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Six Easy DIY Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Brianna is a full-time writer, blogger, and editor. She loves all things related to Halloween and horror.

Check out these fun DIY pumpkin decorating ideas!

Check out these fun DIY pumpkin decorating ideas!

DIY Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

It has always been a huge tradition in my family to carve pumpkins. During my teenage years, I can remember my mother coming home with three of the best pumpkins she could find.

Now, we share the same tradition with our kids, and they look forward to it every year, but life in the pumpkin world has changed. Suddenly, the bar for pumpkin carving has skyrocketed.

We've discovered many new ways to spice up our pumpkin decorating! Let's check out some easy ideas you can do right at home!

Need some inspiration? Look no further!

Need some inspiration? Look no further!

Six Creative Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

  1. Design a Very Detailed Carving
  2. Paint it!
  3. Cover the Pumpkin in Lace
  4. Construct a Drilled Design
  5. Create a Pumpkin Village
  6. Assemble a Pumpkin Carriage
These carvings are so elaborate and beautiful.

These carvings are so elaborate and beautiful.

1. Design a Very Detailed Carving

Of course, carving pumpkins will always be in style; that will never change. But what if we could step it up just a bit and make them even fancier?

It can definitely be done with the proper tools and a steady hand, but you might need some patience. The more details you include, the more magnificent your pumpkin will look when the sun is down and it's ready for candlelight.

Materials Needed

  • A big pumpkin with a flat side
  • A fine tip marker
  • Carving tool kit
  • Newspaper to lay underneath the pumpkin while you clean out the inside
  • A template
  • A steady hand
  • One candle

Detailed Carving Instructions

  1. Find a stencil you like.
  2. Print the stencil and trace it onto the flat side of the pumpkin.
  3. Use your carving kit to hallow out the "guts" of the pumpkin.
  4. Carve accordingly
  5. Finish by lighting a candle inside the pumpkin and showing off your design!
Aren't these painted pumpkins amazing?

Aren't these painted pumpkins amazing?

2. Paint It!

Painting your pumpkins is one of the easiest and most creative ways to decorate for Halloween! It takes minimal materials and uses your imagination to the fullest extent!

You can paint the entire pumpkin in any color your heart desires or use different color paints to make a creative illustration.

I suggest using some stencils you have lying around or picking some up at a Halloween store!

Get inspired!

Materials Needed

  • Pumpkins in an assortment of shapes and sizes
  • Stencils of your choice
  • A marker
  • Paint in colors of your choice
  • A variety of paintbrushes
  • Newspaper for an easy cleanup
  • A creative imagination!

Pumpkin Painting Instructions

  1. Use a stencil to plan out your design.
  2. Use a marker to outline the design.
  3. Grab the paint and go for it!
This lace idea cannot be beaten!

This lace idea cannot be beaten!

3. Cover the Pumpkin in Lace

How about a simple yet bold and sophisticated way to decorate pumpkins? This idea will definitely turn some heads!

Also, if you want to step it up to be classier and sophisticated, paint them white or use faux white pumpkins.

Materials Needed

  • Assorted pumpkins in the color of your choice
  • Paint (optional)
  • Lace from the fabric store or a pair of stockings
  • Scissors
  • A hair tie or Mod Podge adhesive

Lace Method #1:

  1. Buy or find an old pair of lace stockings.
  2. Fit the stocking over the pumpkin, working towards the middle. Make sure that your pumpkin is covered all the way around and over the top of the stem.
  3. When the lace is snug, cut the stocking at the very bottom of your pumpkin.
  4. Secure the lace with a ponytail.
  5. Cut tightly around the top for your stem. Voila!

Lace Method #2:

  1. Buy any color lace from your local fabric store.
  2. Cut out different shapes in your lace to make a design around your pumpkin.
  3. You can also skip that step and cut out enough lace to completely cover your pumpkin.
  4. Use Mod Podge adhesive on your lace and place the lace at your preferred spot on the pumpkin.
  5. Continue until you have completed the lace completely around your pumpkin.
  6. Finish with a top coat of Mod Podge.
These look amazing at night!

These look amazing at night!

4. Construct a Drilled Design

Out of all the decorating ideas I tried out last year, this one was my favorite. It was so simple, yet they came out looking beautiful!

The pumpkins also looked like I spent oodles of time creating such a design when it took no time at all.

Now, when I first finished them, I was a little put off. The pumpkins looked a bit strange, with a bunch of holes drilled into them. But they were so worth it when we lit them up that night.

