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Osage Orange Crafts: Halloween Ideas

Osage Oranges

We decided to gather Osage oranges and use them for Halloween decorations

We decided to gather Osage oranges and use them for Halloween decorations

Behind our house in the woods is an Osage orange tree. On one of our recent hikes, the kids noticed the Osage oranges on the ground and said, “Those look like little pumpkins!”

Normally, we buy pumpkins and either carve them or decorate them using our Mr. Potato Head pieces. However, this year we have yet to buy our pumpkins. Finding these oranges made me wonder if we could kill two birds with one stone.

We would turn our Osage oranges into Halloween decorations and use them as our pumpkins.

Osage Orange Quick Facts

  • The trees were named by the Osage indians
  • Osage oranges have multiple nicknames including: hedge apples, monkey brains, monkey balls and horse apples
  • Only female Osage orange trees bear fruit
  • Squirrel love this fruit
  • Only the Osage orange seeds are edible for humans
  • It is claimed that the fruit repels spiders

Spray Painted Osage Oranges

Supplies needed:

  • Osage oranges
  • Spray paint
  • Protective surface

I love the natural green color of the Osage orange, but the kids wanted them to look like pumpkins. We bought orange and black spray paint. We lined our grass with cardboard boxes and black lawn bags and places the oranges on top. Then we began painting the oranges. The kids needed some help pushing hard enough for the spray paint to come out, but were able to help out. We decided to paint them orange, black and some black and orange. A handful we left in their natural green color.

Once the paint was dry, we needed to decide where to arrange them. The kids decided on two places. One spot was inside the front door in two Halloween baskets and the leftovers, the kids stacked in the corner by the front door, pouring leaves on top.

They enjoyed making the inside and outside entry ways to our house fun and Halloweenish.

Mr. Potato Head Osage Orange

Supplies needed:

  • Osage orange
  • Scratch awl
  • Mr. Potato Head pieces

Osage oranges are much softer than pumpkins. The kids were able to use the scratch awl to poke one inch holes into the oranges. Then they easily pushed in the potato head pieces. Simple enough!

When each of them completely their Osage orange potato heads, we moved them out to the front garden. The potato head feet were a little wobbly so we put a rock behind each.

They were eager to pose with their decorations.

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Can Find Osage Oranges? Buy Them!

Easy Halloween Decorations with Osage Oranges

It was fun to go to the woods, gather up the oranges and wheelbarrow them back to the house. Using the scratch awl was a little scary (for me) at first, but the kids were able to easily decorate the “pumpkins” themselves. Additionally, they were able to make two cute Osage orange arrangements.

The kids noticed there were tons of Osage oranges that haven’t dropped yet. I could see their minds working. I am guessing we might end up with some brown spray paint and some turkey looking Osage oranges.

They are limited only by their imaginations and the amount of Osage oranges we can find!


poetryman6969 on February 06, 2015:

These mutant looking looking fruits are one of the stranger things I have seen up close and personal. But folks seem to find a use for the fruit and the tree.

Karen Lackey (author) from Ohio on October 24, 2012:

The kids made more Potato Head Oranges today. So much fun and easy to do. Thanks for reading, Kashmir!

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on October 24, 2012:

Great hub and a very cool idea, love the Mr. Potato Head Osage Orange. Well done ! Vote up and more !!!

Karen Lackey (author) from Ohio on October 23, 2012:

When training for a walking marathon (pre-kids), we would walk past a row of Osage orange trees and I just saw them as things that might cause me to sprain my ankle. Post kids, I want to paint and stick faces on them. My how times have changed!

jellygator from USA on October 23, 2012:

We have these all over Kansas, too, but I've never seen them used in this way. We aren't decorating this year but I'll have to remember these terrific ideas next time we live in an area where kids are. Sigh...

A good friend of mine swears by the spider repellent qualities you mentioned. She places them around the outside of her house.

Karen Lackey (author) from Ohio on October 23, 2012:

Billy- They are native to Oklahoma and Texas, but found throughout the Midwest. The kids had so much fun and the majority of the supplies were free or we already had them! Thanks for reading, Billy!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 23, 2012:

How clever and here's the strange thing: I have never heard of these oranges or even seen them. Very cool ideas!

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