Monday, October 31, 2016

Teal Pumpkin Project: Well, Color My Pumpkin!!

Halloween has quickly become a favorite holiday for me, though it has always been the top holiday for my husband. As a child, my family didn't celebrate Halloween as part of our faith-based beliefs so I knew what it was like, to a degree, to not be able to celebrate this holiday. Followers of The Teacup Cottage have seen a variety of projects over the years that we did for gifts and decor, but last year after the holiday I was introduced to The Teal Pumpkin Project, a movement that was created to help children with food allergies celebrate this exciting holiday.

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Their website explains:
Every child should be able to experience the joy and tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween. But kids with food allergies are often left out of the fun, since most candy is off limits.

FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project helps make sure all children will come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy. It just takes one simple act: offering non-food treats, such as glow sticks or small toys, as an alternative to candy.
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I can't imagine as a mother how stressful this must be for parents, so this year as I added Halloween candy to my weekly grocery list (starting in September), I also looked for fun, non-food items for those who can't eat the sweet treats.

Last month I also diligently bought two Styrofoam pumpkins and some teal paint. I was ready ...

But when I woke this morning and made a list of all the last minute things I had to to before the festivities started I looked over at the craft table and realized I forgot to paint the pumpkins this past weekend! Where is the craft fairy when you need her!?!

So in between sweeping and mopping and running errands, I painted up these two festive gourds. (I also fixed the eyeball on the mummy candy bowl.)

The pumpkins were from Dollar Tree and cost $2. The paint was $1 or so at the craft store, but I already has these from a previous project. So less than $5 for the whole project.

First I painted the pumpkins with the craft paint. Now let's just take a minute right here for a brief safety message. When I started painting the Styrofoam pumpkins I noticed a really bad smell as I brushed the paint on, but when I stopped, it dissipated. Not wanting to pass out or get a HUGE migraine, I relocated this project to the back porch and worked on top of the recycling container while my dog watched me with a mixture of curiosity and "I think she's finally lost her mind". I am sensitive to smells, but keep that in mind, especially if your kids are helping.

So the first layer of paint was the teal paint. It was really a dark color and the matte finish that showed up as it dried wasn't making it any prettier. I let it dry for about an hour or so before adding a second coat. Since I didn't like how dark the pumpkins were, for the second coat, I added the teal to white paint (more white than teal) and mixed until it was blended but still has some interesting streaks and variations.

The  I sort of "dry brushed" the paint over the first coat letting the brush strokes and color variations show. You care really see the difference.

Then I let them dry another hour or so before bringing them into the house, although there was not weird odor during the second coat application.

They look a little more blue and lighter than in reality in the photo, but you get the idea. The plan is to stick them on stakes at the edge of our walkway tonight, so they can be seen from the sidewalk. Our front door is behind and archway and there are bushes that will block them from being seen.

Once their job is done tonight, they will probably take up residence in my studio because they are absolutely adorable. I want to add glitter to the stems, though I need to get some Mod Podge or craft glue to seal it so there isn't glitter on all my projects from her until eternity (yes, that is how long glitter floats around places you don't want it).

You can learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project by visiting their website.

Until our next cup of tea ...

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