Instead of Carving Your Pumpkin, Cover It In Googly Eyes

What’s scarier than an omnivoyant squash?

Spooping season is here, and if you’re like me you’re excited enough to make one small decoration. You’re not here to win any awards, but it’d be nice if your hands could manufacture a seasonal totem that you could catch out of the corner of your eye while moving through your home and say, “That’s the stuff.” Googly eyes are a really great supply for this level of commitment to the arts.

I learned this when, over the summer, I briefly experimented with having a tag. You know how teens have one signature graffito that they do over and over again? And when you see “jOsH” on a bus stop bench you recognize it from the jOsH on the dumpster outside CVS? I wanted my jOsH to be googly eyes. Nothing fancy. Just two, side by side, creating a face where there previously wasn’t one.

The first tag I did was on a sink at a bar. I turned the faucet into a lil elephant (some people said it looked like a human penis, but they were mistaken). The next couple I did were inside of the New York City subway system. The problem with all of them was the sticker-back was really tough to get off! And when you’re breaking the law for your art like I was, you need your movements to be swift and inconspicuous.

So I let the baggie of eyes sit at the bottom of my purse for months while I tried to think of the perfect place to stick all of them at once. It wasn’t until this week that it occurred to me: I could stick all of them onto one pumpkin!

For this craft, you will need:

  • 1 pumpkin (size your choice)
  • 1 bag of googly eyes (this is the one I got, but I bet there are better ones out there)

Step one is to peel one of the sticker-backs off and try to stick an eye onto the pumpkin. You will find, like I did, that the adhesive on the backs of the eyes is pretty useless within the context of this craft, so surprise! You will also need:

  • a hot glue gun or some strong/fast-drying crafting glue

If you do not have any in the house, you can try texting your roommate, who has lots of hot glue guns at her office. When she says she will bring one home for you, pop open a seltzer and watch an episode of television. Have you seen Fleabag yet? It’s good.

The sun may go down while you are waiting for your roommate to bring the glue gun home, which means the light in your house will become extremely ugly. Don’t worry! You can glue the eyes on the pumpkin under the cover of night and photograph the final product in the morning.

h/t your roommate’s glue gun

From there you just squeeze a lil dot of glue onto the back of each eye (no need to take the sticker off now) and pop it onto your canvas.

Some things to be aware of: like all of us, pumpkins are bumpy and irregular. A flat-backed googly eye may not lie flush to the skin just the way you want it to, which means that you’re going to have to compromise on some of the positioning and aesthetics while you’re executing your vision. Isn’t that nice to practice? Crafting is zen as hell.

I opted to do rings of like-sized eyes around the pumpkin, starting teeny and getting giant and then shrinking back down again, but you can put your eyes on there however you want to. Zig-zags, a 666. First thought is best thought tbh.

Now go to bed.

Good morning, sweetie.

When you wake up in the morning, the sun will be in the sky, and you will be able to take much better photos of your pumpkin in the natural light. Just look at it! Freaky and spooky and wrought from your own ideas! Sleeping before taking your pics has also given the glue time to dry and set, which is good.

You’ll probably need to be gentle while moving your little guy to where you’d like it to live for the rest of the month, but that’s good to practice, too. And now it’s done. You put some eyes on a seasonal vegetable in the name of all that is dark and evil and I really respect you for it.