HALLOWEEN: 36 No-Carve Pumpkins

Halloween is in 15 days, and we're still busy decorating here. I like to have pumpkins on my porch for as long as possible...into November if possible. Since I love having pumpkins for months, I prefer creating no-carve pumpkins, as the traditional carved type quickly rots. I want my creations to last until the pumpkins are rotten long after normal carved ones. However, you can use Fun-Kins (foam or plastic faux pumpkins) and use them for many years, until you want to change the design. There are many ways to decorate a pumpkin. Here are some of my favorite no-carve pumpkin tutorials.

I love sparkly things. I'm like a magpie...oooh shiny...gets me every time. The nice thing about these, is if you have a craft supply stash that already is filled with sparkly items, these are projects you can do without needed more materials...well other than a pumpkin...or 20. Also, if you use double stick tape or low tack adhesives, you can pull these embellishments off when the season is done. If you use an imitation pumpkin, and want to keep your design permanent, use high quality adhesives, or you'll be redoing your project the next year...and losing your sparkles.

1) Good Housekeeping - The Shining
2) Better Homes and Gardens - Halloween Pumpkin with Rhinestones and Spider
4) Better Homes and Gardens - Sequin Striped Pumpkin
5) Better Homes and Gardens - Boo-tiful Button Pumpkin
6) Handmade Happy Hour - Decoden Googly Eye Pumpkin

Remember when I mentioned that if you carve your pumpkin, the decaying process will kick in immediately, well piercing a pumpkin is similar. If you use a real pumpkin for this, the decay process will kick in, but is a lot slower than if you were to open up the pumpkin. I've pierced and surface carved pumpkins many times, and they've lasted for a month or more. I keep my pumpkins on a covered porch, so the moisture level is low. However, you can use a foam pumpkin, and these will last forever.

7) Bella Knitting - Wire Swirl Pumpkins
8) Madigan Made - Gold Thumbtack Covered Pumpkins
9) Lucky - Upholstry Tack Studded Pumpkins
10) Glitter N' Glue - Pumpkins and Pearls
11) Whimsey Box - DIY Sequined Pumpkin
12) Better Homes and Gardens - Sequin Stripes Pumpkins

Paint is a great no-carve solution, especially if you have little ones. These are adult made pumpkins, but kid ones are equally great. My daughter has a foam pumpkin that she painted at age 3, and she puts out every year. It has smears of paint on it, but we love it. These are made using paint pens, dimensional paint, stencils, and stamps. These don't need to be "perfect", and working with pumpkins it's hard for that to ever happen. Get into it, make something traditional or free form. For me, as an artist, when I have paint, I just go for it. Starting out painting (and still now), my favorite painting tool, is a paint pen. They come in many colors, finishes, and thicknesses. They are great if you are more comfortable drawing, or if you want to create detailed work easily. Artist, Alisa Burke uses them a lot in her whimsical designs.

13) Alisa Burke - Lace Inspired Pumpkins
14) Alisa Burke - Pretty Painted Pumpkins Tutorial
15) The Swell Life - Glow in the dark Pumpkin DIY Tutorial
16) Pop Sugar - Pumpkin Stencil
17) Better Homes and Gardens - How to Make a Stenciled Pumpkin
18) Good Housekeeping - Stamp of Approval

If you like decoupage, these are the projects for you. You can have detailed designs without having to draw it yourself. Use tissue paper, doilies, scrapbook, old books, and any other thin papers you want. You can cover the whole pumpkin, or just portions of it. I have lots of Halloween scrapbook papers, that these are great for. I love buying those fancy books after Halloween, at deep discount. If you want to display these outside, use a few coats of Mod Podge Outdoor to keep the paper protected. You can layer other mediums over the paper...paint, glitter, fabric, sequins, to make the pumpkin more textural and eye catching. These are great projects for real or faux pumpkins.

19) Aunt Peaches - Liberace Pumpkins
20) 17 Apart - Golden Doily Pumpkins
21) Good Housekeeping - Tissue Paper Leaves Pumpkins
22) Confessions of a Plate Addict - Country Living Inspired Decoupage Pumpkins
23) Mr. Kate - Bug Decoupage Pumpkin
24) The Graphics Fairy - Book Page Pumpkin

I love fabric. It's a comforting material for me. I'm also very feminine looking (I know my way around a power tool and have more than my husband does), and gravitate to lace, crochet, velvet, chiffon...etc. I love lush fabrics, but I work with a lot of cotton. I love upcycling old fabrics, clothing, and trims into new items. These are all great projects for using those old items and decorating pumpkins. If you don't have any of these materials handy, go to a thrift store, or your local fabrics and craft stores, to get something to work with. Use some old clothing that no longer fits or is worn out, old stockings with runs, old curtains, old linens...anything old can be reused. Though this post is about no-carve pumpkin creations, feel free to apply these techniques to home decor. Many of these can be repurposed into new things for your home. Make over some old items into something useful for the present.

25) Mitzi's Miscellany - Crochet Covered Faux Pumpkins
26) Honestly WTF - Lace Pumpkins
27) Little Brown House - Black Lace Pumpkins
28) Alisa Burke - Patchwork Pumpkins
29) Flamingo Toes - Vintage Style Fabric Wrapped Pumpkins
30) The Autocrat - Ribbon Pumpkins

For our final category, I chose wrapped designs. This was inspired by these great washi tape, ribbon, and yarn pumpkins. I haven't gotten into washi tape (originally comes from Japan and started popularity with scrapbookers), but these pumpkins makes me want to buy some. If you don't have washi tape, grab a nice roll of masking tape and some markers to create your own. The ribbon and yarn pumpkins are a great use of left overs bits from projects. We all have those bits and keep them with the intention to use them. If you want to keep these for longer than a season, consider using a faux pumpkin. The fully covered ones are great for old faux pumpkins that have seen a few past projects...cover up any past damage with fibers. If you want to reuse your ribbon and yarn, use a low tack adhesive under it. Aleene's (think Tacky Glue) makes several low to high tack tapes that would be perfect for these!

31) Better Homes and Gardens - Pretty Tape-and-Ribbon Pumpkins
32) Real Simple - Mad for Plaid
33) Good Housekeeping - Ribbon Wrapped Baby Pumpkins
34) RGV Moms Blog - Yarn Spider Web Pumpkin
35) Real Coake - Spiral Rosette Yarn Wrapped Pumpkin
36) Deal Seaking Mom - Yarn-Wrapped Pumpkins And Gourds

This is a lot of inspiration to take in, but should get your brainstorm going. Infuse your own style into these project ideas, if you use any of them. No need to copy them if you don't want to. If you think you could do any of the projects a better way, feel free to do it! I commonly use projects I see for inspiration, but use my own favorite techniques to create the project. Inspiration can come from anywhere.

You can pin any of the photos above, for reference. If you want to save all these ideas, pin this image of all the projects.


  1. Beautiful choices! So many ways to go when it comes to a Jack O'Lantern! Going to pin the big image!

    1. It's hard to pick a favorite. I want to make them all! You could take many of these ideas and adapt them to a traditional Jack-O-Lantern face too.

  2. I did a no carve pumpkin this year also . . . I cannot wait to show it off on my blog this weekend.

    Shawn Mosch ~ The Buckle Boutique Design Team Coordinator
    Crafty Chics Blog
    MyCutSearch.com a searchable database of Cricut images


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