Halloween is big in my neck of the woods. There are more than a half-dozen pick-your-own pumpkin places within 30 minutes of my house. There are two decently famous haunted houses, several ghost tours, and a few corn mazes. We even used to have the option to ride around in a Humvee and shoot zombies (read: high school kids who landed the coolest part-time job ever) with paintball guns.
That means we host a lot of guests this time of year. Our friends love to come up from the city for a weekend full of some quality fall-like activities. While I wish I had the time (and the resources) to get our house to rival the haunted ones we go to, my decorating usually stops with a skeleton sitting in a rocking chair on the porch and some purposefully placed pumpkins.
Last year, though, I did take my pumpkin game a step further: I turned one of them into a wine dispenser. It went over super well, and I fully plan on doing it again this year. Here's how I did it.
What You'll Need
- Box of wine (red, preferably)
- Medium- to large-sized pumpkin
- Serrated knife
- Spoon or a ladle (optional)
- Round cookie cutter and mallet (optional)
- Spray paint or acrylic craft paint
- Stick-on letters (optional)
- Get the wine ready: Open the cardboard box and remove the wine bag. Use this opportunity to hold the bag in your hands and double check to make sure the bag will fit inside your pumpkin.
- Draw a line around the top of your pumpkin: Use a marker to draw a circle around the stem of the pumpkin. Make this circle as big as possible to make sure the bag of wine will fit through it. I like to add a small notch to the circle so that the lid always lines up correctly.
- Cut along that line: Follow the line with a serrated knife. Make your cuts at an angle, so that the lid doesn't fall into the pumpkin.
- Empty the pumpkin: Use your hands, a spoon, a soup ladle (whatever you have!) to scoop out all the guts from the inside of the pumpkin. Don't forget to get the gunk off the lid to the pumpkin, too. Save the seeds to roast them later.
- Cut a hole for the wine's spout: Figure out which part of the pumpkin you want to use as the front of the dispenser and decide where you think the spout will sit. (This project is very forgiving and you can manipulate the bag to get the spout just right, so don't worry too much about that.) We used a round cookie cutter and a mallet to hammer out the hole, but you can also use a knife (just draw out your circle before you start cutting).
- Paint the pumpkin: Put the lid on the pumpkin and paint it. I used spray paint but we didn't have access to the outside during our professional shoot so we used acrylic craft paint. You can paint the stem or leave it alone. Let the pumpkin dry.
- Add a message: Who doesn't love a cheeky saying? Think Halloween-y ("Hallo-wine," or "Here for the Boos") or make it more fall-centric and you can steal this idea for Thanksgiving. Or skip this step entirely. It's up to you!
- Add the wine: Open the pumpkin and add the bag of wine, spout-first. Then, pull the spout through the hole in the bottom and get it into position.
- Put it on display: Sit your pumpkin on a little pedestal (a small tree stump or a cake stand, for example). This way, it's easier for guests to get their cups under the spout.
- I used these stick-on letters from Meri Meri because they were glittery. And who doesn't love glitter?
Styling: Brigitt Earley