Jack-o’-lanterns are fun, and carving a pumpkin is the quintessential Halloween experience, but there are more ways to decorate with pumpkins than you think. We share some creative and stylish ways to incorporate them into your decor — whether they’re the real deal or just cool decorations inspired by pumpkins.
We asked Debi Ward Kennedy of Homeward Found Decor to share some fun, creative ways to decorate with pumpkins. “Decorating for fall means pumpkins, but you don’t have to limit yourself to the ones from the garden or produce department of your local grocer,” she tells us. Kennedy uses everyday items to create unique pumpkin-inspired decor — and she shows us how to do the same.
Whether you do this to real, foam or plastic pumpkins, you can create a festive look for fall by spray-painting them. “By spraying pumpkins with high-gloss paint in white, black or a bright neon colour, you can add trendy colour-spotting style to your fall displays,” says Kennedy. She recommends using Krylon high-gloss appliance paint because it sticks to almost every surface imaginable.
Glass lamp globe
These round globes that Kennedy turned into festive pumpkins are usually seen on overhead light fixtures. But when you get creative with them, you can turn them into fall-ready decor. Kennedy flips them over and adds a simple stem, such as a wood thread spool, a branch or a real pumpkin stem. “They become charming upcycled fall decor,” she says. “Ribbed and hobnail globes add textural interest, and you can use white globes as shown, or try clear glass with the insides spray-painted a bright orange.”
If you want to get playful, Kennedy suggests adding facial features with a black Sharpie felt pen. “Pop a glow stick or night light inside them to add a warm light source to your display.”
Kennedy came up with these original soft-sculpture creations back in 2007 and has been making and selling them ever since — and we love them. Using outgrown sweaters or sweaters purchased from thrift stores, she uses a simple no-sew method to turn sweater sleeves into adorable little pumpkins in less than just a few minutes. “There’s no limit to the colours, patterns and sizes you can make,” says Kennedy. You can find a full tutorial on her blog, or you can buy her ready-made pumpkins in five colours.
A simple recipe for clay using things you already have on hand — namely, household baking soda and cornstarch — can net you some cute Halloween accessories. “These diminutive pumpkins are perfect for children to make and paint,” says Kennedy. “Adding facial details is easy using a coffee stir stick and toothpick.” Check out the clay recipe here to get started with your own pumpkins.
A tin can that you’d toss in the recycling bin can easily become a cute candy bucket for trick-or-treaters in a few easy steps, says Kennedy. Do this by cleaning, painting, punching holes in and inserting a wire handle. “Of course, if pumpkins aren’t your thing, you could always paint ghosts, witches or black cats instead,” she advises.
If you choose to use real pumpkins in your fall decorating, Kennedy shares a few creative ways to do so without carving into them (no muss, no fuss).
- Découpage fall-print paper napkins or vintage sheet music onto them.
- Paint a fun cartoon character’s face on them with craft paint (and use the stem as part of the hairdo!)
- Cover pumpkins with glue, and then roll them in glitter for a sparkly treat!
- Use Mr. Potato Head toy accessories (shoes, hats, eyeballs, mouths) on small pumpkins, and create a family of fall fun.
- Put a costume on a pumpkin: Masks, hats, crowns and fake noses are all super-easy ways to make a pumpkin smile.
Debi Ward Kennedy is a published writer, decorator and designer. You can find these and other fun, creative tutorials and more fall seasonal decor ideas on her blog.