From hearty recipes and spiced beverages to jack-o'-lantern creations, everyone knows that fall and pumpkins are practically synonymous. You might not know, though, that you can truly transform the bright orange seasonal staple into absolutely anything you please, from lanterns to votives to, yes, even a wood burning stove. Let your crafting skills shine this October 31 and think outside the box with these genius Halloween pumpkin decorating ideas, be it a monogrammed front porch fixture or adorable DIY animals. Make downright gourd-geous décor for the inside of your home too—you’ll want to leave the pumpkin bookshelf tree, staircase liners, and pumpkin-carved flames for your fireplace on display all season long.
As always, we also had to throw in the most refined and rustic country touches, including a Mason jar pumpkin lookalike, a cross-stitch pumpkin, and best, of all, a quilted pumpkin—enough said. Whether you go with a classic carved creation or a pretty painted project, your gourds will give neighbors pumpkin to talk about. In addition to these pumpkin decorations, check out the most wickedly wonderful Halloween party ideas, as well as creative Halloween party themes (and plan your newly-crafted pumpkin display accordingly).
Here's a prop that looks like it was taken from the vintage candy store of our dreams! Who knew pumpkins could be used for so many fun, fall-centric purposes?
Make the Dispenser: Trace the bottom of a glass bowl or storage container onto the front of a medium pumpkin. Cut out around tracing then scoop out pulp and seeds. Insert bowl, making the hole slightly bigger if necessary. Attach a piece of thick rope around the edge of the bowl with hot-glue. Fill bowl with candy.
SHOP VINTAGE CANDY
Here's one decoration idea that'll bring you right back to your childhood! Inspired by Candy Dots, this sweet, retro-looking pumpkin is anything but ordinary.
Make the Pumpkin: Paint metal pushpins with blue, pink, and yellow nail polish. Once dry, insert into a small white pumpkin as shown.
Vintage wrappers and a bit of Mod Podge brings these pumpkins to life. They're so cute, we could just eat them up!
Make the Pumpkins: Print copies of candy labels from Pinterest; cut into 1-inch strips. Attach to pumpkins using Mod Podge, working to line up the design as best as possible.
SHOP VINTAGE CANDY
You've already seen so many of the same pumpkin carvings year after year. Here's one that'll really throw you—and your guests—for a loop!
Make the Honeycomb Pumpkin: Cut a hole in the bottom of a medium orange pumpkin; scoop out pulp and seeds. Draw a honeycomb pattern on the front; etch out. Cut out a few of the combs and paint the remaining combs with yellow craft paint. Lean a honey dipper against its side.
SHOP HONEY DIPPERS
Sure, it can't actually churn butter—but who cares? This unbelievably cute decoration will delight your fellow country-dwelling guests.
Make the Churn: Remove the stem from a large white pumpkin. Draw a vintage-looking number and an oval around it on the front of the pumpkin with a pencil. Attach blue twine over drawing with hot-glue. Create two stripes on the top of the pumpkin with blue washi tape. Glue a 1" dowel where the stem was.
SHOP BLUE TWINE
Pumpkin decorations don't have to be complicated to be lovely and sophisticated. This simple twine ball proves it.
Make the Ball: Drill a hole at edge of a wooden round; insert stick. Attach a black wire hook; hang scissors. Wrap a small pumpkin with twine and place on round. (Alternatively, you can stick faux spiders on the twine “web.”)
SHOP JUTE ROPE
Bet you've never seen a pumpkin craft idea as fun—or creative—as this one! Here, vintage soda labels take center stage.
Make the Bottles: Print copies of soda labels from Pinterest; cut out. Pop off stems of small butternut squash. Spray-paint squash brown or green. Once dry, add band of washi tape around center. Attach cut out with Mod Podge. Attach stem to mini tart mold with hot-glue; place on squash.
SHOP VINTAGE SODA BOTTLES
Okay, so maybe it doesn't exactly work. But we're pretty sure we'd use this pumpkin scale anyway.
Make the Scale: Cut a large hole in back of a medium pumpkin; scoop out pulp and seeds. Remove all flesh so it’s light enough to hang. Trace scale template on pumpkin, sizing up or down as needed. Etch out where indicated. Paint over remaining design with black oil pen. Attach peel-and-stick numbers. Drill holes in two sides of large ice scoop. Attach two equal lengths of chain with small S hooks. Attach third length to handle; attach to bottom of pumpkin with T-pins. Drill small hole in top of pumpkin. Cut a 1" dowel the width of inside top of pumpkin. Tie rope around dowel, insert dowel in pumpkin, and feed rope through hole; hang.
SHOP JUTE ROPE
You love pumpkin season. You love Mason jars. Think about it: This craft's an obvious choice!
Make the Jars: Print pumpkin and apple templates on removable tattoo paper. Attach to small white pumpkins per package directions. Remove the stems from pumpkins. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit into the opening of a wide-mouth Mason jar ring. Attach a round of gingham fabric, centering it, to the cardboard. Glue pumpkin stems in centers. Attach lids to tops of pumpkins.
SHOP MASON JARS
Here's a way to play with your favorite season! We love using this sweet craft for your next family game night.
Make the Game: Paint 32 squares on a large (roughly 30-inch) wood board with burnt orange craft paint. Use mini white and orange pumpkins as game pieces.
SHOP MINI PUMPKINS
What's better than pumpkins, you ask? A pumpkin with more pumpkins in it, naturally!
