Independence Day weekend has passed, and July and August picnic season is still in full swing.
However, autumn-loving folks are already getting geared up for what they say is now officially the “next big observance” of the year: Halloween!
Events like Midsummer Scream and other haunt and horror conventions are getting people’s scare juices flowing, and the spooky fun of All Hallows’ Eve is sneaking onto the retail show floors.
If you’re one of those looking for an excuse to get into the haunts and harvest mood but are still enjoying the summer fun, here’s a little summer (or “Summerween” to steal a word from the toon Gravity Falls) picnic centerpiece idea to please your Halloween sensibilities.
There are just three steps to it, all of which are easy for all levels of crafters.
First, you need a summer Jack-O-lantern. This calls for a summer picnic staple: watermelon. It’s as simple as carving a pumpkin, only you get to enjoy the sweet watermelon you carve along with it. Simply carve a very basic Jack-O-Lantern face in a hollowed-out watermelon rind. The only big difference is watermelons are more likely to roll than pumpkins. Slice the bottom off as well, so it will sit flat on the table.
If you want to get more advanced, the site Zombie Pumpkins has some great and creative summer carving patterns for sale. For younger crafters, sometimes simple is best.
Next, make a Summerween lei. Those cheap fake flower leis are everywhere during the summer months, and you might already have a couple still laying around from parties or parades. Spray the lei with some black, purple, and/or orange paint, and glue on some fake plastic bugs, snakes and lizards, or other creepy crawlies that make themselves at home in both the summer and fall.
Finally, give it a small “monster” surfboard. Find a piece of corrugated cardboard, and cut out a simple surfboard, about 12″ long. Next, cut the board up into a few pieces, and paint each piece a different color. You can do different patterns, both summer and Halloween, or add some stickers or magazine cutouts. Once finished, use a large craft needle and some black or brown yarn or cord to sew them back together, Frankenstein style.
I first saw this surfboard idea in a full-sized display for Universal Studios in Orlando, and a miniature version just seemed to fit with our display. It even had a “shark bite” cut out of it, that is a perfect addition if you want to take it further.
Once all three steps are done, it is time to put them together. This is just a matter of placing one or more leis around the base of the Jack-O-Lantern and leaning the surfboard up against it.
There you go, ready for your spooky luau or summer bash. These are simple enough to make more than one if you are planning a larger gathering like a birthday or anniversary for a Halloween or monster-loving friend celebrating in the summer months.
Of course, this is a fun idea for an actual Halloween party during the fall, if you love that summer surf feeling all year round.
Hey, Christmas in July is always great, so why not try out some Summerween fun to go with it?