Hand Stitched No Carve Pumpkins

Embroidered hand stitched pumpkins no-carve

I can’t believe that summer is already quickly coming to a close and that fall is almost here. That means it’s almost pumpkin time. As a Michaels Maker each year I get a chance to come up with a unique craft pumpkin and I must have been feeling a little embroidery deprived because all I wanted to do was stitch this year. So here’s the project I came up with: hand stitched / embroidered pumpkins. A mix between candlewicking/embroidery…

Embroidered pumpkins no-carve pumpkin ideas

…and cross-stitching:

cross stitched pumpkin

I love the Michaels craft pumpkins because they can be re-used year after year. The first thing you have to do it just cut the top off…and there is no mess inside to clean out:


I used charcoal and pencil to sketch out a quick design. If you mess up the easiest way to clean off the drawing is with a damp magic eraser.


You can easily hand punch your holes with a sharp object like a skewer or a small flat head screw driver but I recommend a household drill to get the job done quickly and more precise:

no carve pumpkin ideas

Here is my first design…all the holes drilled:


I took a thick black yarn and an embroidery needle and began to stitch my design. I recommend using smaller lengths of yarn than larger and just re-thread often:

embroidering a pumpkin

This was the first one I made and I love the way the garland turned out:


I learned this stitch when I was about 5 years old…so no excuses about not being able to sew:


halloween decor ideas

This easy hand drawn vine design took about 10 minutes to stitch:

fall wedding decor ideas

It provides a balanced contrast of simplicity next to the busier pumpkin:


And the cat…Boo loves this one:

outdoor fall decor ideas

I used a hot knife to cut slits into the side of the pumpkin starting at the top opening to hold the ears. The cat ears are just pieces of black card stock cut into curved triangles:


I love the monochromatic look:

creative pumpkin decorating ideas cute no carve pumpkin decorating ideas no carve halloween pumpkins cat no carve pumpkin decorating ideas halloween cross stitch pumpkin needlework pumpkin unique pumpkin decorating jack o lantern


To kick off fall in your own home, visit Michaels.com and check out the variety of craft pumpkins available – there is every color, shape and size you could ever want!

Just a bit more information from Michaels stores:

  • There are tons of ways to DIY your own craft pumpkin for your home, a party or even as a gift.
  • If you’re looking for something a little bit different, Michaels recently started selling these fun half pumpkins, perfect for fall décor wall mounts and fun signs.


Also, if you’re in need of more fall décor inspiration be sure to look at the 49 other DIY pumpkin projects from the rest of the Michaels Makers – they are fabulous:

And here are a few ideas from past years:

A Pumpkin House Number


Sharpie Owl Pumpkins


Frida K-Owl-O Pumpkins

I was so excited when Better Homes and Gardens asked me to ship my Sharpie Pumpkins to them a few months ago for a photo shoot. But then a lot of time went by and I completely forgot about it…until last Sunday when I was at the grocery store getting ready to check out there was my little “sugar skull” owl pumpkin right on the front cover:


Of course I bought it. The girl at the checkout line must have thought I was crazy…or that I LIVE for pumpkin decorating. I’ll never get used to seeing things I’ve made featured somewhere…it’s like a Christmas morning feeling when someone likes something you made and wants to share it with the world.

P.S. The owl might look familiar to some of you…it was inspired by a screen print I drew for a limited edition dress a few years ago (back when I had the clothing line.) I called her Frida K-owl-o:

Beautiful photography by Linda Pelk.

I made a handful of the pumpkins, a whole parliament of owls (full tutorial here):


The owl pumpkin on the cover:

Decorating a chalkboard paint pumpkin with sharpie

The word for a gathering of owls is “parliament”…where did that come from? You can also say a “wisdom of owls”…did that come before or after the saying “wise as an owl”?

creative pumpkin decorating ideas - owl pumpkin

I’m finishing up this year’s pumpkins that I do each year in collaboration with Michaels Stores. Soon to be revealed. I love the challenge of having to come up with something unique each year.

Here is some awesome owl footage for you:


The World Is Run By People Who Show Up

It’s our first Halloween in Bryson City. I’m not really a Halloween person…I don’t think I’ve dressed up since like 8th grade?  I don’t care for Freddie Kruger, ever since he chased me home one night at dusk (I swear he was behind me, but I couldn’t confirm it because I was in crazy-panic-run). Growing up my mom would never let us wear scary costumes. My dad was always dressed up as Moses with the Ten Commandments to greet the neighborhood kids.  Our church banned witches, zombies and skeletons.

