Using 11 Common Household Objects to Decorate Your Pumpkin

We've all carved a pumpkin using standard kitchen knives and a big spoon, but everyone knows specialty tools are the way to go if you want to create a more impressive masterpiece. But you don't have to buy a fancy pumpkin carving set just to make something you're proud of. In fact, you can create something wonderful with things you already have inside your home -and some of these ideas will make the process fly by in no time too.

Drills

Powertools and pumpkins are a match made in heaven. In fact, fitting a drill with a pumpkin gutter attachment is by far the easiest way to clean out your Jack-O-Lantern prior to carving. But your drill can do a lot more than clean your pumpkin for you. It's also a great way to carve your pumpkin in no time. Just select your bits and drill through the pumpkin flesh for even-sized holes throughout the Jack-O-Lantern.

Images by Jason Alley and Patrick Buechner

Christmas Lights

Using a drill to add in small holes to your pumpkin can also give you a great way to light up your pumpkin as Martha Stewart demonstrates with her Celestial Pumpkins. Just string your Christmas lights through the inside of the Jack-O-Lantern, letting a little light pop through each tiny hole.

Apple Corer

Like a drill, an apple corer can be used to punch even-sized holes through your pumpkin. While this manual tool takes a lot more elbow grease, it provides one major advantage -you can keep the pieces you pop out of the pumpkin. This gives you the opportunity to reuse those cool pumpkin plugs for all new purposes -like these polka dot pumpkins featured on Meaningful Mama.

Melon Ballers

Unlike a drill or apple corer, a melon baller won't go all the way through your pumpkin's flesh, making it a great option for putting nice round holes just in the outside of your squash. Like the apple corer, this technique also leaves you with perfect pumpkin pieces that can be reused for a fun effect -like the playful monster eyes seen on Woman's Day.

Peanut Butter

In this case, the peanut butter itself isn't going to do much to your pumpkin, but if you live in an area with raccoons, squirrels and/or mice, it can be a great way to get a critter to do all the work for you. Just put a few guide holes for your fluffy friends using a drill and then fill the holes with peanut butter. Leave your pumpkin in a critter-filled piece of your property and come back in a day or two to find your "self-carved" pumpkin filled with nibbled holes. You can even guide the progress by adding more peanut butter in places you'd like to see chewed on more.

Cookie Cutter

Want good, exact shapes in your pumpkin, but have a hard time carving evenly? Then grab some metal cookie cutters and a plastic mallet and get whacking! That's right, you can use cookie cutters to cut exact holes through your pumpkin. Modern Parent Messy Kids shows how simple the process is and how great the results can be.

Potato Peeler

(Video Link)

This video shows that a little potato peeler can go a long way when it comes to carving your pumpkin. It's a perfect tool for more detailed creations as you can shave off just a little of the flesh at a time, giving you a quick way to remove just enough skin.

Dremel

If you can't get enough from your power tools, try adding a dremel into your carving routine. The different tips are a great way to carve, shape and smooth your detailed pumpkin piece. If you want to practice doing more artistic creations that don't pierce all the way through the skin, the dremel is a perfect tool for the job as Simply Designing demonstrates.

Foam Insulation

Even a pretty basic pumpkin carving can look ten times cooler when you add a little bit of brains to the mix. Just spray expanding foam insulation into the cavity, letting it expand out the top into beautiful, bulging brain shapes. Remember, it will continue expanding as it dries (as these Extreme Pumpkins images show), so don't fill it up too high on the top.

Spaghetti

Want your Jack-O-Lantern to have some kooky hair to match his crazy face like this one from Southern Living? Then poke (or drill) some tiny holes into the top of his head, then boil some water. Dip spaghetti halfway into the boiling water for a few seconds until it starts to get bendy and then poke the uncooked half into the holes in his skull. Who knew a pumpkin could have such luscious locks?

Bleach

If you'd like to minimize mold growth on your pumpkin, bleach is a great way to go. As My Science Project points out, it will cause a little rot, so you should flip the pumpkin over and let it drain before setting it out on the porch. Also, Pumpkin Fresh (a commercial pumpkin protector) will let your pumpkin last even longer than bleach, but if you don't want to buy a specialty product intended for only one purpose, bleach is probably your optimal solution.

Looking for a few more fun decorating ideas? These terrifying tactics can leave visiting monsters running the other way, these interior ideas are sure to put the "boo" in your booutiful dinner party and if you're running out of time, you can still try these last minute tricks and treats.


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The Future of Travel Might Be Smart Luggage

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Whether or not you've ever lost a bag while traveling, you almost certainly have heard horror stories of travelers arriving at their destination without any of their essentials. As if that weren't bad enough, airline baggage fees make checking bags even more frustrating. Unfortunately, sometimes it's hard to avoid checking bags because your suitcase is too heavy.

