Halloween is only three weeks away, which means it’s time to make your annual trip to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect gourd. But anyone who’s ever carved a pumpkin before knows how hard (not to mention dangerous) sawing at your Jack-o-lantern with a butcher knife can be. That’s why I’m a big fan of decorating pumpkins in ways that don’t include kitchen knives, special pumpkin-cutting tools, or anything with a blade at all. You get the best of both worlds: A Halloween display that’s easy and looks great.
Paint is, of course, an easy way to achieve an adorably festive look sans sharp edges, but we rounded up 16 other creative and kid-friendly ways to decorate your pumpkins this year:
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1. Adhere rhinestones and a toy spider (spray-painted, if you prefer) to create a spiderweb effect.
2. Wrap your ‘kin in gauze and make him a mummy.
3. Add some bling to your Halloween using spray glue and glitter.
4. …or take it a step further and carve a hole (using a power drill and a hole saw attachment) just big enough for a tea light. (This blogger actually used styrofoam pumpkins, as a real pumpkin will go bad in 7-10 days after being carved.)
Jump for the rest.
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5. A power drill is also a great way to let your light shine in pretty patterns.
6. …or take the same hole saw attachment from No. 4 and use it to spell out a spooky message. “Boo,” pictured, is a good option, as “Happy Halloween” would require a whole lot of pumpkins. You can also use cookie cutters and a rubber mallet to punch it through.
7. Give your pumpkin a chic, armored look using thumbtacks. Secure with glue if need. Just be mindful of little ones’ fingers.
8. …or if you have furniture nails lying around from a recent reupholstery job, use them to make patterns, symbols, or even your monogram.
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9. Decoupage your pumpkin using your favorite hobby-store paper for a polished, preppy look. You could also use newsprint, wrapping paper, or make your own masterpiece.
10. …or use paper leaves for a pretty effect that can last all season long.
11. Apply a glaze that will leave a glossy finish with a subtle hint of color.
12. Though this looks painted on, it’s actually a tattoo that can be printed here and applied.
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13. Create a “mumkin” using glue and fresh flowers (or opt for faux flowers if you want the look to last longer).
14. Use a doily as a stencil and fill in with paint or a Sharpie for a perfectly girly design.
15. Your kids will have a blast using junk from around the house to create pumpkin people. Bottle caps, paper clips, batteries — with a little creative thinking, anything can turn into eyes, ears and teeth.
16. You bundle up when the temperatures drop, so why shouldn’t your pumpkins? Glue yarn in rows or spiral patterns for a snuggly look.
Have any suggestions we missed? Leave them in the comments! Or email me pictures of your masterpieces at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we might just show them off!