Frost on the Punkin’

   I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
   As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me
   I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
   When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
~ James Whitcomb Riley

When I was in the fifth grade at Marlin Elementary School (Bloomington, Indiana) we had a substitute teacher who was old and stern. But if we did everything she asked, at the end of the day she read us a poem from Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. I loved her!


Gingham Pumpkin Treat Box

When she read Little Orphant Annie, “the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you” got me every time. When the Frost is on the Punkin’ described everything I loved about a Southern Indiana Autumn. It’s the inspiration for my frosted pumpkin treat boxes.

Frosted Pumpkins

In full disclosure, James Whitcomb Riley and Mom McClain were my muses. Mom McClain started the family tradition of putting little trinkets at the top of our place settings at Thanksgiving and Christmas: woodland animals, Christmas ornaments, little candles . . . I still have all of them.


3d Pumpkin Treat Box

I thought these would be sweet atop our plates this Thanksgiving, especially since they have a sweet center. Rolos!


Pumpkin Treat Box


Tips & Techniques

I modeled the berry basket after the vintage balsa wood baskets the apple orchards filled with their fruits and vegetables. You can find the cut file (or template) here. This Greengrocer’s 100% recyclable Brown Bag card stock  is perfect for this basket. To make it as close to the original as possible, I added a little bit of crackling medium along the top and sponged some kraft ink around the edges. I aged the staples by coloring them with a Copic marker (E59).


Berry Basket

Here’s how to assemble the pumpkins from this Silhouette SVG cut file. I varied the instructions a little to accommodate a twine and button pumpkin stem.

Pumpkin Box Tutorial

  1. After you cut out the leaves and pumpkin shapes ink the edges with a soft brown ink. Add a little frost (glitter) to the leaves. You can also ran the orange paper through a Dotted Swiss embossing folder for a nice warty gourd look.
  2. Bend the creases of the pumpkin and gently push the bottom up, so the pumpkin can sit flat. Glue the tab to secure.
  3. Lace some brown twine (at least 12″ long) through the button. This will just keep the twine secure for the next step.
  4. Thread both ends of the twine through the first pumpkin hole so the button will be on the inside. Then continue to thread the twine through the pumpkin holes in a clockwise order. Don’t forget to add your treat before you finish threading the last hole. Push the pumpkin top down, arrange and tie a knot in the twine to secure.
  5. Add the green top. Push down and tie a bow to the top.
  6. Thread the twine through the button, tie a couple of knots to secure, and trim the twine.

Here are the rest of the ingredients.

We’re celebrating the color orange here at the Catered Crop Orange is the New Black Recipe Swap. And I’m adding this to these challenge sites: Chocolate, Coffee & Cards #50, Papercraft Star Challenge #166, and Really Reasonable Ribbon #82 (RRR82).

I found two videos  with my favorite James Whitcomb Riley poems. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, and I’ll leave you with Mr. Riley’s words of caution.

You better mind yer parunts, an’ yer teachurs fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you




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Sweet Comments

  1. Absolutely gorgeous!! Thanks so much for playing along at Papercraft Star!!
    Ros Crawford recently posted . . . Pumpkin PatchMy Profile

  2. First, let me say that I love your project…too bad I don’t have an electronic cutter!! They’re adorable! Second, I LOVE James Whitcomb Riley and am very familiar with Frost on the Punkin, but I had never heard of Little Orphaned Annie….so funny, cute & scary!!! TFS….I can always rely on you for a bit of “culture” on any given day!
    LeAnne recently posted . . . ColourQ212My Profile

  3. Charming!!! Charming pumpkins and basket, charming poem! I can see why it all came together so perfectly for you!

  4. lovely, LInda. that basket is sooo fabulous and so are those gorgeous treat filled goodies.
    Lisa Henke recently posted . . . RC {retro sketch no.86-hello friend}My Profile

  5. SWOON!!! Linda these are as sweet as can be!! What time is Thanksgiving dinner!!??!!

  6. Here I sit thinking “OMGosh I have GOT to GET that lil’ pumpkin!” and I already own it! I’m going to make bunches of these… your inspiration is fantastic, Linda!
    Tammy Hershberger recently posted . . . Kitchen Sink Stamps ChristmasMy Profile

  7. This project is just delightful! Thanks so much for participating in our Really Reasonable Ribbon Challenge.

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