No Carve Halloween Pumpkins - Ideas for Decorating Pumpkins Quickly without Carving

Creative Pumpkin Designs
Creative Pumpkin Designs | Source

How to Decorate a Pumpkin without Carving

It seems like every year Halloween comes sooner and sooner. Thirty or even thirty-one days never seem be enough when preparing for one of my favorite holidays. For many years, I have run out of time to carve or decorate a pumpkin. This year, believe it or not, I actually got a head start and decorated a few pumpkins. Using real and fake pumpkins, I compiled a list of pumpkin designs, ideas, and techniques I used to make some very unique and festive pumpkins for Halloween. These ideas are great for last minute decorating or crafting with kids because they don't require a knife or carving. Enjoy!

Cool Pumpkin Ideas - Pumpkin Mummy
Cool Pumpkin Ideas - Pumpkin Mummy | Source

You Will Need

  • Cheesecloth
  • Boiling Water
  • 2-4 Tea Bags
  • Eyes or Ping Pong Balls

Mummy Pumpkin

This is a quick and fun makeover for a real or fake pumpkin. Pick up cheesecloth from your local grocery store. Not sure where to find cheesecloth? I found mine in the aisle with kitchen gadgets and spent about $2.00 on a package that had 2 yards. It will be stark white and if you like it that way you can skip the tea-staining steps. I wanted my mummy cloth to look aged so I submerged the cheesecloth in my glass Pyrex bowl with four cups of boiling water and four teabags. Stir a few times with a large spoon and help coax the tea color from the bags. Let sit for 20-30 minutes or until happy with color. If your cheesecloth isn't fully submerged, add a little more water or place teabags on top to keep cloth under water. Remove from tea and wring out extra tea. Don't rinse with water. Open completely to dry. The gauze-like material dries in about 5 minutes.

How to Tea Stain Fabric

Staining with Tea
Staining with Tea | Source

When dry, cut into long strips and wrap your mummy pumpkin. Separate cheesecloth where your mummy's eyes will be. Attach your eyes and re-position cheesecloth so it appears he is peeking through his bandages. I used a ping-pong ball cut in half and hot glued the edges of the eyeballs to my pumpkin. If your mummy isn't going anywhere, you won't need to secure your gauze strips to the pumpkin or one another-- they kind of stick to one another. If your pumpkin will be traveling, I would suggest a few strategic dabs of hot glue or some help from safety pins.

Decorating for Fall with Pumpkin Craft Ideas
Decorating for Fall with Pumpkin Craft Ideas | Source

You Will Need

  • Leaves
  • Mod Podge
  • Brush

Decoupage Leaf Pumpkin

This an easy and unique pumpkin to craft that you can "leave" up until Thanksgiving. You can use real, paper or fabric leaves. I spent absolutely no money on this project by using what I already had-- fake flower leaves that resemble oak leaves. Mine were green-- not very ideal for Fall-- so I painted them black first. Black leaves on an off-white pumpkin certainly look spooky. After painting my leaves, I sprayed them with shellac on both sides so the fabric wouldn't bleed black paint when it got wet from the mod podge.

Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin

Do it Yourself Halloween Ideas for Kids and Adults
Do it Yourself Halloween Ideas for Kids and Adults | Source

Then using a brush and my mod podge, I glued my leaves to the pumpkin. I painted on two more layers of mod podge to seal my pumpkin, allowing each layer to fully dry. If your leaves aren't laying against your pumpkin as you would like, use scissors or a craft knife to make a little slit at the edge of an uncooperative section.

Creative Decorated Pumpkins
Creative Decorated Pumpkins | Source

You Will Need

  • Fake Glitter Crow
  • Rhinestone Embellishments
  • Sparkly Spider Stickers

Sparkly Crow Pumpkin

This spooky little pumpkin set me back less than $5.00 after some awesome Michael's coupons and discounts. It also took me less than five minutes to put together and it's one of my favorite pumpkins in my "patch". While all of my supplies were purchased new from Michael's craft store, this project is a great way to use up odds and ends you might have. Check out Halloween clearance sections for very reasonable faux pumpkins. Even if they have a little boo-boo, they'll work out great. These artificial pumpkins can be repainted and embellishments can hide any imperfections.

Pumpkin Design Ideas

Stickers for Pumpkins - Mini Pumpkin Decorating
Stickers for Pumpkins - Mini Pumpkin Decorating | Source

My spiders and rhinestones came from the scrapbooking aisle and since they were already sticky with adhesive, my pumpkin decorating was even easier. My glittery crow had a little clothespin for feet but with nothing to clip him on to, I took it off and hot glued him to the pumpkin stem. I even used the piece of black wire that held him to the display card to make a cute little curly pumpkin vine tendril.

