Creative Pumpkin Designs for Halloween
It's that time of year again! Time to decide how to decorate your fall pumpkins. We've gathered 15 project ideas and tips that will make your pumpkin the best on the block!
Pumpkin Carving with Power Tools
Creative Pumpkin Ideas: HOOT Halloween
- Scrapbook paper in assorted colors
- Color copies of yellowed book pages and newspaper
- Scrapbook scissors with specialty edges
- Scalloped circle punch
- Double-stick tape
- Straight pins
- White pumpkins
Creative Pumpkin Ideas: Orange Crush
Creative Pumpkin Ideas: Creepy Cottage
- Ceramic house
- Black matte spray paint
- Acrylic paints
- Hollow carvable foam pumpkin
- Battery-operated mini LED light string
- Fairy garden bench
- Spice jar lids, optional
- Glue gun
Creative Pumpkin Ideas: Puttin’ on the Glitz
- Pumpkin (real or artificial)
- Medium-size sponge brush
- Tacky glue
- Fine glitter in choice of color
- Paper plate
- Fresh or thin silk leaves (see Note)
- Decoupage glue
- Sponge applicators
- Small straight pins (optional)
Pumpkin Vegetable Tray
Pumpkin Tape Tip
Tracing Paper Makes Carving Pumpkins Easy
Make Your Pumpkin Carving Last
- Before picking your pumpkin, inspect it for blemishes and indents that could invite rot, mold, or fruit flies. Pick a firm pumpkin with even coloring.
- Clean your pumpkin with water to get rid of dirt and pests. Cut a hole at the top of your pumpkin and scrape out all of its slimy guts. This step is crucial: The drier the interior, the slower your pumpkin will decompose. Before carving the face of your pumpkin, rinse it again using peppermint dish soap and water. The peppermint will act as a mild anti-fungal for your pumpkin’s newly exposed interior.
- Once you’ve finished carving, soak your pumpkin in a bleach solution. This will act as an antimicrobial and keep the design on your pumpkin looking firm and fresh. Simply mix three teaspoons regular bleach into three gallons of water. Immerse the pumpkin for one hour and air dry upside down for three hours (this will allow excess bleach to drip out).
Host a Pumpkin Carving Party
- Pick a date near Halloween to keep jack-o’-lanterns looking sharp for the big night.
- Got kids? Start the carving in the afternoon, and give them paint sets, markers and stickers to decorate their pumpkins.
- Make sure guests know how to use the tools properly. Show them, or read instructions aloud.
- Carving is messy! Cover work surfaces with newspapers or a vinyl tablecloth.
- Keep the menu simple. Organize a potluck, or serve finger food and snacks instead of a meal.
- Play Halloween-themed songs and burn pumpkin-pie-scented candles.
- Just for fun, take a vote to determine the scariest, silliest and most artistic jack-o’-lanterns.
- Fire up the pumpkins, using votives. Be sure to take a group photo for your Halloween scrapbook.
Grow the Plumpest Pumpkin
- Purchase seeds developed to grow big pumpkins; most nurseries and mail-order sources have them.
- Dig a hole the size of a bushel basket and dump in compost. Cover the area with 4 to 6-in. layer of black dirt.
- Plant three seeds about 1 in. deep. After the seeds sprout a few leaves, thin to the single healthiest plant.
- When three pumpkins begin to develop, remove any additional female flowers—the ones with the pumpkin shaped bulge immediately behind them.
- When the three pumpkins are softball-sized, thin to just one pumpkin.
- Keep the plant weeded, well watered and fertilized with a high-phosphorus fertilizer.
- Harvest your pumpkin before the first frost, leaving the stem attached. Place it in a warm room for a week, then store it in a cool place until you’re ready to carve it.