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Jack o lanterns have been a tradition for a while but to me it's a classic piece of decor that cannot be forgotten. They are carved in all different ways now to make them look, creative, silly or spooky. Now don't stop reading now because you think i'm a weirdo person who does little halloween crafts. I'm into the brutal stuff but i still agree that scary jack o lanterns are where it's at.
I still do the classic style with triangle eyes and a jagged mouth. Cut out a hole from the top and drop in a battery powered flickering candle. Jack o lanterns can be brutal all depending on their presence. For example at my haunted hay ride i slam down a jagged looking jack o lantern on a stump in the pitch blackness. Thats all you can see from the ride for a few seconds and boy does it creep people out until they hear the rev of my chainsaw in the darkness.
Does anybody else have an easy jack o lantern design that is a bit off of the classic design while remaining spooky? Pics would be awesome!:)
 

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My sister carved me a Freddy Krueger Jack O'Lantern once. They also did, last year, a scarecrow in country getup, holding a whiskey bottle, and propped him up against a wall in sitting position. A drunk guy.
 

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Seer of All
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My go-to jack is the puking pumpkin. All the slime and seeds come out the mouth so no cleaning is required! I'm a lazy carver...
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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Carve celebrity jack O' Lanterns, famous Jacks from Halloween history, like;

The Jack drawn on the back of Charlie Browns head,
The Jack hurled by the Horseman in Disneys "Legend of Sleepy Hollow",
The Jack from the opening credits of "Halloween",
Any Jack from "Trick R' Treat",
Any Jack from "Nightmare Before Christmas" - the Scarecrow is especially popular,
The one-eyed Jack from "The Addams Family",...

These might be a good place to start.
 

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I complete agree that Jacks cannot be forgotten! Last year, I found that the best price on pumpkins was at Home Depot of all places! I always look for the best prices because I like to do lots of them. I'm pretty quick at it too. I can usually finish 3 or 4 in the time it takes my husband to get through his one. :) But I'm of the opinion that the simple, free-handed traditional jacks are much scarier. Although sometimes I get the pattern bug, and I'll use a paper pattern. Someone on the forums just a couple days ago told us all about Betty Crocker having patterns for the three monster cereals on it's website. I'll probably have to do those this year. :)
These are some of our jacks from last year:
jacks2010.jpg

I use these Pumpkin Strobes. I stocked up on them at WalMart a few years back, I think they were $2.50. And I also found a few at the 99 Cent Only store. But, I checked WalMart last week and now they have them in LED.
 

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Wild Fandango
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I use these Pumpkin Strobes. I stocked up on them at WalMart a few years back, I think they were $2.50. And I also found a few at the 99 Cent Only store. But, I checked WalMart last week and now they have them in LED.
If you mean those red "half cone" lights (about twice as thick as a standard "tap light" pumpkin light, you might want to buy one first and test it, or bring batteries and see if anyone's ripped one open already. About four years ago they had similar ones, one setting was color changing, the other was a swirling ring of red LEDs that gave a very good fire effect. The next year they were strobes. I bought one but the light was incredibly weak. I don't think they sold any and they weren't even worth buying for clearance! They've had them every year since then and I suspect it's still the stock from 2008 or so.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I just bought some of these Sylvania Dot-it Checkers at Big Lots. There were 2 in a pack for a $1. They stay on solid & also flash. They come in several colors, red, yellow, green, blue & purple all perfect Halloween colors. They have a sticky backing & a magnetic back too. I got the combo pack with yellow & green and a blue & yellow to try them out. I figured for a $1 if they don't work in the pumpkin I'd stick 'em around for power failures. They're surprisingly bright for such a little dot. I put one in a pumpkin from last year & it looks great. Plus you can mix colors & they're waterproof!! I'm going back next Sat. to visit the newly opened Spirit & since Big Lots is right next door I'm visiting there too & buying up all they have!!

http://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProducts/LifestyleSolutions/DOT-it®+Lights/DOT-itCheckers.htm

I've also used those pumpkin strobes & they look good too. Never had a problem with the ones I have but they aren't the LEDs. They're kinda heavy since they take C batteries, but that's good, keeps the 'kins from blowing away.

