Sep 10

Creating Simple, No-Carve Halloween Pumpkins


Make elegant and fun painted pumpkins using stencils.

Are you fed up with cutting, scooping and carving your pumpkins every single Halloween? Do you think pumpkin carving demands the knife proficiency associated with an Iron Chef? Here are a few tips for some simple decorated pumpkins without requiring the sloppy mess of this usually labor-intensive task:

Using Japanese Washi Masking Tape to Make a Plaid Pumpkin

This new tape is similar to regular masking tape, but it’s available in lots and lots of colors and patterns. Look for it at craft stores, or online.

You can create your own pattern by drawing your design directly on your pumpkin with a dry erase marker (light color only, please – don’t use black!). A marker works great, because you can wipe it right off if you change your mind or make any mistakes. Try varying the width of the stripes for a more unusual plaid design.

After you’ve finished drawing the design, start applying tape to the pumpkin’s surface – the longer the strips the better, covering your marker’s lines as you go. Try to run your stripes from the top of the pumpkin to the bottom. Make all your vertical stripes first, and then the horizontal stripes.

Decorative Washi Tape

Decorative Washi Tape

Creating With Regular Painter’s Tape

With painter’s tape, make simple vertical stripes all the way around your pumpkin. Spray paint the pumpkin black and when dry, just remove the painter’s tape for an instant, easy decoration.

No-Fuss Fall Centerpiece

To create this easy one-of-a-kind original masterpiece, just heap a bunch of bewitching and beribboned tiny sugar pumpkins in a rustic bowl. To make this centerpiece, attach some double-stick tape to pieces of orange, black and white, or Halloween-patterned ribbon, then tape them around the center of each squash.

Halloween Black Magic

Okay, let’s be honest – this idea does require the use of a knife, but the magical designs themselves are created easily with only a spoon – not the usual torturous slicing and dicing. Simply slice off the top of the pumpkin, and remove the insides (then you can put the knife away!). Spray-paint the outside of the pumpkin a matte black, and let it dry. Then use the handle of a spoon to simply scratch away the black paint wherever you want to create moons, stars, crescents, and spirals. If you want to take it a step further, you can hollow out an area on the top of the pumpkin to insert a small vase to fill with fall flowers.

Punched-Out Pumpkins

This is a more sophisticated look for the traditional pumpkin. Just use a plunger-type apple corer to punch through the rind of a pumpkin to create a perfectly round hold. If you buy at least three different colored pumpkins, gourds or squashes, you can mix and match the different colors when you plug the holes back up to make polka-dotted pumpkins.

For thicker pumpkins, use a rubber mallet to help pound through the thick walls.

Painting a Pumpkin for Halloween

Painting a Pumpkin for Halloween

Stenciled Pumpkins

Tape a simple stencil around the center of your pumpkin and fill it in with paint. Call attention to the pattern by placing the pumpkin on a color-coordinated pedestal cake plate. You can use paper doilies to create intricate, lacey designs.

Whatever design (or combinations of designs) you choose, you can have colorful, unique pumpkins for Halloween this year without the muss and fuss of carving!


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