What better way to honor the very Apostle who was given the keys to the Kingdom and compared to a rock sturdy enough upon which to build the entire Church than in pumpkin form? If you happen to live near a creek, you might snag some large flat rocks to put your finished St. Peter pumpkins on.
All Saints Day Pumpkin Craft
This year’s homage to St. Peter at our yearly All Souls/All Saints Day party was born from a need to honor the birth of baby Peter, the fourth in a line of kids claimed by none other than Michelle, one of the other moms who pours out hours of time and talent to run our group. A whole heap of Divine Grace had baby Peter delivered safely, and, after his birth, his parents picked his very powerful name. You can find several of our other Saint Pumpkins, like Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Faustina, just waiting to put a smile on your face as you talk about their holy lives with your kids.
Who Was Saint Peter?
Simon Peter, of course is one of Christ’s chosen 12. He was one of the first called when Jesus stood on the shore, watching he and James and John fail at their fishing. Jesus tells them to cast their nets once more, and when they do, the nets are filled to breaking. The three men drop everything, repent, and follow Jesus to become, “fishers of men.”
It is also Peter who tries to follow Jesus’ miraculous walk across the stormy water, but fear causes him to start sinking. Even more scathing, Peter is the one who denies knowing Jesus, “before the cock crows three times,” just prior to Jesus’ crucifixion.
Depending on which Gospel account you read, Peter is depicted as the first to enter the Empty Tomb, and the first to whom Christ appears after His Resurrection. Before the Ascension, Christ asks Peter three times if he loves him. To Peter’s reply of, “yes,” Jesus instructs him to feed his sheep. Those three affirmations of Peter’s love for Christ are often described as a balance to, or a repentance for, his three denials.
Many more stories of Peter are written in the Acts of the Apostles. Peter is the first to evangelize after Pentecost, and perform miracles in Christ’s name. He is also rescued by an angel from an imprisonment ordered by King Herod Agrippa. His life ends in martyrdom in Rome around 64 A.D. when he is crucified upside down. More about Peter can be read on catholic.org, or throughout the New Testament.
- 4 - 4” pumpkins
- 1 - 9 x 12” light blue felt sheet (sticky-back preferred)
- 1 - 9 x 12” yellow or goldenrod felt sheet (sticky-back optional)
- 1 – 9 x 12” white felt sheet
- 4 gold pipe cleaners
- 6 inches thin florist wire or 1 silver pipe cleaner
- 1 scrap green foam
- 4' white rope, floss, string, or yarn
- 8 -sticky googly or sticker eyes
- thin-line Sharpie
- tacky glue
- small paper or plastic cups
- yellow permanent marker
Creating St. Peter's Clothes and Hair
- Cut sticky back blue felt sheet into 5 strips lengthwise.
- The yellow felt will be like a cape or jacket over the blue felt. Cut yellow felt also into 5 strips lengthwise. Then, fold each strip in half, making a cut down the fold. Once cut into two pieces, trim about 1” off of the edge of each strip, rounding it on one end.
- The white string or yarn is used as a belt. Cut white yarn or string the length of the blue felt strips. Make a loop of the yarn, and tie a knot with the two loose ends, leaving some yarn hanging. Cut the string opposite the knot. This allows you to lay it down on your felt and glue it into place.
- Cut out a simple fish shape from the green foam sheet. Using a black pen, draw in scales and an eye.
- Use green floral wire, a pipe cleaner, or other bendable wire to make a hook that pokes through the fish and wraps over the yarn belt.
- Cut a gold pipe cleaner in half. Bend and fold it as best you can into a key shape.
- Lay the blue felt strip out flat. Put a line of tacky glue all the way down the middle. Place the key near the middle on the glue. Over that, lay the white yarn in the glue line with the fish attached.
- Tacky glue the yellow jacket, lining up the straight edges with the ends of the blue felt strip.
- Cut a large oval out of the gray or off-white, about ¼ of the felt sheet. This will be the beard, mustache and hair. Fold the oval in half and make a small slit in, about ¾ inch wide. Fold it in half the other direction to make a perpendicular cut to the one you just created. This will slip over the stem of the pumpkin and really help in holding it in place. With the oval folded in half, very close to perpendicular slits, make an opening where the eyes will show through. Below it, make an opening for the mouth, leaving a mustache shape in the middle.
- Put the clothes and hair into a zip lock or paper bag labeled with St. Peter. Don’t forget the eyes!
Instructing the kids:
- Remove all items from the bag. (Bags can be labeled with a Saint card or printed image, especially for non-readers)
- 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!
- 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.
- Let the kids place any hair or head covering over the stem through the perpendicular slits. Optional: secure with more tacky glue.
- Draw on a mouth with a Sharpie marker wherever the child shows you to.
- Enjoy your Saint pumpkin and put it outside your door for trick-or-treaters to admire!
- Take lots of pictures and link them back to this post!