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Pumpkin Carving Alternatives

By October 10, 2019February 17th, 2020Decor

While everybody loves to have a nice, decorative pumpkin on their doorstep or in their home for Halloween, pumpkin carving itself can be messy, time consuming, and messy a couple more times. Not to mention, as much as young kids might love to participate in this time-tested spooky season favorite, carving with a knife can be too dangerous for little hands! Well, I promised I’d be back with some pumpkin carving alternatives in my last blog post, and this week I’m here to deliver!  Whether you’re the painting type or would rather just glue things here and there, here are five ways to decorate a pumpkin that don’t involve guts, goo, or knives.

If you like this, be sure to take a look at my other post on decorating for fall.

You can also check back next week to see all the local Pumpkin Festivals you can go to to get delightfully decorate-able pumpkins!

1. Paint it!

One no-brainer pumpkin carving alternative is to simply take your pumpkin, grab a bunch of acrylic paints and brushes, and go to town. These paint designs can be as fun or silly or decorative as you want. You could go with all black and do a regular Jack-o-Lantern face, or mix it up and paint a character or even a scene!


And there’s no reason this has to be a whimsical-patterns only activity: Plenty of artistic people like to paint monochromes of a color that goes with their decor, or pretty designs. Ombre pumpkins were very popular on social media last year.


The pumpkin is your canvas! Anything goes! Lay out some newspaper and get painting!

pumpkin carving alternative
pumpkin carving alternatives

2. Paint and more!

If you want to go above and beyond when decorating your pumpkin, you can glue on some extra elements and really turn it into a character. Twitter user VVitch8 made this unicorn using some white paint, cardboard, foam cutouts, tissue paper, glue, and glitter.


The possibilities with this are truly endless, and you can use just about anything you have laying around to create a unique character all your own! You could do a witch, a black cat, Frankenstein’s monster – Whatever you want!


Just take a walk down the aisles of your local craft store and allow yourself to be inspired. 🙂 (Or buy a bunch of options and let your family be inspired!)

2. Glue it! (Or pin it!)

If you’re not feeling the paint, another great pumpkin carving alternative is to take the glue part of our last suggestion and really run wild. This example, created by Dot at, could easily be recreated with some buttons and some strong glue.


Now, Dot’s version actually used pushpins, which is just as viable an option for decorations like this – it all depends on your preference. Instructions on how to make this exact pumpkin can be found here – But be warned! She actually hollows hers out first, too.


This craft, like the last one, is all up to how creative you’re feeling, because you can stick whatever you want on there. Faux flowers, stickers, little plastic rats/bats/spiders…this is another one you might just want to take a walk around the craft store for!

pumpkin carving alternative
pumpkin carving alternative

4. Mummify it!

This is a super-specific one from pet supply store Pet Food N’ More on Twitter, but it was too cute not to mention – and also even easier than the last one. So if you’re feeling a super simple pumpkin carving alternative, this one’s for you.


All you need is a pair of googly eyes, some gauze, and something to make it stick with. simply wrap the pumpkin in the gauze, leave a hole for the eyes, stick them on, and voila! You have one mummy-kin.


Pro-tip: If you want to add a little extra spook-factor to your ghoulish gourd, rip up the gauze a little bit before you put it on, to give it that extra-distressed, authentic mummy look.

5. Glam it up!

If you want a project even simpler than that, all you need is a little bit of regular glue, a paintbrush, and some glitter.


Pour out some glue and brush it on to the pumpkin in a thin layer. Allow it to set and get tacky for a minute or two, then either sprinkle or roll your pumpkin in glitter, depending on how densely sparkly you want it to be. (Rolling will produce way more sparkle per square inch.) You can do this in any color of your choosing, from gold to pink to black, or even mix it up and do different colors.


If you want a pattern, paint it with the glue and roll your pumpkin in glitter. If you want the glitter to look even thicker, wait for the glue to dry, then roll it again. It’s an easy pumpkin carving alternative on the face of it, but there are still a lot of ways to get creative if you want to!

pumpkin carving alternative

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