Los Angeles Times
Make this Halloween ‘pretty-scary’
Create a crafty unicorn pumpkin, no carving required. Etsy’s Dayna Isom Johnson tells how.
This Halloween, cast a spell that’s more magical than macabre with a no-carve unicorn pumpkin that is as sweet as it is simple thanks to step-by-step instructions from Dayna Isom Johnson, trend expert for Etsy .com and celebrity judge for NBC’s competitive crafting show, “Making It.”
“This pumpkin is more about whimsy than spooktacularness,” Isom Johnson said. “This year, it’s all about being pretty-scary.” And she should know. Halloween is a big deal on Etsy. A quick search for “Halloween decor” on the website devoted to makers and handcrafted, artisanal goods turned up 233,782 results, and a search for “Halloween” in general yielded 1,310,019 matching responses.
“It’s one of our favorite times of the year,” said Isom Johnson, “because it’s all about being creative — whether that’s through home decor or what you’re going to dress up as; we have so many different levels of inspiration.”
As trend director, she combs through the site daily looking for new talent, trends and undiscovered merchandise.
“I try to find things that haven’t been tapped yet, that haven’t really been seen in the media yet,” Isom Johnson said, “and then I write a monthly trend guide.”
For the spooky season this year, Etsy’s most popular trends — meaning the ones being searched most often on the site — include tarot cards, mysticism, true-crime themes and palmistry. “You will start to see, if you haven’t already,” said Isom Johnson, “a lot of tarot card decks, a lot of palm prints and Ouija boards. I’m still terrified of Ouija boards myself,” she admitted, “but it’s a trend, and if you are into it, it’s up to you.”
Overall, Isom Johnson sees a style direction away from the old school plastic pumpkins and black and orange decor into what she is referring to as a more “elevated” and refined look. Enter, the unicorn. Galloping to front and center, the family-friendly DIY pumpkin craft is danger-free and foolproof, Isom Johnson said. (Not spooky enough for you? Grab a marker and draw a face, and maybe some fangs, where you — or the kids — see fit.)
“There’s no messing it up — because if you mess up, no big deal; you can start again or present it as it is.”
It’s a wabi-sabi philosophy the trend expert defines as “really just loving and embracing something that is handmade.”