So the shops are filled with orange, my new rental home smells of pumpkin spice, and as far as Ella and Noah are concerned it could be Halloween any day now.

The only positive side to this is that at least they’re not talking about Christmas … yet.

Last year I heard about the Teal Project, and vowed to take part. Just in case you want to get involved too, check out my handy what to do and what NOT to do when painting your pumpkin teal below…

First off, just a quick FYI if you don’t know about this project already … As we are all well aware by now, not every child can eat the same foods with food allergies at an all time high, so it makes Halloween tough for parents with kids when people don’t have other options available for Halloween that their children can eat or take away with them – a bag of keychains or colouring pencils would be just as awesome.

The lovely people behind the Teal Project have set it up to help make Halloween easier for parents and ensure that it’s a fun night for all children who want to go trick or treating.

HOW TO PAINT YOUR PUMPKIN WITH MINIMAL STRESS:

Choose one which has got minimal bruises as these will go soft and start to rot quicker than perfect ones.

Clean and dry the entire pumpkin to remove any dirt – use a baby wipe to do this not a sponge as you don’t want to create any nicks or tears in the surface

If your pumpkin is not even it can be wobbly when you stand it up outside, solve this problem by slicing off a thin amount off the bottom to create a flat surface. Warm the knife in the gas top before you start cutting – it really does help to slice through the skin quickly. Wear ski goggles to prevent it going in your eye if you get a particularly juicy one

Now, some people recommend using a paint primer before you paint your pumpkin for real. If you’re going to do this, grab one from a craft store, the sprays are the easiest, and remember to use it outside so you’re not breathing it in. I champion this approach wholeheartedly.

If you use a paint sealer use a big brush to paint it quickly and do it the night before you want to paint for real over it that way it dries on properly.

HACK FAIL ALERT:

Don’t do what I tried last year – I thought that instead of using a primer I would save time and money by squirting a good blob of the kids craft PVA glue into my paint. Yes it went on like a dream and yes it looked great… until it rained. I’d forgotten that the kids glue is water soluble so you can wash it and clean your brushes. My smug look was turned to one of horror as the paint dripped off them – in all honesty though they looked more scary and ‘Halloweeny’ afterwards.

If you’re drawing a design on it use a Sharpie first to guide you, then grab your brushes and paint them all in. White stands out just as well as black does on teal so either will do you proud.

I’ve tried random paints before and a normal craft shop acrylic seems to work the best. And I also use a sealer after painting as well – I’ve been scarred by my past experiences.

When you’re done, don’t forget to add your address to the Teal Project’s map, then you’re good to go!

Featured Photo Courtesy: Teal Project