The fall can be a crazy time of year - our road warriors are out and about recruiting students and our in-office friends are helping cover visits. With the lack of down time, stress levels tend to be a little higher than normal. Therefore, it is even more important to find time to de-stress. For me, this involves using my mind in a more creative manner. Unfortunately, the examples I am providing today are not my personal creations, but hopefully they inspire you to add some school spirit to your existing pumpkin traditions – or make something new for your office!

#1 - The classic:  pumpkin carving. People are using all different types of tools to carve pumpkins these days. My suggestion for every type of design is to start with a stencil or at least draw an outline on your pumpkin. This will help with proportions and placement on the pumpkin. A bigger canvas will allow for more intricate designs. Tips: Try cutting out the bottom instead of the top to scoop out the guts, use a dry erase marker in case you’d like to change your design, and rub petroleum jelly or spray bleach on the interior to keep bugs away and preserve the pumpkin a little longer.

#2 - The easier alternative:  painting the pumpkin. Again, I suggest using a stencil, especially if you are using your school’s logo or font of any type. If you would like your pumpkin to last longer than this season, you can use a plastic pumpkin and put it out each year. Extra little touches like a bow or polka dots add to the charm, without adding too much time or effort.

#3 - The cop out:  stickers and decals. Some people want to be crafty, but they just do not have the time or talent. Using stickers or decals (or buying a pre-made pumpkin) is still a respectable way to show your school pride during the holiday season. Again, consider using a plastic pumpkin, so you can make it an annual decoration.

#4 - The game changer:  cloth pumpkins. If you are looking for a new challenge and you are skilled with a sewing machine, this is the one for you. If you are looking for a challenge and you can work a hot glue gun, this could also be for you! Pinterest and YouTube host many tutorials to walk you through the steps to make these cute, lasting pumpkins. They can vary in size, design, etc. If you cannot find your school’s logo on cloth, just go with the classic school colors and consider adding an iron-on or decal of your own.