It might be your family’s tradition to go to the farm every fall to pick out the perfect bunch of pumpkins. You take them home and everyone begins to carve a front-porch masterpiece. Why not switch up tradition this year? Don’t default to the jack-o-lantern – be creative with these different ways to decorate pumpkins.

Painted pumpkins

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of cleaning out the pumpkin guts, painting your pumpkin is a great option. The only trade off here is you don’t get to eat those delicious pumpkin seeds.  Pumpkin seeds aside, all you need are some acrylic paint and some painter’s tape. Tape off different portions of pumpkin that you don’t want to paint, and paint over it with a foam brush. After the paint dries, remove the tape and reveal your awesome design. Try stripes, zigzags, or just make your pumpkin two-toned. A great benefit of this technique is the pumpkin will not rot so fast – you’ll be able to enjoy the fall décor longer.

Mod Podge meets pumpkin

An unlikely combination, but limitless potential. I mean, who doesn’t love to decoupage? It’s even a fun word to say! There are so many options here. Photocopy any picture, pattern, design or words that you want to put on your pumpkin. Spread Mod Podge all over the pumpkin’s surface as well as the back of the image. Press the image on the pumpkin making sure to smooth out the air bubbles. After several images have been applied, spread another coat of Mod Podge over the pumpkin.  Finish it off with a final layer of Mod Podge.

Is glitter your favorite color? Then this crafty technique is for you.  Pick out your favorite color of ultra-fine glitter and cover your pumpkin in Mod Podge. Hold the pumpkin over something to catch the excess glitter.  Pour the glitter over the pumpkin until the entire surface is covered.

Think outside the pumpkin

The pumpkin doesn’t have to stand alone. Consider carving out a small pumpkin to use it as a votive candleholder, or use a larger pumpkin as a planter for your favorite fall flowers.  Use medium-sized pumpkin as a bowl for soup, chili or even ice cream. If you have a long path leading up to your door, line it with pumpkins for a simple fall touch.

If you do decide you can’t go all season without baked pumpkin seeds, here are some carving tips. Draw what you want the pumpkin to look like ahead of time on a piece of paper. Then tape the paper to your pumpkin and poke holes using a thumbtack along the lines of your design. Take the paper off and connect the dots with your carving knife.

Our own Dan Gilbert here at Quicken Loans has shared with us a special trick when it comes to carving pumpkins. If you cut the hole in the bottom of the pumpkin rather than the top, you can use the stem as a handle and you can conveniently place a candle in the pumpkin without dropping it in.

Have fun with these different decorating ideas. Share with me other special ways you decorate your pumpkins!


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