Halloween Pumpkins: Faux Can Be Fabulous

Forget fresh! For crafty Halloween pumpkins you can display year after year, faux is your new best friend.

When it comes to Halloween pumpkins, I think many of you seasoned crafters will agree with me when I say that faux can be fabulous. Oh, I know, there are always pumpkin purists who like the squishy sensation of pumpkin innards oozing through their fingertips (You know who you are!) or prefer the look of a real pumpkin or choose real so they can roast the seeds — tasty recipe here, btw — but my personal choice is faux.

Why, you ask? Because, quite honestly, I am a project-aholic. At any given time, I have too many projects started and not enough time to finish them all, so when I buckle down and take the time to bling out a pumpkin, I want my hard work to be displayable for many years to come. If you're like me, our Halloween feature is hooking you up with lots of creative ideas for faux pumpkins. Here are 5 of my faves:

Go for the Glitz

Thanksgiving Metallic Pumpkin Decorations

Thanksgiving Metallic Pumpkin Decorations

Add a little glam to your Thanksgiving decorations with these painted pumpkins. Autumn inspired metallic paints will dress up any table for the season.

Give faux pumpkins a glamorous makeover with gold, silver and copper leaf to add just the right amount of sparkle to any indoor fall display or Halloween centerpiece. Bonus: You can later incorporate these glitzy gourds into your Thanksgiving decor.

Carve-Free Kitties

Black Cat Pumpkins

Black Cat Pumpkins

Welcome trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests with a litter of black cat pumpkins. These carve-free kitties are easy to craft, making them a fun project for older children or small kids with a little help from a crafty adult.

Use basic craft supplies — like paint, felt and pipe cleaners — to make a whole litter of these lucky black cats. You can use fresh pumpkins, if you prefer, but these friendly felines are so cute that faux pumpkins are a better bet so you can display them year after year.

Make This: Black Cat Pumpkins

Seasonal Server

Double Duty Pumpkin

Double Duty Pumpkin

Let your pumpkin work double duty as fabulous fall decor and a totally adorable candy dish. Real or faux, this pumpkin is sure to bring a smile to a trick-or-treater's face.

©Layla Palmer

Layla Palmer

Cut a faux pumpkin in half to create a lidded container for serving Halloween candy. The waterproof foam interior also makes these a great cooler when filled with ice and beverages.

Make This: Pumpkin Candy Dish

Add Some Sparkle

Halloween Glittered Pumpkins

Halloween Glittered Pumpkins

School glue and black glitter are just some simple materials needed to customize pumpkins for Halloween.

Budget-friendly school glue and black glitter are all you need to give natural or faux pumpkins a chic makeover. Choose an easy pattern for crafting with kids or go with a timeless design, like a monogram or graphic pattern, for a sophisticated look. 

Make This: Glittered Pumpkins

Stack a Friendly Character

Pumpkin Totem Pole

Pumpkin Totem Pole

Add felt faces to stacked faux pumpkins for a friendly front porch decoration to welcome trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests to your home. Learn how to make your own.

Add some personality to your front porch with a pumpkin topiary in the shape of a totem pole. All you need are a few lightweight faux pumpkins, basic craft supplies and a little imagination.

Make This: Jack-O'-Totem

More Ways to Perfect Your Pumpkin

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Go for the Glitter

Budget-friendly school glue and black glitter are all you need to give natural or faux pumpkins a chic makeover. Choose an easy pattern for crafting with kids or go with a timeless design, like a monogram or graphic pattern, for a sophisticated look. Get step-by-step instructions.

Carve With Your Kiddos

Carving pumpkins is a much anticipated Halloween activity for many families. Even the littlest crafters can complete their own pumpkin with a little help from a crafty adult and one of our beginner pumpkin-carving templates

Make a Haunted Pumpkin Fairy Garden

Kids will love this easy craft that turns a pumpkin into a haunted gnome home perfect for Halloween. Learn how to make your own.

