Halloween Pumpkin Carving & Decorating

Pumpkin carving is a fall tradition in many households. Intricately carved pumpkins adorn the doorsteps, yards & tables of homes proudly during the fall season.

The days of carving your pumpkin with the typical triangular shaped eyes and nose are long gone. People have turned this into an art. There are pumpkin decorating competitions for schools, job sites, retail outlets and charity events.

Cut them, paint them, stencil them or 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 leave the carving to the professionals!! You can still do amazing pumpkin art without carving.

Here are a few suggestions :

  • Use a bold marker to write a message. “Happy Fall”, “Treats are Ready Here!” “Tricks First!” etc. Black thick sharpies stands out 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 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. 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.
  • 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 with felt scraps for eyes and mouth, make a bowtie out of construction paper or felt for the neck, for MR. Pumpkin Head and cutout an apron shape or dress shape and glue to the front for Mrs. Pumpkin Head
  • Troll like figures can be made with bumpy, ugly gourds,. Cut small Styrofoam balls in half, glue on for eyes, hot glue a hard candy in the center for the eyeball, 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.
  • Cut off the top and hollow the pumpkin and have a mass of plastic snakes spewing out of it.
  • Use old magazines to cut out eyes, lips and mouths and glue on for funny pumpkin faces.
  • Paint the pumpkin black. Cut out two “bat” wings from black construction paper, glue one on each side on the back of the pumpkin. Cut out two small ear shapes from the black paper, glue to the top of the head. Use white felt scraps to make eye shaped cutouts, glue on googly craft store eyes for the Bat Pumpkin.
  • Use string or kitchen twine to wrap around the pumpkin, glue on spiders for an instant web.
  • Fill a pair of old leggings with crumpled newspaper or bags, set upside down in a hollowed out pumpkin to give the illusion of legs sticking out.

If you want to try your hand at carving be sure to use a sharp serrated knife for carving. Hollow out and clean the inside of the pumpkin. Draw on a free hand design or use a stencil and start carving.

Here are some ideas to pump it up on your carved pumpkin a notch:

  • Use the ends of small squash to pop into the holes you cut for eyes, it 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. Glue halves of toothpicks across the line so it looks like stitches.
  • Plastic eyeballs or painted ping pong balls can be fit into your cut eye sockets.
  • Add moss for hair and glue on a witches hat.
  • Glue artificial flowers and foliage on for that 60’s look.
  • Bundle up some dried wheat with floral tape, cut a slit in the top of the pumpkin and glue on for a punk Mohawk look.
  • Use an awl to poke holes in the top of the head and push in lollipops for hair for help yourself treats.
  • Put a plastic spider in a carved eyehole.
  • Have plastic snakes coming out between the teeth.
  • Glue on a zipper for the mouth for a fun look.
  • Use card stock to make accessories like eyebrows, glasses, moustache and pipes.
  • Make a wig out of wheatgrass
  • Decorate with stickers
  • Leftover plastic Easter eggs can be fit into eye sockets, in half so they are inset or whole so they are bulging out.

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 Pumpkin Master Designer!

There are three things that I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and The Great Pumpkin.”

~ Its The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

You may also like...