I've used these guys too, but they're a little more expensive. I keep a couple of these around the house anyway for emergencies & needed an extra light so I just tossed one in a pumpkin. One is next to my bed & I use it a lot. They're good to have around the house in general so when you're done with them in the 'kins you can stick 'em up for emergencies. But they are a little more expensive than other choices, but they are LEDs. If you need a bunch of them I don't recommend them, but they do have more than one purpose.

http://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProducts/LifestyleSolutions/DOT-it®+Lights/DOT-itClassic.htm
 

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Those sound really junky, Xane! :(

The ones I use are orange and they use big batteries (either C or D, I don't remember which). They only turn on or off, no choice of settings. And they all worked great for me. Actually they're even a little brighter than I would prefer. But I'd rather have them a little brighter than what you were describing. :)

The only iffy ones were from the 99 Only store. They use AA batteries and sometimes you come across one that doesn't work. But my 99 Only store was great and let me exchange until I got working ones.
 

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"They won't stay dead."
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I'm all for the jack o lanterns myself. I had 13 last year. I tell you carving all of those, minus 4 for my kids and husband, was a real chore. I love my JOL but I think I bit off more than I could chew last year.

I just went to the local orchard and bought a few...9 to be exact...aargh. I'm at it again. Well I couldn't help myself, we bought 2 beauties and then did the hayride they had. They stop in the pumpkin patch with the hayride and it was all you can carry pumpkins for 10.00, so I bought an additional 7!! lol


Here are my jacks from previous years.

boo-baby-albums-halloween-2010-picture67833-jacks-2010.jpg

boo-baby-albums-halloween-2010-picture67834-jacks-2010.jpg

boo-baby-albums-halloween-tidbits-picture48239-jack-o-lantern-few-years-back.jpg

boo-baby-albums-halloween-tidbits-picture48240-one-kind-resembles-big-bug.jpg

boo-baby-albums-halloween-tidbits-picture48230-i-saw-pumpkin-just-loved-knew-would-make-great-jo.jpg

Also I have seen this one before, very different and very creepy. Would really like to try this one, maybe this year.

drownedpumpkin.jpg
 

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Wild Fandango
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"The Pumpkin Light" "Jack O Lights" etc have always been my favorites to light up pumpkins as far as brightness goes:

http://www.jackolights.com/lighting.html

I always buy stacks of these when they go on sale or on clearance, I never seem to have too many, I use them for luminaries, pumpkins, the color changing ones I use in my portable light-up bar rack. I haven't found many uses for the strobe ones but one interesting effect is to use both the flame and the strobe one in one pumpkin. But I really wish I had bought more of the Walmart ones that have the red "demonic" fire effect of a chasing ring of red lights. I thought it was just a "safety flasher" mode for kids to carry but when you put it in a pumpkin it's a very neat effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Shannie-Boo, i like yours alot. especially the mouth on the big one. thats doable without a stencil but still cool looking. All these ideas are great but alot of these stencils are mad difficult.
 

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The Duke of Spook
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I grabbed this off the work bench to take some practice shots. He's not done yet (stem needs paint among a few other things), but he's kinda traditional/spooky:


 

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Reaper Guardian
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Totally agree, without a JOL, it isn't Halloween. I usually carve multiples - hit 2 dozen one year, but that was insane - carving from 7 am to 7 pm. Now, usually around 10 - some of which are just decoration, others used for the traditional purpose - scaring off malevolent spirits (can't be too careful).

I don't use patterns, sorry. Rarely even sketch guidelines onto the pumpkin. Just get a picture in my mind's eye, and start cutting away everything that doesn't fit the image. To light them, I've always gone old-school - candle - at least with the real pumpkins. (Foam is another story).

Usually buy my pumpkins from local farmers, when they have them. Several reasons for it, but I won't evangelize here. :) Have found that with just about every farmer I've dealt with, when they find out you're buying several (as opposed to the onesies and twosies they usually deal with), they're more inclined to cut you a deal - same with buying at the end of the 'season" - Oct 30 or 31, since on Nov 1 whatever's left over is just being fed to the livestock (as I've been told more than once).
 

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Evil Wizard
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Someone on the forums just a couple days ago told us all about Betty Crocker having patterns for the three monster cereals on it's website. I'll probably have to do those this year. :)
Thanks for the tip. Hadn't seen them before. Have downloaded them and, much like yourself, I'll probably have to carve them this year too. :)
 

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I do a lot of pumpkins every year. Last year was 31 of them, the majority being real, a few foamies. I've bought seven foam ones so far this year but, no real ones. I get most of my patterns from Zombie Pumpkins as I love the stuff there.
 
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