Pumpkin decorating ideas are popping up everywhere right now, with Halloween and Thanksgiving on the horizon and our obsession with pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin-scented everything cranking into high gear. If you’re bored with the usual jack-o-lantern and want to pull off some more creative gourd decor, you need look no further than this list below.
1. Go full metal
Liz Toombs, president of PDR Interiors, likes to keep her pumpkins in service from October through December. “One year, I was even able to incorporate pumpkins into my Christmas decor because I used a woodland-themed tree,” she explains.
One of her secrets is spraying them with metallic paint. Toombs gives them a coat of silver and then groups them on a black cloth runner with matching serving pieces and dried grass. “It makes for an interesting texture combination in a chic color scheme,” she reports. And she likes to paint the pumpkins on her front stoop and adorn them with sequins for extra curb appeal.
2. Fill glass canisters
Try filling cylindrical glass vases with mini pumpkins, Toombs suggests. “And tiny faux pumpkins in a piece of crystal is another easy way to achieve the look,” she says. These little gourds can also float with votive candles in a large punch bowl for a stunning centerpiece.
3. Make pumpkin pots
Create a vessel for succulents or seasonal plants, such as bittersweet, ‘mums or asters, inside hollowed-out pumpkins. “Or make a fairy garden by cutting a large hole in one side, scooping out the insides, and then putting in miniature furniture and other fairylike items,” says Jamie Novak, author of “Keep This Toss That.”
4. Adorn the loo
Everyone stacks pumpkins on the front porch or on a buffet—so it’s worth branching out. “It’s less expected to see a pumpkin weighing down paper hand towels in your guest bath,” Novak notes. Line bookcases and windowsills with gourds, or fill your fireplace with a variety of shapes and colors. “Include a strand of battery-operated lights in a seasonal orange shade for a realistic glow,” she adds.
5. Choose white pumpkins
Think beyond the orange and pick up pumpkins that are white, creamy peach, or beige. “Or decorate fake pumpkins with velvet and sequins, which are popular materials right now,” says Toombs. Jeanine Boiko, a blogger at Okio B Designs and a real estate agent with Exit Realty Gateway in Wantaugh, NY, favors a black-and-white harlequin pattern on her pumpkins. “And I once filled a mini red pickup truck with putka pods, similar to mini pumpkins, that I found online,” she adds.
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6. Spell it out
Put these gourds to work by painting words on them or carving out letters. Novak writes “Welcome” on a big pumpkin for her front step, while Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP cuts “Thanks” or “Greetings” into her bigger ones and then makes a slit on the top of mini pumpkins to slide in place cards for the table.
7. Create serving vessels
You can also transform your pumpkins into serving pieces. Hollow out a pumpkin, line it with a plastic bag that fits the inside, and then fill your bowl with Halloween candy. A set of these pumpkins can also stand in for a bean bag toss game or hold a trio of fall mums on the deck. Having a party? Use the shell of your pumpkin as a soup tureen (bonus points if you actually make pumpkin soup from the innards) or as an ice bucket for drinks.
8. Craft a wreath
Tiny foam pumpkins or small gourds can be hot-glued to a plain wreath shape from the craft store. Add a gingham ribbon and insert fake wheat stalks into the gaps. Decorate the front door—or hang your DIY wreath over the fireplace, on an interior door, or in a hallway.
9. Build with pumpkins
In many parts of the country, most greenery is done for the season, but your outdoor urns can still be useful when pumpkin time rolls around. “I like to create a topiary of pumpkins in large planters outside,” says Gray-Plaisted.
10. House the birds