I hate throwing away stuff. I even feel bad about throwing away real trash, because at some point, i feel certain that i’ll see some awesome craft on Pinterest that requires whatever random thing i’ve just thrown out. I had several clean cans that i saved from canned goods for various projects, such as the lanterns we made for our Paul Revere lesson. But since fall is here (at least in western New York it is), i had an idea for a Halloween craft that makes use of some of those cans.
Supplies per finished pumpkin:
- 1 Empty, clean can
- Yarn in orange, green, and maybe black
- Black felt or fabric (we used an old shirt)
Disclaimer: This project can be a bit messy.
Start by taping the end of a length of yarn to the bottom of your can. For a regular-sized can, i would recommend about 12′-15′ of yarn – give or take. Perhaps that’s a lot. I’ll be utterly honest, i didn’t measure. I pulled out a pile for each kid, cut, and moved forward. You can always cut off what you don’t need or add more if you have to. Or just work directly from the skein of yard so you don’t waste. It’s up to you. At any rate, tape the end of the yarn to the bottom of the can.
Apply some glue to the bottom of the can. Not enough to make it drippy and make sure you start above the metal lip. Now, slowly wrap the yarn around the bottom of the can, working your way to the top. Apply glue as needed and keep the string taut. If you’re using a ribbed can, you’ll find that the yard automatically works its way into the grooves, which is fine, but it leaves gaps where the metal shows through. Once you get to the top, just start going back down the can to fill in the gaps. Tap the end of the yarn to the bottom of the can to hold it in place until the glue dries.
If you’re feeling exceptionally adventurous, you can try to add a single row of green to the top on the rim, but i’m warning you, it’s not easy. I did this on one can before realizing how difficult it was to make it stay on the rim. Next, we attached wire to the pumpkin. Just slide the wire under about two rows of orange yarn, then twist close to the can. Next, wrap green yarn around the wire. We pulled the green yarn under the top two rows of orange like we did with the wire, so that we were working with one solid piece of green yarn. Secure the green yarn at the end of the wire just by wrapping the wire tightly around the end of yarn.
Next, i had the kids draw four different jack-o-lantern faces on a piece of paper, so they knew what they’d like before they began cutting. They chose their favorite face and cut it out of the fabric. Unfortunately, we lose our fabric scissors, so this part was painful. Tyler, 4, made a girl with long lashes and her tongue sticking out (far left). Allison, 8, made a face with its tongue sticking up (middle). Annie, 11, made an XD smiley (you know, with it’s eyes squeezed shut and smiling) with it’s tongue sticking out. My kids apparently like to have their tongues sticking out.
I would recommend this project for older kids, ages 7 and up. My four-year-old didn’t do anything but design the face and glue on the pieces. He had trouble getting the yarn around the can, especially with the sticky glue all over, but my eight-year-old had no problems at all. You can use the cans to hold kitchen utensils on your counter or pencils in your office. Or even put a vase inside and show off those fall flowers. Have fun!