No carve pumpkin decorating ideas – the new trend adorning our doorsteps this Halloween

It's not all about carving this year!
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  • Halloween parties are bigger than ever this year, with new pumpkin decorating ideas to celebrate the season with simple traditions. From hosting halloween parties to displaying well-decorated pumpkins in the porch, we’re all getting into the spirit of things this year to celebrate the holiday.

    While pumpkin carving is still the most popular form of decoration, it isn’t the only decorating option for this autumnal classic. There are many more creative ways with paint, to offer families a carve-free pumpkin option.

    Let’s face it, pumpkin carving can be a messy and tricky business. No doubt that’s why non-carve pumpkin ideas are being embraced wholeheartedly by interior and crafting bloggers and instagrammers. No knife is required, yet the results are super effective and will be a fabulous addition to any Halloween-decorated home.

    Here are just a few of the new pumpkin decorating trends that are transforming our doorsteps this Halloween.

    Pumpkin decorating ideas

    1. Paint pastel pumpkins

    pastel and rose gold painted pumpkins on white background

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Who said Halloween pumpkins have to look scary? Forget the carving knife and use sugary shades to create pretty pastel painted pumpkins.

    Give them a quick wash first. When dry, use a chalky finish paint to cover your pumpkin. Next, add some sparkle with metallic or glitter paint to create an ombre effect.

    Buy now: Rust-Oleum medium shimmer glitter paint in Rose, £10 for 250ml, Wilko

    2. Make a mummy

    White painted squash with eyes, orange, blue and beige pumpkins, white skull and black lanterns

    Image credit: Dulux

    Local supermarket all sold out of pumpkins? It’s time to think outside of the box! Use a butternut squash to make a whimsical Egyptian mummy.

    Start by painting the squash white. Once dry, apply hand-painted grey lines to look like wrapped bandages. Add googly eyes with a glue gun or super glue. Display alongside spooky fake cobwebs, spiders and skulls.

    3. Add Matisse-inspired shapes

    Multi-coloured Matisse cut out pumpkins on orange background

    Image credit: Hobbycraft/Nerissa Pratt

    Take inspiration from Henri Matisse by covering your pumpkins in colourful abstract shapes. Paint your pumpkin white, then use a Cricut cutting machine to cut out a selection of vinyl stickers.

    Stick the shapes all over your pumpkin so the colours and patterns are random. Alternatively, use different paint shades to hand draw your shapes onto your pumpkins.

    Buy now: Cricut Joy, £179, Hobbycraft

    4. Make cute characters

    Pumpkins with vampire, cat, mummy and Frankenstein's monster faces on wooden crate

    Image credit:

    This one is great for younger kids! Get crafty with stickers, tissue paper and card to turn your pumpkins into fun Halloween-themed characters. Decorated paper cups make perfect bodies for mummies, vampires, cats and even Frankenstein’s monster.

    Buy now: Halloween DIY mini pumpkin decorating kit, £4.79,

    5. Decoupage a pumpkin

    Decoupage black and white pumpkin on shelf with paper pumpkin bunting

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Use gothic decoupage papers to cover your pumpkin and add an all-over pattern. Rip your papers into rough squares, then cover a section of your pumpkin in PVA glue. Stick down the paper squares so they overlap.

    Continue working until you completely cover the pumpkin and leave it to dry. If you like, you can add a spooky face using plain black paper.

    TIP: Napkins would work just as well instead of decoupage papers for this project.

    6. Add a drip effect

    White painted pumpkin with gold drip decoration, orange and blue painted pumpkins and autumn leaves

    Image credit: Dulux

    Make the most of leftover paint from that decorating project earlier in the year. Paint your pumpkin white and leave to dry. Next, mix a contrasting colour with a little water to make it runny. Load up a brush and apply it to the top of the pumpkin so it drips down the sides.

    Repeat until you’re happy with the amount of drips and allows to thoroughly dry. Drying time will varying depending on the thickness of the paint.

    7. Create a spooky centrepiece

    pumpkin centrepiece with fake crow on flowers surrounded by candles

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Make your pumpkin the star of the table at a Halloween-themed dinner party. Place a small pumpkin on a single-tiered cake stand. Surround the bottom with fresh carnations or any of your favourite flowers. Pop a faux crow on top as an eerie finishing touch. Surround with candles for a spooky atmosphere.

    8. Ghost Pumpkins

    pumpkin decorating ideas 3

    Image credit: Waitrose

    This spooky all-white pumpkin has proven so popular in recent years, according to Waitrose. To make your pumpkin stand out, Chris Wood, Waitrose horticulture expert suggests teaming it with the botanical trend. ‘Perfect to add a splash of natural colour to Ghost Pumpkins and make them stand out,’ he says.

    ‘Take stems such as ferns or grasses, or other thin leaf plants, and attach them to pumpkins using adhesive.’

    9. Pumpkin planters

    pumpkin decorating ideas 2

    Image credit: Waitrose

    We predict that this is going to be one of the biggest pumpkin trends of this year. Pumpkins and succulents are an Instagram dream team.

    ‘With many shoppers rediscovering their green fingers through lockdown, use pumpkins as planters and showcase these skills,’ says Chris. ‘Add colourful succulents, twigs, moss or whatever you fancy to make beautiful planters for both inside and outside the home.’

    10. Craft a pumpkin vase

    pumpkin decorating ideas 1

    Image credit: Waitrose

    If you’re still working on your green thumb, use a pumpkin to display cut flowers in the home. ‘Seasonal garden flowers such as Rose Hips, Bloom Chrysanthemums, Dahlias and foliage such as Oakleaf are perfect for this and give a truly autumnal feel around the home,’ explains Chris.

    A pumpkin vase and planter are both simple to make. Simply clean out the inside of the pumpkin like you would before carving a pumpkin. Then fit a plastic or glass container securely inside the pumpkin. And you can all set to start planting and flower arranging.

    Will you be trying out any of these new pumpkin trends this Halloween?

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