Turn an Old Pallet Into a Grinning Jack

Spook up your front porch, walkway, foyer or any dark corner with this rustic recycling project that uses a (free!) wood pallet to craft a Halloween pumpkin you can display year after year. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Cast a Spell

Create an enchanted pumpkin patch in your yard by carving a garden elf or fairy onto a large pumpkin. Stack smaller pumpkins on top, and carve stars in a swirling pattern on the top pumpkins to make it look like the little fall elf is casting a spell. Get more easy pumpkin-carving ideas.

Add Some Texture

A tube of paintable caulk and white spray paint transform a fresh pumpkin into a sleek, mod Halloween decoration. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sam Henderson

Make Pumpkin Magic

Magic up this not-too-scary witch for your front porch or entryway using a faux pumpkin and basic craft supplies. Create a friendly witch to welcome Halloween guests or a scowling witch to keep mischief-makers at bay. Our step-by-step instructions make it easy to conjure up one of your own.

Mini "Pumpkin" Wreath

Although the tiny orange shapes covering this wreath look like diminutive pumpkins, they're actually putka pods. A great stand-in for mini pumpkins, the dried organic seed pods don't deteriorate, so your wreath can be displayed year after year. Get crafting to make your own.

Owl Pumpkin

You don't need an intricate pattern or advanced pumpkin-carving skills to turn a fresh pumpkin and white gourds into this adorable decoration. Learn how to make your own.

Turn Mini Pumpkins Into Friendly Bats

Mix a little mischief into your Halloween decorations with these mini bat pumpkins. These not-too-scary creatures are fun to create and will look great grouped together on your mantel, entry table or as a centerpiece.

Go Crazy for Candy

Combine Halloween's most iconic decoration -- a pumpkin -- with Halloween's favorite treat -- candy, and lots of it -- to craft a sweet decoration in no time flat. Use the real stuff or replicate the look with paint as Meg Caswell has here. Check out more Halloween decorating ideas from our stars, straight from the pages of HGTV Magazine. 

Photo By: Aaron Dyer

Black Cat Pumpkins

Use basic craft supplies — like paint, felt and pipe cleaners — to make a whole litter of these lucky  black cats. You can use fresh pumpkins, if you prefer, but these carve-free kitties are so cute that faux pumpkins are a better bet so you can display them year after year.

Pumpkin Candy Dish

Cut a faux pumpkin in half to create a lidded container for serving Halloween candy. The waterproof foam interior also makes these a great cooler when filled with ice and beverages. Get step-by-step instructions.

Point the Way

Let's face it, kids only have one question on All Hallow's Eve, "Where's the candy?!" Genevieve Gorder makes it easy for trick-or-treaters to find the way with this clever signpost that requires only a real or faux pumpkin, black spray paint and a white paint marker. Check out more Halloween decorating ideas from our stars, straight from the pages of HGTV Magazine.

Photo By: Aaron Dyer

Light Up the Night

Light the way for trick-or-treaters with rows of pumpkins that are illuminated with strands of Christmas lights. Just, hollow out each pumpkin, then use a drill to create a pattern. Fill each hole with a single bulb and cut a hole in the backside of each pumpkin to make it easy to disguise the electrical cord.  

Stack a Rustic Centerpiece

Colorful heirloom-variety pumpkins create a chic centerpiece when stacked and surrounded by other natural fall elements. To create a stable base, first remove the stems from all but the top pumpkin and add double-sided tape between the layers if you need a bit more stability.  

A Sweet Idea for Mini Pumpkins

Craft paint, glue and multicolor bugle beads are all you need to turn squat mini pumpkins into calorie-free lookalikes of Home Simpson's favorite sugary snack. Get more creative ideas for mini pumpkins, straight from the pages of HGTV Magazine.

Photo By: Ben Goldstein

Create Your Own Pumpkin Family

Enlist the kids to help you create a group of pumpkin characters with signature characteristics that resemble your nearest and dearest. Fresh produce, felt, a permanent marker and a few bits of clothing are all you need. Get step-by-step instructions.

