Simple Halloween Decoration Ideas For Squash

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Though pumpkins are an autumn and Halloween decoration favorite, try picking up some gourds like squash from a local pumpkin patch or market, and create an authentic harvest display or Halloween decoration with these vibrantly colored and uniquely shaped produce.

Ghostly Gourds

Create organic ghosts with banana squash or butternut squash. If the squash is not already completely white, paint it until all other colors are covered. Then use black paint to create eyes and a mouth. Try angry, sad or spooky eyes and a large, circular open mouth shape to keep with the ghoulish theme. Place the haunting squash on your doorstep, in windowsills or along your front walkway to create a ghostly Halloween yard display, all without using pumpkins.

Gilded Cornucopia

Purchase a cone shaped basket from a craft store to begin making your cornucopia. Rather than leaving it traditionally unfinished, use metallic gold, silver or bronze spray paint to cover the basket. Fill the basket with various types of squash, including:

  • Acorn
  • Autumn cup
  • Carnival
  • Fairytale pumpkin
  • Sweet dumpling
  • Spaghetti

Leave the squash in their natural colors, with the basket as the only metallic accent for a subtle twist on the traditional cornucopia, or paint each squash a different metallic shade for a modern and elegant upgrade to the traditional fall decoration piece.

Ready for Planting Finished Product

Squash Spiders

Take a twist on the traditional jack-o-lantern with dark colors and spooky designs. For outdoor Halloween displays, try using darker colored squash rather than pumpkins. The best options include:

  • Acorn
  • Autumn cup
  • Buttercup
  • Green hubbard
  • Kabocha

Carve patterns of spiders in varying shapes and sizes into the squash, creating a dark background for the candle lit spider patterns. Templates for carving spiders are readily available on many Halloween and decoration websites. Once the squash are carved, try arranging them on a garden wall, next to your door, along a pathway, or in between bushes, all areas you may naturally find spiders. Mix in un-carved sweet dumpling squash, as their dark stripes on white appear similar to spider legs. Use flameless candles inside the squash to prevent fire hazards.

Squash Vase

Because squash come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, each kind presents a unique way to be used for decoration. Try hollowing out one of these squash to use as a vase for autumn flowers:

  • Delicata
  • Butternut
  • Green hubbard

Be sure to select a squash with a flat bottom, so it can be set on a table and filled with water without tipping over. For autumn flowers, try chrysanthemums, sunflowers and coral and orange roses.

Squash Pots

For a more substantial floral display the tall, thin squashes can fit, try carving out a lower, thicker squash to fill with many flowers and trimming like wheat, leaves and reeds. Good squash for full planters include:

  • Autumn cup
  • Carnival
  • Fairytale pumpkin
  • Kabocha
  • Sweet dumpling
  • Turban

To help the squash last longer, try placing a shallow bowl filled with water for the flowers inside the squash. This will prevent the squash from absorbing the water and rotting much quicker, or forming mold. Completely fill the squash with an array of orange, yellow and deep red flowers, along with dried leaves, wheat and twigs for a perfect fall flowerpot.

Squash Luminaries

For a modern take on traditional jack-o-lanterns, trade in your pumpkin for a squash, and ditch the faces for elegant and intricate patterns. Use tall and thin or short and round squash for these luminaries, depending on where they will be displayed. To line walkways, try thinner squash like banana, butternut and delicate. For porch displays or around home, try fairytale pumpkin, autumn cup or gold nugget. Cut lines, dots and swirls into the squash to create unique patterns of light, rather than faces. For a softer glow, don't cut all the way through the squash, but simply scrape away most of the layers. The light from a candle will still be seen through the thin layer of skin remaining, but will simply glow rather than brightly shine.

Squash Jack-O-Lanterns

If you do enjoy decorating your yard or home with jack-o-lanterns, try mixing in some squash with your classic pumpkins.

  • Butternut squash are a great choice for carving faces, as the start wide and narrow towards their tops. Use the change in shape to carve large mouths and tall eyes, easily creating a startled look perfect for Halloween.
  • Delicata squash can turned on their side to create a long, short face, perfect for big grins.
  • Autumn cup squash are shaped like pumpkins, but are dark green. Use these for carving ominous jack-o-lanterns with scary or angry expressions.
  • Carnival squash are typically colored with orange, white and green stripes, making them festive and playful. Use these for fun and friendly jack-o-lantern faces, and for an added pop of color and pattern in your Halloween display.

Mix up your traditional Halloween yard displays, table decor and seasonal floral arrangements by using squash in place of pumpkins. With their wide range of sizes, shapes and colors, squash are a great way to customize your Halloween and fall decorations, making them uniquely yours.

Last Updated: August 29, 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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