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jack-o-lantern puzzle favors - TUTORIAL

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Today I am sharing a fun, easy, inexpensive, AND sugar-free party favor that the kiddos can help make.
I know I have gone on, and on before about how grateful I am that my son's preschool encourages parents to hand out sugar free items as party favors, but really, I LOVE it.  Don't get me wrong, my kids have candy sometimes, but it just seems at Halloween they end up with way more than any kid needs.  And the funny thing is, my kids are way more excited to get pencils or fun band-aids anyway.  OK, enough ranting, on to the tutorial.

Hc8 A few weeks ago, I made this Halloween concentration game games to hand out, but I really wanted the boys to be involved in making something to give away to their friends.
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So, I searched the web and came across this Jack-O-Lantern Puzzle project (scroll down to the middle of the page to find it).  Using craft sticks, paint, and a marker, the kids create pumpkin puzzles.

Jol 30 To make them easy to hand out as party favors, I packaged them up in coordinating bags and tags.

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Materials for the puzzle:

  • large crafts sticks (6 for each puzzle)
  • orange paint (I used tempera paint)
  • paint brush
  • marker
  • tape (something that can be easily removed)
  • overhead transparency & Exacto Knife - for making a pumpkin template (optional)

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Materials for the bags: 

  • 9.5" x 4.25"  orange fabric (I used rip-stop fabric)
  • 15" piece of black ribbon/yarn (I used yarn because that is what I had on hand)
  • safety pin
Jack o lantern tags 2000  collageMaterials for the tags: 
  • printed tags - click on image to enlarge and save to your computer ( I printed these as 4"x6" photo at my local photo center)
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Hole punch

OK, lets get started...   Jol 3 Start by taping the craft sticks together. (I found that taping on the diagonal makes it easier to handle.)
Jol 4Then flip over and paint (I taped as my boys painted) .
Sorry, I don't have any pictures of this... in the pictures below, just imagine the craft sticks are orange.
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After the paint dries, draw the pumpkin with a marker.  Make sure all of the craft sticks have some portion of the pumpkin image on them.
Optional Step:  If you are making a number of these at a time,  a template is helpful in speeding up the process a little.  To make the template, place the sheet of overhead transparency on top of the craft sticks and draw your pumpkin. Then cut out the black areas with an Exacto knife (carefully).
Once you are done drawing all the pumpkin faces on the painted craft sticks, set them aside (don't remove the tape yet).

 The next step is to make the bags...
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The first step is to create a finished edge for the casing.  Measure down at an angel 2" along both of the long sides and stitch in place (see photos above).

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Fold the top down 1" and stitch in place, creating the casing.

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Fold in half lengthwise and stitch all the way around to the bottom of the casing (don't sew the casing shut).

Jol 8 collage Using a safety pin, thread you ribbon/yarn though the casing, then turn the bag and press.

Now on to the tags...

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Cut out and punch holes in each of the tags.

Now it is time to assemble the favors...
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Jol 10remove the tape from the back of the puzzle (assemble one at a time so the pieces don't get mixed up).

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Insert the puzzle pieces into the bag, add the tag and secure with a bow - and repeat.
That's it - You're done!
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...combine both games for a Halloween game bonanza!

Thanks for stopping by - Have a SUPER Halloween!


  1. You are amazing -- totally awesome treat! Maybe if I start now I can make these for next Halloween!

  2. Awesome. I prefer noncandy treats, as well. But I was behind schedule so just did the same things I thought of last year (applesauce jackolanterns & mummy wrapped flashlights)...but next year, I'm doing these!! Love it. p.s. I absolutely adore your blog. I usually just lurk but wanted to say hi :).

  3. Thanks for saying Hi, I truly appreciate your comments. I just checked out your applesauce jack-o-lanterns and flashlight mummies - SO darling! I am totally going to use them (I hope you don't mind). And I also love the witches broom treat bags - great idea!

  4. This is such a great idea. Although I've read it too late to make for my daughter's class, I'd love to use this idea as a Christmas gift. Thank you!

  5. i wish i would have found these earlier! i'm a pre-school teacher and my kids would have LOVED these. thanks for sharing, great step-by-step instructions...maybe i can modify for thanksgiving or christmas presents :)

  6. Great idea! I think you could probably adapt these for just about any occasion.

  7. very fun idea. if i can remember this it would be great for valentine's day too! my kids always have to bring in something for valentine's day. they could so help make these!
    thanks for sharing.

    you are a busy lady!

  9. This is fantastic, I am going to do something similar for an upcoming party and I love the shorts too, it is always so hard to find tutorials for boys clothes. Thanks so much!

  10. I read this last year too late to do, but am doing it this year! Had my girls (ages 7 and 3) do the painting and it was fantastic! Thanks for sharing this great idea (and your cool printable, too)!!!