How to Decorate a Pumpkin

How to Decorate a PumpkinCredit: Public Domain Courtesy of


Jack-o-lanterns are a classic Halloween tradition that many of us grew up with. Back then, we didn't have pumpkin carving templates or stencil kits even. We had to do everything by hand. I can still remember mom bringing home the holiday pumpkin from the grocery store. Dad would carefully cut the top off of it, scoop out the seeds, and scrape any strings clinging to the insides into the trash. He then carved it into any number of spooky faces for us. Sometimes, he would even set it up with a candle inside, so it would glow in the dark.

While there are cute pumpkin carving templates[1] and stencil kits to make that chore easier, if you don't want to actually carve into your holiday pumpkin -- it will last much longer if you don't[2] -- you'll want to take a look at the following cute Halloween pumpkin faces for ideas. They will really spark your imagination and get you excited about coming up with your own pumpkin designs. If you would miss the experience of carving your own pumpkin too much, I have a few designs for that too.

Decorating a pumpkin doesn't have to take a lot of time. Nor does it have to be elaborate, as these simple pumpkin faces show. All it takes is a few craft materials, some glue, a little glitter, a few old clothes, and a head full of imagination.


Skeleton Pumpkin Man

Skeleton Pumpkin Man: Unique Halloween Pumpkin IdeaCredit: Public Domain from


Creativity is the name of the game, and carving pumpkins isn't always the best idea, especially if you want the pumpkin for holiday breads. This skeleton man is made out of a white garden trellis that has been taken apart and glued together to make a stick man that sports a hefty neck to the hold the pumpkin, un-decorated, and strong hands to hold a couple of porch plants. This non-scary pumpkin man looks great just the way he is, but you could also go the extra mile and give him a frightening face if you like. Glue a few craft bats or spiders onto his shoulders and you've got the perfect guard for your porch or walkway.


Granny and Gramps -- Loving Halloween Couple

Granny and Gramps: Loving Halloween Pumpkin CoupleCredit: Public Domain from


If skeletons are not your thing, you might find these adorable real-life sized figures the perfect yard decoration for your Halloween party decor. Just stuff some old clothes full of pillows, cotton, newspapers, old t-shirts, thin blankets, or whatever you have to fill them out, plop granny and gramps down in a couple of yard chairs, and then set to work giving the love birds the cutest faces you can come up with. The above pumpkins are hand-carved with simple, classic Halloween pumpkin faces, but you could also draw the faces with black markers if you like. Rustle up some old jewelry, a beaded necklace or two, an old watch, and those cowboy boots you just can't bring yourself to get rid of.


Baby Pumpkin Face

Baby Pumpkin FaceCredit: Public Domain from


If you have little ones running around the house, you might not want to make your jack-o-lantern too spooky. Halloween masks and costumes, and even Halloween pumpkin faces can traumatize a small child. Going for Halloween kid crafts is a wiser option. This baby pumpkin face will really convince your toddler that Halloween isn't anything to fear. The large black eyes are simply drawn on with a felt marker. Same for the black freckles. But you could also use poster paints, large buttons, flowers, or anything else your little one is attracted to. And a huge pacifier for a child-friendly look, in a pretty pink or a soft baby blue, and it's just what you need to put the kids at ease.


Pumpkin Witch

Pumpkin WitchCredit: Public Domain from


The above witch is made with two different sized pumpkins, one sitting on top of the other. Although the photo has both pumpkins carved into jack-o-lanterns, you could just as easily keep the bottom pumpkin a solid orange and decorate it with large shiny buttons, cover it in glitter for a jacket-like look, or paint it in any color you wish. Top the head with a witch hat from your local craft store or dollar store, and you'll be all set for the best Halloween table decoration around.


How to Glitter a Pumpkin

Glittering a pumpkin is extremely easy, but it takes your holiday decor to the next level. In the video below, the SITS Girls show you how simple making a glitter pumpkin can be.

Glitter Pumpkin

Marshmallow Pumpkin Man

Marshmallow Pumpkin FaceCredit: Public Domain from


If you'd like the carved and glowing look, but don't trust yourself to cut out all of the specific details as perfectly as a blue-ribbon jack-o-lantern needs, the next best thing is to use marshmallows to cover up your inexperience with creativity. The eyes are simple holes cut large enough for 2 jumbo-sized marshmallows to sit inside, and then poked in the very center with a skewer. That will allow light to stream through the hole in the eyes. The same goes for the mouth. You cut out the mouth in the shape of lips, and then glue marshmallows inside the mouth to resemble teeth. The trick to making this pumpkin work is the candle light glowing softly behind the marshmallows. But for a more ragged look, you could rip up some of the marshmallows to make it look like the pumpkin got himself into a fight. You could even give him a black eye. 


Don't Limit Yourself to Only Pumpkins 

Don't Limit Yourself to Only PumpkinsCredit: Public Domain from


When most people think about Halloween decorations, they think about carving pumpkins, bats, spiders, skeletons, lights, and Halloween costumes, but you don't have to be that limited. If you don't like pumpkin pie, and don't want to deal with toasting the seeds, then you might want to consider using alternative vegetables that are easy to decorate or carve. Butternut squash, yellow or green zucchini, acorn squash, pomegranates, and even oranges would make cute pumpkin alternatives or even a classy, creative grouping of friends to really perk up your holiday display. 

All you need for your fake pumpkin decorations is some huge craft eyes that move, some fake wax teeth from the Halloween section of your local discount store, paint, glitter, ribbon, and some ingenuity. 

If you want to add a special touch, you can use three different types of fruits and vegetables and write the word "trick" on one, "and" on the middle one, and "treat" on the end. Add a few extra baby pumpkins or pomegranates sprayed black and turned into bats with poster board black wings and small black pointed ears. Eyes could be white circles with black center dots for the pupils. Add a bit of stretched cotton, some craft spiders, and you're good to go. 

Coming up with your own Halloween pumpkin designs and displays isn't hard. You can be as involved or as simple as you like. The trick is to remember that Halloween is supposed to be fun. So sit back, enjoy yourself, and if your pumpkin doesn't come out quite perfect, that's alright. It's no big deal. It will just add a bit of unique character to the holiday that no one else has.