50+ No-Carve Halloween Pumpkin Ideas

From ghoulish to glam, we have a pumpkin project for everyone — no carving tools required.

September 14, 2020

Photo By: Bruce Cole

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Kristin Guy, DineXDesign.com

Photo By: Stephanie Studer, LifeCreated

Photo By: Pop Fizz

Photo By: Jennifer M. Ramos

Photo By: Michael Hall

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Susan Teare

Photo By: Stephanie Studer, LifeCreated

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Image courtesy of Melissa Caughey

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Sarah Busby, Sarah Busby, Sarah Busby

Photo By: Image courtesy of Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sam Henderson

Photo By: Ben Goldstein

Photo By: Ben Goldstein

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Photo By: Aaron Dyer

Photo By: Ben Goldstein

Photo By: Aaron Dyer

Image Transfer

Spooky and elegant? Sign us up. This old-school image transfer technique gives plain white pumpkins an imperfect, antiqued look and is an exquisite addition to your creepy-chic Halloween decor.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make an Image Transfer Pumpkin

Gumball Machine

Add playful color to your front porch by turning a pumpkin and a terra cotta pot into a fun gumball machine. With a little patience (and a whole lot of gumballs), you can create a one-of-a-kind decor piece that trick-or-treaters will flock to this Halloween.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Gumball Machine Pumpkin

Friendly Witch

Magic up this not-too-scary witch for your front porch or entryway using a faux pumpkin and dollar store craft supplies. Create a friendly witch to welcome Halloween guests or a scowling witch to keep mischief-makers at bay.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Bewitching Halloween Pumpkin

Fun With String Art

Round up the kiddos and settle in for a night of fun with this fun and easy pumpkin string-art technique. Start by drawing the outline of your design, like a black cat or ghost, in pencil or chalk. Then, gently hammer small 1-inch nails into the pumpkin around the outline, spacing the nails about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch apart. Using yarn, wrap your design, and keep wrapping, weaving between the nails, until you're happy with the yarn coverage.

SEE MORE: 56 Halloween Dollar Store Hacks That Give You More Boo For Your Buck

Add Some Sophistication

Who said Halloween pumpkins couldn't be stylish? Give faux or plastic pumpkins a cozy upgrade with the visual warmth and texture of chunky wool yarn.

GET THE HOW-TO: Easy-to-Craft Yarn Pumpkins

Emoji Pumpkins

Give your jack-o'-lanterns a new-age makeover by swapping classic spooky, silly carved faces for fun, magnetized emoji expressions. All that's left to do is snap a pic and post it!

GET THE HOW-TO: Create a Fun Fall Front Porch With Emoji Pumpkins

Gold Marbling

Add a touch of glam to your fall decor with these DIY gold-marbled pumpkins. You will need liquid gilding, a small disposable container, a Popsicle stick or straw and wax paper. Fill the container with about 3 inches of water. Dip the Popsicle stick into the gilding and then drop drips of gilding onto the top of the water; some will sink but most will float. After you have about 20 percent of the surface covered, swirl the water and gilding around with the stick. Then carefully (and quickly) dip your pumpkin into the water and right back out again and place on wax paper to dry overnight. You can do the entire pumpkin or just half — the marbling look will always be different depending on the amount of gilding in the water. You can achieve a solid gold look by adding more gilding to the water.


Printed napkins, Mod Podge and a little glitter come together to create these ultra-elegant no-carve pumpkins. Let the kids pick their own patterns that they'll be excited to show off.

GET THE HOW-TO: Funky Decoupage Pumpkin

Turn Pumpkins Into Pets

These playful pet pumpkins are a fun, no-carve fall craft that you and the kiddos can create from either fresh or faux pumpkins and basic craft supplies. Our step-by-step instructions below include printable templates to bring each animal to life.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Kids’ Craft: Adorable Pet Pumpkins

Go Boho With Macramé

Make Halloween a trendy affair with stylishly dressed gourds you can leave out all season long. This macramé-inspired look is more glamorous than ghoul and would look lovely as a centerpiece or decor accent.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Boho-Chic Macramé Pumpkin

A Murder of Crows

Yes, you read that right. A flock of crows is called a "murder." Spooky! Give your pumpkin a murderous makeover this Halloween by covering it in inky, black birds. Cut crow silhouettes out of black paper and use glue or double-sided tape to attach them to the pumpkin. Insert the end of a wire into the top of the pumpkin to continue the spiral of birds into the air.

Sweater Weather

Cozy up a plain pumpkin with an old or thrifted sweater that’ll bring amazing texture to any fall vignette. Use a faux pumpkin for a trendy take on traditional fall decor that you can display through Thanksgiving.

GET THE HOW-TO: Fall Upcycle: Give Pumpkins a Cozy Makeover With Old Sweaters

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.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make Black Cat Pumpkins

Floral Decoupage

Decorate your pumpkin with a beautiful shower of dainty, dried flowers. Press a collection of summer flowers in the pages of old books, then use a decoupage technique to attach them to a real or faux pumpkin for a pretty, ombre effect.

