Outdoor Halloween Decorating with Pumpkins

Make pumpkins the focal point of your outdoor Halloween decorations and harvest displays.


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Monogram Pumpkin
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Stacked Pumpkins

    Carve a monogram into pumpkins and place them on your front porch to welcome guests to your bewitching abode. Use a small, medium, and large pumpkin and carve the initial in different fonts. Layer them on an old chair or stool to show off your handiwork.

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Carved-Message Pumpkins

    Enter if you dare. Welcome guests with these words of warning. Using stencils, trace the letters onto your uncarved pumpkins. Scrape surrounding areas. Place the pumpkins on a walkway or driveway and watch passersby marvel.

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Gourds and Pumpkins on Bench

    Simply placing a variety of pumpkins and gourds on a garden bench is an easy and attractive way to add fall beauty to your yard. Use different colors, sizes, and textures for an extra-special touch.

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Pumpkins-and-Flower Arrangement

    Get your outdoor table into the Halloween spirit by adding this bold arrangement. Place a variety of flowers into a neutral-color vase and surround with squat and small pumpkins.

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Birdbath Pumpkin

    "Spookify" your birdbath by adding a carved jack-o'-lantern. Fill the basin with Spanish moss for a festive touch.

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Hanging Bat Pumpkins

    Skip the carving and cast a spell by drawing bats on white pumpkins using a permanent marker. To hang, cut a length of thick jute and knot one end through a large washer. Drill a hole in the top and bottom of each pumpkin and use wire to pull the twine through the holes. The washer supports the pumpkin's weight; the jute loop attaches to a shepherd's hook.

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Bountiful Hanging Basket

    An arrangement of gourds, silk flowers, acorns, and colorful feathers will be a hit all autumn. Select a wrought-iron basket and use crafts wire and heavy-duty glue dots to assemble the arrangement.

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Pumpkin Window Display

    A window box gets a fall update with an assortment of pumpkins and gourds. Add interest with mini pumpkins and unexpected green-and-white gourds. Bright berry sprigs attract attention.

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Jack-o'-Lantern Door Attendant

    Outfit your door with a friendly face to greet guests. To create this smiling guy, cut an artificial pumpkin in half. Paint a face with black acrylic paint. Decorate with branches and leaves and top with an artificial crow. Create a wire hanging loop to attach to the top of the pumpkin. Bend it back through the foliage and hang where desired.

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Lantern Pumpkin

    Make a natural luminaria for the front step by carving long triangles into a pumpkin. A candle or LED light resting inside the pumpkin gives the look of a Chinese lantern. Rest the pumpkin in a ceramic garden urn decorated with fall leaves and berry vines.

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Wheel Up a Welcome

    Rest an antique wheelbarrow (or an old wooden wagon) on the front porch and fill it with a mix of pumpkins, gourds, leaves, and berry vines for a pop of color. Add an inviting greeting on the pumpkins with painted or sticker letters.

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Owl Pumpkins

    These owls are a hoot. Dress white pumpkins with an assortment of seeds and nuts to create the noses and eyes. Add feathers for the ears. Use mini pumpkins to make a parliament of cute baby owls.

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Halloween House Numbers

    Scrape your house number into a set of pumpkins and stack them together as a Halloween display at the door. Remove the stems from the pumpkins, except for the one on top. Trace number stencils using a crafts knife. Then chisel the pumpkin skin out of the stenciled numbers, revealing the lighter pumpkin flesh beneath.

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Pumpkin Tabletop Accent

    Turn mini pumpkins into delightful candleholders for an autumnal centerpiece. For each pumpkin, remove the stem and drill a hole in the top. Insert a candle into the hole, and glue some small pinecones and berries around the base of the candle to finish.

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Pumpkin Stalk

    Place a large pumpkin in the center of a pot. Position a willow teepee trellis over it, and top it with an additional pumpkin. Arrange a few smaller, colorful gourds around the pot, and your display is ready for the harvest season and Halloween.

