Easy No-Carve Pumpkin Decoration

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If you love using pumpkins to decorate for Halloween, but you don’t like the hassle of carving, you can still create stylish pumpkin décor without lifting a knife. Though carved jack-o’-lanterns are a scary-night staple, cut pumpkins don’t last very long, quickly succumbing to mold, moisture and rot. By decorating a gourd without cutting it, you can keep your display going all month long without fear of decay. And with no worry about sharp knives, even your young children can enjoy decorating a pumpkin of their own.

No-Carve Black Cat Pumpkin

Turn a pumpkin into a Halloween kitty.

You will need:

  • Mini pumpkin with a somewhat flattened shape
  • Small pumpkin with a somewhat flattened shape
  • Black spray paint
  • Green construction paper
  • Brown construction paper
  • Black construction paper
  • White florist wire
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Orange ribbon for tying a bow
  1. Cut away the stems from both pumpkins, and clean pumpkins thoroughly to remove any dirt or dust.
  2. Lay the pumpkins on newspaper or drop cloth, and spray paint both black. You will need to use several coats for good coverage.
  3. When the paint is completely dry, glue gun the smaller pumpkin on top of the larger.
  4. Tie the ribbon around the cat’s neck, fashioning a large bow on the side.
  5. Cut two triangles from the black construction paper to serve as ears. Glue gun into position.
  6. Cut two green cat eyes from the green paper, and two cat pupils from the black. Glue gun onto the cat’s face.
  7. Cut a small triangle from the brown paper to serve as a nose, and glue into position.
  8. Cut six white wire whiskers, and glue three on each side of the nose. Bend the wires slightly for a crinkled look.
  9. Set kitty where he can be admired.

No-Carve Pumpkin Candy Corn

A whimsical take on the traditional fall candy.

You will need:

  • A pumpkin with a tall, tapered shape
  • Pencil
  • White spray paint
  • Yellow spray paint
  1. With the pencil, lightly mark a circle around the pumpkin approximately a third of the way down from the top, and another circle approximately a third of the way up from the bottom.
  2. Use the white spray paint to fill in the top third of the pumpkin, using short bursts of paint to maintain control.
  3. Fill in the bottom third of the pumpkin with yellow spray paint, again using quick bursts of paint.
  4. Let your candy corn pumpkin dry, then display.

No-Carve Jack-o’-Lantern

The easiest jack-o’-lantern ever, with no messy pumpkin “guts” to clean up!

You will need:

  • A medium sized pumpkin
  • Black washable marker
  • Permanent marker
  1. With the washable marker, outline a jack-o’-lantern face on your pumpkin. Give him the typical triangular eyes, triangle nose and jagged smile; or design a face that appeals to you.
  2. When you like the face, fill in with permanent ink. That’s it!

All-Eyes Pumpkin

Another super-easy design that even young kids can make.

You will need:

  • A small pumpkin
  • Glue
  • Wiggle eyes in various sizes
  1. Use glue to position wiggle eyes all over the pumpkin. Vary the sizes, but keep the spacing fairly even.
  2. Let glue dry, then display.

Preppy Pumpkins

With Washi tape, which is Japanese paper craft tape, you can create a plaid or striped pumpkin that looks sophisticated, rather than scary. Washi tape comes in a huge range of colors, patterns and sizes. If your local craft store doesn’t stock it, you can order from www.happytape.com.

You will need:

  • A medium pumpkin with a symmetrical shape
  • Pencil or light-colored dry erase marker
  • Washi tape in various widths and patterns
  • Scissors
  1. Wipe your pumpkin off with a damp rag to remove dust or dirt, then dry.
  2. Use your pencil to lightly sketch a pattern of stripes on your pumpkin. Create plaid with both horizontal and vertical stripes, or let all the stripes run in the same direction. You can space them evenly, or stagger the rows, it’s up to you!
  3. Use scissors to cut tape to the right lengths, and carefully apply to the pumpkin, following your penciled lines.

No-Carve Spider Pumpkin

Dress up your pumpkin with scary webs and spiders.

You will need:

  • A medium pumpkin
  • Black spray paint
  • White fishnet stockings. You can find these wherever costumes are sold.
  • Plastic spiders
  • Glue
  • Scissor
  1. Wipe off any dirt or dust, then spray paint your pumpkin with the black paint. Let dry.
  2. Cut a leg off the white stockings. Stretch the cut leg over your pumpkin, pulling it down so the toe of the stocking is positioned over the pumpkin’s stem. If necessary, cut a small slit for the stem.
  3. Pull the stocking tight, so the fishnet spreads and gives a web appearance.
  4. Cut away excess fabric, and glue the edges in place on the bottom of the pumpkin.
  5. Glue plastic spiders all over the web. Let dry, and display.

Sparkle Pumpkin

If you want a pumpkin with a glamorous style, instead of scary, play it up with metallic and sequins.

You will need:

  • A small pumpkin
  • Silver or gold spray paint
  • Various size sequins in your choice of colors
  • Glue
  1. Wipe your pumpkin clean, then spray paint with metallic gold or silver paint. You may need several coats for full coverage.
  2. Apply glue to the top of the pumpkin, letting glue spread and drip down the sides in uneven patterns. Press sequins into the glue, using enough sequins to cover the glued areas completely. Let the sequins stack and layer somewhat for the most sparkly appearance.
  3. Let dry, and display.

You don’t need a carving knife or a candle to have fun decorating a pumpkin for Halloween. With no worry about rot, you can design several, and display them all month long.

Last Updated: September 6, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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