Thursday, December 10, 2015

Did I Really Do That?

Sometimes you can really surprise yourself when your kid is really counting on it.  I don't really consider myself to be an artsy or creative type of person let alone have the patience to pull anything even remotely Pinterest worthy off.  But, I have to say, I actually accomplished something that I'm pretty damn proud of.

It all started with a picture that a few people posted on my Facebook timeline about a month or so before Halloween...

I can't seem to find who to give credit to for this picture, so if you know, please let me know so I can add it.
Anyway, Marshall saw the picture and, of course, thought it would be a super fantastic project for us to do.  I agreed but was secretly cringing on the inside and hoping he would forget about it.

Not long after, this picture was posted on my Facebook timeline...

Photo Credit:

Now this looked like something I might be able to do.  I even started to think about downloading some patterns from the Internet so I didn't have to draw their faces in freeform.  You can read all about this awesome project at  But, deep down inside, I was still hoping that Marshall forgot all about the combination of turtles and pumpkins.

No such luck.  When we went to pick out our pumpkins the first thing Marshall said was "We have to get a pumpkin for each turtle!".  He made sure to pick out four perfect pumpkins for his turtles.

I started to think that I still wanted to carve the pumpkins in some way so that we could still light them up on our front porch on Halloween night.  Which meant that I now had to figure out how to carve and create four ninja turtle pumpkins!

Now, you might be thinking all we needed was to buy some green paint.  WRONG!  I don't know if you have ever noticed, but each of the turtles is a different shade of green.  And now I'm really going to let my nerd flag fly here!  Leonardo is a normal shade of green.  However, Raphael is more of a dark kelly green, Donatello tends to look more of a green/gray color, and Michelangelo is closer to a green/yellow color.  Off to Michael's we go!  We ended up doing some mixing for both Michelangelo and Leonardo.

We also spent some time selecting the right pumpkin to be assigned to the right turtle.  A lot of thought went into this process because each turtle has his own look.  As the youngest, Michelangelo is also the smallest.  Donatello is tall and skinny.  Raphael is stocky.  And Leonardo is somewhere in between.

And we're ready to start mixing some colors and painting some pumpkins!  I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to some details so we ended up spending a good hour before I was satisfied with the mixture of color for Leonardo and Michelangelo.

Of course, Marshall lost interest about a quarter of the way into painting his first pumpkin so mom had to finish the rest.  After all four pumpkins were painted, we set them aside so they could dry overnight.  We did our initial painting the day before Halloween.  I would recommend starting at least two days before so that you have time to do a full second, and possibly a third, coat if necessary.  I had to put a second coat on all four pumpkins the next morning and would have liked to have been able to add a third but didn't have time.

Once the second coat was dry, my mom gutted out the insides and then turned them back over to me. Full on admission here... I've never carved a pumpkin before!  My mom has always handled all the carving.  So, using the masks that I order from Amazon as a pattern, I cut out the eyes.  For the mouths, I was planning on doing a different one for each turtle based on their personality, but I was now starting to run out of time.  So, I cut out a smile on Michelangelo, since he is the party dude and put sneers on the other three.  After I was done, I did have to do some touch ups as the paint had started to chip away where I was cutting.  My recommendation would be to carve out your pumpkins before you paint them.

By the way, while I was slaving over turtle pumpkins, this was happening in my backyard.  Typical boys...

Once my touch ups were dry, I tied on a mask for each turtle.  For those of you who don't know who is who Raphael is red, Donatello is purple, Leonardo is blue, and Michelangelo is orange.  To make sure the masks didn't slide up, I secured each mask to the pumpkin with a couple of thumbtacks in the back.

Instead of using candles, we used glowsticks to light the pumpkins.  The idea was to use glowstick that corresponded to each turtles mask color.  Well, turns out there was no red in the pack that I bought so we used yellow for Raphael.

And... presenting the finished product!  Not bad if I do say so myself.  Of course, I think I might have screwed myself for pumpkin carving going forward.  Marshall has already said he wants turtle pumpkins again next year.

Marshall was Donatello this year for Halloween.  Last year he was Michelangelo, who is his favorite turtle.  He has already said he wants to be Raphael next year.  I'm hoping he is still into the turtles for the next two years so I can get a Raphael and Leonardo Halloween picture for a whole set.

Now I'm thinking I want to try some more Pinterest projects!