It is hard to find Autumn / Halloween activities for adults, particularly those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, that are easy but not too juvenile. However, the Glitter Pumpkin is almost magical (and also an impressive seasonal decoration or gift). It is obviously a project that requires some supervision….particularly with the glitter application….but it is simple to do and a wonderful activity for grandchildren to participate in along with Grandpa or Grandma.
Surprisingly, the men in my “senior crafters” group enjoyed this just as much as the ladies. At first, I told the guys that their job was to apply the glue and that the ladies would do the glitter (thinking that glitter was a gender thing….strictly for the women)…..but the guys insisted on sprinkling on their own glitter and were very proud of the finished product. VERY IMPORTANT....PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH THE GLITTER AS YOU DON’T WANT IT TO GET IN ANYONE’S EYES! I did the glitter myself for some people and just let them watch. Applying the glue is the step that takes the bulk of the time. It takes roughly a half hour for a medium to large pumpkin. Some of my lower functioning folks were given a very small pumpkin and were supervised even for the glue part.
It is a great time to reminisce about growing or carving pumpkins during their younger days! The pumpkin with it’s bright orange color is very familiar to all and generally represents happy times.
- YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING SUPPLIES:
- PUMPKINS (any size/ Make sure the skin is not punctured at all to avoid premature rotting.)
- LARGE PLASTIC BIN OR OTHER CONTAINER: Line it with paper so that you can pour the excess glitter back into the jar and the glue that inevitably comes off of the pumpkin can just be discarded with the paper. It will save you a lot of time and effort.
- FOAM BRUSHES 1″ size is good
- ELMER”S WASHABLE GLUE
- CUP or small bowl for glue
- GLITTER (I used non-toxic Orange, Gold, Black, Royal and got the larger 8 oz. size for multiple pumpkins.)
VERY IMPORTANT : Get the larger granuals, NOT the very fine glitter.
- POLYURETHANE SPRAY (I used Krylon Gloss, about $6.00 for a can)
Spray on several coats.
- FALL LEAVES OR RIBBON to be used as a finishing touch around the stem
- HOT GLUE GUN to secure the leaves or ribbon around the pumpkin stem
- FOAM BRUSHES 1″ size is good
1. Wash and dry pumpkin AGAIN, I MUST EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOOSING A PUMPKIN WITHOUT HOLES OR GOUGES IN THE SKIN. THE ROTTING PROCESSCAN HAPPEN VERY QUICKLY AND CREATE A MESS AND VERY UNPLEASANT SMELL. ALSO, PUT A PLATE UNDERNEATH THE FINISHED PROJECT TO BE EXTRA SAFE IF PLACED ON FURNITURE OR WOOD SURFACE.
3. Sprinkle on glitter making sure to cover all the glue. (No need to do the underside.) (Use the SMALL HOLES for sprinkling rather than the bigger opening on the cap to avoid too much glitter coming out at once.)
—-You can add more glue and glitter over top of what you had first applied if you missed some spots with the first application.
4. Let glittered pumpkin dry and then spray with polyurethane to make sure that glitter stays on the pumpkin. SPRAY PUMPKINS OUTSIDE AND DO THIS WITHOUT HELP FROM YOUR SENIOR CRAFTER FOR SAFETY REASONS.
NOTE: After the polyurethane, your pumpkin should last several weeks providing that you haven’t punctured the skin in any way.
5. Use the hot glue gun to add some artificial fall leaves or a ribbon if desired