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10 No-Carve, No-Mess Pumpkin Ideas for Halloween

Skip the sharp knives and pumpkin guts and try one of these DIY jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween!

Published on: September 27, 2016

no carve pumpkin ideas

Whether you just hate pumpkin guts or shudder at the thought of your kiddo wielding a knife, we have ideas to fit almost any theme. Use duct tape, Mod Podge, glow paint or even thumbtacks to create the perfect front porch decor.

BB8 no carve pumpkin
Photo credit: Desert Chica

Out of this world

Any kid who is a Star Wars fan will love this BB-8 jack-o'-lantern while parents will love that it is created using duct tape. That means no paint and no carving — just two pumpkins plus a few other materials to make this cute character. Check Desert Chica’s blog post for detailed instructions.

junk-o-lantern jack-o-lantern
Photo credit: Small Hands, Big Art


Instead of a jack-o'-lantern, how about making a junk-o'-lantern? These whimsical creatures can be made from junk you have around the house. Create robots, steampunk pumpkins and more! Check the Small Hands, Big Art blog post for ideas and directions.

mummy pumpkins
Photo credit: Mother's Niche

Mummy pumpkins

Tina, author of the blog Mother’s Niche, calls her mummy pumpkins the easiest pumpkin craft ever! This project is perfect for little kids because even small hands can wrap gauze. (A parent will need to help with the hot glue gun, though.)

owl pumpkin
Photo credit: I Heart Crafty Things

Whooo doesn't want to try this?

Owls make great fall decor, so why not make owl pumpkins? Liquid chalk markers not only add a pop of color to these black owls, but are easy for kids to use. Don’t forget the giant eyes for optimal night vision! The blog I Heart Crafty Things shows you how. 

decoupage pumpkins
Photo credit: Today's Creative Life

Decoupage pumpkins

Mod Podge comes in a variety of finishes including outdoor, matte and shiny, allowing you to create art on a pumpkin and leave it outside! Start by painting a pumpkin or use the natural colors of the gourd to set off the images you add. For ideas and instructions, check the post at Today’s Creative Life.

thumbtack pumpkin
Photo credit: C.R.A.F.T.

Tack it on

Get out the office supplies for pumpkin decorating this year! Make simple shapes, such as the ghost shown above, or use lots of thumbtacks to create patterns. Use black or colored markers for accents. Check out this idea plus others on the C.R.A.F.T. blog.

potato head pumpkin
Photo credit: Happy Hooligans

Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head 

Here’s another easy pumpkin decorating project from Happy Hooligans, perfect for even the smallest children. Just grab those spare Potato Head parts and use them to add a face, hat, arms and more. The kids can even change the faces of their jack-o'-lanterns if they want to decorate again!

disney princess pumpkin
Photo credit: As the Bunny Hops

Bibbidi bobbidi beautiful

Use paint and embellishments to decorate these Disney princess-themed pumpkins. Whether your kids love Elsa, Tiana, Rapunzel or another Disney darling, Amy of the blog As the Bunny Hops has ideas for you. Don’t forget to add the glitter and rhinestones to make these babies shine.

glow in the dark pumpkin
Photo credit: Jader Bomb

Let it glow

The bright colors on these pumpkins will be eye-catching by day and breathtaking at night. Make patterns, pictures or write messages on your gourd using glow-in-the-dark fabric paint. These paints “charge” by day and give off a soft glow in darkness, but you can make them pop even more by replacing your porch light bulb with a black light bulb. Check the Jader Bomb blog post for more details.

tattooed jack-o-lantern
Photo credit: Tattly


Tattoos on a pumpkin? Why not?! The folks over at Tattly, a mail-order temporary tattoo company, created these gourd-geous masterpieces. They say that putting a temporary tattoo on a gourd is just like applying to skin, which makes this decor so easy. Check the blog post for directions.

pumpkin patch
"Best Pumpkin Patches Around Seattle and the Eastside" | Photo credit: Michele Coates

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