As classic as a carved pumpkin is on Halloween, hollowing and carving a jack-o’-lantern is time-consuming (and kinda gross!), especially if you’re busy wrangling trick-or-treaters, whipping up spooky treats or crafting DIY Halloween decor. Luckily, carving isn’t the only way to transform an ordinary pumpkin into the ultimate Halloween decoration. Try one of these cute and easy ways to dress up your pumpkin without a carving knife!
Use a sponge brush to coat your pumpkin with a thin layer of decoupage glue. Before the glue dries, sprinkle the pumpkin with your favorite color glitter. (If your pumpkin resembles The Great Pumpkin, do this in sections!) Shake or blow off any excess glitter. Allow the glue to dry completely before touching.
Make your house feel like the Upside Down with a Stranger Things-inspired pumpkin. To start, cover your pumpkin with two coats of paint and allow it to dry. On one side, roughly paint the alphabet in black paint; dry. Finish by wrapping with multi-colored Christmas lights, searching for Will and eating waffles.
Zig and Zag It
Create a chevron pumpkin by marking and cutting off your desired chevron depth on painter’s tape (we’d suggest 2½ inches for a standard pumpkin). Cut enough strips with the depth measurement to circle the pumpkin several times. Mark the widest part of the pumpkin with a pencil and position a cut piece of tape on a 45-degree angle, with the bottom corner touching the center guideline. Continue placing tape pieces around the guideline, alternating between an upward and downward angle, with the pieces overlapping at the ends. Once the tape is completely around the pumpkin, mark new guidelines and place tape above and below the center zigzag about 1 inch apart. Repeat as many times as needed to complete the chevron design. Cover the stem with painter’s tape to protect it. Spray-paint the pumpkin with two coats. While the paint is still tacky, remove tape from the pumpkin and allow the paint to completely dry.
You can also use spray paint to create other patterns on your pumpkin, such as stripes or a dip-dye look.
Home Is Where the Pumpkin Is
Create the cutest address sign on the block by nailing your house numbers to a pumpkin. For a cleaner look, spray-paint the pumpkin white before nailing on the numbers.
Start some string art by printing out your desired design—such as your home state or favorite sports team logo—on a piece of paper and taping it to a pumpkin. Using wire nails, outline your design, with the nails about half an inch apart and sticking a half-inch out of the pumpkin. Rip out the paper and discard. Using your desired color of crafting string, tightly knot around one of the nails and begin to weave it around the others, twisting around the nail heads as you go. Continue to weave around the nails until you get the desired coverage. Then cut the string and secure by knotting tightly around a nail.
With a can of silver-mirror spray paint, completely cover your pumpkin in two coats of paint. Allow to dry completely before asking it who’s the fairest of them all.
Create a gilded look by using gold spray paint instead.
Coat your pumpkin with two coats of either white or black paint; dry completely. Using a hot glue gun, glue crayons, with the labels removed, to the top of the pumpkin, with the crayon tips pointing downward (this is a perfect way to upcycle old crayons!). Melt the crayons with a hair dryer, working top to bottom, until the wax is melts and drips down the pumpkin. Allow to cool.
Cover your pumpkin in two coats of white paint; let it dry completely. Combine two parts glue with one part water until you have a slightly runny paste. Cut a roll of bandage gauze into 6-inch strips, dip into paste, and place on the pumpkin. Coat the pumpkin in two or three layers of gauze and allow to dry. Hot glue googly eyes and add a few more strips around the sides of the eyes to create a bandaged look; allow to dry completely.
Wrap It Up
Measure the circumference of your pumpkin and cut a piece of your favorite ribbon to that length. Wrap the ribbon around the pumpkin and secure with a hot glue gun. You can also use ribbon to decorate the pumpkin’s stem by wrapping ribbon around the stem, starting at the top, securing with hot glue as you go.
Chuck your carving supplies in the trash and say hello to super cute porch decor that’s here to stay!