Got any butternut squash loitering about? Don't eat it! Use it for this fun Halloween craft! I saw this somewhere in a magazine about ten years ago, and we made one for each kid that year. This year, only Eclair wanted to participate, so we only made 3.
Start with your squash. I didn't grow any of this kind, so I had to buy them at the grocery store. And they were on sale mega-cheap, which is good. Pay attention to the shape because some of these things are shaped completely weird. I got the smallest ones I could find, with the fat bell-bottom and tall narrow necks.
Snap the stems off, and allow them to dry (they will weep fluid for a little bit). Then, paint them black with craft paint. I made the mistake of telling Eclair that we were going to make cats, and so she painted cats.
Note that it says "Cat" at the bottom. That is in case you mistake them for armadillos or something. She's so helpful. So we took a picture and then painted them again. Black. Three coats. Then we gathered the materials we would need to finish: Black pipe cleaners, google eyes, black felt for ears, little bits of trim and ribbon and beads for making cat collars. And since we were waiting for things to dry, I multitasked. I confess. I figured we would finish a little bit later, and tried to get some other thing accomplished.
I discovered about 15 minutes later that Eclair had proceeded without me. No adult supervision, can't use the glue gun. She's so clever, she improvised. Holy cats.
The black felt was chopped up into little pieces too small and irregular to use for cat ears. The pipe cleaners were cut up into pieces too small for tails, and then attached to the still-wet paint with masking tape. I just about blew a gasket. Claire has her issues, and "I'm a big girl I can do it myself" is one of them. By the time her meds wear off, I'm not working with a nine year old, I'm doing time with a toddler again. When she saw that I was angry, she had a complete meltdown. So I pulled off the tape, repainted the squash, and told little miss that we would try again after Mommy had a time out and found her patience again.
We finished tonight and our kitties are cute. Mommy put the hot glue on noses and ears, and Eclair did the assembly work. She agonized over all the fashion decisions for her kittes, and I must say she made some loverly choices. Mom made a little hole in the back of the squash with the end of the paint brush, and Eclair wrapped pipe cleaners around her finger in a spiral and made a curly tail to poke into the hole. There was a choice between white and red itty-bitty poms for noses. But she wanted pink. So we used a pink marker and made the white poms pink.
I must tell you though, that we didn't have the right size google eyes. We only had the big ones and the teeny tiny ones. Eclair found a use for the too big ones:
So here are our finished kitties with boring old painted on eyeballs. Eclair brought me her stuffed baby rabbit as an example so I wouldn't screw up the mouths and whiskers.
We have three little kittens here. Below left is Blackie. Very original name for a black cat. The one with the bells on is the baby. Her name is Bella.
And the one with the fluffy blonde curls? Curly. Once again, so original.
See? Food can be fun! Even when you ain't cookin' it.