Creative Halloween Pumpkins
It's easy to make these cream-of-the-pumpkin-crop designs. Most of these creative pumpkins feature no-carve designs, meaning your handiwork will last for weeks instead of days.
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A grinning gourd gets a groovy hairstyle courtesy of a potted plant tucked inside. Select a pumpkin that's the right height for your fall foilage to branch out of the top.
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Pumpkins with Faces
Make 'em laugh! It doesn't take much to transform a parade of pumpkins into a casual crew. For noses, a carrot or root vegetable adds character; other facial features come courtesy of a marker and paper cutouts. Scour the house for an old hat and sunglasses to round out the display.
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For pumpkin purists, only black and orange will do. Using a foam brush, slather a clean pumpkin with black chalkboard paint; let dry. Then make faces or etch the pumpkin groves with orange chalk.
Editor's Tip: Protect your clever chalk designs with a clear spray fixative that prevents smudging.
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Paper Owl Pumpkin
Whooo-whooo is the cutest pumpkin out there? Cut basic paper shapes to create an oh-so-adorable owl pumpkin. Crafts glue will secure the paper to the base; straight pins and crafts beads work well for eyes.
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Show off your style in monogram form. A light scrape is all you need to carve intricate letter and swirl designs on the front of an oversize orange pumpkin. Print a few fonts onto computer paper and pin to your pumpkin so you can sketch the design before scraping.
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Drilled Circles Pumpkin
Add a little graphic gusto to your home with a pumpkin that’s drilled, not carved. Use a template to map out perfect circles for drilling, or draw the design freehand for a folk art effect. Drill small holes along the pattern lines. Use care; too much pressure may break the pumpkin shell.
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Pretty Tape-and-Ribbon Pumpkins
Turn plain pumpkins into posh squash using decorative Japanese washi tape and rickrack. Add vertical stripes using the natural grooves as guides. Or go horizontal for a change of pace. Painting the pumpkin's stem adds glam.
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Outlined-Number Pumpkin Design
Stick with mostly natural by displaying a simple number atop a standout orange pumpkin. Make a pencil outline for your number, then push an awl or nail through roughly every 1/2 inch of your design. Push mini brads into the holes, then wrap black yarn around each brad to create the design.
Creative Halloween Owl Pumpkin
Sunflowers do the heavy lifting in this pumpkin design. Use the seeds to make owl ears and feet, as well as outline owl eyes in this creative display.
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Creepy crawlies love Halloween. Celebrate the little creatures by giving them a pumpkin inspired by their spidey home. Simply use a scraping tool to create a few straight lines coming out from one point; add loopy lines connecting them. Hot-glue plastic spiders to finish the 3-D effect.
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Metallic Pastel Pumpkins
Shimmering pumpkins team up for an eerie evening. Use iridescent spray paint to cover light-color pumpkins -- gray, tan, or white. While paint is still wet, sprinkle the pumpkins with iridescent glitter.
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Glittered Chevron Pumpkin
Hunt down sparkly ribbon for this oh-so-easy chevron pumpkin. Cut lengths to make a zigzag line around the top of your pumpkin, then attach with spray ahesive. Press adhesive gems above the ribbon for embellishment.
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Jack-O-Lantern Face Pumpkin
Thin pieces of ribbon or yarn do the trick in creating a no-carve jack-o-lantern. Map out his face and use pretty tacks to keep everything in place. Next, start at the top of the pumpkin and run a length of ribbon down the pumpkin seam. Repeat until every seam has a ribbon.
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Stenciled Leaf Pumpkins
No pumpkin guts, guaranteed! You create these elegant pumpkin designs using a brush, not a knife, and adhesive stencils. Selecting muted paint colors, stipple on designs as pretty as wallpaper. Displaying them as a group? Perch one on a cake pedestal for visual oomph.
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Sequin Striped Pumpkin
Go glam with a pumpkin that's ready for the nightlife. Use short straight pins or sequin pins to tack a single color of sequins in a band that follows the pumpkin's vertical ribs. Overlap the sequins slightly to form a solid stripe. Alternate glittery bands of purple, lime green, teal, pink, and black sequins with the plain texture of the pumpkin skin.
Editor's Tip: To speed up the technique, use glue instead of pins and opt for larger sequins that cover more surface area.
