Painted pumpkins

When I was a kid, a few nights before Halloween, I’d sit at the kitchen table with my dad and he’d let me scrape out the inside of our pumpkins and watch while he carved them. We’d have “The Monster Mash” playing on repeat and eat pizza, and in the end, we’d have this really cool jack-o-lantern with a witch flying across on her broom stick or Dracula covering his face with his cape.

While I love having these memories with my dad, I’m a single young professional who just doesn’t have a ton of time to carve pumpkins year after year. One of my favorite ways to decorate for Halloween, or fall in general, is by decorating fake pumpkins that I’ve been able to use year after year.

If you’re not into pumpkin guts or you’re just looking for a future time saver, check out these five ways to deck out your pumpkins without cutting into them.

A Sweet Treat

Does anyone dislike donuts? They’re like the universally agreed-upon breakfast dessert that’s always a crowd pleaser.

Well if you’ve got a sweet tooth, this pumpkin decorating technique might be for you.

Paint your pumpkin or mini pumpkin with some acrylic paint and creativity to make it look like a colorful donut. Paint the top half of the pumpkin a solid color to look like the frosting, then paint on short, thin lines of different colored paint to look like sprinkles.

Voila! Pumpkin donut.

Flora and Fauna

If you prefer more natural décor, maybe you’ll like this decoupage botanical idea.

This one is really easy to do. Just grab some leaves from around your yard or even some of your houseplants. Next, remove the stems and use Mod Podge to adhere the foliage to the top of your pumpkin.

The picture shows this technique with white pumpkins, but you can try this trick with any color pumpkin. It could be fun to try them with light greenish blue or peachy orange fantasy pumpkins.

Take a Photo, it Lasts Longer

This is one of the more involved pumpkin decorating ideas, but is perfect for an eerie touch to your Halloween décor.

For this trick, you’re literally transferring images onto the pumpkin with printouts and some Mod Podge. You simply cut out the prints you’d like to transfer and adhere them to your pumpkin with the decoupage glue. Let that dry completely then use a damp sponge to wet a small area on the pumpkin. Brush away the paper with your hands.

As the paper peels away, you’ll notice that the ink from the printout has transferred onto the pumpkin. How cool!

The effect is almost antique and definitely adds to that eerie feel.

Put a Pin in It

A pushpin, that is.

That’s right! This trick is as easy as sticking thumbtacks or pushpins into the pumpkin. Decide what word you want to spell out, trace it with a pencil or a pen and place the tacks along your tracing.

For a little extra pop, you can paint the pumpkin first with a color you love or even a glow in the dark paint if you want to have it outside.

Go Marbled

This one is easiest to do with a mini pumpkin, but you can marble your pumpkins to give them a trendy look.

All you have to do is fill a container with lukewarm water. Apply a few drops of your favorite nail polish into the water and swirl it around with a stir stick or a toothpick. Dunk your mini pumpkin and twist it a bit. Gently pull the pumpkin out and let it dry.

In just a few minutes, you have a trendy marbled pumpkin that will definitely impress your guests.

After you’re done trying out some of these no-carve pumpkin tricks, see what other swaps you can make to decorate for fall.

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