I then painted Mod Podge on the pumpkin and carefully laid the cut-out letter on the side of the pumpkin. (A little tip here . . . sit the pumpkin on the counter and look at the counter, not the pumpkin, to get the letter level.) Then, using the brush and my finger, I smoothed down the letter. It is much easier to put the Mod Podge on the pumpkin than it is to try and put the Mod Podge on the back of the letter. Trust me on this. It's also easier to smooth the letter down if you put Mod Podge on top of the letter before you start pressing it down.

Once the letter was smoothly applied, I then painted more Mod Podge over the top of it and over the surface of the rest of the pumpkin excluding the stem. (You need to Mod Podge the whole pumpkin otherwise you'll have one shiny spot around the letter.)

Then I let the whole thing dry. It only takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

That's it! I completely finished these in less than 45 minutes and they look darn cute if I don't say so myself.

JoAnn's Fabrics and Hobby Lobby both have Funkins for 50% off right now so if you have one in your neighborhood they're on sale!

A couple other tips . . . it doesn't work well to apply more than one letter to the pumpkin -- at least it didn't work well for me. This is because it's hard to get the letters lined up because the surface of the pumpkin is curved.

Also, if you change your mind and need to remove a letter, wet the letter and remove it quickly. If you wait until it's dry, it will pull the paint off the Funkin. I'm sure you could remove the letter easily from a real pumpkin.

If you make one of these, I'd love to see it. Send me a picture!

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