All Saints Day Pumpkin Craft
Last year, our third was attending PreK at a Catholic school. To my joyful surprise, she agreed to be a Saint in the Halloween parade for the PreK and Kinder students. The big sister influence rubbed off on my fourth, who was more than happy to wear a wreath of posterboard candles to honor her namesake at our All Souls/All Saints Day party, and around our neighborhood. Throw in a hand-me-down white dress from one wedding and red sash from another, and we had one costume checked off the list for less than $3. Of course, I figured she’d need a pumpkin to match her, so St. Lucy made the list with St. John the Baptist, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and a handful of others.
Who Was St. Lucy?
St. Lucy is one of those Saints about whom so little is known for sure that legend has taken the place of history. Our St. Lucy pumpkin is based on the Swedish tradition of St. Lucy. The oldest girl in the family dons a white dress and red sash. On her head is placed a wreath with lighted candles, and in her hands a tray of saffron buns. She wakes the other members of the family with the treats on St. Lucy’s feast day, December 13. The tradition stems from the legend that St. Lucy used to feed the Christians hiding in the catacombs. To do so, she wore the wreath of light on her head, keeping her hands free to carry provisions.
Whether or not that seems far-fetched is up to you. What is known about St. Lucy is that, in defending the Faith, she lost her life. The most accepted legend is that St. Agnes miraculously healed St. Lucy’s mother at the latter’s request. After the healing, St. Lucy begged her mother to let her lead her life for Christ alone, and not marry the man her mother had already chosen for her. Her mother relented, but the jilted suitor was more than angry. He alerted the governor that Lucy was a Christian – a crime at the time. Guards took Lucy and attempted to kill her by burning, but it didn’t work. After a few more tries, she was finally stabbed with a sword to end her life. She’s known as the patron of the blind because in two different legends, her eyes were gouged out.
- 4 - 4” pumpkins
- 1 - Red 9 x 12 felt sheet
- 1 - White 9 x 12 felt sheet (sticky-back preferred)
- 8 - Sticky googly or sticker eyes
- 4 - 6" pieces of green garland
- 4 - White pipe cleaners
- Paint brushes
- Sharpie marker
- Tacky glue
- Orange, red and yellow markers
1. Cut sticky-back white felt into 5 strips lengthwise for her dress.
2. Cut red felt into ¼ inch wide strips lengthwise for her red sash. Make 8 total. Cut three of the red strips in half and tie them into bows.
3. Lay the white felt out flat and put a line of tacky glue all the way down the middle. Place a red strip along the glue.
4. Put a generous amount of tacky glue on the back of the red bow and glue in the center of the red sash.
5. For the wreath, cut off or twist together enough green garland to wrap loosely around the pumpkin stem. Twist the ends together.
6. Cut a white pipe cleaner into 6 equal pieces. Loop the bottom of each piece around the garland wreath, leaving the ends sticking up. These are candles. Color the tips of each pipe cleaner with yellow, orange, and red markers to make them look like flames.
7. Put clothes and wreath into a labeled zip lock or paper bag with googly or sticker eyes.
Instructing the kids:
1. Remove all items from the bag. (Bags can be labeled with a Saint card or printed image, especially for non-readers)
2. If using tacky glue instead of sticky back felt or eyes, put it in small plastic or Dixie cups with paint brushes. Don’t forget the paper towels! And baby wipes!
3. Help the kids take the backing off of the clothes and wrap around the bottom of the pumpkin. Or, cover the clothes with glue and put around the bottom of the pumpkin. The clothes can also be secured at the back with a return address or shipping label, printed with the Saint name, information about the Saint, or a corresponding prayer.
4. Let the kids place any hair or head covering over the stem through the perpendicular slits. Optional: secure with more tacky glue.
5. Show the kids where to place the wreath around St. Lucy Pumpkin's stem.
6. Draw on a mouth with a Sharpie marker wherever the child shows you to.
7. Enjoy your Saint pumpkin and put it outside your door for trick-or-treaters to admire!
8. Take lots of pictures and link them back to this post!