The new Bluesmart luggage system combines the power of technology with luggage so you can travel more securely and more efficiently. The bag has a built-in scale so you can ensure you never exceed carry-on weight no matter what airline you fly with. 

And that's not the only benefit of the Bluesmart. It also features a TSA-approved master key lock. The sensor can also tell you if your bag leaves a pre-determined radius so you know if someone else accidentally grabs your bag and stay secure if you do end up having to check your bag. The tech-friendly suitcase features three layers of polycarbonate and anodized aluminum that will protect laptops, phones and tablets, and a great flap design makes storing laptops and tablets simple -and TSA checkpoints a lot quicker and simpler.

The Bluetooth connectivity app is available for iOS and Android. Worried your phone might die during the flight? Don't worry, the bag features a built-in battery pack that can charge up to two devices at once.

The bag is also equipped with a handle and wheels so you can pull and push your bag everywhere you need to go without worrying about the spokeless wheels. You can pre-purchase your own for $235 at Indiegogo in advance of the July 2015 release.

Via Design Milk


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The New Dyson Humidifier Seeks To Clean Your Air While Adding Moisture

Winter is known for being particuarly dry and for being the peak season for colds and flus. A humidifier can help both conditions, but the devices are also ripe sources for bacterial growth -putting people with dry skin, dried out nostrils and the sick with a dangerously high chance of catching an infection. 

Dyson, who has already revolutionized the vacuum game is now introducing a new take on the humidifier, by adding in a UV sanitizing light that kills 99.9% of all bacteria in the water before it is added to the air. The inventor says his device is the first humidifier to use UV technology to kill bacteria before it is circulated into the air, making it the most hygenic design on the market. 

"The problem with current humidifiers are that they harbour nasty bacteria which when the machine is turned on, is then blown around the room," Dyson said. "Experts say it’s actually more dangerous to breathe in this bacteria than drink it!"

The Dyson humidifier can hold an impressive three liters, so you will no won't need to refill it constantly like many other humidifiers. The machine can run 18 hours without a refill and even has a built-in sleep timer so you can save electricity when you aren't using it.

A humidity and temperature guage can automatically adjust the humidification level, but the device also has a manual control that can be operated with a remote control. The humidity can even be turned all the way off, allowing the humidifier to operate like a traditional fan, so it can be used year round.

The humidifier was released to the Japanese market yesterday and will be introduced to the UK next year. No release date has been announced for the US as of yet.

Via Dezeen


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MFRMGR Makes Cubicles That Feel Cozy

There are very few people in this world who actually enjoy cubicles. They are all at once too public and too closed in. They make us feel shut off from co-workers while still feeling like we have no privacy. Worst of all, even when we cover the walls and desks with mementos, nick knacks and photos, the cubicle still feels cold and soulless. But MFRMGR just might change all that with the brilliant cubicle designs they created for Warsaw-based company Decerto.

Decerto wanted their employees to have personal spaces that didn't feel cold and closed off like traditional cubicles, hoping that something a little homely could result in increased productivity. To achieve these goals, MFRMGR created mini-cabins that stretch to the ceiling, providing ample privacy for workers. At the same time, the cubicles are fitted with windows so workers can look out and see what's going on around them, enjoy natural light, converse with those passing by and even store toys and plants on their windowsills. 

The exterior of the cabins is covered in plaster and paint to further sell the illusion and the walls are covered in mirrors to make the entire space seem like a full village with streets and houses galore.

Inside, the wood-lined cabins are fitted with carpet, shelves and even closets to make them feel even more homely. 

Via Dezeen


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This Penguin Can Make Your Swiffer Fun

Few of us actually enjoy chores, but if you use a Swiffer or other floor wipe, this adorable little accessory can make cleaning the floor a little more cheerful. The plush penguin doesn't just look cute, it also helps store extra pads and other cleaning supplies in his playful belly.

If you're absolutely in love with the critter but don't use a Swiffer-style cleaner, you can also use the penguin to cover your tissue box cover -though then you'll miss getting to see him slide on his belly along your floor while you clean.

Designed and sold by Japanese retailer Felissimo, the cute cover can be yours for only $33 -plus international shipping charges. The penguin is only one of the many precious household products available in Felissimo's You + More line that also includes great animal items like this cuddly bear pillow, this adorable lap heater and this bedding set that lets you pretend to be a panda in the circus while you sleep. 