Friendly Felt Faces

Get the classic jack-o'-lantern look without the mess by using a white colored pencil to trace facial features onto felt, then attach to your pumpkins with removable mounting squares or double-sided tape. Simply remove the felt faces after Halloween and enjoy simple, chic pumpkins all the way to Thanksgiving.

SEE MORE: 5 DIY Decorations That Transition From Halloween to Thanksgiving

Lovely Lace

This no-carve technique is as easy as it gets. First, paint your pumpkin black and let it dry completely. Then, wrap a decorative lace stocking or pantyhose leg around the pumpkin and add a coat or two of silver spray paint. Let dry, then remove the stocking to reveal a spooky-chic, lacy pumpkin design. For an even easier project, simply wrap a black lace stocking around a silver pumpkin, tie it off at the bottom and snip the excess.

GET THE HOW-TO: No-Carve Pumpkin Designs

Bright White + Blooms

Give your old autumn wreath a new lease on life by using its blooms to decorate white pumpkins. Use craft scissors to prune your wreath for the best autumnal blooms, and attach them to the pumpkins using hot glue.

GET THE HOW-TO: Fall-ify Your Mantel With DIY Floral Pumpkins

Painted Pretties

Painter Amy Moffat created a head-turning porch display with this collection of heart-stopping, hand-painted gourds. Beautiful chinoiserie and glam, gilded pumpkins act as a backdrop to the flirty, floral stunners in front. Learn how to recreate these gorgeous designs and more at the link below.

SEE MORE: 37 Painted Pumpkin Ideas

Stack a Vampire Pumpkin

Follow our bloody easy instructions to turn a pair of faux pumpkins into a fang-tastic Halloween topiary for your front porch.

GET THE HOW-TO: Easily Craft a Vampire Bat Pumpkin

Send a Message With a Teal Pumpkin

Let kids with food allergies know that you'll be handing out non-food treats on Halloween night by displaying a teal pumpkin. We made these groovy gourds with faux pumpkins, a marbleizing kit and shades of teal paint.

SEE MORE: Halloween Teal Pumpkin Jack-o-Lantern Ideas

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Whether you love it or hate it, you can't deny that candy corn is a seasonal staple. Craft a pack of these sweet, corny decorations by using classic orange pumpkins as your canvas. Brush a rich, marigold hue along the bottom third of the pumpkin until it dries opaque. Allow the natural orange rind to serve as the center of the design and apply a vivid-white paint to the top of the pumpkin and stem to complete the candy corn look. Allow the paint to dry, then top with a hefty coat of gold spray glitter.

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 THE HOW-TO: Halloween Decorating Idea: Black-Glittered Pumpkins

Shattered Tape

Easily mimic the look of broken glass or pottery by decorating pumpkins in pieces of ripped, decorative tape. We covered a bright orange pumpkin in bold, teal tape, but you can mix and match tape and pumpkin colors to work with your Halloween aesthetic.

Creepy, Crawly Topiary

Not a lot of time to decorate? Quickly create a spooky, spider-covered topiary by stacking pumpkins on top of each other, wrapping them in black yarn and adorning them with plastic spiders.

GET THE HOW-TO: Halloween Pumpkin Topiary With Spiders

Farmhouse Chic

Pretty-up plain white faux pumpkins by topping them with ribbon, cotton blossoms, pinecones and our free, printable tag.

SEE MORE: 5 DIY Decorations That Transition From Halloween to Thanksgiving

Watch Out for Spiders

Miniature pumpkins make fantastic spiders. Attach pipe cleaner legs to the bottoms of the pumpkins and use lentils or beans to create eyes. Add a drop of black paint for a pupil and white for the highlight in each eye, then let your charming little critters crawl!

Glittering Gourds

Topped with colorful glitter, these sparkling pumpkins are a quick, easy and fun project for kids. Plus, since the pumpkins remain whole, they'll last much longer than carved ones. Tip: Move the glittering outside for a stress-free, mess-free experience.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make Glittered Pumpkins

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.

GET THE HOW-TO: Mini Bat Pumpkins

Steam Punk-ins

Pull out those old bolts, gears, nails and screws to turn your pumpkin into a steampunk-inspired jack-o'-lantern. Create your own graphic designs by attaching metal pieces with hot glue or other permanent quick-drying adhesives.

Party Pumpkins

Creator and Dixie + Twine shop owner Amber Vanee painted her pumpkins in electric, unexpected hues like pink, turquoise and lime green to create a Halloween front porch design that screams "Party!" Follow her lead and throw a few white-and-black pumpkins into the mix to balance the color and add movement to the design.

House Number Florals

Add a personalized touch to your front porch this season by displaying your house numbers on pumpkins. The twist? These numbers are made from fresh fall mums.

GET THE HOW-TO: Fall Craft: Chrysanthemum Pumpkins

Folk Art Pumpkin

This no-carve pumpkin is a playful, untraditional take on a painted pumpkin. Get the kids involved, let your creativity flow and have fun crafting your own folky design.

GET THE HOW-TO: Easily Craft a Folk Art Pumpkin

Bring On the Glitz

Give faux pumpkins a glamorous makeover with gold, silver and copper leaf. They'll add just the right amount of sparkle to a fall display or Thanksgiving centerpiece.

