Bowling Pin Ghosts

My children are beyond thrilled that their mother participated in a Fall Home Tour on the blog a few weeks ago, and therefore already has pumpkins to carve for Halloween.

This truly is a big deal in our family.


You see, years ago, when my boys were 3 and 7, their mother, me, did the unthinkable.


First, I had planned for us to go the local pumpkin patch as a family, but the two weekends we had available ended up getting rained out.

While I was sad that we missed out on the pumpkin patch, I wasn’t too concerned about our lack of pumpkins because I knew if all else failed, I could buy one at the grocery store.

Well, before I knew it, it was the night before Halloween…

…and we were pumpkinless!

So, we all loaded up in the car and headed out to the grocery store to pick one up to carve that night.  

Unfortunately, the first store we went to was sold out.

As was the second, third, fourth and fifth!

At this point, we decided to head home… pumpkinless… with my kids in the back seat crying and I feeling like the worst mother on the planet.

So, I did the unthinkable….

…I stole one.

Oh yes, there is more to that story, but first, let me share with you a fun and easy craft to help you decorate for Halloween…before the night before Halloween!

Bowling Pin Ghosts

Bowling Pin Ghosts


3 Old Bowling Pins


Black Paint Marker

Printer Paper

White Paint


Bowling Pin Ghosts

Step One:  Grab yourself three old bowling pins.  (This is where working in an antique store comes in handy!)  

Bowling Pin Ghosts

Step Two:  Paint the bowling pins white.  

I used three coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.

Bowling Pin Ghosts

Step Three:  Tie ribbon around the neck of the bowling pin.  (I did this step here because it showed me where my ghost face and letters would fit best.)

Bowling Pin Ghosts

Step Four:  Print out “BOO” letters.  I used a font called “The World is Yours” that I downloaded from www.dafont.com.  

Bowling Pin Ghosts

Step Five:  Shade the back of each letter with a pencil.

Bowling Pin Ghosts

Step Six:  Place a letter, shaded side down, onto the bowling pin.  

Trace your letter.  

Once you remove it, it will leave the traced letter behind.

Bowling Pin Ghosts

Step Seven: Using your black paint pin, color in the letters and create a spooky face on each of your ghosts.

Bowling Pin Ghosts

There you have it!  Super easy little bowling pin ghosts!

So, back to my story… before you start to think horrible thoughts about me!

At the time, we lived in a master planned community, and the weekend before Halloween, our neighborhood had a Monster Mile walk for the kids.  As the children walked down the main street of the neighborhood, there would be staged areas where the children could get their picture taken with hay bales and pumpkins, and their favorite characters would be there along the way passing out candy.

Several of those staged areas were still set up from the weekend before, and as we drove past each one, I noticed each and every pumpkin along the way and I began to feel sorry for them.

You know, because they would be thrown away the next day and would not get to experience being carved for Halloween.

Sniff, Sniff.

So, I begged my husband to pull over at the next one we saw… 

…and I did what any mother would do for her children… I stole a pumpkin!


I know.  I know.

How could I do that?  What a bad example!

Well, that night, in front of the children, I emailed the community manager and let him know what I did.  I explained our situation and what a horrible mother I had been.  I told him I would gladly pay for the pumpkin if he would just let me know how much I owed him.

Of course, he replied and told me he understood. He said I didn’t need to pay anything and they were happy we were able to use it.

Now, every year when Halloween rolls around, my husband has to kid me about the time I stole a pumpkin!!

So, as you see, my children are overjoyed that we have not only one pumpkin, but four!

Please tell me you’ve done something dumb for your children before too?  

Much Love,





My name is Claire and I am behind the blog... The Rustic Pig. I am a wife, a mother to 2 boys, and I just might be addicted to Craigslist. I love to buy antiques, paint them, and give them a chance to be loved again! Please feel free to pull up a chair and stay for a while. If you ask a question or leave a comment, I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!


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Texas gal, wife, mother to 2 boys, author behind the blog The Rustic Pig, business owner, antique lover, and Christ follower!

Latest posts by Claire (see all)


  1. You are just the most creative person (even though you may be morally corrupt. jk!) ! I love it!
    Marty Walden recently posted…Home{work} Wednesday Favorites and an AnnouncementMy Profile

  2. So cute so Cute!! Love them!!
    Lori @Vintage Charm Restored recently posted…Farmhouse Chic Welsh Dresser MakeoverMy Profile

  3. LOL funt post and I just love these.Tthey are sooo cute
    Beca@ Creative Dominican recently posted…Fall / Halloween Letter BlocksMy Profile

  4. Absolutely love your bowling pin ghosts, perfect shape and great added touches! Thank you for sharing! And Happy Almost Halloween!

  5. Loved this post, Claire 🙂 And the ghosts are adorable!!
    Cindy @ Diy beautify

  6. Yup, those are cute!

  7. kathi shelley says:

    I think about the worst thing I ever did for one of my kids, our son, was a history project the night before it was due. He hadn’t told me about it beforehand, and had several weeks to get it done, but of course didn’t. I don’t even remember what it was, but I did get a call from his teacher a few days later asking how much help I had given him, and when I confessed to doing it all, she said she thought so. He got an incomplete on it and had to do it all over by himself. He never pulled that on me again! He was in 7th grade.

  8. I love all your posts, you have some great ideas and real flair. Well done x


  1. […] My kids are beyond excited!  Plus, I am feeling very accomplished since I bought their costumes at the beginning of the month rather than waiting until the day before like I typically do. Please tell me I am not alone here?  Surely you wait until the last minute too?  You know, when there is nothing left except a Care Bear or Strawberry Shortcake costume.  So, this year, I totally deserve the Mother-of-the-Year award since not only do we have our costumes, but we have pumpkins!  In case you missed the pumpkin story, you can read that one here. […]

  2. […] Just in time for Halloween- upcycled bowling pin ghosts!! […]

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