Since the original jack-o-lantern from legend was formed from a hollowed-out turnip filled with a glowing coal, families should feel free to get creative and explore other means of creating spooky lanterns than just carving pumpkins. Use those fresh apples from the family field trip to the farmer’s market or the local u-pick apple orchard to design and carve apple jack-o-lanterns as a fun and easy fall craft for kids.
1. Select apples that are large enough to fit a tea light (whether real or electric) at their base and have firm flesh that will be easy to slice and carve and will hold the shape of your jack-o-lantern’s features. You might use many of the same variety of apple for a uniform look or carve several different apples of varying shapes and skin colors to create an interesting contrast in your fall or Halloween decorations.
4. Using a serrated melon baller, scoop out the flesh of the apple, saving it for a snack, for a baking project, or for making applesauce. Be gentle as you scoop to make sure that you do not tear or puncture the apple’s skin. Be certain to hollow out enough room for your tea lights to fit and sit flat on the inside floor of each apple.
7. Insert the tea lights and replace the lids of your finished carved apple jack-o’-lantern decorations. If you are using a real tea light instead of the electric flameless kind, cut a tiny vent hole in the lid of each carved apple and watch the flame closely once it is lit to make sure it does not begin to burn the fruit.
Your finished apple jack-o-lanterns can be used indoors on a shelf or windowsill or outdoors on a porch or the front steps as decorations for fall or for a Halloween party. Place them next to gourds, a pumpkin, colored autumn leaves, or ears of corn to create a seasonal autumnal effect.
These fun Halloween crafts for kids will begin to decay once carved, so plan ahead if you want to showcase them at a particular time. For the first day or so they will just wizen and become spookier, but around day five they will most likely begin to mold. Additionally, ones displayed outside will be eaten by squirrels sooner rather than later.