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Wicked Pumpkins Table Topper
A wicked-easy pumpkin display proves simplicity can be outstanding. Black sticker letters on white-painted pumpkins form a high-contrast, high-style centerpiece. Paint small pumpkins, including stems, white; let dry. Adhere letter stickers to the center of each pumpkin to spell a Halloween word when pumpkins are lined up. It's so simple yet so dramatic!
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Stacked Pumpkin Trio
Welcome visitors with a display that's clever and classy. You'll need three short and wide pumpkins of similar size. Adjust the size of the "Trick or Treat" pattern, available below, as needed for your pumpkins. Print the patterns on transfer paper. Transfer one word to each pumpkin in the order you plan to stack them. Using black acrylic or crafts paint and an artist's brush, fill in the outline and let dry. Stack the pumpkins in an urn draped with creepy vines and display on your porch or front entry.
Editor's Tip: If you'd prefer, transfer the pattern onto tracing paper. Tape the tracing paper pattern to the pumpkin, and use a sharp pointed tool to pierce tiny holes along the outline. Remove the pattern and paint as directed.
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Curling-Ribbon Party Pumpkin
Dress a pumpkin with curly ribbon streamers. Tie a short length of curling ribbon around the pumpkin stem. Curl long lengths of ribbon, then loop and tie them through the ribbon around the stem. Adjust the length of the curls for the desired look. Keep adding black, orange, and light yellow curls of ribbon until the pumpkin is dressed for the party.
Editor's Tip: Change the color scheme to suit your decorating mood. Try black and white, purple and black, lime and pink, or any combination of colored curling ribbon to suit your style. For an unexpected look, use a white pumpkin or paint your pumpkin black.
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Cozy Wrapped Pumpkin
Keep your pumpkin colorful and cozy with this so-easy dress up. Loop three crocheted headbands in complementary fall colors around a medium-size pumpkin. Tack the headbands in place using pins. Tie a bow around the stem with matching velvet ribbon for a finishing touch.
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Rubber Bands Pumpkin
Stretch a rainbow across your pumpkin with colorful rubber bands. Pull rubber bands in lots of colors around the pumpkin vertically, horizontally, diagonally, and in any other direction that pleases you until you have a web of color surrounding the pumpkin. Finish by wrapping rubber bands of a single color around the stem until it's completely covered.
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Get crafty -- but keep it easy! Pom-poms adhered to this pumpkin give it a cool retro look, and it's a snap to create. Decide on colors and a pattern, then hot-glue the pom-poms directly to the pumpkin. We arranged purple, orange, forest green, yellow, and seafoam green pom-poms in simple, slightly irregular circles to echo the shape of individual pom-poms. You also could arrange them in zigzags, stripes, or whatever pattern inspires you.
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Playful Patterns Pumpkins
Showcase stylish sophistication created from easy-to-use decorative tape. Start with a single strip of decorative black-and-white-stripe tape wrapped horizontally around a small pumpkin. Finish the look with narrow black velvet ribbon coiled around the long stem. Create a complementary companion with a miniature pumpkin wrapped vertically with a black-and-white striped tape. Space the tape evenly using the pumpkin's ribs as a guide. Wrap the stem with decorative tape. Customize the vignette with a monogram pumpkin. Print out or trace your initial on a square of silver decorative paper. Use fine-tip scissors or a crafts knife to cut out the letter, leaving the negative shape. Attach the paper square cutout to the front of the pumpkin using decorative polka-dot tape. Wrap the stem with the same decorative tape. Display the chic grouping on a tabletop, mantel, or sideboard.
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Celebrate the bounty of the season with a petal-covered pumpkin. Start with any size pumpkin and silk flower blooms in seasonal colors. Our pumpkin stands out in orange, creamy white, bronze, rusty red, and golden yellow. Tack each bloom to the pumpkin using a short straight pin inserted through the center. Arrange the flowers in an attractive pattern, such as this swirling diagonal stripe. Place the flowers close together until the pumpkin is entirely awash in blooms.
