6 Cute Ways for Kids to Decorate Pumpkins That Don’t Involve Carving


Each time Halloween rolls around I get excited to carve pumpkins. It’s enticingly messy and fun emptying the guts out of a pumpkin to prepare it for carving. There’s nothing like the feeling of the slimy pumpkin seeds between your fingers and the stringy pumpkin guts resisting the pull of your hand. And, while my kids and I can have fun emptying the contents of some pumpkins, they are still a little young to be handling carving tools. I didn’t want them to miss out on the fun in decorating a pumpkin, so we found some alternatives to carving. I’ve gathered up some kid friendly ideas to help inspire your pumpkin decorating this Halloween. Here are a few non-carving options for decorating pumpkins.

Mr. and Mrs. Pumpkin Head

  • Drill
  • Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head Pieces

This will require a little prep work from an adult, but it is easy and fun for young children. Prepare the pumpkin by drilling a small hole where you want to place the pieces. I would suggest comparing the stem on the potato head pieces to your drill bits to make sure you don’t drill a hold too large. We found that a 13/64 drill bit worked best. Once the holes are drilled, gather your pieces and let your kids decorate away, placing the eyes, ears, nose, arms and accessories in various places on the pumpkin.

Mummy Pumpkin

  • White acrylic paint
  • Rolled Gauze Bandage
  • Googly Eyes
  • White Glue or Glue Gun
  • Foam brush

First, lather the white paint all over the pumpkin. Cover the entire pumpkin with white paint. Wrap the pumpkin with the rolled gauze bandage, wrapping in all different angles. You can pin or tie the bandage to hold it in place when finished. Glue on the desired number of eyes to the pumpkin.

Tissue Paper Pumpkin

  • Mod Podge
  • Various Patterns/Colors of Tissue Paper
  • Pumpkin
  • Foam Brush
  • Scissors and or paper punch (optional)

Using decorative tissue paper, tear, cut or use a paper punch to make smaller pieces of tissue paper. Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the pumpkin in the area you’d like to adhere the tissue paper. Place the tissue paper on the pumpkin and paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on top. Continue this process until the pumpkin is covered. Don’t be afraid to overlap a few pieces of tissue paper slightly.

Painting Pumpkins

  • Acrylic paints in your favorite colors
  • Paint brushes

There are so many options for painting pumpkins. Depending you your child’s age you can make this a very simple painting project or something more detailed. Pick up some acrylic paint and brushes and be creative!

Marble Pumpkin

I’ve always been intrigued by little white pumpkins. Something about them just screams, buy me! However, I get them home and I set them on my mantle, but I’ve always wanted to do something more. Here’s a fun idea to add a little color!

  • Disposable Bowl
  • Water
  • Nail Polish
  • Little White Pumpkins

First, fill the bowl with warm water. Pour in a few colors of nail polish. The nail polish should float on the water. Use a toothpick to swirl the colors together to create your desired look, then dip your pumpkin in the water and pull it out to dry. Try dipping different angles of your pumpkin to create a variety of marbled looks.

Glowing Pumpkins

If you want a carved look, but don’t want to mess with the semi-sharp tools around little ones, use cookie cutters to make designs in your pumpkin. You will need sturdy cookie cutters for this process, typically the metal ones work best. Once your pumpkin has been carved and cleaned out, take your cookie cutter, place it where you’d like the shape on your pumpkin and use a mallet to gently tap the cookie cutter through the pumpkin wall. You can repeat the same design on the pumpkin or use a variety of cookie cutter shapes.

Do you have other fun pumpkin ideas?


Sally is a native Wichitan and the mother of Caroline (September 2012) and Harrison (January 2015). She lives on the east side of Wichita with her hubby of six years, Matt. After teaching first grade for six years, she left the classroom to work from home. Sally is a professional photographer. She owns, Sally Cavanaugh Films and Photos., specializing in family films and newborn/family photography. Passionate about capturing those precious, simple, fleeting moments in life, Sally truly loves her job. Sally is also a trunk keeper for Matilda Jane Clothing., an unpredictable clothing company known for their darling girls clothing. When she’s not behind the camera or styling little ones, Sally enjoys being surrounded by family. Whether they are at home or on a frequent trip to the lake, she tries to soak up every moment she can.