Not everyone is into carving pumpkins. For some it’s seen as time-consuming, messy, squishy, and just plain gross. And if you’re uncoordinated, you have the danger of a sharp object in your hand that can make for a hazardous situation! Whether you’re avoiding carving because you just don’t like it or you have children (or clumsy adults) who aren’t qualified to wield a paring knife, we have some alternatives for you! You can still get into the Halloween spirit without the mess! Here’s how to decorate pumpkins for people who aren’t into carving them!
Painting pumpkins is probably the easiest and most popular way to decorate them other than carving them. There’s a host of possibilities when you bring out the paints and you can achieve a design that’s not possible with carving. If you want to paint your pumpkin, there are some steps you want to take to ensure your masterpiece turns out how you want it, and stays put afterward. Here’s what you need to do!
- Choose the right pumpkin. When you pick up your pumpkin you want to make sure it has the proper surface for painting. Look for the following when you’re roaming the supermarket or pumpkin patch:
- A smooth and even surface
- Avoid scratches, bruises, or blemishes
- Look for signs of rot such as soft spots, cuts, worm holes, etc.
- Depending on your design, find one that has the right shape for what you want to do
- Clean the pumpkin well before painting with a mild soap, such as dish soap, and a soft cloth.
- Once the pumpkin is completely dry, prep the surface with an acrylic sealer.
- Paint the design on the pumpkin with an acrylic paint once the sealer is completely dry.
- Once your design is completely dry, hit the pumpkin with another coat of the sealer.
The extra steps may seem like a pain but they are well worth it to keep your design where it needs to be. The last coat of sealer will protect the paint from the weather so it doesn’t fade or start to wash away in the rain.
Coloring With Crayons
This is a great option for kids that you don’t want messing around with paint. Toddlers and paint don’t always mix! Some try to eat it, it gets everywhere except where you want it (like their sister’s hair), and it’s just as stressful, if not more so, than carving! Crayons however are a great way to let them express themselves! Especially since the invention of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, they’re pretty easy to clean up even if it does end up other places. The best part of this one, there’s no prep and nothing you need to do afterward as crayon stays pretty well on its own. Look for a white pumpkin if you’re going this route for a better turn out. Then just give them some crayons and let them have at it!
For an abstract art, try melting some crayons over the pumpkin. This is a fun way to decorate the pumpkin and you never really know how it will turn out! Here’s how you do it!
- Rummage your cupboards for supplies and then head to the craft store to pick up anything you don’t have:
- Fast Grab Tacky Glue
- Hair Dryer
- Peel all the labels off your crayons that you’re going to use.
- Line your work area with protective material such as wax paper, newspaper, trash bags, etc.
- Place the pumpkin in the center of your now protected work area.
- Using the Tacky Glue, secure the crayons to the top of the pumpkin around the stem.
- Begin melting the crayons with the hair dryer, adjusting the temp and fan settings on the dryer to melt the colors faster and slower, and directing the drip with the fan.
- Allow your pumpkin to cool and the wax to re-harden once you have the design the way you like it!
Now your drippy pumpkin is ready to grace your front steps!
Random Craft Supplies and Glue
Get creative with what you have in your craft supplies! Make faces and other designs with random things such as buttons, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and glue! This is fun for all ages and really brings out the creativity! If you have yarn, lace, ribbons, and materials like that, you can wrap them around the pumpkin or coil them up and glue them on. With alternatives like this, the possibilities are endless, and everyone’s will look different!
What is your go-to method for decorating pumpkins without carving them? Let us know by leaving a comment, or snap a picture of your pumpkin and share it with us on Facebook or Instagram. We'd love to see what you come up with!