I have never had a difficult time admitting that I am a thief.  I know.  I know.  I memorized the Ten Commandments when I was four years old.  You do not have to tell  me that ‘thou shalt not steal’ was number eight on the list of most important things God wanted Moses to tell His people.

On Friday I had some friends over to my house.  These friends had never been to my house.  On my table sat my three book pumpkins I had made for my kid’s school teachers.  Hanging above my table was the curtain and banner I had made and hung up two months ago for our back to school party (yes I plan to take it down before Christmas…hopefully).  In my dining room turned office, there are shelves and boxes of every color of ribbon and paint sold at Hobby Lobby.

In the halls, hang my world prayer map with pictures of friends around the world.  On my kid’s doors hang homemade wreaths.  You would think that I would not be shocked when one of my friends commented, “Holly you are so creative and crafty.”

I have gotten this comment a lot in my life.  I have hot glue scars that date back to the 80s when I was in middle school.  However, for some reason I have never considered myself creative or crafty.  When people who know me best think of me, I really don’t think that those are words they would use to describe me in ten words or less.

But, in recent years I have come to terms with the fact that this ponytail princess likes to be creative and  likes to craft.  I still have a difficult time calling myself creative or crafty.  To me, those words are reserved for the idea generators of the world.

In the past few years I have been privileged to go to church with women who are creativity geniuses.   My dear friend Lori is like no one else I have ever met in the world.  She can make me laugh on my toughest day and inspires me to want to make my home beautiful.   I got the pumpkin idea from Lori when we were working on a women’s event together for our church.  You should check out her Facebook page at Lori Kroh Designs.  Yes I know her.  Yes she is my friend.  And yes someday I will say “I knew her when.”

Then there is my dear friend Lissa.   You have people who try to be cool and then there is Lissa.  She oozes cool with everything she does.  When she is not busy being our children’s pastor’s wife and leading worship with her amazing guitar playing abilities, she is hard at work in her garage turning reclaimed wood into the most amazing furniture.   I cannot even dream of being as cool or creative as Lissa.  You have got to check out Lissa’s blog.  Again, someday I will get to say “I knew her when….”

As if my church were not already bursting at the seams with creativity from these two ladies, you will never guess who else I go to church with…none other than THE Ashley Ann from Under the Sycamore.  If you have never visited her blog, you have really been missing out.

I know….you want to come to my church don’t you?  I could never even attempt to use a hot glue gun like Lori or Ashley, nor could I ever use a table saw like Lissa.  Those three women are in a creative league that is way beyond the skill set God gave me to work with in life.  So, to think that I would even post a craft instructions blog makes me laugh.

But that is the intention of this post….to answer the many questions I have been asked about my book pumpkins I posted pictures of on Facebook last week.

Though, I might never admit to being crafty or creative, I have no trouble admitting to being a thief.  A really, really good one too.

I learned early in life that there is a lot you can learn from other people if you simply take the time to pay attention.  God has made each of us unique.  Sometimes we are tempted to sit around and mope about what God did not make us.  God did not make me as creative and crafty as some other people.  However, He did make me smart enough to know a great idea when I see it and to ‘steal’ it.

Therefore, many things I have gotten credit for in my life are really simply attributed to my ability to see great ideas and put them into use for myself.  This ability came in handy as a  public school teacher.  My greatest lesson plans were never 100% original with me.  I was simply a great lesson plan thief.  The best teachers are the ones who know which classroom ideas are valuable enough to steal.

That is how I feel about my ability to craft.  Rarely is something I make all my original idea, but an idea that I took from someone or somewhere else and then used it for myself.  Thanks to Pinterest, there are now millions of valuable ideas at my fingertips just waiting to be stolen.

So for all of you who asked on my Facebook page, here’s a pumpkin book tutorial.  Yes, I stole the idea.  Thank you Lori for sharing the idea you stole from Pinterest so that I could steal it from you so that now all my friends can steal it from me.

‘Thou shalt not steal.’  I’m sure God wasn’t thinking about craft ideas when He spoke those words.

So here it is.  My first craft tutorial.  You have permission in advance to steal the idea.

Two books that I found at garage sales a couple of years ago. After doing a few of these, I found that older books with yellowed, crisper pages made a more sturdy pumpkin. One other helpful hint: pick a medium sized book. I made the mistake of thinking a large book would make a better looking pumpkin. The large book simply took way longer to make and I didn't think it was any better than the smaller ones I made.

The tutorial I followed said to make a template in the shape of half a pumpkin. Maybe I will next time I make one. I simply freehanded it on the first page.

Pick up the first 10 or so pages (according to how sharp your scissors are) and cut out the shape.

As you cut out the pumpkin, you can tear off the extra as you go.

Instead of a template, I just laid the cut pages on top of the uncut pages and traced the shape. This worked for me.

You could take the cover off before you get started. I didn't but I just tore it off after I got started.

Once you cut all the pages you will have something like this. At this point I tore off the back cover. You could do this before you get started. Doesn't matter.

I discovered that it helped to fan out the pumpkin if I weakened the binding. So break all the rules the librarian taught you about caring for a book and bend away!

After weakening the binding you are ready to attach the stem. I used cinnamon sticks because I found them for a good price at Sam's. I was planning to use twigs from my yard before I found cheap cinnamon sticks.

Hot glue the stem.

You are ready to fan out the pumpkin. Put hot glue around the edges of the first page. Quickly fan out the book aligning the last page with the first page and glue them together.

This is what mine looked like at this point.

Now you will need to fluff the pumpkin. I did this by taking two steps. First I laid the pumpkin down and pressed pages toward the pages that I had glued together. This helped some.

To spread the pages out even more, I pulled a few pages at a time toward the pages I had glued together and placed a dab of hot glue near the binding to hold them in place. I continued to do this every 5 to 10 pages until I was happy with the way it had fanned out.

I dusted the completed books with spray paint. I also found out the orange spray paint can make a white girl like me look like she put on bad self tanning lotion.

Okay...this idea was 100% from my brain...so maybe I am a little creatively crafty. To cover the spray paint smell, I sprayed the pumpkins with some yummy smelling pumpkin air freshener...I know...brilliant!. Watch out crafting world here I come!

These beauties were for my kid's teachers. Since I taught public school for five years, I have an extra special place in my heart for teachers. Everyone does things for teachers at Christmas and during teacher appreciation week. I try to do pick me ups for them during other times of the year. Notice the gift card I attached for McAlister's sweet tea. Simply punched a little hole in the card and Viola! I loved seeing the smiles on the teacher's faces when the kids handed the pumpkins to them.