Via Design Taxi


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Alex de Witte's Beautiful Bubble Lights

For all those kids that just couldn't take their eyes off the floating, wobbling bubbles, these lights are a great way to enjoy that sensation as an adult. The Bubble Lights by Alex de Witte are a whimsicle, fun way to light up your space. 

His original set, called The Big Bubble, was only available in clear glass and sizes from 35 to 41 inches. His more recent version, The Big Bubble Coloured Edition is the same size, but available in a fun array of colors. All of the suspended childhood treasures are made from hand blown glass. 

The clever creations have won first place for best product at Design District Amsterdam 2013, The Design Plus award 2014 and the Red Dot design award 2014.

Via Design Milk


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This Black Glass House Serves As A Mirror to Its Surroundings

This house in Redberry Grove, London was only completed earlier this year, but you can get it for yourself over on The Modern House. Located on a quiet street overlooking a protected forested area, the house is clad in opaque black glass, which allows it to dramatically reflect its stunning natural surroundings. 

Architect Ian McChesney designed the four-bedroom home and the surrounding greenery so they would work well with one another. The landscape features two mature, rare Turkey Oaks that provide large, warm contrasts to the cool, reflective exterior of the home.

The living room features high ceilings and full-height windows on three sides, ensuring residents have an incredible view as well as ample natural lighting. On those cool winter days, the silver wood-burning stove provides warmth as well as it provides a beautiful centerpiece in the room throughout the year. Of course, with under-floor heating throughout the home, you won't need to rely on a fire to keep your toes warm.

The kitchen is divided from the living room with double sliding pocket doors that allow for an open-floor plan when you want it and a separate space when you need it. This system allows for an incredible entertaining space, especially when you take into account the large, pond-side terrace accessed directly from the dining area. 

An oak staircase lit from above and lined with glass along the sides leads the way to the second story and the living quarters, each of which features a brilliant view of the woodlands outside.

The property is green inside and out -receiving a four star sustainability rating for its impressive energy efficiency.

Via Design Milk


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20+ Ways to Decorate Your Table For A Halloween Dinner Party

We already covered how to make your house the scariest on the block, but if you're having people over for a spooky dinner party you need to consider how to decorate the interior as well. These centerpieces and place settings are a great way to set the holiday spirit without making your guests lose their appetites.

Deranged Centerpiece

If you're looking for something that's sort of pretty but still pretty creepy, look no further than this Martha Stewart how-to. A black vase with white roses crawling with critters is an eye-catching display that will shock and awe your guests. For a little color, you could even add a few bloody paint splatters to the roses before adding your creepy crawlies.

A Mossy Grave

When you want to go for an organic dead look, a few plastic bones, white pumpkins and Spanish moss can create a beautiful, but eerie centerpiece as Gwen Moss demonstrates.

Jar of Bones

Love the look of Gwen Moss' centerpiece but hate having it spill out over the table? Then contain the moss, bones and pumpkins in a glass vase like Simply Just Lovely has here.

Carved Mini Pumpkins

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The Spookiest Chair This Side of Halloweentown

We've already showed you how to create a creepy household for Halloween, but if you're one of those people who celebrates the holiday all year, this Coppelius chair is a great place to spook up your space.

Unlike the skull chair we previously featured, this cool and creepy accent piece is subtle, inviting visitors to sit down and relax on its warm wooden seat. It's only when the chair is perfectly lit from the back that you notice the imposing silhouette of a snarling monster.

Yaara Derkel of the Bazelel Academy of Arts and Design strove to incorporate feelings of familiarity and comfort in a design that also reflects our fear of the dark and unknown. The decision to use a wooden chair to express these dueling emotions was a good one, given that wooden chairs are so common we often take their styling for granted -making it easier for her to sneak in the hidden monsterous shadow without raising suspicion in the viewer.

In fact, the creepy silhouette is so subtle, it possible someone could own the chair for years without ever actually observing the intentionally dark figure hidden in the design.

Via Like Cool


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The Ukraine Apartment With Living Walls

One of the biggest drawbacks of apartment living is the disconnect from nature. Few apartments provide residents with a yard or growins space of their own and many lack vegetation alltogeter. But this apartment in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine brings the outside in with green living walls lining the kitchen and living room area.

Designed by SVOYA Studio, the light-filled apartment contrasts the vertical gardens with floor to ceiling wooden boards lining the room across from the greenery. Designers took inspiration from the apartment's views of the River Dnipro as they strove to create a comfortable space that combines modern and vintage decor.

Despite the apartment's obvious city setting, the wood and greenery make the apartment feel like a relaxing, natural setting -a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle outside.

The bedrooms feature simple, design with minimal color use, ensuring they are relaxing spaces while still making residents long for the more comfortable, natural setting in the common areas.

Via Design Milk


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