Create a haunted gnome house in your garden this year using a pumpkin and materials you already have around your house or yard. This project is flexible - your gnome house can be as simple or elaborate as you like - so it's fun to do with kids of all ages.
You can use almost anything to create your gnome house, but there are a couple of things you will definitely need. A pumpkin or gourd for the body of your house and glue to attach everything to the house. Hot glue or other glue that isn't water soluble is best. Try to use supplies that won't be ruined if they get a little wet from dew. Sticks, pinecones, moss, leaves, paint, brushes, markers, clay, string, wax paper, wire and fabric are some of the many things that my also come in handy for your haunted house.
Supplies for Windows
You can create windows quickly and easily by cutting a window shape out of wax paper. You can create rectangle windows, pointed windows or even round windows. You'll need twigs to create the window frame, and you may want a piece of black fabric or waxed paper to go behind the window. The black will give the illusion that your window leads to a room behind it instead of the orange wall of the pumpkin.
Putting it Together
Break or cut the sticks to sizes that fit around your window. Glue the sticks to the edges of the wax paper. Don't worry if some of the wax paper sticks out from behind, you can trim it down when you are done gluing. Once the glue is dry, add the black paper to the back. If you want to make your window last a bit longer you can seal it with acrylic medium or other waterproof sealant.
Creating a Door
Create a little door for you gnome dwelling by gluing a bunch of sticks together in a flat rectangle. When the glue is dry, trim the branches into the shape you want for your door. We made a rounded top on ours, but you could make or door completely round or stick with a regular rectangle. Glue on a little wooden bead for a door know, or try using a pebble or button.
Building a Home
Begin to turn your pumpkin into a little home by gluing on the windows and doors. If you use hot glue for this you will be able to remove them from the pumpkin later and use them again next season. Other glues may or may not peel off the pumpkin.
Adding a Roof
There are lots of different ways to create a roof for your gnome house. If you'd like a quick fix, just cover the top of the pumpkin with moss. But if you have a couple of hours to spare you can create a beautifully shingled roof with pinecones. Pull the scales off a handful of pinecones and glue them to the top of your pumpkin one at a time. Start on the bottom layer and overlap the scales as you go up and around.
Once you have the windows, door and roof attached to your home, all you have left to add are details. There are a few little things you can do to give your home extra special touches and add a haunted feel. One is to create a witch's broom. You will need raffia, straw, feathers or some other material to create the bristles on your broom. You'll also need a stick, string and glue.
Making a Broom
Create a witch's broom by gluing the raffia or other material around the bottom of the stick. Add another drop of glue to secure one end of the string and wrap the string around the stick where the stick and material overlap. Glue the other end of the string when you are finished wrapping and trim your broom bristles if needed.
Shaping a Ghost
Now that you've got your witch's broom, you'll need a few ghosts around the house! Take a piece of thin white cloth or gauze and wrap it around the top of a stick. Tie a string around the cloth to keep it on the stick. If you want your fabric to stick out more you can stiffen it with a little white acrylic paint or medium.
Add a Yard Sign
You can add a simple sign to your tiny yard by gluing a banner onto a stick. Write "Happy Halloween," "Boo!" or some other frightening sentiment on a piece of fabric or water resistant paper in your favorite spooky font.
A mini gnome ladder is a whimsical touch that is quick and easy to add. Glue short sticks between two long sticks to make the rungs and prop the ladder up against the side of the house. Even gnomes need to fix the roof sometimes.
Once your house is put together and all your little pieces are built, all you need to do is find the perfect spot! These homes are great in the bed by the front door, or anywhere people might happen upon it. Place your ghost sticks in the ground around the house and create a little trail of stones leading to the door. Lean your witch's broom against the door to make it look like your gnomes have a Halloween visitor.