30+ Tips for Decorating Your Halloween Pumpkins

pumpkin and flowers greeting arrangement
Move over, Jack, there are other outdoor pumpkin decorations in town. These genius tips for decorating pumpkins will make your Halloween yard decorations the envy of the neighborhood. We'll provide tips and tricks for carving, painting, adorning, and displaying festive pumpkins.

Pumpkin Bonfire

Set your pumpkins on fire with this cool pumpkin decorating idea. Mimic a bonfire by carving flames into pumpkins, then stacking them in the shape of a fire pit. Our free stencil makes this design easy.

Cauldron Pumpkin

"Double, double toil and trouble"—this cauldron pumpkin is the perfect addition to your outdoor Halloween decorations. Simply paint a large pumpkin black, cut off the top third, and hollow out the inside. Mount on a black plant stand, then fill with dry ice, if desired. Surround with carved pumpkins, like this black cat and a word like wicked, for an eye-catching outdoor display.

Talking Pumpkins

Let your outdoor Halloween decorations do the talking—literally. Metallic leaf and thumbtacks form letters on the pumpkins spelling out Boo. Stack pumpkins vertically or horizontally, and stick to short, spooky sayings like "boo" or "eek."

Creepy-Crawly Pumpkins

Ready for the simplest screams ever? Just attach a fake spider on a plain pumpkin. The black creepy-crawly stands out against the orange to spook visitors of all ages. For best results, choose a realistic-looking spider. 

Chic Carriage Pumpkin

Cinderella called, and she's missing her pumpkin carriage! This chic craft takes outdoor pumpkin decorations to a new level. Get the look by applying silver spray paint to one large pumpkin and four mini pumpkins. Carve out two circles and a square to make carriage windows and door, then detail with a silver paint pen. A glass cabinet knob in place of the pumpkin's stem is the finishing touch. 

Dog Pumpkins

Re-create your favorite furry friend with the help of outdoor pumpkins and a few craft supplies. This pug-inspired pumpkin uses paint to define basic facial features. Gourds were tacked on for the ears and eyes. Experiment at a local garden store until you find the perfect combination of gourds to make your own faux Fido. 

Pumpkin Family

Whether you base them on favorite literary characters or your family, these cute pumpkin people are guaranteed to bring charm to your outdoor Halloween decorations. Use paint to draw on eyes and other facial details, then adorn with fuzzy fabric, yarn, or hats.  

Black and White

Get ready to spook friends and family with these eerie pumpkins. Apply a bat or moon stencil, then paint all around it. Outline the shape with nails, then twist yarn in and around the nails to create a spiderweb effect. 

Princess Pumpkins

Your little prince and princess will be charmed by these pumpkins straight from a fairy tale. Pick a color palette—like the white, gold, and rosy pink shown here—then paint an assortment of pumpkins in your chosen hues. Decorate with ribbons, tiaras, stencils, paint pens, and more. 

Monogrammed Pumpkins

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

Candy Corn Pumpkins

Place colorful no-carve candy corn pumpkins around your yard for fun Halloween outdoor decorations. Choose cone-shape pumpkins and clean their surfaces. Spray-paint the pumpkins to achieve the candy corn look.

Editor's Tip: Cover stems with painters tape to keep it clean.

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.

Batty Pumpkin Silhouettes

Let your creative side take flight with this easy DIY pumpkin project. Glue a flock of bats cut from black poster board across a painted-white gourd. Or opt for white bats on a black gourd. Graphic and giddy—your porch never looked this good.

Design a funny pumpkin for your Halloween porch. Our big-eyed jack-o'-lantern is hilarious -- and fun to carve as well as display. Get the kids involved, too; this pumpkin design is made for creative little ones.

Funny Pumpkin-Carving Project

Our too-funny pumpkin-carving idea is the perfect fit for your outdoor Halloween decorations. Kids and adults will love making this goofy jack-o'-lantern.

Light Bright Pumpkins

Give your porch a ghostly glow with a trio of shining pumpkins. You can use any kind of pumpkin, but we like the different colors and sizes of the Lumina, Long Island Cheese, and Jarrahdale types. Hollow out each pumpkin, making sure to scrape the sides smooth. Use a drill and a small bit to create different patterns of holesjust large enough to accommodate the string lights. Finally, create a larger hole in the back so you can connect the cords to power.

Black Pumpkin Display

Grinning jack-o'-lantern faces will be all you'll see on Halloween night with this collection of carved outdoor pumpkins. Simply paint your jack-o'-lantern with black acrylic or spray paint before carving. Use painters tape around the stems to keep them paint-free.

Quotable Porch Pumpkins

Quotes are a popular trend this year, and the holidays are a fun time to employ the trick. To get the look of these wordy Halloween pumpkin decorations, paint your gourds with chalkboard paint and trace on your words using stencils. Remove the stencils, then fill in the letters with traditional white or colored chalk. Just don't forget to bring these delicate pumpkins in if it rains or else you risk runny rhymes.

