This DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light is a fun and easy craft that will help the little ghouls and goblins find their way to your house this Halloween!
I told you recently about my travails, trials and tribulations as I scoured the Georgia – Florida corridor for a full 2 years vainly searching for those ubiquitous orange pumpkin candy pails. [It was only one year my babes but two Halloweens 🙂 – Handan]
Or what I thought were ubiquitous, having seen them every year of my half-century life!
Ubiquitous, madam! Something to be found everywhere!
And were they not until recent times?
What American child who plied the streets for a cheap sugar fix on All Hallows Eve in the 60s, 70s and 80s didn’t own one? (You outliers of the 40s, 50s, 90s and aughts need to chime in and tell me if pumpkin pails were a thing in your day.)
I know we all graduated to pillow cases at a certain age for their increased sugar-hauling capacity, but the plastic orange pumpkin candy pail was de rigeur among the fledgling kindergarten-aged door-knockers and candy-grabbers.
So it should stand to reason, that every Tom, Dick and Henrietta of the retail world would carry such a profoundly popular and, yes, madam, ubiquitous Halloween item!
But for the life of me, I haven’t been able to find one!
Not a single, cheap, injection-molded, factory-smelling, made-in-China orange plastic pumpkin candy pail! At least not in the size that a normal human child might carry on The Night of a Thousand Chocolates.
Oh, they have jumbo orange plastic pumpkin pails. Look, I know we’re a nation careening headlong into a diabetic epidemic, but this is just ridiculous. You’d have to be the son or daughter of Hagrid the Giant to wield such a candy pail!
And I’m not saying they don’t have any plastic candy pails of a suitable size for small humans. Certainly they do!
But you must content yourself with a blue pail or a pink pail or a purple pail, or yes, even a teal pail.
Now, we all know that the teal pail serves an important purpose. It has a profound meaning, so the teal pail gets a pass and will forever be welcome on the Shelves of Halloween.
But blue and pink pumpkins? They make me spit crumbs and mustard.
Look, I’m not against them on principle. I’m against the poor grasp of economics displayed by the management teams of Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and everywhere else that should be selling orange plastic pumpkin pails.
Because here’s the thing. If your shelves are empty where the orange plastic pumpkin pails should be and full where the pink and blue plastic pumpkin pails are, then you have failed to master the very foundation of Economics 101: supply and demand.
This is why for two years I have searched every nook and cranny in the Georgia – Florida corridor looking for 2 (TWO!) orange plastic pumpkin pails. And don’t get me started about “real-time online inventory.” Walmart, I’ve a mind to march right into your boardroom and tell you precisely what I think of your “real-time” inventory. If it weren’t for your misinformation, I would have saved hours of my life and gallons of precious gasoline.
Wild goose chase.
Boondoggle without the boon!
I gave up. I really did. I threw in the towel. In the financial world, there is a saying, “don’t throw good money after bad.” It means if you’ve invested in a turd, don’t keep funding it. Get out while you still can. I applied the same idea to the Pumpkin Quest.
After my latest failure (and I had such high hopes), I called my babes from the Halloween section of the Target in Jacksonville Beach (I was assured online that they had several in stock) and told her I was out.
No more running around like the Headless Horseman’s headless chicken.
I was done. I washed my hands of the entire situation and took back my life.
The next day, Handan texted me from work. It was early afternoon, and she had just gotten back from her lunch break.
“My babes,” her text began, “I found 3 orange pumpkins!”
Joy, Anger and Jealousy all vied for pole position within me.
“That’s great!” I wrote back, letting Joy elbow past Anger and Jealousy.
Apparently, she found them at the very first Walmart she tried. How’s that for beginner’s luck?
Well, it is what it is, and at least my years of fruitless searching and pointless wandering are over. We had the supplies we needed for this project, and really that’s all that matters, right?
DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light
- Orange plastic pumpkin pail (we got ours for about $1 at Walmart – Amazon has them for more)
- Grass table skirt
- Black top hat (a top hat has a flat top to better accommodate the solar charger)
- Wired jute cord (for hanging, available at Dollar Tree) – you can useless regular rope, but the wired keeps him facing one direction
- Cheap sunglasses (we got them at Dollar Tree)
- Solar string lights
- Hot glue gun
- X-Acto knife
I don’t think Morticia and Gomez would approve of Cousin Itt festooned with brightly-colored flowers, so my first job was to pull them off the grass table skirt. They’re only held on by a blob of hot glue, so they come off fairly easily.
Next, I made the opening for the solar charger.
I then cut out the rectangle with an X-Acto knife. See those two puncture marks on my hand? And remember how excited I was for Spanish moss when we moved to Florida? Well, on my first moss gathering trip, something in one of the trees bit me. Never saw what it was and never felt anything. But it’s been over a week and a half, and those punctures are still going strong! Yeesh, the things I do for crafting materials! On the plus side, the moss looks fantastic in our new Halloween display!
I put the hat aside and grabbed my orange plastic pumpkin and the denuded table skirt.
After removing the pail’s handle, I put a little hot glue near the opening of the candy pail.
And around and around I went – 3 wraps in total.
When I completed 3 wraps, I cut off the excess skirting.
I used the knife to carve out a small circle in the middle of the hat.
I ran one end of the wired jute down through the hole.
Then I tied a knot so the wire couldn’t come back through the hole.
I positioned the top hat and let the glue set. Note that the face of the jack-o’-lantern is facing back. You don’t want that in front, or the face may show through the raffia.
I dropped the intact wrapping of lights into the hole in the top hat.
Then I nested the solar cell in place.
I broke the arms off the sunglasses with pliers using a twisting motion.
Then I glued the glasses to Cousin Itt’s face with two dabs of hot glue where I’d snapped off the arms.
With that, our DIY Cousin Itt Pathway light was done! If we were in a house with an actual path, I would have made a few more, but as it is, we have a well-lit, covered entryway.
Here’s how he looks in the day.
And here’s my furry little man at night. I had to cover up two of the ceiling lights for these pics! 🙂
We think he looks great, and having a few more to line a path would be amazing!