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Pumpkin Totem Pole

by FigTree

It's a pumpkin monster!!!!
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Tired of the same old Halloween decorating? Put your Halloween heads together and create a cool Pumpkin Totem Poll!

It's Halloween and the pumpkins are ready to carve! This year, why not get jiggy with your jack-o-lanterns and make a pumpkin totem pole? Have everyone in your family carve a pumpkin (or two) then follow our directions to assemble a serious WOW factor to your neighborhood. Better yet host a pumpkin-carving party and invite all your friends and serve toasted cinnamon-sugar pumpkin seeds and hot chocolate to get the party started.

Here's how you make a pumpkin totem pole:

6 medium- to large-sized pumpkins 
1 dowel or wooden rod (approximately 6 feet long and 1-inch diameter) 
1 large lightweight pot or container (approximately 24 inches in diameter) 
Potting soil 
5 to 6 strings of tiny white lights 
Pumpkin Preserver 
Ivy for the hair (1 4-inch pot) 
Pumpkin Carving Kit 
Mini Pumpkins (to decorate around the base) 
Hand saw (to cut the dowel)

Here's what we did:

step one: Carve your pumpkins! Depending on how tall you want your totem pole to be, you'll need about 6 or 8 finished jack-o-lanterns. Our finished totem pole was about 6 feet tall. Spray the inside of your finished jack-o-lanterns with Pumpkin Preserver. This will keep your totem pole from looking like a pile of goo by Halloween night.

step two: Fill the container with something heavy to keep the dowel and the container stable. We put bricks in the bottom of the container and then packed a large bag of potting soil on top.

step three: Before inserting the dowel into the container, make sure it isn't too long. Lay your jack-o-lanterns on the ground in the order you plan to stack them. Lay the dowel down alongside the jack-o-lanterns to see if you need to cut it. The end of the dowel should stop in the center of the very top pumpkin.

step four: More carving! Carve holes in the bottom of each pumpkin. Be sure the hole isn't too big. The dowel should fit snuggly through the hole. Next, carve a fist-sized hole in the back of each pumpkin (you'll use this hole to insert the lights). 

step five: Stack your jacks! Poke the dowel through each pumpkin. Keep the pumpkins centered on top of each other. Top off your totem pole with a pot of ivy for hair. Put some minipumpkins around the base for decoration.

step six: Let there be light! To make our totem pole extra bright, we put one string of tiny white lights in each pumpkin. You can use one string of lights for every two pumpkins if you want.

Now give each other a high five and get ready for the ooh's and ahh's from everyone on your block!


pumpkin carving, fall, halloween, kids, kid project


This is super fun. I am all over this... nice to see a Halloween decorating idea that involves organic matter :-). Would a broom handle work for the pole part? <br/>
hamachi commented on 10/13/09
yes- a broom handle would work for sure if you have an old one lying around. almost put that in there... it's like you're reading my mind!
FigTree replied: on 10/13/09
This project is AWESOME!!!! In S FL, we have to carve the day or two before Halloween due to the heat, but I&#x27;m going to give this a try. What a GREAT idea!
Lily commented on 10/13/09
Thanks Lily! You always make me feel so good about my posts :)
FigTree replied: on 10/13/09