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No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating

By Julie Senger

While you may love to carve pumpkins to decorate your home during the month of October, chances are you don’t enjoy the messy clean up. And unless you wait until a few days before Halloween, your jack-o’-lantern is likely to transform into a moldy holiday nightmare long before trick-or-treaters come knocking.

If you want your star decoration to last until it’s time to hand out candy to all the little pirates, princesses, superheroes, ghosts, and goblins, check out these no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas that are sure to put your family in the spooky-cute holiday spirit.

Recycle Old Crayons
(You know you have some lying around.)
- Unwrap the paper from the crayons.
- Cut crayons into small pieces (the smaller the pieces, the easier it will be to melt them).
-Put the pumpkin on top of cardboard or old newspaper.
-Place the crayon pieces around the stem area of the pumpkin.
-Use a hair dryer to melt the crayons and watch them drip and roll down the sides.

Did You Say “Applique?”
(You can glue interesting things to your pumpkin to create unique designs.)
-Glue letters to your pumpkin to deliver a haunting message or one large monogram letter to represent your family’s last name.
-Create character faces on your pumpkin by using googly eyes and eyebrows/beards/mustaches cut from furry fabric.
-Use ribbon, glitter, lace, sequins, colorful pom-poms, fringe, faux flowers, feathers, or fancy applique pieces to create a decorative pumpkin that matches your personal style or your home’s decor.
-Attach plastic spiders, gauze, and other creepy items to your pumpkin for a more traditional Halloween theme.

Retro 80s Neon Splatter Paint
(It’ll be “funky fresh” if you change your regular porch light to a black light.)
-Spray paint your pumpkin solid black or white and allow it to dry completely.
-Mix water with multiple neon colors of acrylic paint until the paint thickens to maple syrup consistency.
-Dip a small craft brush in the paint, hold it 4-6 inches from the surface of the pumpkin, and lightly flick the handle near the brush repeatedly, moving the brush over different spots until the surface of the pumpkin is splattered to your liking.
-After the splatters have dried, place the pumpkin under a black light for a glowing effect.

Duct Tape and Temporary Tatts
(You’ll have the edgiest pumpkin on the block!)
-Select temporary tattoos and transfer them to your pumpkin the same way you would adhere them to your skin.
-Purchase duct tape in different colors and designs. Cut the duct tape into pieces and shapes, then stick the tape to your pumpkin in fun designs and patterns. Added bonus — you can use any leftovers for temporary home repairs.

The Puncture and Drill Team
(Like outpatient surgery, these options are minimally invasive, but still involve no precise surgical carving skills.)
-Purchase tacks/pushpins with colorful or decorative heads, such as the ones used on maps to mark places you’ve visited or other shapes and colors. Stick thumbtacks into your pumpkin to create strategic or whimsical designs.
-Use a portable drill to burrow holes in your pumpkin near the stem area, so you can plug in small berry-covered branches or slightly larger branches to hang fall-hued leaves, tiny fairy string lights, or paper bats and ghosts.