Decorate Your Pumpkin

‘Tis the season to break out the plastic tombstones, string the artificial bats, and buy all kinds of candy for the trick-or-treaters who’ll be haunting your house on Halloween!

Disclosure: The links on this page are "Affiliate Links" and while these are shown at no costs to our viewers, they generate commissions for our website(s)

Decorate Your Pumpkin - In an Out-of-the-Box Way!

‘Tis the season to break out the plastic tombstones, string the artificial bats, and buy all kinds of candy for the trick-or-treaters who’ll be haunting your house on Halloween! This is the time to celebrate when scary meets fun, and to showcase your appreciation of darker aspects of entertainment, like haunted houses and all-in-good-fun pranks. But if you want to dive more into the fun and less into the spooky aspects of the holiday, that’s okay, too—and doable if you plan your festivities right!

One great way to celebrate Halloween with less of the horror involves your strategy for decorating pumpkins. Rather than grabbing that knife and carving something vicious and terrifying, you can employ a different design technique to come up with something that can’t help but be Halloween-inspired as a pumpkin, but is more in line with the fun elements of the holiday.

There are numerous ways to go about this strategy, including these!

Color Them Up!

While instinct might have you grabbing for that carving knife to fix up that pumpkin, adding color can be a unique way to decorate it rather than cutting away bits of the pumpkin. There’s so much room to explore this possibility, like using colors that match your home’s primary color scheme or ones that represent Halloween. Better still, there are various methods of adding that color to your pumpkin, and you might have some of those options around your house right now!

For instance, you could paint your pumpkin with the tried-and-true paint-and-brush method (Mohrman, n.d.), or you could use other materials in place of the brush to get different textures from the paint, like paper towel that’s dipped in paint and placed over the pumpkin. Beyond paint, you can use melted crayons that you pour over your pumpkin (Grosspietsch, n.d.), giving it a layered look as the colors pile on one another, and you can employ tissue paper ( Country Living staff, 2017) as a method of transferring color onto the pumpkin.

Coloring your pumpkin like this is a great way to add personality to your décor, and it’s also a possibility that works wonderful for children who are too small to get involved with the carving process. Just give them paint, and watch them decorate!

Stitch Them Up!

That’s right! You can cross-stitch your pumpkin with a design you draw on there ( Country Living Staff, 2017)! Admittedly, this method does not completely alleviate the process of cutting the pumpkin since you’ll need to punch holes to do the stitching, but the carved aspect is shelved for this option. Rather, you can use yarn to weave through the holes you punch into the pumpkin to create a cross-stich design that will stand out among standard face-carved pumpkins.

Once more, this is an option that comes with creative possibility since you can choose a cross-stitch pattern that catches your interest, matches your home décor, or fits with the holiday’s theme. There’s room to have a whole lot of your personality right on that pumpkin for people to admire after they spot it, all from one pattern, a little hole-punching, and a bit of yarn. Sounds good, right?


Frost Them Up!

Remember that Halloween is in fall, and fall means you’re on your way to winter. If you want to embrace that transition in your holiday decorations, you can create a frosted look on your pumpkin rather than something that’s too Halloween-specific. While this might seem like a wrong idea for Halloween décor, keep in mind that it’s still a pumpkin, and a pumpkin is still Halloween!

You can achieve this look through glue, glitter, and Epsom salt (Grosspietsch, n.d.) that cover the top of your pumpkin and streak down from the top. This pattern mimics the authentic look of frost since an outdoor pumpkin probably wouldn’t be frosted all over, and it can create a visual that declares that colder months are on their way. It’s a simple process, but an effective one!

Accessorize Them!

While you have that glue handy, why not use it to add embellishments to a few other pumpkins? There are so many possibilities on your doorstep through gluing decorations on the pumpkin, and as long as you use glue that will hold the additions in place, few limitations exist about what can be done with this simple tactic.

For instance, you can decorate with ribbons, fabrics, and buttons to create a unique work of art for every pumpkin you have at your disposal. One can look like a wrapped present with its ribbon, another could be covered in Halloween-based fabric, and another could use buttons in an organized pattern. Your end result would be a series of pumpkins that all represent Halloween in different ways.

Pin Them up!

Like the cross-stitch method, pushpins can be used to create a unique design on your pumpkin when carving seems a bit too cliché (Gibson & Kills, n.d.). Also like the cross-stich method, you can use a pattern that’s traced on your pumpkin to build the design, but unlike the cross-stitch method, you won’t need to worry drawn punching holes to weave in the pattern. Rather, the design is achieved by the pushpins piercing the pumpkin in their designated pattern.

If you want a witch on your pumpkin, for instance, draw the outline of a witch there to show where the pushpins need to be to construct the visual. Once the pattern is there, push your pins in place to outline the pattern, and there you go! Again, this is a tactic that allows a whole lot of creativity since you can choose or create any kind of pattern you want, and the supplies are pretty cheap as well since all you need besides the drawing materials are pushpins. It’ll be a unique appearance for your holiday pumpkins with little effort!


Fill Them Up!

If you want to carve, but you don’t want to carve in detail, treat your pumpkin like a diorama (Grosspietsch, n.d.). With this strategy, you’ll literally have the stage set for a holiday scene, and it’s completely surrounded by a pumpkin. What combination could be more suitable for Halloween?

All you need to do is carve a general rectangular shape on the front of your pumpkin, hollow out the pumpkin’s insides, then glue in elements to construct whatever scene you want to depict. Scary trees, witches’ brooms, flying bats… Whatever you feel is fitting for your pumpkin diorama, glue in the supplies and showcase your Halloween decoration!

Flower Them Up!

This particular tactic could involve the gluing idea that was referenced earlier, as in you use artificial flowers to cover your pumpkin, embracing Halloween while still clinging to ideas of spring and summer. That idea is unique and distinctive, and it can build a visual that your neighbors will admire as the floral pumpkins line your sidewalk.

You can also vary this strategy, if you’d like, by making your pumpkin into a flower vase (Stewart, 2006). To achieve this goal, you’ll need to begin your pumpkin-decorating process like you’re starting the pumpkin-carving process. Cut off the top of your pumpkin to allow the openness you’ll need for placing your flowers inside, and hollow it out to make room for these flowers. Once those steps are finished, pick your flowers, put them inside like you would a flower vase, and set them where your home’s guests can see them. Like with the notion of covering the pumpkin in flowers, this strategy can be a wonderful method of showcasing a love of Halloween without completely letting go of your spring and summer months—and that’s a stand-out combination, for sure!

Carving, painting, hollowing… There’s no shortage of ways to decorate your pumpkin, so be sure to pick one up the next time you spot them at a store! Halloween’s coming, after all!


Country Living Staff. (2017, August 28). 85+ Cool New Ways to Decorate Your Halloween Pumpkins. Country Living . Retrieved from

Gibson, B., & Kloss, K. (n.d.). 20 Simple (and Pretty!) No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas Anyone Can Try. Reader’s Digest. Retrieved from

Grosspietsch, K. (n.d.). 52 Unexpected and Amazing Ways to Decorate Pumpkins. Bob Vila. Retrieved from

Mohrman, T. (n.d.) Pretty No-Carve Pumpkins. Parents. Retrieved from

Stewart, M. (2006). Project Pumpkin Flower Vase. Martha Stewart . Retrieved from