3 No-Carve Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin

I’m a huge fan of pumpkins. I like picking them, I like carving them, I like roasting the seeds and making all manner of pumpkin recipes. Know what I don’t like about pumpkins? The way they go from picturesque Jack ‘O Lantern to mushy, moldy mess seemingly in the span of a catnap. Seriously — either I’m really bad at picking good pumpkins, or those suckers go bad FAST.

We got into the Halloween spirit early this year, mostly because pumpkin picking with our daughter was an easy win for everyone involved. Which means I’ve already had to scoop two mushy, slumping pumpkins off our front stoop. Ick. We haven’t even gotten to carving time, and I’m already kind of over scooping up slimy pumpkin innards.

Enter the fake pumpkin. It’s territory I’ve never been in — I’ve always been emphatically against fake Christmas trees, and it never occurred to me to look into a fake pumpkin, but I was desperate. Guys? They’re awesome. Check out the three ways I decorated my falsie pumpkins, NO CARVING REQUIRED. And these suckers are guaranteed to last through Halloween. The bonus? Even if some trouble-making teens get into them, I’m off the hook for slime and seed clean up.

First up, the white/black/copper pumpkin. I fell in love with this color combo while helping to plan a friend’s wedding and am still kind of working it in wherever possible. I painted my pumpkin white with spray paint, and then spent about 15 minutes deliberating what copper medium I would use: glitter, paint, or gilding. Yep, I went for the gilding. Once my paint and gilding were dry, I used sewing pins to secure very skinny grosgrain ribbon at the either edge of each gilded section. Hello, beauty. 

Next, I went super simple and grabbed my trusty chalkboard paint for my second pumpkin. I wanted something a little modern, very clean and simple, and something that could be altered or updated. 

You’ll see the finished product in just a sec, I promise. I had an exhausted blogger/mommy moment and forgot to take a picture mid-process as I was switching pumpkins midstream.

Finally, after working on two very sophisticated and grown-up looking pumpkins, I wanted to do something with a little more color and splash. I went on a quick jaunt to my local craft store with some neons in mind as a possibility, but when I spied Glow-In-Dark Acrylic Craft Paint in three neon colors, I knew I had my winner. I gave my last and smallest pumpkin a coat of glossy black and then spattered to my heart’s content.

Once all three had dried, it was time to bring them outside and set the stage for a couple more weeks of Halloween countdown, this time free of messy, collapsing pumpkins. 

What do you think? Are fake pumpkins genius or sacrilege? Are you strictly a carving pumpkin decorator, or do you pull the no-carve trick, too?

Here’s another idea to make your Halloween decor stress (and slime) free — an easy, stenciled doormat. And if you like that, you’ll also love these 4 ideas for a pumpkin topiary. You could even try a pumpkin topiary using one of the fake-pumpkin ideas from above!

3 Responses

  1. [...] Also did a short video for this project that was well-received on DIY’s Instagram. And Ellen [Foord] did a cute no-carve project using a faux (!) white pumpkin. [...]

  2. [...] for your weekly dose of pumpkin, Ellen from MADE+remade blog posted some great options for no-carve [...]

  3. Graphic D says:

    That neon pumpkin is the most radical thing I've seen all day. Now I wanna have a psychedelic themed Halloween.


About Ellen Foord 


A tight budget has never stopped Ellen Foord from creating a beautiful, modern, creative home and treating every day as one of life's smaller celebrations. A freelance writer and ...

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