Halloween Pumpkins Don’t Have to be Carved

What if pumpkin carving just isn’t your thing? What if every time you try to follow one of those patterns in the book — even the ones marked “easy” — you accidentally cut through a critical part, ruining your design (and perhaps your manicure).

How will you broadcast to the neighborhood how fun and festive you are without carved pumpkins on your stoop?


First, step away from the knives.

After all, not everyone is good with tools or sharp objects. And pumpkin carving is messy. You have to cut out the top (or the bottom) and scrape out all the guts (bleah!). You put newspaper down, but it always seeps through and goes over the edges. The guts get all over your hands and your clothes, and they stink!

Pumpkin carving is tedious too. Once you clean out your pumpkin, you have to pare down the part you want to carve, because if your pumpkin is too thick, the light inside may not shine through properly.

After you find a suitable pattern, you need to tape it on, transfer it and then carve it out. This all has to be done hours before Halloween night, or you run the risk of having your pumpkin look like a shrunken head instead of a cat or a witch.

To save time and potential headaches, decorate your pumpkin from the outside.

  • You can draw or paint on faces with markers or paint, glue hair made from yarn or another suitable material, add a hat, cigarette, nose ring — whatever strikes your fancy.
  • Image result for painted pumpkins
  • Here’s one beauty in which the decorator collected leaves, traced them onto tissue paper, cut them out, decoupaged them onto a pumpkin and covered it with Mod Podge. If you don’t have all weekend and your own TV show, you may want to skip this idea.
  • Simpler — and more satisfying — is to stack a couple of pumpkins on top of each other, paint a black tree on them and punch holes in them willy-nilly to look like stars. Can’t go wrong there! You still have to clean it out though with this one, so the light comes through the stars.
  • If you’re feeling risqué, you might want to replicate this pumpkin tricked out with black lace garters like a K Street hooker!
  • Choose ribbon or lace, then attach to pumpkins, candle holders or even wine glasses with a few swipes of Mod Podge. Let dry, then display. Done!
  • Or you can try cutting up balloons and stretching them over the pumpkins like giant condoms. (Maybe these pumpkins get together with the ones wearing garters after we blow out the candles and go to sleep. At least they’re being safe!)
  • When all else fails, just smother your pumpkin with glue and glitter. Nothing says “holiday” like a big mess of glitter, partly because the nature of glitter dictates that it spread itself throughout your house and your person, getting in your fridge, your eyebrows and your underwear drawer. In fact, throw a sprinkle on the garter pumpkin for a little extra oomph.
  • Image result for glitter pumpkins

If you don’t have the time this year, or if you’re just not crafty, take heart — someone else is. Just buy a ceramic or plastic pumpkin already tricked out. This is easily done at the grocery store, Target or CVS. Take out of bag. Set on steps. Done.

If you think waiting in line at any of these places might take longer than decoupaging a pumpkin, just order online. World Market has a great selection, or if you want a gross of the cheapest merchandise money can buy, try Oriental Trading. If you want something truly unique and beautiful, try Etsy. Check where your item is coming from though — if it’s outside the country, it might not get here before Halloween.

So now you have no excuse not to be festive for Halloween! Up next month: crafty turkeys made of soap and toothpicks, plus beans-and-rice cornucopias!

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