Try this scarily sweet pumpkin craft

Combine a nature scavenge with pumpkin carving to make an alternative Halloween scene

Go on a nature trail to gather bits of moss, twigs, conkers, stones and leaves
Go on a nature trail to gather bits of moss, twigs, conkers, stones and leaves
Carve a window into your pumpkin and scoop out the insides
Carve a window into your pumpkin and scoop out the insides
Now it's the fun bit! Moss and rosemary make for a great, sturdy base
Now it's the fun bit! Moss and rosemary make for a great, sturdy base
Raid your toy boxes or local cake decorating shop for cake toppers, which make perfect props for your scene
Raid your toy boxes or local cake decorating shop for cake toppers, which make perfect props for your scene
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Go on a nature trail to gather bits of moss, twigs, conkers, stones and leaves
Go on a nature trail to gather bits of moss, twigs, conkers, stones and leaves
Carve a window into your pumpkin and scoop out the insides
Carve a window into your pumpkin and scoop out the insides
Now it's the fun bit! Moss and rosemary make for a great, sturdy base
Now it's the fun bit! Moss and rosemary make for a great, sturdy base
Raid your toy boxes or local cake decorating shop for cake toppers, which make perfect props for your scene
Raid your toy boxes or local cake decorating shop for cake toppers, which make perfect props for your scene

Who doesn’t love a good nature trail, scavenging in the garden or when you head to the park? Do you fill your pockets with bits of moss, twigs, conkers, stones and leaves and carry them home like precious cargo? Children love creating cardboard box forests from collected treasures, so this year why not combine it with Halloween and try out an alternative to pumpkin carving?

Here I’ll show you how to make a secret woodland in a pumpkin cave, for some little creatures to play in. It’s a wonderful way to get small minds creating and the scavenger hunt for all your woodland materials can be as much fun as the decorating itself.

Step one
Take a pumpkin and a felt tip pen and draw a rectangular window shape. Using a serrated knife and a grown-up pair of hands, cut out the window shape. Don’t worry if you cut a little off-line; use a damp cloth to wipe away any felt tip.

Step two
Empty the seeds and loose flesh from your pumpkin. Let the children help and get messy pulling all the pumpkin’s hairy insides out! Rinse your pumpkin with water and pat the inside dry with paper towels.

Step three
Now you can start creating. Rosemary and creeping foliage make great bases for your woodland, and herbs give off a lovely scent too. Moss is perfect to balance your figures or toy animals in. Raid your toy boxes or local cake decorating shop for cake toppers, which make perfect props for your autumn woodland. Plastic horses, birds and maybe a reindeer or two would look very at home in this pumpkin shelter.

Add colour with dried flowers and pop on a window ledge or in the hallway for everyone to admire. The herbs will keep the pumpkin smelling sweeter for longer, meaning your creation has a shelf-life beyond October 31! You could add shredded paper and make a bird’s nest or even fake snow for a wintrier feel?

The only limit to this fun craft is your imagination. Enjoy!

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Lucy Heath

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Lucy Heath