DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com

DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light

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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!

DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com

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 πŸ™‚ – 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!

DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com

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.

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DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com

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.

Instead?

Snipe hunt.

Wild goose chase.

Fool’s errand.

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

cousin itt pathway light supplies

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.

pulling faux flowers off a grass table skirt

Next, I made the opening for the solar charger.

man holding a solar string light

To do this, I placed the solar cell near the back of the hat and traced around it with a pencil.

man tracing around a solar cell on a top hat

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!

man cutting a hole in a hot hat with an x-acto knife
man cutting a hole in a hot hat with an x-acto knife
man cutting a hole in a hot hat with an x-acto knife

I put the hat aside and grabbed my orange plastic pumpkin and the denuded table skirt.

man holding a plastic jack-o-lantern

After removing the pail’s handle, I put a little hot glue near the opening of the candy pail.

man putting hot glue on a pumpkin pail

I pressed the skirt against the glue. It helps to have the gun on low temp for this!

man gluing a grass table skirt around a plastic pumpkin candy pail

And around and around I went – 3 wraps in total.

man gluing a grass table skirt around a plastic pumpkin candy pail
man gluing a grass table skirt around a plastic pumpkin candy pail
man gluing a grass table skirt around a plastic pumpkin candy pail

When I completed 3 wraps, I cut off the excess skirting.

man gluing a grass table skirt around a plastic pumpkin candy pail

I used the knife to carve out a small circle in the middle of the hat.

man cutting a small hope in a hat with a knife

I ran one end of the wired jute down through the hole.

man sticking jute into a tope hat

Then I tied a knot so the wire couldn’t come back through the hole.

knot tied in jute

I put hot glue on the edges shown below. That is where the hat comes in contact with the pumpkin.

putting hot glue on the edges of a top hat
putting hot glue on the edges of a top hat

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.

gluing a top hat on a raffia covered pumpkin

I dropped the intact wrapping of lights into the hole in the top hat.

putting lights into a plastic pumpkin

Then I nested the solar cell in place.

placing a solar cell into a top hat
placing a solar cell into a top hat

I broke the arms off the sunglasses with pliers using a twisting motion.

breaking the arms off sunglasses
breaking the arms off sunglasses

Then I glued the glasses to Cousin Itt’s face with two dabs of hot glue where I’d snapped off the arms.

gluing sunglasses on cousin itt

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.

DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com

And here’s my furry little man at night. I had to cover up two of the ceiling lights for these pics! πŸ™‚

DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com

We think he looks great, and having a few more to line a path would be amazing!

DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com

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DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Cousin Itt Pathway Light - TheNavagePatch.com
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28 Comments

  1. I am sooooo doing a few of these next year!!! We are doing a beach theme for Christmas this year so I will have extra grass skirts from the table and sunglasses from the tree. Poifect way to reuse everything!!

    (Did you catch what I did there? πŸ˜‰)

    This is one of the reasons we love your site – inspiration for our own home. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Beach-themed Christmas sounds great! Will you be serving roast pig and poi? I’ll never forget the first time I tried poi as a high school freshman in Maui. We went to a Luau at our hotel, and my parents talked it up like it was the second coming of the Quarter Pounder. Reality? Tasteless purple wallpaper paste. Blech! Maybe that was just the hotel version though. Maybe the locals make it taste good for themselves.

      1. No, Greg, poi is disgusting, even when it has other ingredients added to it to try to cover the wallpaper paste flavor and texture.

  2. So cute. The 50s, 60s and early 70s OLD PILLOWCASES! Love your posts. They always make me happy and make me laugh. They are like getting a happy hug and I cannot thank you enough for that hon.

  3. Love this. As a 50s baby, we used large brown grocery bags. We would have never settled for only getting enough sweets to fill a little bucket. And yes, I am diabetic today. lol Mom would let us eat all we wanted of the sweets and then loll around after crashing from the sugar high for days afterwards. I imagine it was her only time of rest.

  4. Love Cousin Itt. He has always been a favorite.
    BTW, what bit you on your hand is called a chigger. It is a very tiny insect that is in the Spanish moss, which you have to treat if you plan to use it anything. Please don’t bring the moss into your home without treating because the chiggers can migrate into your furniture and then you will have to get professional help to get rid of them.

    1. Ahhhh, good to know. Yes, we left it outside. I already knew by the time we got home with it that something had gotten me. How long do the bites take to heal? It’ll be two weeks this weekend, and they’re still puffy, red and itchy!

  5. Fantastic! My daughter was Wednesday Addams for Halloween 2 years ago. Her candy pail was a plastic pumpkin made over with yarn, sunglasses and a black bowler hat into Cousin Itt!!! I cut off the top of the hat so the candy could be dumped in! I like the way y’all think! πŸ˜‰

    1. LOL, we made one of those a few years back too, but we used the table skirt like with this one. It’s actually hanging from a knob back in Georgia. We never thought to bring it with us to Florida! πŸ™‚

  6. Love the idea! I too get frustrated with all the colors of pumpkins, however I have been told that a child carrying the blue pumpkin signifies that they are autistic. The teal signifies that the home has “food free” treats. The purple is for epilepsy.. this is only in Nebraska however, not sure if it’s nation wide? But I agree there should be many more orange pumpkins!!πŸŽƒ thanks so much for the fantastic idea!!! There really should be more adems family decorations out there!

    1. Hmmmm…interesting. I’d only heard about the teal having meaning. I’ll look into those other colors. Still, Walmart and others should get a better handle on the demand for alternate colors and adjust inventory accordingly! Thanks for the info!

  7. If you are going to use Spanish moss for crafting give it a zap in the microwave first. That will kill the bugs in it!

  8. I’d be afraid no kids today would know who Cousin Itt is! Well maybe if Grandma and Grandpa were taking the little ones around! And yes, I did grow up watching The Addams Family on TV and happily carried my brown grocery bag.

    1. You’re probably right, Barb! But he’s such a cool-looking guy, that everyone should like him right away, even if they’ve never seen an Addams Family episode! πŸ™‚

  9. I grew up in the 80s-90s and I remember the Addams family. I’ve downloaded a printable that says “We’re altogether spooky…..”. the song…..then you put your last name where Addams family is in the song on the printable. Going to frame it and put it out this year. Can’t remember where I downloaded it from…..I’ll have to do some searching to find it. We used pillow cases and plastic bags for the candy search night. I heard that on Halloween, they used to play tricks on people….throwing flour in their faces when they answered the door…..got that from a movie that starred Dorothy….what’s that actress’ name? oh yeah, Judy Garland. Good thing they don’t do that anymore or I’d turn the lights out and hide eating the candy all for myself.

    1. Makes sense – the kids do ask the question, “trick or treat?” Flour in the face isn’t much of a trick though, I’ll admit! LOL!

  10. Cousin It on his own is brilliant. Making him solar lighted moves him into genius! I’m pretty sure I have one of those little orange pumpkin pails down in the basement (AKA The Black Hole of Calcutta, or The Pit of Despair, depending on whether I’m going down there to find something or to clean) I may even have a black top hat. I predict that by the end of the weekend Cousin It will be living somewhere in my– …hmmm, that’s pretty crowded … maybe the ba– …nah, no one will see him there … well, somewhere around here. Thanks for the great ideas and alwaysclear, and fun, instructions.