GOOD HOUSEKEEPING REPORTS: Bye-bye basic jack-o’-lantern

Outline a punny phrase in pen, then paint inside the lines, tie on a smiling tassel ghost from the stem and save to use again next year. (Mike Garten photo)

Get ready for “fright night” with Good Housekeeping’s unique DIY decorating ideas.


Pumpkins are perfect vessels for displaying blooms all fall.

Bountiful Basket

Carve a handle and a scalloped edge on a wide pumpkinAdd a brick of floral foam to hold sunflowers in place.

Petal Pusher

This one’s made to last! Snip the stems off faux daisies and glue them around the pumpkin for a polka-dot effect

Pretty Vampy

Use an awl to create eyeholes, then push in the stems of two large bloomsTo finish, carve a square for fake fangs.

Stunning Statement

Carve a deep hole in the top of a pumpkin, then slide in a plastic cupFill with water and a medley of bright blossoms.


Create frightfully pretty decor with add-ons that take only minutes.

Sparkle Squad

It’s as simple as peel and stick! Use adhesive-backed jewels from a craft store to outline a glitzy spiderweb, or cover the entire pumpkin with a mixture of standout studs.

Natural Selection

Trace leaves onto tissue paper, then cut the tracings out and decoupage them onto a white pumpkinFor veins, push the paper with a flat-head brushAdd a thin layer of spray-on glue.

Gothic Glam

Channel your inner Morticia Addams and decorate pumpkins with black-lace trimExperiment with various patterns and widths, and use hot glue to secure the lace as you work.

Cheery Pompoms

It doesn’t get more fun than fuzzy balls of color! Attach them in rows or clusters with hot glue — and consider starting with a brightly painted pumpkin to make your handiwork pop


These easy techniques will stop trick-or-treaters in their tracks.

Starry Night Sky

Use black matte spray paint to cover an orange pumpkin and let it dryThen, with the handle of a metal spoon, scratch away paint to create simple stars and spirals as well as a moon.

Tree Topiary

Place a large pumpkin on a plant urn, then stack a medium one on top(If needed, secure in the back with skewers.) Paint a haunted tree across both surfaces.

Cute Critters

Apply two coats of chalkboard paint to a pumpkinOnce it’s dry, draw faces with a chalk markerAttach felt bat wings or cat ears with hot glue, or poke holes with a screwdriver for painted-stick legs.

Easy Ombre

Paint the top third of a pumpkin white, the middle orange and the bottom third pink, then blend the borders with a dry brush before it driesHot-glue paper bat wings to the back for extra fright.


Ask The GH Cleaning Lab

Good Housekeeping’s resident home-care dynamo, Carolyn Forte, shares her best tips and favorite tricks to conquer your toughest messes and trouble spots.

Q: I’ve heard dish soap can be used to hand-wash delicatesTrue? — Cindy O.

A: Yes! This versatile liquid generally has a lower pH than laundry detergent, so it’s perfect for finer fabrics, like washable silkAnd because it’s formulated to cut grease, it also works to remove food stains, like salad oil, from clothing before launderingYou can even squirt a little into warm water and use it to dissolve sticky buildup on hairbrushes and makeup brushesOut of carpet cleaner? Stir 1 tablespoon plain dish liquid (not the kind with added hand moisturizers) into 2 cups warm waterDip a cloth in the mix and lightly dab away stains, then rinse and blotOne caveat: Never use liquid dish soap in the dishwasher — it’s too sudsy for the machine, and the foam will end up spilling out onto your floor.

Q: Now that the kids are in school, got any tips to keep cold germs from spreading around the house? — Jen A.

A: Frequent hand-washing is the best first defense against the spread of germs, but there is more you can do when a child comes home with a cold or the fluDisinfect frequently touched spots — like faucets, fridge handles, switches and doorknobs — daily with wipes or a spray like new GH Seal star Joy Mangano’s Miracle Clean Multi-Surface Disinfectant & Cleaner ($6 for 28 ounces,, which kills germs in as little as 30 seconds to three minutesUse the sanitizing cycles on your dishwasher, washer and dryerThese settings are hotter and longer, and sometimes add steam to kill bacteriaFinally, change bedding and towels every couple of days, and swap out terry hand towels in the kitchen or bath for paper ones.

Recalls Alert

The following products and vehicles were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationUnless otherwise indicated, discontinue use of the products immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refundFor more information about the products, call the manufacturer or CPSC’s toll-free hotline, 800-638-2772Only some cars or trucks recalled are affectedContact a dealer for your model to see if it is included in the recallThe dealer will tell you what to do.


Provata activity trackers, distributed as a free promotional item from August 2017 through July 2018 in mailings nationwide and in-person during employer wellness events in Oregon, North Carolina and Arizona.

The activity tracker wristbands can overheat while the user is wearing it or when charging, posing a burn hazardConsumers should immediately stop wearing or charging the recalled wristbands and contact Provata Health at 888-343-9820 for instructions on how to receive a free replacement wristband

2019 Infiniti QX50 SUVs

In the event of a crash in cold temperatures, the trim cover may separate unexpectedly from the passenger-side knee airbag module instead of splitting at the trim cover tear seam as designed, increasing the risk of injuryDealers will replace the passenger-side knee airbag module for freeInfiniti will begin notifying owners Oct22Owners can call the automaker at 800-662-6200 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 to learn more.

© Hearst Communications Inc.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate



GOOD HOUSEKEEPING REPORTS: Bye-bye basic jack-o’-lantern–