Gorgeous Gourds and Pumpkins for Fall Decorating

Carved Gourd
Our fall pumpkin decorating ideas will get you ready for the season. Fall pumpkin decorations, painted gourds, squash, and other ideas featuring natural elements will add autumnal elegance to your home—inside and out.

Dazzling Fall Tablescape

With the help of a permanent marker, pumpkins create a beautiful fall centerpiece. Use the marker to draw a different letter onto each gourd to spell "fall," "thanks," "harvest," or any other autumnal word. 

Pumpkin Planter

Extend your pumpkin decorating ideas to the garden with this simple planter. Nestle white pumpkins in with an assortment of greens and branches. For a pop of fall color, consider adding a few fresh mum blooms, too. 

Pretty String Pumpkins

Create autumn decorations you can use year after year. Simply wrap craft store pumpkins with different hues of yarn and burlap. Secure with hot glue. 

Harvest Bounty Mantel

Wow guests with a stunning fall mantel display. Lay out a spread of pumpkins, gourds, nuts, acorns, and harvest blooms. This combination looks appropriate from early fall all the way to Thanksgiving. 

Caged Gourds

Put an old birdcage to use by imprisoning gourds and pumpkins inside. The result is a vintage-chic look perfect for a front porch or patio. 

Gourd Tree

Dress up a houseplant with mini pumpkins and gourds. Use lengths of twine to attach a piece of harvest bounty to each branch. If branches are fragile, consider using hollow plastic gourds from a crafts store instead of the real deal. 

Chic Cheese Tray

Let an appetizer tray double as decor. A cheese plate gets an upgrade from pumpkins, gourds, branches, and other festive touches. Make sure to thoroughly wash gourds before placing them near any edibles. 

Piled-High Pumpkins

Set a festive tone with a table piled with pumpkins, gourds, and bittersweet. Raid the cupboard for display ideas, such as bowls or cake plates. The rich fall colors of pumpkins and gourds make it easy to create an elegant centerpiece.

Tablecloth-Weight Gourds

Little decorative gourds can do great things. Try creating these table weights from mini gourds to hold a tablecloth in place at an outdoor dinner party. Measure the tabletop and add enough for a 6-inch drop of yardage on all sides plus a 1-inch hem. Hem fabric with fusible tape and an iron. To make the corner flaps, notch a 5-inch square from each corner and hem using fusible tape. Add grommets with a kit from a crafts or fabrics store.

Pumpkin Place Cards

Add a thoughtful touch to a fall dinner with custom-made place cards. Using your computer, create business-card-size tags with simple imagery and fanciful lettering. Print and attach to a small gourd with a pushpin. Guests will appreciate the personal touch.

Get creative with our pretty pumpkin decorating ideas, including painted pumpkins and easy fabric-wrapped pumpkins.

5 Fab Ideas for Pumpkin Decorating

Get five great ideas for using pumpkins to decorate your home. Plus, we'll show you how to make the adorable autumn decorations.

Stacked Gourds in Glass Vases

Gather gourds in cylindrical vases to bring autumn to a tabletop or mantel. Use containers of different sizes to stack gourds in varying amounts. To give each display a vibrant touch, add a length of fresh pumpkin vine from the garden, pulling the vine out at the root and rinsing off the dirt. Place it in the vase with a bit of water.

Pumpkins on White Dishes

Stack squatty gourds among your favorite white china. Dishes with ridges complement the lines of the natural elements in the display. Mixing and matching is trendy and a great way to use your collectibles.

Crafty Gourd Critters

Fashion a family of friendly critters to top a fence post or railing. Use small pumpkins and gourds for bodies and attach sunflower seeds, feathers, and nuts with hot glue to make facial features. Don't have white pumpkins? Create colored creatures with painted gourds or pumpkins.

Pumpkin Garland

A festive fall feel is easy to create in any room by dressing windows with a pumpkin-laden garland. Simply knot clusters of fresh leaves and mini pumpkins onto a length of twine and swag along the top of a window.

Gourd Candleholders

Craft a set of candleholders from decorative gourds by simply cutting off the tops and hollowing out the centers. For an easy autumn display, arrange them in a metal tray filled with green hedge apples.

Prettiest Pumpkin Vases

White pumpkins double as vases and make for an artful, natural fall display. Insert leaves, orange flowers, and cattails into a vase hidden inside the hollowed-out pumpkins.

