Fun Ways To Decorate With Pumpkins This Fall

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Everyone knows they're perfect for jack-o-lanterns, but pumpkins hold great interior design potential come autumn. Whether you paint, glue and glitter them for a glamorous Halloween, or simply set them on a stack of hay, pumpkins are a great way to celebrate the seasons and bring the harvest inside your home. Don't wait for October to start enjoying the fun and festive uses of pumpkins.

Porches

One of the most common areas of your home to decorate with pumpkins is the porch. A Halloween tradition, jack-o-lanterns are often set near the front door to greet trick-or-treaters. This year, start decorating your entry way and porch with pumpkins earlier, taking advantage of the entire fall season. Some ways to decorate your porch with pumpkins include:

  • Flower pots: Carve out the inside of your pumpkin like you normally would for a jack-o-lantern. Once the inside is clean, find a flower vase that fits entirely inside the pumpkin, and cannot be seen once placed in. Select some of your favorite fall flowers in orange, red and yellow. Mix in some faux fall leaves and branches for an authentic harvest feel and enjoy your pumpkin flowerpot.
  • Natural: Pumpkins don't need to be carved to look festive on your porch. Consider using their size, shape and color as the decorative accent for a natural autumn theme. Find two tall, thin pumpkins to place on either side of your front door to act as entryway columns. Place pumpkins in descending sizes down front steps. For a unique autumn porch, use only yellow, white or green tinted pumpkins. Adding accents like hay and other gourds will also emphasize the natural, harvest aspect of your display.
  • Decorated: Instead of waiting for Halloween to carve pumpkins, decorate them in unique and stylish ways at the beginning of fall. A pumpkin doesn't have to be cut to be designed, allowing it to last longer. Consider using paint to draw designs, or entirely cover the pumpkin. Gold, bronze, white and clear glaze are great paint options to make your pumpkins stand out from the crowd. For texture, add metal detailing or wire shapes to the pumpkin before painting, creating an even more distinctive design.

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Mantels

The fireplace mantel is another great spot to decorate for the seasons. This fall, use pumpkins to bring autumn indoors. Again, consider using alternative design styles to create unique pumpkin displays along your mantel.

  • Small orange, white and yellow pumpkins are a great way to add warmth to your fireplace area, and they won't require any paint.
  • Set small pumpkins on candle holders in place of candles.
  • Replace mantel candles with small pumpkins, carved out with a tea light or votive inside.
  • For a modern, chic look, paint pumpkins black and white.
  • In ornate, formal areas with a mantel, try painting the pumpkins gold, bronze and silver, or coating them with a layer of shiny clear glaze.
  • In nautical themed homes, paint the pumpkins white, silver or blue.
  • Size the pumpkins appropriately to the mantel, fireplace and surrounding room. Smaller mantels and/or rooms should not be stuffed with large pumpkins.
  • Use tall, skinny pumpkins on either end of the mantel for a more dramatic look without increasing the weight, or appearing overbearing.

Table Display Pieces

Treat your guests to your creative autumn décor with simple, table centerpieces and décor incorporating or made entirely out of pumpkins. Perfect for dining rooms, coffee tables or kitchen nooks, create one of these festive displays to fit any room's style:

  • Candles: Typically used as table centerpieces to begin with, candles are a great way to make your pumpkins beautiful and functional. Try carving out a small to medium sized pumpkin and place a candle inside so that only the glow of the flame is visible. For a more dramatic look, carve out a short, wide pumpkin, fill it with water and place floating candles inside. To give pumpkins the appearance of elegant candleholders, paint them gold, silver, bronze, black or white. Place small pumpkins, with or without candles inside, on pillar candleholders along the length of the table.
  • Flowers: Like the porch flower pot, pumpkins can be used as indoor flower vases as well. Find a pumpkin appropriately sized to your table that can hide a vase inside once carved out. Paint the pumpkin an autumn color of your choice, or leave as is for a natural look. Select some warm colored fall flowers and place the centerpiece on any table in your home.
  • Hurricane glass: Place one or several tall, clear hurricane glasses in the center of your table. Fill with faux autumn leaves or acorns as a base, then stack small pumpkins in a tower. The pumpkin stack will be clearly visible, but can't be knocked over by guests in the safety of the hurricane glass.
  • Pumpkin Place Cards: Paint your guests' names on small pumpkins to be placed at their seat. Decorate the pumpkins according to the style of each guest for an extra personalized touch.

Give pumpkins a new life and a new purpose this fall by using them to decorate in fun and interesting ways. Elaborate table centerpieces, dramatic metallic mantel décor and authentic hay strewn porch displays are just some of the ways you can personalize your pumpkins to reflect the colors and themes of autumn.

Last Updated: August 31, 2011
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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