Make the Basket: Cut off the top quarter of a flat pumpkin (this is a Musquee de Provence variety); scoop out pulp and seeds. Attach lengths of grapevine just below the opening with T-pins. Attach a grapevine handle just inside the opening with T-pins. Nestle mini pumpkins in the basket.
SHOP GRAPEVINE WREATHS
How adorable is this? We can't think of a better way to show off your apple picking finds.
Make the barrel: Cut off the top quarter of an extra-large pumpkin; scoop out pulp and seeds. Hot-glue three strips of ribbon around outside of pumpkin. Stuff pumpkin three-fourths full with Poly-Fil. Insert burlap fabric into the opening and fold over outside of pumpkin; hold in place with upholstery tacks. Fill with apples or desired items.
The best part of this fun craft? You don't have to write "come on in"—include whatever message makes you happiest!
Make the Sign: Cut a large hole in back of an oblong pumpkin; scoop out pulp and seeds. Remove flesh so it's light enough to hang. Etch outline of desired phrase on long side of pumpkin. Color center of letters with a black oil-based paint pen. Paint two 2" by 1" boards black; once dry, use white paint for desired phrases. Hang from bottom of pumpkin with chain. Cut hole in oblong top of pumpkin. Cut 1" dowel the width of the top inside of pumpkin (parallel with words). Tie rope around dowel, and feed rope through hole; hang.
SHOP JUTE ROPE
Display your family initial loud and proud with this pretty pumpkin decoration, which makes the perfect Halloween porch fixture.
Get the tutorial at The House That Lars Built.
SHOP FLORAL GLUE
Add a little glitz and glam to your orange gourds with some paint and sparkles.
Get the tutorial at Mod Podge Rocks.
SHOP DIAMOND DUST
We promise this easy pumpkin craft isn't just a bunch of hocus pocus. Bring the classic Disney movie to life with one of the most memorable spells.
Get the tutorial at Lovely Indeed.
SHOP ALPHABET STICKERS
This set takes the throne as the cutest no-carve pumpkin we've ever laid eyes on.
Get the tutorial at Simple as That.
SHOP FOAM BRUSHES
Complement any whitewashed furniture with a matching pumpkin pairing. We love the muted look it lends to this orange Halloween staple.
Get the tutorial at Tidbits.
SHOP CHALK PAINT
Nothing says Halloween more than a fa-boo-lous glow-in-the-dark pumpkin.
Get the tutorial at A Pumpkin and a Princess.
SHOP GLOW-IN-THE-DARK VINYL
Drooling yet? This food-inspired DIY is the greatest Halloween trick (and treat!) of all time—no one will be able to tell from afar that it's made from a pumpkin.
Get the tutorial at Studio DIY.
SHOP TAN CRAFT PAINT
The best way to greet guests this fall? Porchside pumpkin people, made all the more authentic with fake glasses and accessories.
Get the tutorial at Pretty Providence.
SHOP TOP HATS
No need to supervise little ones with this fun no-carve idea. Let them in on the decorating fun as they create their own Halloween masterpieces.
Get the tutorial at MomDot.
SHOP FINGER PAINT
This dreamy watercolor effect truly couldn't look cooler on your pumpkins, and you can DIY the look with a simple beauty product: nail polish!
Get the tutorial at Alice & Lois.
SHOP INDIGO NAIL POLISH
Tear or cut a patchwork patterned fabric into small squares. Working one square at a time, brush Mod Podge on the fronts and backs of squares with a craft brush. Attach them to the pumpkin, brushing more Mod Podge on top. Repeat, overlapping squares as you go, until pumpkin is covered.
SHOP PATCHWORK FABRIC
This creative idea doubles as a game you can play with your kids! Start by cutting large holes in the bottom of two pumpkins; scoop out the pulp and seeds. Download and trace the face template on the pumpkins, then cut out the faces. Stack the pumpkins and use skewers to help hold the top pumpkin in place. To play, toss beanbags into mouths—10 points for bottom, 20 points for top.
Remove the stem from a small delicata squash and set it aside. Hot-glue small wood rounds on the top and bottom of the squash. Wrap the squash with yarn, overlapping to keep it in place. Hot-glue the stem in the center of the top wood round.
SHOP WOOD ROUNDS
If you can't get enough of mason jars, you'll love this idea. Remove the stem of a medium pumpkin and set it aside. Use wired twine to spell out “fall” and hot-glue to the pumpkin. Paint the pumpkin and twine with light blue craft paint. Let dry completely. Place a 9-to-10-inch tart pan upside down on the pumpkin. Hot-glue the stem to the center of the pan.
SHOP TART PANS
Use red, orange, yellow, green, and blue craft paint to paint stripes on small white pumpkins. Once dry, spray the pumpkin with a spray adhesive and sprinkle with clear glitter. Cover a 3-inch-high rectangular cardboard box in colorful craft paper. Poke 2-inch holes, corresponding to the number of pumpkins you have and spacing evenly, in the top of the box. Place snow cone paper holders in holes and fill halfway with white sand. Place pumpkins on top.
First, download and trace our fish template on the side of a mini pumpkin, scaling up or down as necessary. Chisel out the fish. Insert a mini black thumbtack for the eye. Fill a small plastic bag with water and place the pumpkin on top. Tie the bag closed with colorful twine.
Begin by running green twine in the creases of a medium and small pumpkin, using hot glue to hold it in place at the tops and bottoms. Cut pointy collars (on a tomato, this is technically called a “sepal”) from green felt and attach with hot glue. Wrap a piece of twine around the stem of the small pumpkin and hang from the stem of the medium one. Insert metal food picks to mimic pins.
SHOP FOOD PICKS