We’ve recently launched a new Craft Project with Diana Ching who will set a series of creative projects every Thursday on our website and social media to give you ideas of things you can work on at home to build your own piece of art over a period of weeks.
This week’s project is called: Pretty Pumpkins!
So we’re into October (where has this year gone, anyone know?) and it’s a sort of in-between month. Not as pleasantly mellow as September, nor as chilly and dark as it will be when the clocks go back. What kind of craft project can we tie in to this time of year…?
Well, it’s Halloween at the end of the month so let’s join in the fun for a week or two and start the theme with some nice simple drawing and colouring.
Pumpkins are one of the iconic images that we see everywhere in October. Often used as decorations, we can use their glorious orangey hues to cheer us up (orange is known to be a mood-lifter) and spur us on creatively. Here are a couple of ideas for you to try (nice for children too).
1 – Pretty Pumpkins
Draw a pumpkin shape, not too small, on a piece of paper (watercolour if you have it). Practise on scrap paper perhaps to get the shape right, but it doesn’t have to be exact by any means. Mine is a bit like a wonky apple! When you’ve drawn the outline, sketch in “segments” inside the shape to give that recognisable pumpkin look.
If you have paints, lay a light wash of yellowy orange all over the shape. It’s nice if the colours aren’t 100% mixed together so you get some different tones.
When that’s dry, add more colour to the segments – maybe deeper shades of yellow and orange on their own this time, but whatever you like. Let that paint dry, then add some kind of pattern inside the shapes using sharp colouring pencils, felt-tips or a ballpoint pen. Simple doodles are fine. You can go to town and make all the segments different, or keep things more subtle and stick to one pattern only. This sort of doodling is similar to something called Zentangle – repeated small patterns within a shape – and is known to have a calming, meditative effect.
If you don’t have paints to colour in the main shape, coloured pencils/crayons or pastels are just as good. You can also use paper collage to decorate the segments (look for orangey patterned pictures in magazines) instead of doodles if you prefer.
These are really fun to do and you can use your work as decorations… how about making several pumpkins, cutting them out and stringing them together to hang around your window or door? They’d be sure to raise a smile from people passing by!
If you have sewing equipment and a stash of scrap fabrics, you can get the same effect. Use a piece of orange cotton for the basic shape and stitch it onto a plain background. Find some scraps of brightly coloured patterned fabric for the segments and secure them in place with a zigzag stitch if you have a machine, or buttonhole/blanket stitch if you’re working by hand. Add a few sequins and you have a very funky little pumpkin!
2 – The Pumpkin Tree
A cute idea – draw a simple tree shape with lots of bare branches. There are lots of images online to work from if you get stuck, but it doesn’t have to be at all realistic. Charcoal is good for this, but an ordinary pencil will do fine.
Then take an orange pencil or felt tip, or orange paint, and add lots of little pumpkins to the tree – hanging off some branches, sitting on others, however you like. Add a few at the base of the tree too. Add to the drawing as much as you like – a little squirrel is cute. That’s it, done!
I’m sure there will be other ideas you can think of to be creative with the humble pumpkin. Don’t take it too seriously, experiment and enjoy!
Don’t forget to share pictures of your creations with us so we can admire them! If you’re happy for MFT to share them on social media too to inspire others to take part, email them to Connie Ridout, Communications Lead at MFT, at firstname.lastname@example.org