Stack a Jack-O'-Totem

Add some personality to your Halloween decor with a pumpkin topiary in the shape of a totem pole. All you need are a few lightweight faux pumpkins, basic craft supplies and a little imagination. Get crafting to make your own.

Make a Gourd-Geous Vase

Use a hollowed-out fresh pumpkin as a vase to display your garden's last blooms before the cold hits. Place a vase inside the pumpkin to contain the water, then arrange your flowers inside. Consider using herbs that have gone to seed, like this fennel, as your greenery. 

Make Carving Child's Play

Even the littlest crafters will have fun tapping metal cookie cutters into hollowed-out pumpkins to create fun glowing shapes. Get step-by-step instructions.

Bring On the Glitz

Give faux pumpkins a glamorous makeover with gold, silver and copper leaf to add just the right amount of sparkle to any indoor fall display or Halloween centerpiece. Best of all: You can incorporate these glitzy gourds into your Thanksgiving decor. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions

Play Peekaboo

Kids will love helping you create a spooktacular vignette of peeking pumpkins with mini gourds and a variety of inexpensive bowls and lidded dishes. Get step-by-step instructions.

Add a Sophisticated Silhouette

If carving isn't your strong suit, put your artistic skills to work and instead embellish a pumpkin with a trendy black-and-white silhouette. Our step-by-step instructions show you how.

Disguise Pumpkins as Mushrooms

Wooden furniture legs (from the hardware store) and polka-dot-painted mini pumpkins are a credible stand-in for fanciful forest mushrooms. Enlist the kids to help you craft up a whole crop of these colorful 'shrooms. Get more creative ideas for mini pumpkins, straight from the pages of HGTV Magazine.

Photo By: Ben Goldstein

Make Your Mark With a Monogram

Turn your family's last name or just the first initial into a totally personalized pumpkin. Learn how to make your own.

Photo By: unknown ©Layla Palmer

Go for a Gothic Look

Give a humble pumpkin sophisticated style by painting it to resemble an antique European grain sack. Our step-by-step instructions show you how.

Who's That Masked Pumpkin?

A pumpkin in disguise? Why not, it is Halloween after all. Our free printable template ensures this carve-free pumpkin idea couldn't be simpler. Get more creative ideas for mini pumpkins, straight from the pages of HGTV Magazine.

Photo By: Ben Goldstein

Repurpose Upholstery Trim

Easily embellish pumpkins with paint, nail-head trim, ribbon and spiders to create a chic Halloween display — no carving required. Learn how to get this look.

Go Trendy With Fabric

Give faux pumpkins a fashion-forward makeover by covering them with strips of trendy fabric. Large decoupage pumpkins are a stylish addition to front porch displays while small pumpkins will add a graphic pop to any indoor Halloween decorations. Get crafting now to make your own

Make a Pretty Fretwork Pumpkin

Looking for a new pumpkin-carving technique? Requiring just two different-sized drill bits, this sculptural and intricate design is easier to create than you may think. Learn how to make your own.

Think Small

Mini pumpkins, if left uncut, typically stay fresh much longer than larger varieties. Mix a few minis into your Halloween decor now so you can later repurpose them for your Thanksgiving spread. 

Put a Pumpkin to Work as a Serving Bowl

Summery sangria gets a flavorful update for fall with pumpkin pie spice, bourbon and apple cider. Make a big batch to serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin for a pitch-perfect seasonal presentation. Get the recipe.l

Photo By: Liz Gray

Spell It Out

Use patterned scrapbook paper and decoupage medium to embellish pumpkins with your initials or a favorite Halloween phrase, like "Boo!" or "Spooky!" Our step-by-step instructions make this project a snap.  

Ribbon-Embellished Pumpkins

Give faux or fresh pumpkins a chic fall makeover with vertical bands of pretty patterned ribbon — no carving required. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

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