Since moving to Bryson City we’ve been going to the Grove Church. Our pastor, Jeff, asked if we’d help out with the Halloween event that they hold each year for the community.  My first thought was: ugh, Halloween, no way.  But instead my fingers texted back: Would love to help! That’s right up my alley.

I had no idea what I was in for.  I was thinking a few pumpkins, hotdogs, churchy people….instead I found myself in the middle of an event on the scale of Broadway. And this year’s theme? Wizard of Oz.



Nothing wrong with Wizard of Oz right?  Except that it’s on the bottom of my list of movies I would choose to watch. I had nightmares for years when I was little about the Wicked Witch. Once she stole my baby sister out of her crib as I watched…one night she stabbed my dad with a sword while he tried to fix the TV.  That Wicked Witch was sealed in my mind. I’m not exaggerating…here’s a page from my journal years ago. Obviously she still haunts me:

And then yesterday, when I asked what I could do to help, the first thing I was assigned:

Could you set up the melted witch with the caution tape?


Really? This event was planned to torture me right?

And as people started to show up I felt myself getting increasingly anxious:

Who would let their kid wear that scary costume? How is dressing up as Freddy Kruger fun? Wait, is it legal to carry a toy gun?

These were many of the reasons I’d been given growing up as to why I shouldn’t be a fan of Halloween. But as I looked around I realized that I should be a fan of Halloween. Why? Because Halloween is community.  It’s the one holiday where people actually come out of their homes. The one holiday where people open their doors to people they don’t know in large numbers and hand them gifts.  I saw my daughter and her new friends walking down the street thanking shop owners for candy. I saw business owners, politicians, and law enforcement mingling among the community and at one point Boo was yelling hello to a deputy she knew across the street. I told a man dressed up as a Cherokee Indian that he would win the costume contest and he told me he had just come from work: the Cherokee Indian Reservation. But he was really nice and thanked me for noticing how well dressed he was.

And Jeff posted this article this morning by one of my favorite authors Shauna Niequist and it summed up exactly how I was feeling after last night:

Sometimes love asks you to change.

It’s so easy to love people who like all the same things you do—who never listen to music that makes you cringe, or who believe all the same things you believe. But love sometimes asks you to lay down your preferences, and dive into someone else’s world for a little while.

Sometimes that world is full of fake spiders.

Sometimes it’s the ballet or country music or Russian novels. Sometimes it’s staying quiet when you want to talk, sometimes it’s giving space when you want to rush in. Love asks what’s best for the person you love, not what’s best or most convenient to you.

Yes, sometimes the world is full of fake spiders. And fake pooling witches.  And big green gates with green glitter as a welcome mat. Here was our church opening up (green) doors to anyone who wished to come in…no strings attached. No rules. No judgement. Just community:


We jumped right in wearing our LoveBryson shirts.  Boo even decided to dress up as a “church volunteer” instead of her butterfly costume. LoveBryson was started by The Grove Church as a way to give back to Bryson City and the surrounding community. It’s a community service-based group that works with established organizations in the area when specific needs come up.  LoveBryson also pioneers its own efforts to make a difference in the community, everything from supplying firewood in the winter, school backpack drives and even installing much needed wheelchair ramps.


And yesterday The Grove Church served close to 1,800 hotdogs to the community:


Sometimes all you have to do is show up.


And make room for others to show up too.  They threw us newbies right in:


I think more people showed up downtown than actually live in all of Bryson City:


Barry from The Filling Station handing out candy:


Debbie (green vest) from Fern Studios and Gallery handing out candy:


Donno from Higher Ground Tattoo:


A few kiddos from The Grove:


The real deal:


I was asked to be one of the judges in the costume contest and this little bag lady won in the 2-11 years old category. She was awesome:


And at Riverfront Park where “Oz” was located people had a chance to play games and recharge.


The director of Boo’s school sent out a newsletter today and it ended with: The world is run by people who SHOW UP! 

I’m not quite ready to show up as the Good Witch of the North yet, and I don’t have to…because there are people like Beth:


And Mary (as Dorothy):


And Rachel:


And Erin and Jeff (lion). Jeff drew and painted the huge “Oz” backdrop for the stage:


I love when leaders think big, like this guy, pastor, Jeff:

A sneak peak behind the scenes of all the prep work that went into the event:


And the result…community:










When I heard Brene Brown speak 2 years ago at The Summit I wrote this down word for word:

The #1 barrier to belonging? Fitting in. 

Make a space for people to show up and be seen, not for who they should be….but for who they are. 