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Embellish a pumpkin's gnarly stem with a coat of high-gloss black paint, fabric leaves, and coiled wire. Displayed on black candlesticks, the pumpkins become sculptures. First, paint the stems and let dry. Using the leaf patterns, available below, print out the large and small pumpkin-leaf patterns. For each pumpkin, cut two large leaves and two small leaves from black-and-white wool fabric scraps. With right sides together, sew a 1/8-inch outline stitch around the edges of each leaf pair. Cut a 12-inch-long piece of black bead wire for the large leaf and an 8-inch-long piece for the small leaf. Starting at the large end of the leaf, thread the wire between the two fabric layers, exiting at the pointed leaf end; wrap the end of the wire around a pencil to form a spiral extending from the leaf tip. Attach fabric leaves to the pumpkin stem, bending the wire from the leaf top around the stem. Wrap additional lengths of wire around a pencil to coil, and hang the spirals from the pumpkin stem.
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Masking Tape Pumpkins
Go graphic! Colorful masking tape shapes up this mod mantel grouping. Give pumpkins a graphic edge by wrapping various widths of tape randomly around them, or tape along a pumpkin's grooves. First, paint a clean, dry pumpkin; let dry. For two-tone pumpkins, tape widthwise around the middle of a pumpkin, paint the top or bottom, and remove the tape; let dry. Paint the stem in a matching or contrasting color. To make patterns, paint pieces of masking tape long enough to wrap around the pumpkin; let dry. Adhere the painted tape to the pumpkin in a random pattern or follow the gourd's grooves and contours.
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Black-and-White Tape Pumpkin
Add pumpkin decorating to the list of tasks for multipurpose duct tape. First, paint the stem of a clean medium-size pumpkin lime green; let dry. Adhere zebra-print duct tape vertically around the pumpkin, covering the surface. Align the zebra stripes as much as possible. Smooth the tape over entire pumpkin. Finish by gluing on a plastic spider as a spooky little accent.
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Halloween Owl Pumpkin
Whooo better to watch over your home than a sweet, snowy owl. A tall pumpkin painted off-white serves as the body. Cardstock and well-placed gouges finish its features. Trace the owl patterns, available below, onto tracing paper and cut out. Transfer the face and feather patterns onto the pumpkin. Using a knife or carving tools, cut out the eye and beak openings. Use a gouge to cut the chest feathers, going just deep enough to reveal the inner rind. Fill the openings with crumpled newspaper, then spray-paint the pumpkin off-white and let dry; remove newspaper. Regouge the chest feathers for crisp orange scallops. Cut the outer ears from black cardstock and inner ears from patterned orange cardstock. Cut outer wings from patterned brown cardstock and inner wings from patterned orange cardstock. Glue the outer and inner ear cutouts together; glue the outer and inner wing cutouts together. Glue wings to black cardstock; cut out, leaving a 1/8-inch black border all around. Fold and clip ears and wings as noted on the patterns. Attach them to the pumpkin using straight pins.
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Ghostly Greeting Pumpkin
Shout out a ghostly greeting. Black buttons, glue, paint, and ribbon mutate an unassuming pumpkin into a spectral medium. Paint the pumpkin stem using black crafts paint; let dry. Print the "Boo" pattern, available below, in a size to fit the front of your pumpkin; cut out letters. Position the letters on the pumpkin and trace with a pencil; remove letters. Fill each letter outline with black buttons, adhering the buttons with crafts glue. Tie black wire-edge ribbon into a bow around the pumpkin stem.
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Swiss-Cheese Pumpkin with Mice
The plastic mice caught in the act of squeezing into this cheesy condo will make your trick-or-treaters shriek with fright.
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Witch's Legs Pumpkins
This witch has rhythm! Tall pumpkins set the stage for this soft-shoe scenario. All you need to keep in step is black paint, ribbon, and shallow carving.
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Funny Face Pumpkin
No need for carving tools to conjure the spirit of a lovable aunt. With a little dress up fun, you can raise a whole wacky pumpkin family to welcome guests to your home. Switch things up by putting your pumpkin on its side and using the stem as a nose.
Next Slideshow Creative Pumpkin-Carving Ideas and Patterns
Creative Pumpkin-Carving Ideas and PatternsCarve distinct character into this year's jack-o'-lanterns with these creative pumpkin-carving ideas and patterns. Our free pumpkin stencils, designs, and instructions will turn your plain pumpkin into a memorable Halloween piece of art. Get inspired by these Halloween pumpkin carving ideas today!Begin Slideshow »