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Jack-o-Lantern Scarecrow

This is a very simple and quick project. The whole thing took about 10 minutes, given that I already had the lamp, carved pumpkin, and cloak. I keep some of these Ikea floor lamps around because they are simple and useful. I usually buy extras when we go to Ikea so that we can use them for stuff like this. The post breaks down into discrete sections that screw together, so you can adjust the height. The base is a plastic bin filled with something heavy. The collar around the bulb socket is pretty easy to remove by bending back and forth until it breaks and then cutting it off with tin snips.

Our pumpkins were all kind of gross after sitting outside in the warm Colorado front range weather for a week, and they were getting a bit too shriveled to do much with. I grabbed the one that looked the most like a face, bent a wire coat hanger around it, impaled it on the lamp post and hooked the coat hanger into the top of the post.

I took a second wire coat hanger and hooked it through the bottom of the pumpkin, then zip-tied it to the first coat hanger and shaped it to a natural height for the scarecrow’s shoulders. The pumpkin was gross and shriveled, so I shoved the face full of plastic grocery bags to inflate it a bit and also diffuse the light.

With the collar of the lamp removed, I put a bright LED bulb in the socket and shoved the light down into the pumpkin. The key to this is an LED bulb, which will not get hot enough to start a fire. The post attached to the bottom of the bulb socket stuck up in the air and makes the cloak look nice and pointy.

Then we just ran an extension cord out to the lamp and covered it with a cloak. Nice and easy.

This was a quick, cheap project without too much cleanup. The lamp is damaged, for sure, but I will find other things to do with it. The cloak is fine to be reused, and the plastic bags can be recycled as long as there isn’t pumpkin gunk on them.