We can’t set it up so that there are check boxes for showing up. 



How to Make Butterfly Wings from T-Shirts

How to make butterfly wings for kids costume using 2 large t-shirts #halloween #butterfly

This month as a Michaels Maker I was challenged to come up with a DIY Halloween costume. I asked Boo what she wanted to be and she gave me an answer that we summed up to be something like a phantom butterfly:

Phantom Butterfly Costume with DIY Butterfly Wings

I wanted to come up with something that was easy to recreate so I used 2 Gildan t-shirts from Michaels (size XXL):

DIY Butterfly Wings Costume

We made the wings and the antennae and bought the masquerade mask from Michaels: move 2

Spray painted costume wings for Halloween

Basically to make the wings I took 2 of the largest size adult t-shirts I could find at Michaels and cut each one as shown (basically using each sideways shirt as a wing):


How to cut t-shirt for butterfly wings


The two shirts cut into two wings: (click continue reading) [Read more…]

How to Make Sharpie Owl Pumpkins



I am a big fan of Mexican art…especially sugar skulls.  I used black and silver Sharpie markers to turn these faux styrofoam pumpkins into owl sugar skulls for my Halloween decor this year.  Michaels is challenging customers to “trick a pumpkin” this year and post the creations to Instagram. Make sure to read more at the bottom of this post on how to enter your own!

If you do a google search for “sugar skull” you will come across a variety of images you can pull ideas from. I make up the doodles as I go along, but starting with the round eyes first:

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas without Carving - Sharpie Doodle Owl

Tip: If you mess up, use a damp Magic Eraser to lightly wipe the area until the mistake lightens or disappears completely!

I used 4 different size pumpkins and made them all their own unique version:

How to decorate a pumpkin without carving it ideas #diy #pumpkin


I used a silver sharpie on the black/chalkboard pumpkin:Decorating a chalkboard paint pumpkin with sharpie


The large pumpkin took around 30 minutes to complete: [Read more…]

A Pumpkin House Number

*Sorry for the lack of posting the last two weeks! I moved to a new server and that took a few days to get all the glitches out. Then I was locked out of WordPress and couldn’t update anything. Finally back on track! Hopefully you find the website a little faster now.  -Ashley

Carving a House Number into a Pumpkin via lilblueboo.com #pumpkins #mpumpkins #halloween

I usually buy pumpkins that we can use year after year. Sometimes we end up with a fresh one too. Here is a selection from Michaels this year:

Foam Craft Pumpkins via lilblueboo.com

To carve the foam pumpkin it’s helpful to have a heated craft knife. It cuts it like a knife through butter:


First I cut the lid off:

Pumpkin Carving Tips via lilblueboo.com #halloween

For this pumpkin I decided to go with our house numbers since we don’t have an illuminated sign at night. I printed out some numbers onto regular paper (just using Powerpoint).

Pumpkin Carving Ideas via lilblueboo.com


I used a ball point pen to trace them.  A little bit of pressure leaves enough indentation to use as a guide:

Transferring a Design to a Pumpkin via lilblueboo.com


Then using the heated craft knife I carved the numbers out:

Halloween Decor Ideas via lilblueboo.com #pumpkincarving #halloween

Add a flameless candle and ready to go!

The great part is that I can re-use it year after year:

Decorating for Halloween Idea via lilblueboo.com


*This post is in partnership with Michaels Craft Stores. If you would like more information read the disclaimer policy please go here.

Make sure to share your carved pumpkins with the hashtag #MPumpkins.  Tag me too @lilblueboo so I can see what you made!


DIY Halloween Trick or Treat Bags | a Free Printable

Make your own Halloween Treat bags with this free printable download by artist Stephanie Corfee via lilblueboo.com

Planning for Halloween at the last minute? These Halloween Trick or Treat graphics are great for trick or treat totes, favor bags and even t-shirts.  The free printable is available for download at the end of the post! So many ways to use them: [Read more…]

Make Your Own Glass Clings

How to Make Your Own DIY Glass Clings Using Tape via lilblueboo.com for party decor, home decor, table decor etc.

This is a follow up post to the image transfers showed you how to make the other day.  I just wanted to show you another way to use them!  Tape transfers are a great way to make glass clings for party decor or home decor.  In this tutorial I made themed glass votive candles for Halloween and a label for a glass pitcher. My supplies were glass votives, regular packing tape, and a photocopy of Halloween clipart. I’m going to quickly go through the directions because you can also refer back to the original post on image transfers as well. [Read more…]