4 Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin (No Carving Required!)

Ways to decorate a pumpkin.

Growing up, carving pumpkins was a favorite family tradition.

I’d love to carry on this tradition in the future, but, as a mom of two toddlers, I’m not quite ready to get the carving tools out.

Here are four ways to decorate a pumpkin with your family (no knives required)!

4 Non-Carving Options to Decorate a Pumpkin

1. Mod Podge

Mod Podge is water-based and non-toxic. For this application, you only need Mod Podge (which can be purchased at any craft store or big box store) and napkins with a fall or Halloween print. I suggest a patternered napkin with a print that is easy to cut shapes from.

  • Open your napkin, and cut your print into smaller pieces. You can skip cutting all together and just try applying the napkin, but results may be thicker and more bunched.
  • Apply Mod Podge to your pumpkin, and then add the pattern, and Mod Podge again over the top.
  • Repeat until desired coverage is reached. You can then set it out to dry, 30-45 minutes.

I love this application because it looks quite beautiful and gives it a painted look!

Ways to decorate a pumpkin.

Ways to decorate a pumpkin.

2. Pom-Pom, Googly Eye, & Sticker Application

The next method is to hot glue pom-poms and googly eyes to your pumpkins. You may apply self-adhesive googly eyes or if needed, glue them on.

Now it’s time to apply pom-poms. You can choose a flat color, or some with a metallic shine. Whatever looks best to you! I recommend using hot glue because Elmers Glue did not seem to hold the pom-poms in place. Adult supervision will be required if you’re working with smaller fingers!

  • Apply small glue dots around the pumpkin, working small sections at a time, and wait a few seconds for the glue to become tacky.
  • Your little can then pick out pom-poms and apply them to the dots.

We completed our pumpkin by using some self-adhesive letters to spell out “SPOOKY.” Craft stores generally have plenty of sticker numbers and letters to choose from.

Ways to decorate a pumpkin.

Ways to decorate a pumpkin.

3. Self-Adhesive Gems

My two-year-old loved applying gems to her pumpkin! I bought a large sheet of self-adhesive gems. I pulled off a few in various lengths and handed them to her to apply to her pumpkin.

This was actually a great opportunity for her to develop her fine motor skills, concentration, and creativity.

Ways to decorate a pumpkin.

4. Paint Your Pumpkin

Wipe and dry your pumpkin before paint application. Then, select a few non-toxic paints. You can give the colors to your child individually, or allow them to work freely with several colors from a pallete.

For younger children, this is a good opportunity to talk about colors! What color are you using? Direct them in understanding what colors to mix. You can say something like, “When you mix blue with a little of that yellow, you’re going to get GREEN!” You can even introduce white and blacks into your pallette to teach them about color value: the relative lightness or darkness of a color.

Ways to decorate a pumpkin.

Use these methods as a way to create new family traditions. These are just a few methods of decorating a pumpkin that teach artistic expression, creative technique, and fine motor skills.

If you create a pumpkin using these methods, we would love to see what you come up with! Tag us @fargomomco on social media or email us at [email protected].

Happy decorating!

Looking for more Halloween fun? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Halloween & Fall Activities in Fargo!
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Kallie Swenson
In 4th grade, Kallie sported two things: an awkward haircut and the title of “new kid.” Her family moved from Crookston to Moorhead, where she went on to graduate from Moorhead High. After graduating, she packed up and migrated south, to the Twin Cities area. There she lived with an amazing set of roommates… her grandparents! She still considers this one of the best decisions of her life. She attended one year at a community college before deciding she would venture back to Moorhead to earn a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Her career spanned across local organizations, including for SCHEELS and The Salvation Army. In 2016, Kallie made the huge decision to buy a house in Barnesville. She closed on her 25th birthday and moved in with her dog, Lily. In 2017, she began dating a long-time friend (not all love is love at first sight!) and got married in March of 2019. She and her husband, Jordan, enjoy traveling, the outdoors, live music, and finding treasures during garbage week. Kallie is now a proud stay-at-home mom to 2 girls. She loves writing about thrifty living, party planning, and nurturing relationships on her blog. When Kallie bought her small, 980-square foot home she never imagined so much love would grow there. Her family eventually plans to build in the country but for now, enjoy the closeness of small living.


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