Green Lantern Gourds

Illuminate your Halloween decor with pretty and unexpected luminarias made from large, smooth-skin gourds. Their green color lends a fresh look to the season’s harvest motif.

First, make a hole large enough for your hand, then scrape out the inside. Mark your favorite design on the skin. Using an awl, paring knife, or crafts knife with a V-shape blade, carve out your designs. (You also can use a power drill with different bits.) Finally, tuck a strand of lights inside to illuminate the night.

Tiered Fall Display

Fill a wire tiered plant stand on your porch to display your fresh fall finds, such as apples, foilage, pumpkins, and other gourds. Wooden bowls and vintage crocks add interest.

Stacked Pumpkin Message

Create welcoming Halloween pumpkin decorations for guests and trick-or-treaters this year. Pick three short, wide pumpkins for this front porch display. Print the free pattern onto transfer paper. Transfer one word per pumpkin, and use black acrylic or crafts paint to fill in the outline. Stack pumpkins on an urn laced with creepy vines or spooky spiderwebs.

Pumpkin Planter

Display a collection of various sizes and shapes of pumpkins for a beautiful outdoor Halloween decoration. Simply pile your gourds in a planter and place on your porch. If the planter is too large for your collection, fill with a block of florists foam to keep your pumpkins at the top.

Office Supply Pumpkins

Create your own gourd-geous no-carve pumpkins by incorporating two traditional office supplies: thumbtacks and a permanent marker. For one: Draw on a weblike chevron pattern in black permanent marker on a white-painted pumpkin. For the second: Push white thumbtacks into an orange pumpkin in the shape of a ghost. Black thumbtacks provide his eerie eyes and mouth.

Trick-or-Treat Pumpkins

It's fun to create a strikingly sweet pumpkin grouping with a little masking tape, spray paint, and a drill. Use the tape to outline stripes, and cover the parts you'd like to remain orange; spray-paint black. Let dry completely, then remove the tape to reveal your design. Use a permanent marker to adorn each pumpkin with your favorite Halloween saying, drill holes along the black stripes for light to flicker through, and arrange in a vintage metal washtub for a rustic feel.

Harvest Pumpkin Basket

Capture the essence of autumn with a simple basket filled with cute miniature pumpkins and gourds. Layer different colors, sizes, and shapes in a wicker basket or old bowl, and place the arrangement on a patio table or porch railing.

Instead of carving a face into your pumpkin, use a few creative methods to turn your gourd into a cute owl. Our crafty ideas are a cinch and require little to no carving.

Adorable Owl Pumpkin

Let this cute owl pumpkin haunt your porch this Halloween. We'll show you how simple he is to create. All you need is a pumpkin, sunflower seeds, ice pop sticks, and hot glue.

Metallic Leaf Pumpkins

Bring beautiful shine to your outside Halloween decorations with a pair of pretty metallic pumpkins. Collect fallen leaves and spray-paint them gold; let dry. Paint one pumpkin white and the other gold. When dry, use crafts glue to attach the metallic leaves to the white pumpkin, then arrange the pair together on your porch or front step.

Pumpkin with Floating Candles

Setting the perfect autumn ambience starts with an exquisite Cinderella pumpkin. Cinderella pumpkins are large and deeply lobed, making them ideal for holding water and floating tea lights. Hollow out the pumpkin and remove the top with scalloped cuts to emphasize its natural shape. Add water, light the floating candles, and let the moonlit magic (or mischief) begin.

Pumpkin Mouse House

From its Swiss cheese cutouts to its miniature residents, our funny mouse-house pumpkin packs a lot of charm. Just hollow out a large pumpkin, then use a power drill and 1/2- and 1-inch flat wood bits to cut holes in the pumpkin. Spray-paint the pumpkin a light yellow, making sure to cover the cut edges of the holes. Purchase plastic mice and place them in the holes and around the pumpkin.

No-Carve Animal Print Pumpkins

Put the carving kit away. These trendy outdoor pumpkins require no messy hollowing or cutting. Instead, use patterned duct tape in animal prints, such as zebra and leopard, to create different patterns and designs. Strips of black tape add simple accents to the fun patterns.

Spider Pumpkins

Create these crawling critters for creepy Halloween yard decorations. Choose orange or white medium-size round pumpkins for this project. Poke four holes in each side of the pumpkins with an awl and attach jumbo black chenille stems to create spider legs. Use adhesive glue dots to attach white and black crafts foam circles for spider eyes. Place around the lawn for a frightful surprise.


Pumpkin Greeting

What better way to welcome guests this fall 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: Add a jack-o'-lantern to the pile to get ready for Halloween.

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