From porches to town centers, pumpkins are a staple for Halloween. For some pumpkin carving can be a scary thought. For those looking to celebrate without worrying about knives and little hands, try some of these fun no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas.
Spooky Sugar Skulls
Colorful skulls usually made to celebrate the Day of the Dead make a great option for pumpkin decorating. You can pick up small, orange “sugar” pumpkins from the store or a local pumpkin patch, or you can start with a small white “snowball” pumpkin. This no-paint-involved decoration still lets your kids be creative.
1) Stick black duct tape onto wax paper and cut it into ovals for eyes and a spooky shape for a nose and mouth.
2) Peel off the wax paper and stick them onto your pumpkin for DIY stickers
3) Cut office stickers into any shape you like, and use them to surround the eyes or decorate all around the pumpkin.
If you’re looking for a simple, scissor-less pumpkin design, these colorful pumpkins might be just for you.
1) Paint the pumpkin a solid color to make the pom poms standout
1) Once the paint is dry, use glue dots or hot glue to affix pompoms of different colors and sizes onto your pumpkin
Getting Wiggy With It
Tinsel isn’t just for Christmas, local costume shops will have tinsel wigs for Halloween Use this wig to make a bright, and super-unique base to start your pumpkin creation.
1) Cut a little hole in the top of the tinsel wig for the stem, and slip it over the pumpkin. 2) Cut out pieces of foam in the shape of eyes and an angry monster mouth
3) To make your pumpkin extra spooky, use a same-color metallic cupcake liner for eyelids.
Paper Mache Madness
Paper mache your pumpkins with newspaper scraps and paint over them later for a fun texture. You can use store-bought or glue-based mache, but if you’re pinched for time, try making your own at home.
How to Make Glue-based Mache:
1)Start with flour, and add water, whisking all the time (an immersion blender works great, too) until it looks like pancake batter.
2) If you want it to dry clear, use 2 tablespoons of flour for every cup of water, and whisk it on the stove until it comes to a boil.
3) Once it starts to bubble, let it cool, then pour it out and let the kids go to town
Chalk It Up
Paint or spray on a coat or two of chalkboard paint and let it dry in a well-ventilated area. Once you’ve got a nice, thick, even coat, let the kids go wild with chalk. A coat of clear sealant will make sure the designs last the season, indoors or outdoors.
Fallen Leaf Pumpkins
Take the kids out for a scavenger hunt to look for leaves; everything from green ferns to brightly colored (but not crunchy) leaves will work to decorate your pumpkin.
1) Once you’ve got a bunch of leaves, head back inside and lay down a base coat of paint on your pumpkins; lighter colors or white will work best
2) Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of the leaves and stick them onto the pumpkins
3) Cover the leaves in another thin layer once they’re firmly in place to seal them in.
There’s plenty of print-out templates available online for making fall- or Halloween-themed animals out of your pumpkins.
• Colored felt
• hot glue
• glue sticks
• googly eyes
• construction paper
• pipe cleaners
Make extras, like wings or tails, out of construction paper or pipe cleaners for black cats, bats, and owls.
Witches, Pineapples, and Cupcakes, Oh My!
Here’s a few no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas that cover up the stem completely.
1) Paint a base coat of green, and use felt or craft foam to make a nose, eyes, and mouth.
2) The stem acts as a great anchor for a construction paper hat, complete with a wide brim!
1) Paint the pumpkin yellow and using green construction paper on the stem to create pineapple “leaves”.
2) Brown paint and craft foam can make the lines of the pineapple and any extras your kids might want.
1) Grab a cupcake wrapper, stuff it with some scrap fabric or crumpled paper, and then flip a mini pumpkin over into it so that the stem is hidden in the wrapper.
2) Paint the pumpkin’s bottom with your favorite color and then, while it’s still wet, sprinkle on some sprinkles.
Superhero Mask Pumpkins
Any superhero fan can appreciate these: grab a few craft foam masks from your local dollar store or party supplies store.
1) Use craft foam or construction paper, paint, glue, and whatever else your imagination can think up to decorate
2) Stick on the googly eyes stuck before you put the mask in place
3) Add some ears can make an easy Batman or Catwoman
4) Extra foam or construction paper can easily make the shapes for an Iron Man helmet, Wonder Woman’s tiara, or Captain America’s cap.