Cute Pumpkin Ideas for Pretty Halloween Decorations
Cute Pumpkin Ideas for Pretty Halloween Decorations | Source

You Will Need

  • Butcher's Twine or String
  • Buttons
  • Hot Glue

Shabby Chic Button Pumpkin

This is another pumpkin design that didn't cost me a penny. Using leftover buttons from my Button Vase Tutorial and string, I decorated a gold-painted pumpkin. Raid your button box for inspiration or buy some buttons on Etsy. Glue string lengthwise in pumpkin ribs. Feed string through button holes and double knot on back of button. This will give your buttons a sewn-on effect. Cut off excess and save string. Glue buttons to pumpkin using hot glue. Using leftover pieces of string, glue a few on in between buttons to simulate stitches. Using this idea to decorate mini pumpkins will require less time and supplies which can really help out if you're in a pinch.

Halloween Craft Ideas

Unique Pumpkin Ideas
Unique Pumpkin Ideas | Source

How to Make Pumpkin Vine Tendrils

  1. Wrap floral wire around a pencil or wooden spoon handle.
  2. Gently slide off spoon. It should resemble a spring.
  3. Twist each end around a toothpick, creating smaller curls.
  4. Gently pull apart large curls in center and adjust as desired.
  5. Attach to artificial pumpkin with hot glue, wrap around stem, or cut tendril in center and poke into base of pumpkin stem.

Decorating Ideas for Pumpkins
Decorating Ideas for Pumpkins | Source
Spiderweb Pumpkin
Spiderweb Pumpkin | Source

You Will Need

  • Butcher's Twine or String
  • Fake Plastic Spiders
  • Hot Glue (optional)

Spider Web Pumpkin

This a quick and easy way to decorate any pumpkin if you're a kiddo or a kid at heart. Pumpkin ideas for kids can entail paint, stickers, markers etc-- but this idea is super easy and has virtually no mess to clean up. Use this method when kids are decorating mini pumpkins since the size is perfect for their little hands. Using off-white string, I pretended I was a spider and wrapped my pumpkin with stringy webs. Finish and secure web at bottom by tying loose end to a few other strings. Decorate with creepy Halloween spiders, using hot glue to affix if needed. This small pumpkin came from the grocery store and is used for baking.

Creative Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Home Halloween Decor
Home Halloween Decor | Source

Pumpkin decorating ideas like this allow the pumpkin to stay clean and intact in case you decide to decorate it another way, bake with it, or easily remove the decorations and use as plain Thanksgiving decor.

Pumpkins with mustaches
Pumpkins with mustaches | Source

You Will Need

  • Adhesive Mustaches

Mustachioed Pumpkin

Mustaches, whether fake or the real deal, seem to be pretty popular these days. With the rise of this trend, it's very easy to find packages of fake adhesive mustaches at most dollar and party stores. I found my fake mustaches in the dollar section of Target.

Ideas for Pumpkin Faces

Pumpkins with Mustaches
Pumpkins with Mustaches | Source

Mustache Scrapbook Paper

Mustache Ideas for Pumpkins
Mustache Ideas for Pumpkins | Source

They're great for decorating pumpkins since they're inexpensive and are usually already sticky. Fake mustaches look especially cute on mini pumpkins. If you're unable to find fake mustaches at the last minute, simply draw it on with a black Sharpie marker or black paint. I have a great piece of scrapbook paper that has various mustache styles featured that I often pull out when I need some mustache design ideas and inspiration. You can also add eyes and some glasses made from a pipe cleaner-- if your pumpkin wants to be a proper gentleman. My little pumpkin is sitting on a spider leg cupcake stand (from Target) since his little body was the perfect size.

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Comments 28 comments

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 12 months ago from Burlingame, CA

I was just checking out Halloween Hubs and saw this one again. It's one of my absolute favorites!

MacsTop10 profile image

MacsTop10 2 years ago from nowhere and everywhere

Good ideas. I like the mummy. Carving can be such a pain.

bwhite062007 profile image

bwhite062007 2 years ago from East Coast

Great Ideas and I found some I want to try out this year. Awesome read!

Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 2 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@caseymel-- I'm a pretty clumsy crafter myself. I always thought carving a pumpkin was a pain in the butt until I tried carving a gourd yesterday. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

@Beatris Johnson-- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I always see or think of great holiday ideas after the fact. There's always next year, right? :)

@rcorcutt-- Thanks! I hope you and your wife are inspired to create something fun. I bet it will come out great. Thanks for commenting :)

@Lyndsay Gamber-- Thanks so much! I'm glad you stopped by. I'm looking forward to your holiday hubs! :)

@IslandBites-- Thanks! I'm glad you stopped by :)

@W1totalk-- Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm glad you stopped by and commented :)

@heidithorne-- You bring up a good point! I would always feel so bad the day after Halloween when my carved pumpkin's face began to sink in and turn "ugly". Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 2 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@Paul Edmondson-- Thanks! I like the spider one too. Sometimes the simplest things are the prettiest. I'm glad you stopped by :)

@StellaSee-- Thanks! I love my mummy pumpkin too! I know what you mean about "pretty pumpkins." I was so impressed with how the sparkly crow pumpkin came out. Thanks for commenting :)

@Better Yourself-- I'm also not great with carving and messes, so this craft was right up my alley! I'm sure yours will come out great! You'll have to let me know how it goes next year :)

