top of page

Who ever heard of a junk-o-lantern?

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Happy October! Our ReStore team is incredibly excited to begin a new series of blogs and videos called "ReStore In Your Room," consisting of fun DIY projects that you can easily complete at home, using materials mostly gathered from our ReStore shelves. We are kicking off this series with a spooktacular project just in time for Halloween: a Junk-O-Lantern.


Psst...if you didn't catch our ReStore team's DIY demonstration on how to construct a Junk-O-Lantern on our social media, we recommend you check out Doris and Gwen putting one together at lightning speed!


The junk-o-lantern is a great Halloween activity that will spare you from the goop and the mess involved with traditional pumpkin carving. It also makes the entire process much more kid-friendly than the usual process of hacking away at thick gourd-flesh with a sharp blade.

Here's what you will


  • pumpkin - either a real or craft

  • an assortment of junk - for ours we used an assortment of drawer pulls/handles, bolts, knobs, pan lids, weather stripping, and spare plumbing parts

  • a screwdriver

  • a hot glue gun and glue

  • a cup of play sand and a funnel (if using a craft pumpkin)

The first thing you will need to decide is whether to use a real pumpkin or a craft one. Craft pumpkins, which are available at any craft store, are light and easier to transport from the store than real pumpkins. However, that means you will have to add sand to the inside of the pumpkin to keep it from being top-heavy, and the pumpkin "skin" on a craft pumpkin is a bit harder to puncture than that of a real pumpkin. The real trade-off, of course, is that you can use your craft pumpkin junk-o-lantern year after year, while a real pumpkin has a limited shelf life (albeit a longer one than if you had carved it).

If you are using a real pumpkin, you can skip this next step. But if you do end up going the craft pumpkin route, you will need to add some additional weight to the bottom or it will be too top-heavy with all of your junk. You can do this by drilling a small hole in the top of the craft pumpkin and pouring in half a cup to a cup of sand.

Now for the fun part-adding the junk! As you figure out your face, let your imagination take over. You'll be surprised by what items end up making good facial features.

As you assemble your face on the pumpkin, sometimes you may be able to push right through the skin to attach your decoration. Other ones may require you to pre-punch a hole with a screwdriver or use hot glue for an extra tight hold.

Now there's nothing left to do but to say Happy Halloween! Have you been getting into the spooky spirit with some DIY decorations? We'd love to see them! Share your creations with and we may share them on our social media, or do a future "ReStore In Your Room" demo!

123 views0 comments
bottom of page