11 Unusual Ways to Decorate a Halloween Pumpkin

Discover new ways to decorate pumpkins, like ombre, glitter, sand, decoupage, yarn and more.
By: Jen Carreiro

Silly Succulent Pumpkins

The spikey shape and texture of succulents make them perfect for silly pumpkin hair-dos. To start, cut a small opening at the top of the pumpkin and clean out the inside. Cut three small water drain holes in the bottom of the pumpkin so that the succulent’s roots don’t rot. Use craft paint to add a silly or scary face. Finally, add dirt to the pumpkin and plant your succulent.

Glow-in-the-Dark Pumpkins

This spooky effect is easy to create. Start by carving a design — the larger the cuts the more glow you will see. Then paint the inside of the pumpkin (we used faux pumpkins by Funkins) with high-quality glow-in-the-dark paint. Make sure to paint the inside of the cut areas. During the day the glow-in-the-dark paint will be charged from the sunlight and your carving will magically be revealed at night.

Glam Candy Corn Pumpkin

This glittering candy corn pumpkin makes the perfect hostesses gift. After painting the base colors, glam out the gourd by applying decoupage glue and then glitter. Once happy with the glitter coverage, apply two more coats of decoupage glue (with at least an hour of dry time in between each) for a protective coating.

Stained Glass (Tissue Paper) Pumpkins

After you’ve carved and cleaned the pumpkin, measure and cut pieces of colored tissue paper to fit each carving area. Apply a thin layer of decoupage glue to the pumpkin flesh, place your tissue paper on top and seal with another coat of decoupage glue. (You may have to use pins to hold it in place while the glue dries.) Only illuminate with LED-style lights — no flames.

Sandy Beach Pumpkins

Carve a sea-inspired design into your pumpkin, like a palm tree or lighthouse. Use a strong spray adhesive to apply sand to the pumpkin in sections. We did two coats for full coverage. To protect your creation, spray with a clear varnish. This technique takes some time, so it’s best to use faux pumpkins like Funkins, so that you’ll be able to enjoy your autumn beach decor for years to come.

Cut-up Kid Face Pumpkins

Take super silly photos of your child and print them onto cardstock or photo paper. Let the kids cut out each of their features and stick them onto a pumpkin using a scrapbooking adhesive like Glue Dots. Basically it’s your kids' version of Mr. Potato Head, or should we say Mr. Pumpkin head.

Sweet String Art Pumpkins

This easy technique looks intense, but don't be intimidated. Start by drawing the outline of your design; we did a cute black cat and spooky ghost. Then, simply trace the entire outline by gently hammering small 1”nails into the pumpkin. Space the nails about 1/2” to 3/4” apart. Using yarn, wrap - wrap - wrap your design and keep wrapping, weaving between the nails until you are happy with the yarn coverage. Again, we used faux pumpkins from Funkins so our designs will last longer.

Modern Silver + Neon Pumpkins

We painted the bottoms of these pumpkins with neon yellow, neon orange and flat black. Using Looking Glass Paint, we spray painted the tops of the pumpkins to create an ombre effect. These pumpkins are perfect for any contemporary space.

Ombre Topiary Pumpkins

For this project, you’ll need: five gradient colors of spray paint, one 1” x 4’ wood dowel, large round wood plaque, hot-glue gun, a drill and wood screws, Spanish moss and three pumpkins (faux pumpkins work best since they are lighter). Start by assembling the base. Screw the wood dowel to the center of the round wood plaque. Drill a hole in the top and botton of the bottom and middle pumpkins in the topiary. For the topiary top pumpkin, only cut a hole in the bottom. Spray paint the pumpkins darkest to lightest. To assemble the topiary, glue the largest pumpkin to the base, with the dowel running through the holes and add a little Spanish moss. Glue the middle pumpkin to the base pumpkin, also adding a little Spanish moss. The top pumpkin actually just sits free on the other two, so you can remove it.

Spider Web Window Pumpkins

Create the perfect home for a faux spiders — right inside a pumpkin. Cut a large hole in a black Funkin. Paint the inside, stem and cut edge with silver-metallic craft paint. Use old-fashion cotton spider web material and tiny upholstery nails to make the web. Push the nails and web into the pumpkin’s flesh (no need for hammering, they go right in). Tie the yarn onto the nails and wrap around the nails. Add a few spiders. Watch out: these may look so appealing that you’ll find a real spider inhabiting them.

Poured Candle Pumpkins

Normally you might put a candle in a pumpkin, but here we poured a candle into the pumpkin. Carve a real (or faux) pumpkin like the designs you see here and clean out the inside well. In a melting pot, slowly melt soy wax flakes. Each of our candles took 1-1/2 lbs. of wax flakes. Add 1 ounce of scent per pound and coloring if you’d like. Place a wick inside the pumpkin and after your wax has significantly cooled down, pour into the pumpkin. Let it sit for 24 hours before burning. Now you've got perfect lighting for any Halloween party.

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