@Imogen French-- Thanks for stopping by! This year I waited too long to buy a pumpkin and ended up carving a squash and a gourd (so it's funny you mentioned that). I bet your gourds came out great! :)

@carlajbehr-- Aw thanks! I'm so glad you enjoy my hubs! I love to hear that. I was so busy yesterday with Halloween and finally had a chance to sit down and reply to this flood of awesome comments. Thanks so much for taking the time to share yours :)

Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 2 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@Dolores Monet-- Thanks for visiting and all the kind words! I'm glad you stopped by :)

@rebeccamealey-- Thanks! You're right, carving is messy and this is a tidier alternative. Thanks for commenting :)

@Your Cousins-- Thanks for stopping by! The mummy is one of my favorites, for sure. That's a great idea about the turkeys; thanks :)

@Princessa-- Thanks so much for commenting! I'm glad you were inspired and I bet your pumpkins came out beautifully. If you share them on-line, I'd love to see :)

@purl3agony-- Thanks! The mummy is one of my favorites! I'm glad you stopped by :)

caseymel profile image

caseymel 2 years ago from Indiana

I'm pretty clumsy with a knife, so this is a great idea for me and my kids!

Beatris Johnson profile image

Beatris Johnson 2 years ago from London

Amazing ideas! I wish I had seen this hub earlier.

rcorcutt profile image

rcorcutt 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

OOh. My wife and I might try something like this next Halloween. Nice HUB.

Lyndsay Gamber profile image

Lyndsay Gamber 2 years ago from California

congrats on hod! these are some really cool ideas! I will have to try some next year!

IslandBites profile image

IslandBites 2 years ago from Puerto Rico

Great ideas! Loved the hub.

W1totalk profile image

W1totalk 2 years ago

This is very well written article with some good ideas in it. Thank you Heather Says

heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

I've always thought that carving pumpkins ruined 'em. Such cute ideas! Congrats on Hub of the Day!

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 2 years ago from Burlingame, CA

Amazing! I love the spider and the web on the pumpkin! Going to show the girls this.

StellaSee profile image

StellaSee 2 years ago from California

I love the mummy pumpkin! The eyes are so cute, and I like the sparkly crow one too, the rhinestones make it pretty. I never imagined a halloween pumpkin could look 'pretty' ahaha. Thanks for sharing and congratulations!

Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 2 years ago from North Carolina

LOVE these ideas! especially the sparkly crow! I'm not great with carving and its messy, cannot wait to try these next year. Thanks for sharing!

Imogen French profile image

Imogen French 2 years ago from Southwest England

Some great ideas here. They look wonderful, and sounds like a lot less hassle than carving. I wanted to decorate some of my homegrown squashes, but didn't want to waste them by carving them up just yet, and you have given me something to think about now. congrats on hotd - well deserved :-)

carlajbehr profile image

carlajbehr 2 years ago from NW PA

Your ideas are amazing - I truly enjoy your hubs!

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

A wonderful alternative to the same old badly carved Jack-o-Lantern. They are so pretty and your pictures are fabulous! (Voted up and shared)

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Adorable ideas! They save a lot of the mess of pumpkin carving too. Thanks f0r sharing!

Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 2 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Love the mummy, spider and crow pumpkins. Carving the pumpkins is fun, but so sloppy. This is a great alternative, and after Halloween, you can make turkeys out of them! Great HOTD.

Princessa profile image

Princessa 2 years ago from France

Great creations, and they look very easy to do. I am going to try them, I have never carved a pumpkin -too much hard work- but these crafts are just what we were waiting for to use our pumpkins

purl3agony profile image

purl3agony 2 years ago from USA

So many great ideas!! I love the mummy pumpkin :) Congrats on your HOTD!!

Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 3 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author


Thanks so much for the kind words :) The crow pumpkin is by far my favorite. I unpacked my Halloween stuff yesterday and was so happy to unwrap my sparkly crow pumpkin. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

LisaKoski profile image

LisaKoski 3 years ago from WA

You have a very snazzy collection of hubs and I can't wait to read more. I especially like the "Mummy Pumpkin" and "Sparkly Crow Pumpkin" in this list. This looks like a fun project. I really like that you can customize it to your own taste and even keep these up through Thanksgiving if you want.

Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 3 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@randomcreative-- I had a feeling the button one would get a few fans. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reading and commenting, as always :)

@Brian-- Thanks for stopping by and chatting. I hate throwing away a rotting pumpkin that I spent time and energy on too. Hope you had a great Halloween and a soon-to-be Thanksgiving. :)

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I can't even begin to pick a favorite here because all of these ideas are so awesome. Of course you know that I love the button one, though! Great job here.

Brian Ahearn profile image

Brian Ahearn 3 years ago

These are awesome. We always use pumpkins to decorate around the house but hold off on carving them because they'll just rot in a week and we want to keep them around all season. So the Spider Web or Mummy ideas you did here are great because we can remove the Halloween add-ons after and still keep the pumpkins for Thanksgiving.

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