25 Things to Do with a Pumpkin
One great pumpkin? Try 25! And they're super simple, so you won't want to stop with just one.
A lit candle will make the inside of this spaceship glow with mystery -- just like the movies! To make this alien-friendly creation, paint your pumpkin alien green. Once it's dry, cut out a doorway and remove the seeds and pulp. Place the door skin side down on a ramp, and position toy aliens or robots around the spaceship.
These creepy crawlers will prevent pumpkin theft!
How To: Crawl Space
Hot-glue rows of plastic spiders to look like they're climbing up and down your pumpkin.
Guide trick-or-treaters to your door with flashy arrows.
How To: Follow Me
Cut a hole in the back of your pumpkin and scoop out the flesh. Drill holes in the front in an arrow shape, insert a string of battery-operated lights and poke a bulb through each hole.
You don't have to go to Wonderland to find this Cheshire cat.
How To: Cat's Meow
Draw a mischievous grin onto a hollowed pumpkin, then use the tip of a knife to etch- not carve- the teeth. Glue on a pom-pom nose and pipe-cleaner whiskers. Add a candle so the grin glows in the dark.
Use these creepy crawlers to line your front door -- no bug spray necessary!
How To: Bug Out
Paint several small pumpkins green with metallic polka dots. Add metallic-paper eyes and antennae made from pipe cleaners and gold balls to one, then place the rest in a crooked line behind it.
Recreate the Wicked Witch's legs and ruby slippers. Next stop: Oz!
How To: Witch Way
On two pumpkins, draw the outlines of the Wicked Witch of the East's legs and shoes. Paint the stockings black, then carve stripes into the pumpkin flesh. Paint the shoes red and sprinkle on red glitter to make them sparkle. Once the shoes dry, glue on red bows.
Mini pumpkins make perfect porch pets.
How To: Bird's-Eye View
Flip a mini pumpkin on its side so the stem becomes a beak. Glue on washers or buttons for eyes. Using pliers, bend craft wire or a hanger to form legs, then stick in the feet and secure with hot glue.
Masquerade? Mardi Gras? Superhero? These pumpkins are ready for any costume party.
How To: Eye Spy
Carve a superhero mask into a hollowed pumpkin. Cut circles from the removed rind. Push toothpicks into the circles, and stick them in the bottom edge of the cutout for eyes. Place a colored glow stick inside.
Hear, See & Speak No Evil
Leave a subtle message for visitors -- with your pumpkins!
How To: Hear, See & Speak No Evil
Carve goofy faces into three hollowed pumpkins. Stuff gloves with newspaper and glue a pair to each gourd, covering the appropriate facial feature.
Add a mustache and a beret and your pumpkin will be so chic!
How To: Jacques-O'-Lantern
With a thin black marker, draw a face and a large mustache on your pumpkin. Add a beret and a scarf. For bonus points, poke a hole at one corner of the mouth and insert a candy cigarette.
Put a lamp below the window so passersbys can see the bats, even in the dark.
How To: Bat Mobile
Paint several pumpkins black. Once they're dry, add red round-topped pushpins for eyes. Cut out construction-paper wings, glue unbent paper clips to the back of each wing a poke into the sides of your pumpkins. If the stems are long enough, wrap with string to hang your bats in front of a window.
This design is for the bookworm in you.
How To: Trick Lit
Paint rows of book spines on your pumpkin. After the paint dries, add your favorite horror titles with permanent marker. Or photocopy the spines of real novels, cut them to size and paste them onto your pumpkin with Mod Podge.
It's a Wrap
This mummy needs no coffin. But it's definitely a larger than life design!
How To: It's a Wrap
Dye cheesecloth by dunking it in water tinted with green food color; let dry. Wrap the cloth around a pumpkin, tucking and gluing the ends to keep your mummy snug. Last, cut a slit for a mouth and a larger slip so you can attach bloodshot googly eyes.
You won't find any change in this piggy -- just seeds!
How To: Pork Product
Paint a pumpkin pink and let it dry. Draw on eyes and butcher markings with permanent marker. Cut wooden dowels into three-inch legs and poke them in, securing with hot glue. Add pink felt ears and a pipe-cleaner tail. Make a snout-size loop of pink construction paper and cover one end with a disk of the same paper. Draw nostrils and glue on the snout.
Catch of the Day
Your fish will have the coolest house on the block!
How To: Catch of the Day
Cut out the back of a large pumpkin and hollow out the rest. Carve a large windowpane in front and place a real fishbowl inside.
Bone to Pick
A snow man-like skeleton that won't melt!
How To: Bone to Pick
Remove the stems from two mini pumpkins, then drill a hole from top to bottom through each, and a hole through the bottom of a third, smaller pumpkin. Stack the pumpkins, largest to smallest, onto a wooden dowel. Spray-paint your stack white and draw bones and a skull with black paint or a marker. Poke in twigs for arms.
Give your pumpkin a fancy skin with household items.
How To: Faux Finish
Cover your pumpkin with a patterned stocking (large patterns are best at preventing bleed-through) and spray-paint the entire surface. Once the paint is dry, carefully remove the stocking.
Let your furry friend (or family members) greet trick-or-treaters at the door from an original work of pumpkin art!
How To: Big Picture
Carve an oval or square frame into a hollowed pumpkin and etch embellishments around the opening. Glue a computer-printed picture (not an original) to the inside of the pumpkin so it shows through the frame. Light it with an LED candle.
Add some flash to your front porch!
How To: Strike Gold
Hot-glue large gold sequins (available at craft stores) to your pumpkin, overlapping them to prevent the rind from peeking through.
