A child of the 70s, my first “bag” to carry treats in was a dime-store, bright orange, hard plastic bucket, shaped like a grinning Jack o’lantern. It was such a brilliant shade of orange it practically glowed!
The goal was always to fill that buck while trick or treating, hopefully filling it several times over (though in our small neighborhood that could only be done by changing costumes between go arounds, hoping the neighbors didn’t notice! My big brothers were pros!). Feeling it get weighed down with more candy after each house made my heart leap with joy. There wasn’t a prettier sight in the world than a plastic pumpkin bucket practically bursting with candy!
I would dream of those candy filled plastic pumpkins. It was like a Halloween heaven in my sleepy head. Trees were hung with plastic orange Jack o’lanterns. They would rain down candy when tossed by a chilly Autumn wind, and we could catch the candy in outspread little fingers. Each plastic Jack would glow from a magical fairy light within. I could even feel the russet leaves crunching under my feet. Could a child dream anything sweeter?
With a child now grown, I no longer need a plastic pumpkin bucket for Halloween night, though I do still fill quite a few from the huge copper cauldron full of candy we give out each year. But this year, I may bring out the plastic pumpkins once again. I think the three small trees in our front yard would be honored to have their branches filled with these hanging Jacks, each containing a small solar light to gather the suns rays and shine them out in the dark night, lighting the path of children to our door.
The best parts of childhood are meant to be relived, long after we’ve outgrown our Halloween costumes, don’t you think?
Tips & Tricks
This is the back, and then the front, of one of the little pumpkins. By using Size 12 Valdani thread, one creates smaller details more easily.
This is the back, and then the front of the tree trunk. Notice the way the variegated thread is punched vertically along the trunk the way bark would naturally grow, elongating the tree.
The grass is punched horizontally along the ground to visually separate this area from the tree. Using Size #12 Valdani thread allows a finer point on the blades of grass.
Valdani O561 Shimmering Denim is a lovely shade for a punched twilight sky, with soft shades of purple and denim blue. I outline each section first, then continue following this line around and around until the area is filled in. This creates a little motion in the sky, adding interested to your finished design. And see the brown wrapping around the Ultra Punch tool? The tool has been wrapped with Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Tape. The tape provides a foam cushion around the tool, allowing you to punch for longer periods of time without skin irritation from holding using the tool too long (yes, punch needle is addicting and you will find yourself punch needling for hours!)
Sometimes we all need a little “help” from our friends!
When you have finished punching the design, it’s time to trim the weavers cloth. Cut away all the extra, leaving a half-inch border around the design. Steam iron the half-inch border in towards the back of the design (If you have trouble folding the cloth over, make snips in the half-inch border from the outer edge almost to the loops. This will make it easier to fold the fabric inwards for ironing). Once ironed, the cut pieces around the edge should lay neatly, each piece slightly overlapping, on the back of the work, ready to be glued into place with acid-free fabric glue.