When you are looking to add a bit of magic to your Halloween decor, nothing beats a little inspiration from the boy wizard himself, Harry Potter. Usually, Harry Potter's seasonal decor revolves around the Christmas season, however, in the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone we got to have a glimpse of what Hogwarts might look like on All Hallow's Eve. So we decided to take a bit of inspiration from the great hall and create a bit of magic ourselves with a few floating pumpkins. Don't worry, this is safe for muggles and wizards alike - no wands required.
Step 1: Gathering your Pumpkins
Obviously in the Wizarding world they have enchantments that probably keep their pumpkins looking great all month long, but in the real world, pumpkins rot. So the main issue I found with this project was finding artificial pumpkins that looked great and also could be carved. Luckily I found some great ones at Target that are made of a stiff foam that could be carved relatively easily. They carry different sizes and Amazon has a few different options as well.
The key here is to make sure they are artificial. Make sure they can be carved (and are hallow). Finally, make sure you like the look of the pumpkin. Ensuring these three things will allow you to enjoy your magical creations year after year. You can get as many as you'd like to carve, but to get a good effect at least five pumpkins will work.
Step 2: Drawing and Carving
Once you've collected your pumpkins, it's time to draw their faces. I tried to copy the ones in the Hogwarts dining hall with long grins, circle eyes, and a circle nose - though I think mine turned out to be a little more like Jack Skellington. Drawing the face and eyes on the pumpkin in pencil gives you a decent guide to go off of when carving.
Using an X-Acto Knife, carefully cut out your design. I find pushing the blade in at the corner and cutting toward the area that will be cut away the best way to get the cleanest looking design. Please be super careful as cutting these things can be a bit difficult depending on the hardness of the foam.
Once you cut away your design, you can use the blade to scrape up or clean up weird looking areas.
Step 3: Wingardium Leviosa and Lumos! (Hanging and Lighting)
With some cool looking jack-o-lanterns, we can now make them float . Tie some crafting fishing line like this one found on Amazon around a small nail with a flat head (the head allows the the line to catch on to something). Then, push the nail into the base of the steam of the jack-o-lantern. Cut the fishing line to the desired length and hang it from the ceiling using Command Strips Plastic Clips for easy clean up and no damage. Just tie the other end of the fishing line to the clip and stick to the ceiling.
Varying the length of your line for each pumpkin will give the illusion a little more depth and visual interest. Repeat the process with all you pumpkins until you have a nice grouping of floating pumpkins to enjoy this Halloween season. The last piece is to light them. I used these LED paper lantern lights that lasted a couple days if you don't turn them off. They are small and fit perfectly inside the pumpkins I found. Before buying the LED lights, make sure you can find one that will actually fit inside one of the holes you cut into the foam.
There you have it, your very own Hogwarts floating pumpkins! Now its time to enjoy some pumpkin juice and maybe even a little butterbeer. Mischief Managed!