I’m going to be totally honest with y’all today. Well, I always am but today might not be the pretty kind of honest. I’m sharing how to make these adorable black and white pumpkins that go with the whole books and pages theme I have going on at my house for fall.
They are messy to make, but that isn’t the ugly part of this post. The truth is I am struggling sharing this silly little DIY with you. I have been in a funk. My main thoughts have been what does it matter? What does it matter that my house is all cute and cozy for fall? Who cares if I can make a precious pumpkin for a dollar? Wouldn’t life just be easier if I didn’t share all this stuff on a blog? What difference does this little space even make?
I’d like to tell you I have a good answer to these questions circling around my head like flies. But I don’t. I don’t have scripture to throw out that will miraculously make me feel better. My questions are deeper than they sound and they seem never ending. The headlines are laden with teachers having inappropriate relationships with students, stealing innocence, war and refugees, murder, shootings and don’t even get me started on the presidential election at hand. All the heaviness weighs on me.
Normally I would tell you that God is in control and he wins in the end…and he does, that hasn’t changed and it won’t. But today I just feel a little lonely and sad. I see our world getting busier and busier, having less time for people, less time for real relationships. More time for screens and self. This feeling isn’t totally new to me, I think it’s part of why I’ve always been drawn to old stuff. Tangible pieces of the past when neighbors raised each others kids, community was strong and the streets at least felt a little safer.
My life is full and blessed beyond measure, but I can’t help feeling the way I do. I suspect there are many others like me out there, maybe reading this right now. Others that want to make a difference. Others that want to know they are not alone. Do you feel scared to step forward, do you feel tired of putting yourself out there to only get hurt, do you feel like nobody would miss the little things you do if you didn’t do them anymore? I love this space, I know God called me to it and I don’t think he has called me out of it yet. I just don’t want to be another distraction behind a screen. Another person who’s life seems picture perfect, there is already enough of that to go around. I need this space as a source of accountability, a place to get the ideas out of my head and share my thoughts. Not because they are anything educated or praiseworthy but because I simply won’t process thoughts and scripture and truths without an outlet and timeline to go by. Plus I feel called to share the gospel.
For one of the first times in my life I feel like I am working so hard towards a goal, but I don’t know what that goal is. I always have a goal. But today, I don’t have eyes locked on a path. I have no idea what the future holds or what I even want it to hold. That’s a brand new place for me. While we never are really in control I have always felt a sense of direction. I suspect this is right where God wants me. To just move one day at a time and let him do the rest. So I am doing my best to put one foot in front of the other and have faith there is solid ground waiting under each step. I trust the Lord.
There are no mistakes in the gifts and desires God placed deep inside you and me friend. He uses it all for good, even silly pumpkin DIY’s. Sometimes that is a hard truth to remember and recognize. Like I said, it’s a current struggle for me. Maybe God forced (seriously, I did not want to hit send) me to share this with you today to encourage you, I hope so. It would certainly bring purpose to these pumpkins! I know it encouraged me to share. I hope you will leave this space and know God sees you and wants you to walk one day at a time, trusting him to use you and your struggles for his good. We all walk through season when the devil’s words suffocate us and the only way to pass through the valley is to focus on truth. I’m here with you, reminding us both to stay focused.
Now here are the details you really came for…
This little pumpkin was really fun to make. I asked my kids if they wanted to help and only my six year old took me up on the offer. I loved doing this project with him. And it goes to show you, I always like simple projects – if my six year old can do it so can you!
Black & White Pumpkin Supply List
Newspaper (or book pages)
Cheap pumpkins with a good shape
Dark wax or brown acrylic paint
Stick (from your yard!)
Here is where it gets messy, we used our hands, but you could use a sponge brush. This is also why my son thought this project rocked. Pour some Mod Podge in a cup and smear it on the pumpkin. Next, piece by piece add the newspaper strips, rubbing more Mod Podge on top as you go. It’s a sticky gooey mess, just like life! It’s ok if there are wrinkles and small parts not covered.
Some of the headlines from our paper were less than appealing, but I slathered them on too. We will take care of those next.
Next dry brush (by this I mean don’t completely saturate your brush in paint, just use a little bit of paint and lightly brush it on) some white paint on the headlines you don’t like and on the “high” parts of the pumpkin. Use your dark wax or brown paint and lightly graze over the “low” spots, like the creases and around the stem area. This gives your pumpkin depth and life! Now poke the stick into the top of your pumpkin, leave it tattered and torn. You have the cutest black and white pumpkin ever!