It’s always fun to get ready for Halloween. Whether you’re pumpkin-carving, or maybe making a costume to wear when trick-or-treating, Halloween gives us the chance to be creative (like we did with this Jack-O-Lantern stamp craft!).
Did you know that carving pumpkins didn’t become popular until the celebration of Halloween was brought to North America? Originally in Ireland, people carved lanterns out of turnips. Well, in America, of course, pumpkins were very easy to come by (not to mention easier to carve!), so the tradition evolved to include pumpkin carving.
Anyways, my boys were pretty excited for fall this year. Our neighbors had a pumpkin patch, and gave us pumpkins… so we have a very well decorated front porch. The leaves are coming down in droves, and there have been multiple requests for a leaf pile. And, of course, reminders that we need to carve pumpkins. Well, I wasn’t quite ready to carve pumpkins (we went overboard last year), but wanted to give the boys a chance to do something fun for Halloween.
So, we made Halloween cards! Well, they did. And I made a garland.
You probably have most of the supplies on hand for this craft, but here are some links in case (#afflinks)
- black construction paper
- orange paint (fittingly, this link is to “pumpkin orange” …but anything close will do!)
- white crayons (link is for a pack of 12)
- apples (from the grocery)
- painting smocks (the kids were not happy I couldn’t find ours!)
- plastic tablecloth (or cut up grocery bags)
- corn on the cob holders
- one hole punch
How to Make a Jack-o-Lantern Stamp From an Apple
While most of this craft is kid-friendly, the first step is going to depend on how old your child is, and how much you trust them to use a knife safely. So, most likely, you, the adult, will be doing this first step… after that, let the kids loose!
Cut the apple in half. Then carve out a chunk for the smile, and cut out two triangles for the eyes. If you want to get fancy and cut out teeth too, go for it. In my book, simpler is easier!
Use the Jack-O-Lantern Stamp to Make a Halloween Card
Next, put some paint out for the kids. I took a kitchen plate, covered it in a plastic grocery bag, and then put the pumpkin orange paint on top. This made for easy clean up, and allowed the kids to smear their apple stamps around to get full coverage.
Then, let them stamp to their heart’s content on the black construction paper with their thoroughly inked stamps. My kindergardener was able to do this all by himself, while my toddler needed help placing the stamp down so the paint didn’t smear. I didn’t think of this until after we were done with the project, but you could take a corn holder (for corn on the cob) and stick it in the skin side of the apple, creating a handle.
Oh well… hindsight is 20/20.
After the boys gleefully covered their paper cards with pumpkin stamps, I got out the white crayons. My toddler was uninterested in crayons, and moved onto another activity, but my kindergardener sounded out and wrote an entire greeting on his Halloween card. It’s so cute when kids start to learn to write… I love the phonetic spelling stage 🙂 🙂 …it’s so adorable! But, I admit, it’s sometimes hard to read. So, I did write a transcription of the message and tape it onto the card before we delivered it.
This craft took about 5 minutes for me to think up and prepare for the boys… and it occupied them for maybe a half hour. Your mileage may vary, depending on your child’s interest and age.
Use the Jack-O-Lantern Stamp Make a Halloween Garland
After the boys were done, I cut up some black construction paper into triangles and stamped them with the jack-o-lantern stamp.
Once the paint was dry, I punched holes in the corners and then had my older boy thread yarn through the holes so we could hang it up.
Voila! Fun and easy decorations for my front door!
Use Your Imagination!
I am sure there are a million other ways you could use this cute jack-o-lantern stamp…
Do you have any other ideas for an extension activity based on this project? Think of something else you could stamp with an apple Jack-o-lantern stamp? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!