You'll have the friendliest, most edible owl on the block!
How To: Night Owl
For eyes, glue two star anise pods over circles of sunflower seeds. Glue on a folded square of orange construction paper for the beak and use more sunflower seeds for talons.
Who needs a punch bowl when you can use a pumpkin?
How To: Tiki Time
Draw the outline of a tiki face on a hollowed pumpkin. Using the tip of a knife, gently scrape out your design (don't carve more than 1/4 inch into the pumpkin or the liquid will leak), then fill it up with party punch!
Your favorite Swedish Chef turned pumpkin, you can call him Gourdon Ramsey!
How To: Muppet Show
Snip fringe into a long strip of brown felt for hair and a small strip for a mustache. Glue both pieces to your pumpkin, add a red pom-pom nose and top with a chef's hat.
The insides of the pumpkin will actually infuse flavor into beer or cider! How gourmet!
How To: Pumpkin Ale
Hollow out a large pumpkin, and gently scrape a design into the rind with the tip of a knife, being careful not to go deeper than 1/4 inch. Poke a real tap (available at hardware and party supply stores) through the front. Then add beer or cider for a pumpkin-infused pour!
Great your guests at the door with a witty message.
How To: Say What?!
Carve a jack-o'-lantern. Cut out a thought bubble from thin card stock and write a message -- like "Trick or treat" or "Don't I look smashing!" -- then glue the paper to a chopstick and pierce your pumpkin.
A serving spoon completes the look of this realistically delicious looking bowl of pasta. Add it to your buffet alongside other foods for a tricky treat and a good laugh!
How To: Faux Food
Cut a pumpkin in half horizontally, hollow out the bottom and add white yarn "spaghetti" and red-painted Ping-Pong "meatballs."
How To: Wise Guy
Remove the stems from a medium and a small pumpkin. Paint both brown with acrylic paint. Once dry, stack and hold with hot glue. Cut wings, eyebrows, eyes and a beak from colored paper; attach with glue.
How To: Guiding Lights
Cut a hole in the bottom of white gourds and scoop out the insides. Draw on geometric patterns (try chevrons, polka dots and stripes) with a pen, then use the tip of a knife to etch -- not carve -- your design at least 1/2 inch deep. Place over LED candles as pathway markers.
How To: Creepy Crawlies
For legs, wrap colorful electrical tape (available at hardware stores) around floral wire, leaving an inch of wire exposed. Poke the bare end of the wire into the bug's body to make the legs, then bend as needed. Use ball-head straight pins for eyes.
How To: Web Master
Coat the entire pumpkin with black acrylic paint; let dry. Trace the natural vertical indents with white paint, then connect the lines around the pumpkin to complete your web.
How To: Ripe Old Age
Turn the pumpkin on its side, then build a grandma-like face around the nose. Cut small ears from the back of the pumpkin to attach to the side of the face with toothpicks. Make eyes and lips from construction paper and hot-glue to the face; add bath puffs for hair, plastic glasses and fake-pearl earrings.
How To: Funny Face
Print close-up photos of your family and friends on white paper. Cut out individual features -- eyes, eyebrows, noses and mouths -- and glue onto pumpkins of all sizes. Make pumpkin dopplegangers or mix and match features.
How To: Nut Jobs
Wind rope around the top of the gourd, starting 3 to 4 inches from the stem; hot-glue to attach as you wind. Knot the rope at the top to create the "acorn" stem.
How To: Monster Mash
Hollow out your pumpkin from the bottom, then carve a spooky or silly grin into the front. Use a permanent marker to draw "pupils" onto Ping-Pong balls, then hot-glue they eyes directly to the stem or attach to colorful straws. If using straws, poke small holes into the pumpkin with a wooden skewer and thread straws on top.
How To: Shell Shocker
Cut the bottom third off your pumpkin and scrape out the insides. Sketch a hexagonal pattern, making lines about 1/4-inch wide, then etch the design into the "shell." Cut two large zucchini in half and use three to four toothpicks to attach each as "legs." Cut a third zucchini on an angle for a head and use the zucchini stem as a tail.
How To: Sea-Worthy Creatures
These sea-urchin votives are dead ringers for pricey designer items. Create a look-alike by cutting a circle into the top of a mini pumpkin, then use a spoon to scrape the inside clean. Add dots of craft glue in vertical stripes down the side for texture. Once the glue has dried, coat the outside of the pumpkin white with acrylic paint and place votives inside.
How To: Head Case
Slice three inches off the top of your jack-o'-lantern so you have a flat surface. Cut a small white pumpkin in half horizontally and scrape out the pulp and seeds. Scrape squiggly lines (1/2 inch deep) into the white pumpkin, then place on top of your jack-o'-lantern. Fill in the lines of the brain with fake blood or red paint
How To: Pumpki-pine
Select an oblong pumpkin with a long, shiny neck. Cut an inch or two from one side, so it lies flat. Peel carrots into "spikes" about 6 inches long, and attach to the top with toothpicks. Use ball-head straight pins for the nose and eyes.
How To: Forbidden Fruit
Start by painting a mini white pumpkin red, except for the stem. Use a carving knife to cut a 1/2-inch-deep bite mark, revealing the white flesh. Thread a gummy worm onto a straightened paper clip, then poke a small hole into the apple rim with hot glue and fit the worm inside. Bend the worm into a crawling shape. Attach a fake leaf to the stem with glue.
More Pumpkin Decorating Ideas
Need more fun ideas for Halloween? Here are 36 fun and fab pumpkins to celebrate the holiday.