Wheelbarrow Pumpkin Welcoming Display

Put an old wheelbarrow to use by filling it with an assortment of squash, pumpkins, and gourds. Use black acrylic paint or a permanent marker to decorate one of the pumpkins with a welcoming message.

Gourd Sculpture

Turn white gourds into miniature sculptures by displaying them on small pedestals created by cutting up old table legs and balusters (available at salvage yards).

Potted Pumpkins

Weathered terra-cotta pots give this simple display a boost. Set pumpkins in or atop them, and pair with an explosion of rich burgundy dahlias accented with pumpkin leaves.

Floating Pumpkins

Fill an assortment of glasses with water and float mini gourds inside for an easy pumpkin decorating idea. A Teddy Bear sunflower set in a shallow dipping bowl makes a frilly dinner accent.

Pumpkins on Candlesticks

White pumpkins look striking when perched on dark wood candlesticks. Arrange your display on a dining room table or fireplace mantel.

Hanging Gourd Vase

Hook a swan gourd over a balcony rail to create a hanging vase. Cut a 1- to 2-inch hole near the neck of the gourd, remove a bit of the pith, and insert mums, black-eyed Susans, and a length of Virginia creeper for an easy decoration.

Flowered Pumpkins

Create this beautiful floral display using yellow and orange mums. Cut the heads from the flowers and hot-glue them all over the pumpkins. Display on tabletops or in small footed urns.

Pumpkin Luminaries

Illuminate a fall night with candleholders fit for the season. Carve a small hole in the top of a miniature pumpkin—wide enough to hold a votive candle and deep enough so the candle can be nestled in securely. Use these Halloween gourds to light the way for trick-or-treaters. 

Gourd Planters

Transform gourds into planters for the fall season. Simply hollow out the gourds and tuck in the root balls of ornamental grasses or sedge (a perennial herb). Draw jack-o'-lantern faces onto the gourds with paint pens for a Halloween-theme arrangement.

Gourds Galore

Bring a warm glow to the front porch with a generous tumble of smooth-skin gourds in soft, creamy colors. Accent them with frilly ornamental kale and fall flowers.

Gourd Vase

Hollow out several tall squashes and use them as vases for your favorite fall blossoms. White gourds make a beautiful pairing with pink and orange flowers.

Mini-Pumpkin Wreath

For this autumn wreath, first tap small nails into the surface of miniature pumpkins and gourds; carefully poke sturdy toothpicks into those holes. Coat the protruding end of the toothpick with hot glue and immediately stick into a straw wreath form. Once the wreath is as covered with pumpkins and gourds as possible, hot-glue silk leaves around the wreath to fill in the gaps.

Gourds Under Glass

Display petite gourds-turned-treasures in a decorative apothecary jar. Garnet-hue leaves and a dried hydrangea benefit from the same prescription.

Wrapped-Pumpkin Display

Expand your fall pumpkin decorations with unique yellow, white, and gray pumpkins in lieu of the traditional orange. Wrap them with grapevine tendrils for an additional touch of originality. Arrange them on a tabletop with other fall favorites, such as leaves and dried wheat bundles.

Squash Blossoms

Transform a gourd into a vase by slicing off the stem and widening the opening. Add a handful of bright mums.

Gourds in a Row

Autumn decorations don't get any easier. Create a stunning contemporary centerpiece by arranging four gourds and six large chrysanthemum blossoms symmetrically in a flat bowl or tray.

Etched Pumpkin

Dress up a simple pumpkin with a carved design, such as birds or leaves. Simply trace your design on the pumpkin and gouge out the pumpkin skin within the outline. Nestle the pumpkin inside a lush wreath of fall blooms.

Golden Gourds

Take your pumpkin decorating ideas to the next level. Spray-paint a mix of small gourds shimmery gold, and stack them on a glass cake plate to create an elegant display.

Carved Gourd

This stunning gourd decoration is all about contrast. Simply trace a sugar maple leaf (or other found-on-the-ground variety) with a permanent pen. Cut lightly around the outline with a knife, being sure not to cut all the way through the gourd. A simple scraping tool (such as an inexpensive clayworkers' ribbon tool) will help you trim out the shape.

Editor's Tip: When buying a gourd, pick one in a shape and color that you like. More often than not, the color of the flesh will be different enough from the color of the skin to create a nice contrast.

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