Pumpkin Carving and Decorating
Pumpkin carving is a fall tradition in many households. Intricately carved pumpkins proudly adorn the doorsteps, yards and tables of homes during the fall season.
The days of carving your pumpkin with the typical triangular shaped eyes and nose are long gone. People have turned pumpkin carving and decorating into an art. There are pumpkin decorating competitions at schools, job sites, retail outlets and charity events.
Cut them, paint them, stencil them or just write on them. The options are endless. The purpose is to delight adults and children with your own creativity.
While many people enjoy and have a knack for carving, most of us are not that skilled.
Its time to think out of the box and let those creative juices flow.
So for those of us who tend to stick with the traditional triangle shaped carvings, put down your knife and think out of that box. Make a plan and create your design.
Then pick up the knife up and start pumpkin carving!
Pumpkin carving tips
If you want to try your hand at pumpkin carving be sure to use a sharp serrated knife for carving.
First cut the top off of the pumpkin and hollow out and clean the inside of the pumpkin.
Next, draw on a free hand design or use a stencil and then start carving.
Be sure to keep the pumpkin seeds for toasting up a special treat!
Use the ends of small squash to pop into the holes you cut for eyes. This gives a nice 3d effect
Leave a gap in the cut out teeth large enough to fit an apple in so it looks like he is having a healthy snack
Rather than a face carve out stars and a witches hat
Draw a scar line on your pumpkin. Then glue on halves of toothpicks across the line so it looks like stitches.
Plastic eyeballs or painted ping pong balls can be fitted into your cut eye sockets.
Add moss for hair and then glue on a witches hat.
Glue artificial flowers and foliage on for that 60’s look.
Bundle up some dried wheat with floral tape and then cut a slit in the top of the pumpkin and glue it on to the top of the pumpkin. This will create a punk Mohawk look.
Use an awl to poke holes in the top of the head and then push in lollipops for hair. It’s perfect for help yourself treats.
Put plastic spiders in the carved eyehole.
Have plastic snakes coming out between the teeth.
Glue on a zipper for the mouth for a fun look you can then have the zipper open or closed. This makes a cute “speak no evil pumpkin”!
Use card stock to make accessories like eyebrows, glasses, moustache and pipes. Then add freckles or warts.
Make a wig out of wheatgrass to glue to the top of the pumpkin. Hair, hair, its everywhere!
Decorate your pumpkins with Halloween stickers. This is fun and easy for children and gets them to participate in the pumpkin carving event.
Leftover plastic Easter eggs can be fitted into the eye sockets.
Simply break them in half so that they are inset, or use them whole so they are bulging out.
Pumpkin Decorating Tips
Amazing pumpkin art can still be done without even carving!
Use a bold marker to write a message. Such as, “Happy Fall”, “Treats are Ready Here!” ,”Tricks First!” etc.
Black, thick sharpies stand out the best on the orange background but you can use whatever color you have available.
Paint your pumpkin black and stencil on bats, witches, spiders etc.
Use your bits of left over spray paint, any color, to make a rainbow of pumpkins up your front steps.
Hollow out pumpkins and then put in some florist foam. Make a fall display with branches, leaves and fall flowers.
Decorate your pumpkins using glitter glue to make the moon and stars.
Puff paint works great for a 3d effect to outline features or write a message.
Black construction paper works great to cut out shapes of bats, witches, black cats etc. Glue on with a glue gun or craft glue.
Sequins work great to glue on to make eyes, mouth and nose.
Paint your pumpkin white, cut eyeball sockets. Then cut two holes the size of two ping pong balls to use for eyes. Use red marker to draw veins on the eyeball and black marker for the eyeball. Pop into the socket for an eerie look.
Don’t let fear hold you back. Pumpkin carving rocks! Go crazy on the decorating!
Use duct tape to create a design, spray paint and then remove the tape when dry.
Glitter ribbon in black or gold can be glued on to a spray painted white pumpkin to make a spider web design.
Fill a clear jar or vase with candy, fit a mini pumpkin in the top opening for Mr. Pumpkin Heads. Decorate it with felt scraps for eyes and mouth and make a bowtie out of the construction paper or use felt. Next cutout an apron shape or dress shape and glue to the front for Mrs. Pumpkin Head. Pumpkin heads have never looked so good!
Troll like figures can be made with bumpy and ugly gourds. Cut small Styrofoam balls in half, glue on for eyes, then hot glue a hard candy in the center for the eyeball, Next use twigs to glue for teeth and legs
Turn an odd shaped pumpkin or gourd into a porcupine by having toothpicks, or wooden skewers poking out all over it.
Instead of putting the pumpkin, have a mass of plastic snakes spewing out of it.
There are no limits to your imagination or your pumpkin carving!
Use old magazines to cut out eyes, lips and mouths and then glue on for funny pumpkin faces.
Paint the pumpkin black. Then cut out two “bat” wings from black construction paper. Next glue one on each side on the back of the pumpkin. Now cut out two small ear shapes from the black paper, then glue them to the top of the head. Use white felt scraps to make eye shaped cutouts then glue on googly craft store eyes for the Bat Pumpkin.
Use string or kitchen twine to wrap around the pumpkin, then glue on spiders for an instant web.
Fill a pair of old leggings with crumpled newspaper or bags and then set them upside down in a hollowed out pumpkin. This gives the illusion of legs sticking out of it.
Take advantage of all the free stencils, templates, stickers and cutouts on the web. Any shape or object you can think of can be found and downloaded. These are particularly helpful for children (and adults!) who have not yet perfected their drawing skills. Anyone can be a Master Pumpkin Designer!