I have a love-hate relationship with carving pumpkins for Halloween. On the one hand, I love the look of glowing jack-o-lanterns on a porch. On the other hand, I really, really don’t enjoy the process of scooping out pumpkin guts and struggling with a slippery knife while my children point their little fingers way too close to said knife as they shout instructions.  

It takes a lot of energy, I tell you and puts way too many fingers at risk of amputation for a decoration that will only last a night or two….if we’re lucky.

I’ve been keeping track of no-carve pumpkin ideas, looking for fun ideas to personalize pumpkins without having to do any cutting or scooping.

These are especially great ideas if you use a craft pumpkin in place of a real pumpkin – then you’ll have it to use over and over again.  

It’s time to share 5 Ways to NOT  Carve a Pumpkin.

5 Ways to NOT Carve a Pumpkin

Let’s discover how we can enjoy the pumpkiness without having to do the hard work.

1.  Flying Bats Pumpkin


This project will work with any color of pumpkin, but I love the contrast of black and white here.

It All Started with Paint cut out bat shapes on black paper using a craft cutting machine, then glued them onto a pumpkin so that they look as if they are flying in front of a Harvest Moon.  

Spooky silhouettes!

2. Chalkboard Word Search Pumpkin


I love this idea for pumpkin subtle Halloween decor! Thistlewood Farms crafted it with chalkboard paint and vinyl letters.  

How fun would it be to search for words while you are waiting with your trick or treaters? 

3. Modge Podge Map Pumpkins

I’ve told you before how much I like maps, so you can only imagine how excited I was when I spotted this map pumpkin!  

What a great idea for personalizing your Fall decor.  Find the tutorial at Mod Podge Rocks.

4. Patterned Painted Pumpkins

How adorable are these patterned pumpkins at Lolly Jane?  

Not everyone wants to decorate with traditional Halloween themes, so these painted pumpkins are a perfect alternative.

5. Washi Tape Pumpkins

Washi tape is an excellent way to add some color and/or pattern to your pumpkins–especially craft pumpkins if you plan on using them over again. 

Shannon at Fox Hollow Cottage made these. Aren’t they pretty?

Did these pumpkins give you any ideas?  

I had even more ideas here: 5 More Ways to NOT carve a pumpkin.

Which one is your favorite?  If you had the ability to carve anything, what would you put on your pumpkin?

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  1. Years and years ago when my kids were young, carving was the thing…Now i love the painting and using other things like ribbon or lace and stuff to decorate them.

  2. My teenagers insisted on carving this year. I’ll be showing them some of these ideas to inspire them for next year for sure! Just beautiful, thanks for sharing.

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