15 Things to Do With Pumpkins (Besides Carve Them)

Suffering from jack-o-lantern fatigue? Try one of these alternative projects instead. 

1. MAKE A DIORAMA.

With some dollhouse materials and LED lights, you can make almost any scene you can think of. (Bonus: As far as backgrounds go, it's way cooler than a shoebox.)

Tutorial

2. COVER THEM IN FOLIAGE. 


Sometimes all you need are the right stickers. (In this case, leaf shapes help lend a little extra fall flair.) Add a little Mod Podge to the mix to make sure your stickers stick, rain or shine. 

Tutorial

3. WRAP THEM UP. 


A little gauze + some googly eyes = the cutest mummy ever. 

Tutorial.

4. TRY SOMETHING SWEET. 

Take advantage of a gourd's natural donut shape by turning it into a sprinkled sweet. All you need is some acrylic paint and a steady hand. 

Tutorial

5. MAKE A GAME.


Use chalkboard paint and letter stickers to turn your pumpkin into a seasonal word search. Or, leave your new canvas blank and let visitors doodle away.

Tutorial

6. MELT SOME CRAYONS.


To create this technicolor delight, start with a white pumpkin. Glue a rainbow of unwrapped crayons on top (Crayola work best), then melt with a hair dryer.

Tutorial

7. MAKE IT CREEPY. 


We get it: You're tired of carving. Luckily, this option requires just a few cuts, plus some comically-oversized plastic eyeballs. 

Tutorial

8. ADD SOME COBWEBS.


Mike Krautter

Apply painter's tape, spray with paint, then peel off your spooky stencil. 

Tutorial

9. USE NAPKINS.


Give leftover paper goods new life by gluing napkins with bright designs to the surface of your gourd.

Tutorial.

10. MAKE THEM GLOW.


With the help of some glow-in-the-dark paint, you can mimic the look of a carved pumpkin and candle.

Tutorial

11. BREAK OUT THE SHARPIES. 


Think of white pumpkins as canvases for your art. Consider investing in a book on Zentangles to help you settle on the best patterns and doodles for your pumpkin.  

Tutorial.

12. START A PARTY.  


Find pumpkins with longer stems and transform them into beaks, trunks, and snouts. Soon you’ll have a ton of animals ready to party. 

Tutorial

13. ADD SOME RUSTIC FLAIR.


Buy some fake pumpkins, but lose the lame plastic stems. Doorknobs look way more magical. 

Tutorial.

14. COVER IT IN EYEBALLS.  

Is there anything creepier than a pumpkin with eyes that follow you around the room? Thanks to screw-on cat eyes, you can make all of your guests squirm in their seats. 

Tutorial. 

15. ADD OFFICE SUPPLIES. 


Have a pretty white pumpkin ready to go? The right gold or multi-colored push pins mean you can be done decorating in as little as five minutes. 

Tutorial

This Outdoor Lantern Will Keep Mosquitoes Away—No Bug Spray Necessary

Thermacell, Amazon
Thermacell, Amazon

With summer comes outdoor activities, and with those activities come mosquito bites. If you're one of the unlucky people who seem to attract the insects, you may be tempted to lock yourself inside for the rest of the season. But you don't have to choose between comfort and having a cocktail on the porch, because this lamp from Thermacell ($25) keeps outdoor spaces mosquito-free without the mess of bug spray.

The device looks like an ordinary lantern you would display on a patio, but it works like bug repellent. When it's turned on, a fuel cartridge in the center provides the heat needed to activate a repellent mat on top of the lamp. Once activated, the repellent in the mat creates a 15-by-15-foot bubble of protection that repels any mosquitos nearby, making it a great option for camping trips, days by the pool, and backyard barbecues.

Mosquito repellent lantern.

Unlike some other mosquito repellents, this lantern is clean, safe, and scent-free. It also provides light like a real lamp, so you can keep pests away without ruining your backyard's ambience.

The Thermacell mosquito repellent lantern is now available on Amazon. If you've already suffered your first mosquito bites of the summer, here's some insight into why that itch can be so excruciating.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Happy Canada Day! What Exactly Is Canada Day?

bluejayphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus
bluejayphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Happy Canada Day! On July 1, 1867, the nation was officially born when the Constitution Act joined three provinces into one country: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province, which then split into Ontario and Quebec. However, Canada was not completely independent of England until 1982.

The holiday called Dominion Day was officially established in 1879, but it wasn't observed by many Canadians, who considered themselves to be British citizens. Dominion Day started to catch on when the 50th anniversary of the confederation rolled around in 1917. In 1946, a bill was put forth to rename Dominion Day, but arguments in the House of Commons over what to call the holiday stalled the bill.

The 100th anniversary of the nation's official creation in 1967 saw the growth of the spirit of Canadian patriotism, and Dominion Day celebrations really began to take off. Although quite a few Canadians already called the holiday Canada Day (or Fête du Canada), the new name wasn't formally adopted until October of 1982.

How to celebrate Canada Day

There are many ways to celebrate Canada Day. First: What's a patriotic celebration without a parade? Typically, parades are held in cities, towns, and villages all over Canada (though many of this year's event will be virtual, due to the coronavirus pandemic). The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have an established group called the RCMP Musical Ride. These 32 officers, who are rotated after three years' service, perform equestrian drills for the public throughout Canada.

Other Canada Day traditions that are gaining footholds are picnics, festivals, sporting events, and fireworks.

Many Canada Day events are planned all over the country, including Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Victoria (though, again, 2020 may look a bit different).

If you want to celebrate at home, why not belt out your own rendition of "O Canada"? You can find the lyrics here. And hear the French version as well.

This story has been updated for 2020.