    Editor's Tip: If you can't find a teepee trellis, try bamboo stakes instead (available at gardening centers). Fill the pot with enough dirt to hold the stakes upright (after you have positioned a pumpkin in the pot). Gather and crisscross the bamboo stakes near the top, then bind them together with twine.

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Pumpkin Greeting

    What better way to welcome guests this fall season than with a wheelbarrow filled with pumpkins and gourds? Use a paint pen to write a friendly greeting on one of the larger pumpkins. Choose a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to make the display especially pretty.

    Editor's Tip: Simply add a jack-o'-lantern to the pile to get ready for Halloween.

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Autumn Path

    Line the drive or front walk with pumpkins to welcome trick-or-treaters, and add a fall-foliage arbor along the path. Wire together a bundle of long, flexible branches and make two pillars, each about 8-10 feet tall. Bend the pillars toward each other and wire them together at the top. Add rocks at the base for support, then tuck in leafy branches.

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Potted Pumpkins

    Summer blooms might have faded, but don't winterize your decorative planters yet. Urns and planters make perfect bases for pumpkin topiaries; embellish the towers with bits of garden moss tucked around the pumpkins.

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Pumpkin Path

    Illuminate your walkway with these pumpkin tiki torches. First, carve parallel openings on one side of the pumpkin. On the opposite side, cut an opening large enough to reach in and scrape out the insides. Poke a bamboo garden stake through the bottom of each pumpkin, and anchor the stakes firmly into the ground. When you're ready to light the display, remove the pumpkins from the stakes, place battery-powered LED lights inside the pumpkins, and carefully return them to the garden stakes.

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Pumpkin-Patch Stash

    A rustic chair gets an easy shot of fall color when topped with a collection of gourds, squash, and pumpkins and draped with Chinese lantern vines.

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Seasonal Schwinn

    Dig deep in the garage or shed for everyday outdoor trinkets that can make charming yard decorations. A vintage bicycle gets its own autumn twist with mini pumpkins tucked into its spokes and a larger pumpkin parked on the seat.

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Hanging Gourds

    Simple old wire baskets scrounged from flea markets or the back of Grandma's shed are rejuvenated when filled with mini pumpkins. Suspend several of the decorations with twine from the branches of a tree or beneath the eves of a porch.

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Pumpkin Tree

    Set the patio table with a centerpiece that celebrates nature. To make this pumpkin tree, fill a glass cylinder vase with birdseed and stick in a few sturdy branches. Drill a small hole in each mini pumpkin stem, string fishing line or florist's wire through each hole, and hang.

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Kid-Friendly Vignette

    Perfect for a children's party or as playful yard decorations, these pumpkins stack to create cheerful characters. Add masks, hats, ears, and capes for fun.

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Friendly Totem

    A stack of pale pumpkins painted with an inviting message welcomes passing trick-or-treaters. Fill a metal tub with sand and an upright stake, remove stems from the pumpkins, drill holes in the tops and bottoms, and slide the pumpkins on the stake.

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A Friendly Fellow

    Allow this pumpkin-head character, made by stuffing old clothes with leaves or hay, to greet your Halloween guests. Rest the jack-o'-lantern on a pole or shelf so the fellow doesn't lose his head.

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Holiday Must-Have: Deluxe Pumpkin Design Kit

    Carve a cute pumpkin face without the hassle! This kit helps make it happen.

    Make jack-o'-lantern masterpieces with the Ultimate Pumpkin-Carving Tool Set!

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Decked Out for Fall

    Using pumpkins and gourds in your Halloween decorating is the perfect way to get a natural and seasonal look.

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Wagon Wheel

    Miniature pumpkins fit snugly between the spokes of an old-style wagon wheel. (Brightly colored ornamental gourds will work, too.) Lean the wheel against a tree to bring a touch of rustic autumn charm to your yard.

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More Great Ideas for Halloween Pumpkins

    We can't get enough pumpkins! See additional great indoor and outdoor gourd ideas.

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