GET THE HOW-TO: Make Metallic Copper, Gold and Silver Pumpkins for a Chic Fall Display

Haunted Pumpkin Fairy Garden

Create a haunted gnome house in your garden this year using a pumpkin and materials you already have around the house or yard. Customize your gnome house to be as simple or elaborate as you like, and recruit the kiddos for endless hours of creative fun.

GET THE HOW-TO: Make a Haunted Pumpkin Fairy Garden

Trendy 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 THE HOW-TO: Trendy Fabric-Covered Pumpkins

Glitter Leaves

Pretty enough to display from Halloween until Thanksgiving, these glitzy pumpkins are a snap to make using just leaves from the backyard, glue and metallic glitter.

GET THE HOW-TO: Easily Glam Up Your Fall Decorations With These Glittering Leaf Pumpkins

Totally Trendy

Follow our easy instructions to craft these fashion-forward shibori and mudcloth-inspired pumpkins for a modern fall porch display.

GET THE HOW-TO: 3 Stylish Painted Pumpkin Ideas for Fall

Intricate Details

For a more subtle approach to pumpkin decorating, try painting tiny, dainty details around the pumpkins' stems. Add pink dots, tiny green stems or a white pattern of vines and leaves.

Add Some Texture

A tube of paintable caulk and white spray paint transform a fresh pumpkin into a sleek, swirly Halloween decoration.

GET THE HOW-TO: DIY Halloween Decor: Make a Modern Swirly Pumpkin

Magic in the Garden

Get the look of a carved pumpkin without cutting or gutting your gourd. Simply draw out your design, then use a craft knife or fine carving tools to carve a relief into the skin of a real pumpkin. Here, we created a magical pumpkin patch by carving a garden elf onto a large pumpkin. Then, we stacked smaller pumpkins above and carved stars in a swirling pattern to make it look like the little elf is casting a spell.

SEE MORE: Our Best Pumpkin-Carving Tips and Tools

Spooky Season

Achieve a screech-worthy look on white plastic or natural pumpkins by covering them in inky black bats. Download our free, printable bat stencil, then trace onto a weather-resistant material like plastic plates or vinyl. Cut out the template, fold the wings and glue onto your pumpkin for a haunted, haute Halloween design.

SEE MORE: Cover Your Front Door in a Spooky Swarm of Bats for Halloween

Mini Pumpkin Donuts

Craft paint, glue and multicolor bugle beads are all you need to turn squat mini pumpkins into calorie-free lookalikes of Homer Simpson's favorite sugary snack.

SEE MORE: 6 Mini Pumpkin Makeovers

Light Up the Night

Light the way for trick-or-treaters with rows of pumpkins that are illuminated with strands of Christmas lights. 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.

Bountiful Beans

Give your pumpkin a foraged fall makeover by covering it in dried beans, creating patterns and textures as you attach them to the pumpkin with hot glue. You can use one variety of bean for a monochromatic look, or try different varieties to spice it up.

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 THE HOW-TO: Parsnip and Carrot Pumpkin Characters

Put Thumbtacks to Use

Do you have a drawer full of unused thumbtacks or rivets? Use them to give pumpkins a glam look this Halloween. Sketch out a pattern with a pen (or print an online template), then simply insert the thumbtacks over the pen marks. The design options are endless.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Glam Thumbtack Pumpkin

Craft a Stack of Jacks

Add some personality to your Halloween decor with a silly stack of jack-o'-lantern faces. All you need are a few lightweight faux pumpkins, basic craft supplies and a little imagination.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Halloween Jack-O'-Stack

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.

SEE MORE: 6 Mini Pumpkin Makeovers

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 THE HOW-TO: How to Make Peekaboo Pumpkins

Chic Stack

Made from zero-maintenance materials, this gorgeous nature-inspired topiary is a breeze to make and will stay beautiful all season long.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Natural Pumpkin Topiary

Make Your Mark With a Monogram

Turn your family's last name, or just the first initial, into a totally personalized pumpkin with the help of metallic leaf. Sketch, then paint your design onto the pumpkin with metal leaf adhesive, then place the leaf over the glue while it's still wet. Once it has dried completely, brush off any excess leaf for a perfectly pretty monogram design.

Sophisticated Silhouette

Bring spooky sophistication to your Halloween decor by embellishing a pumpkin with an elegant, black-and-white silhouette. Print a random stencil from the internet or throw you and your whole crew into relief with our easy instructions, then trace your profiles onto white pumpkins.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Silhouette Pumpkin

Night Owl

You don't need an intricate pattern or advanced pumpkin-carving skills to turn a fresh pumpkin and white gourds into this owl-dorable decoration.

GET THE HOW-TO: Cute Owl Pumpkin

Go Gothic

Give a humble pumpkin sophisticated style by painting it to resemble an antique European grain sack.

GET THE HOW-TO: How to Make a Lettered Pumpkin

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 did here.

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.

SEE MORE: 6 Mini Pumpkin Makeovers

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.

Shop This Look

More from:

Halloween Ideas