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Charlotte Melia, founder of party planners Dazzle and Fizz, shows us an alternative to pumpkin carving...

While Halloween tradition has it that we adorn our porches with carved pumpkins containing melting candles to cast an eerie glow over Trick or Treaters, the reality of pumpkin carving with kids is a lot of mess for a disappointing result.

I’m also not terribly comfortable with placing naked flames around children, especially when they’re wearing floaty costumes. With this in mind, this year we have decided to ‘Pimp our Pumpkins’ instead. Here are some top tips for decorating your Halloween pumpkin.

1. How to prepare your Halloween pumpkin

Your pumpkin display will look the best if you use a variety of different shapes and sizes. Most supermarkets have a great selection of pumpkins, but if you are looking for some really unique pieces, try a farmers’ market instead. Next, buy a selection of spray paints in your chosen colour palette. Hobbycraft usually has a good selection. Some glitter, a slim paint brush and PVA glue is also recommended if you want to make Pimp-Kins [see point 3].  If you’re a slave to the grid, then pastels look great on Instagram, but we love metallic tones at Halloween, as they look dark and spooky, but have a contemporary twist.

2. Painting your pumpkin

Once you have selected your pumpkins and paints, you will need to find a well-ventilated area to do your spraying. Lay down plenty of newspaper and it’s advisable to wear a dust mask, especially if you are crafting with your children. Hold the can 20-30cm away from the pumpkin and spray evenly over the entire surface using a fluid and smooth motion. Pumpkins are not very porous, so one good layer of paint usually does the trick. Allow the pumpkins to dry overnight.


3. Pimp Your Pumpkins aka 'Pimp-kins'

Once your pumpkins [or Pimp-Kins at this stage] are dry, now comes the fun part! Using your PVA glue, paint a selection of patterns and phrases on your pimp-kins that will delight your Halloween party guests. Here are some suggestions;

Creep it real
Trick or Treat
If you’ve got it, haunt it

Then cover your glue-phrases in tons of glitter (make sure you still have your newspaper down as otherwise you’ll be picking glitter out of your carpet for eternity.) Leave to dry for 2-3 hours and voila, you have successfully pimped your pumpkin! If you are short on time, new to crafting, or simply more of a minimalist kind of stylist, you can miss out this point  altogether and your pumpkins will still look awesome in block colours.

4. How to display your pumpkin

I recently met a lovely blogger at a networking event who said that she wanted more styling suggestions for people who live in flats and apartments, as so many Halloween decoration ideas are for porches and driveways, neither of which she had. Well, your wish is my command fair blogger - as there are infinite number of destinations that your Pimp-kins can reside! Mantelpieces, cupboards, dining tables and kitchen counter tops all look fabulous with the Pimp-kin, and they also make an amazing party centrepiece when stacked with height. If you would like to make a statement Pimp-kin stack, you will also need a selection of crates (you can usually pick these up from a local greengrocer) and we recommend covering your crates with burlap, hessian, or similar material, for a really professional finish.

:: Visit the Dazzle & Fizz shop for more Halloween party ideas and gorgeous party decorations.