They turned out gorgeous, and we got tons of compliments from neighbors and trick-or-treaters!

Materials Needed

  • A marker
  • A drill
  • Drill bits in assorted sizes

Drilled Pumpkin Instructions

  1. Use the marker to place dots where you will want your holes to be.
  2. Keep in mind that your dot will most likely be much smaller than the hole your drill will create, so try to space your holes pretty far apart.
  3. Drill in a straightforward motion until you've reached all the way through and you have a completed round hole.
  4. Continue over all your marker dots.
This pumpkin village is too cute.

This pumpkin village is too cute.

5. Create a Pumpkin Village

Who doesn't love those beautiful, festive Christmas villages? But who thought you could make a festive Halloween pumpkin village?!

That's right, and they are just as beautiful. Plus, this is another one to let your imagination run wild. Add scary figurines to give your village some life. Or, you can opt out of scary and instead draw and carve pretty houses on your pumpkins.

Materials Needed

  • Five or six different-sized pumpkins
  • Carving tools
  • Paint or a large permanent marker
  • Accessories of your choice
  • Imagination

Carving Method:

  1. Create a list of different village components.
  2. Find stencils for each of your designs.
  3. Hallow each pumpkin with the carving tools.
  4. Carve each pumpkin according to your village plan.
  5. Arrange the village to your liking!

Drawing Method:

  1. Create a list of different village components.
  2. Draw each village design.
  3. Arrange the village to your liking!
DIY pumpkin decorating ideas

DIY pumpkin decorating ideas

6. Assemble a Pumpkin Carriage

This pumpkin carriage takes little to no effort!

The toppers, doors, and windows are from the hardware store. If you are having trouble finding carriage parts, doors, and windows from old dollhouses should be a perfect match. Or, you could paint them on and let your creativity run wild!

Of course, all accessories are up to you! The more creative, the better!

Materials Needed

  • One 12" tall pumpkin
  • Four 4" tall gourds
  • Four ornate drawer pulls
  • Three ornate metal belt buckles
  • One ornate lamp finial
  • Two 1/4" dowel rods (cut to the approx. diameter of your pumpkin)
  • Pencil or marker
  • Knife
  • Craft glue
  • Heavy-gauge florist wire
  • Cordless drill fitted with 1/4" bit

Carriage Pumpkins Instructions

  1. Trace the inside of each belt buckle onto the pumpkin and cut to create openings for two windows and a door.
  2. Glue the hardware over the openings.
  3. Remove or cut down the stem until it is even with the pumpkin's flesh, and twist the finial into the top.
  4. Drill a hole through the center of each gourd.
  5. Insert a dowel rod into the holes of two gourds to create an axle, and secure it with glue.
  6. Repeat to create a second set of wheels.
  7. Finish off all four wheels by inserting a drawer pull into the outside hole of each gourd for hubcaps.
  8. Line up two sets of wheels next to each other at about the same width as your pumpkin. Then, wrap wire from one dowel rod to the other to fasten the axles together and create a webbing for the pumpkin carriage to sit on.
  9. Gently place your carriage on the wire.
DIY milk jug pumpkins!

DIY milk jug pumpkins!

Don’t Have a Pumpkin? No Worries!

Do you go through a bunch of milk cartons a week? I know we do in my house. This idea we tried last year was a big hit with the kids. No pumpkins are necessary! And trust me, it can't get any easier than this.

Materials Needed

  • Washed and cleaned milk jugs
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Orange string Lights

Lighted Milk Jug Pumpkins Instructions

  1. Clean out your milk jugs with water. Be sure to clean out the insides extremely well so you do not have any lingering foul milk odors later. Also, running the jugs under hot water helps to remove any labels and adhesive.
  2. Grab your marker and draw on your pumpkin faces. This part the kids will love the most!
  3. Using scissors, cut a hole on the back, bottom side of the milk jug for you to be able to string the orange lights through. Your hole should be about the size of a Ritz Cracker.
  4. String your orange lights through the milk jugs and watch them illuminate!

Alternatives: Draw on ghost faces and white string lights for ghosts. Or draw on monster faces and string purple lights or green lights for monsters!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Brianna W


Brianna W (author) from East Coast on August 01, 2020:

You’re welcome Peachy! Please let me know how it turns out.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 31, 2020:

Lighted Milk Jug Pumpkins is the easiest thing to do compare to others. Gonna try this out this Halloween Thanks !