I am a sucker for garage sales. Recently, I stumbled acrosssome great ones. One
of my favorite finds was a bag of decorative skeleton bones I scored for only $3.

Now that October is in full swing, Halloween is on top of my mind, and pumpkins are on the menu for at least 90 percent of the meals I make.

I do what I can to inject pumpkin into everything: pasta, muffins, pancakes,
smoothies and, of course, decor around the home. One thing that has always plagued me, however, is that carved pumpkins do not fare well in our warm climate. I learned
that the hard way my first couple of years living here. No matter how hard I tried, after just a few days, my pumpkins would soften, wilt and rot. Luckily, there are many other ways to decorate with pumpkins that won’t result in their quick demise.

Go for the gold

I am a big fan of white pumpkins. They have an elegant look to them that can span through the month of November. If you can’t find a white pumpkin, start by spray painting an orange one. Cover the stem in aluminum foil before you begin if you want it to stay green. Then, go all over with white paint. Once it has dried completely, cover the top two-thirds of the pumpkin in foil. Tape down the straight edge using painter’s tape so that you have a straight line all around. Then, spray paint the rest in gold.

Get a tattoo

Start with a white pumpkin, or paint one white if needed. Then, add temporary tattoos following their instructions. You can purchase decorative varieties online, such as florals, arrows and other fun patterns in colors or metallic, or you can stick with a Halloween theme and use black cats and spiders.

Go faux

While browsing the Halloween aisle in Target, I came across artificial pumpkins that you can paint, carve and adorn in any way you please. The best part: They never
die. Turn them into a craft project with your kids, stow them away in November, and bust them out again next year. Better yet, have them create a new one each year and keep the collection so that you can see their artistic sides evolve.

Stick to it

Put your hot glue gun to work. Attach fabrics in fun ways, like sequins to make a spider web, letters to spell out fun phrases, or chic designs like stripes, polka dots or leaves.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Send an email to thefixisin@gmail.com.