Beyond the enthusiasm over pumpkin spiced food and beverages, pumpkins are versatile and evoke the fall harvest, and can take you through to Thanksgiving. Check out these decorating ideas for the fall season and rejoice in the fact that some of these don’t require any kind of carving.

Ideas for an Autumnal Ambiance

1. Look Sharp

Use Sharpies to draw a free hand design like leaves, or use multiple pumpkins in a row to spell out your house number, directions, or a message like “B-O-O.”

2. Play With Color

In addition to the typical orange, you can use different colored pumpkins for different color schemes: white pumpkins look sculptural; pale yellow can be paired with grapefruits and lemons for a sunny display; or combine orange pumpkins with red pomegranates for centerpieces or displays. Use a variety of sizes for visual interest.

Pumpkin Assortment

 

3. Paint Pen Patterns

Grab some white pumpkins and metallic paint pens, then follow the natural grooves and curves of the gourd to make classy centerpieces. Try them in a variety of sizes!

4. Pumpkin Planting Pots

Round pumpkins or squash with flat bottoms, such as Kabocha or Italian stripe, make great vessels for plants, and can take you all the way to Thanksgiving. Cut off the top third and hollow out the bottom two-thirds, leaving about an inch of flesh all the way around. Add potting soil, then arrange succulents or other plants in the soil. Cut a thin layer off the rim for a clean edge. When the pumpkin starts to get soft, repot your plants. Or, for a great centerpiece, hollow out a pumpkin, add a block of floral foam, and insert your desired flora for a spectacular arrangement.

Pumpkin Flower Pot

 

5. Go a Little Batty

Grab some black poster board and cut out bats to fly across an orange or white pumpkin affixed with glue dots.

6. Place Settings

Tiny pumpkins make perfect place settings. Tie a paper tag to the pumpkin stems at each setting or write your guests name on each mini pumpkin with a marker.

Pumpkin Place Setting

 

7. Tape It

Attach colorful electrical tape or Washi tape either banded horizontally, or taped vertically along the ribs of a pumpkin. The design possibilities are endless.

8. Soup Servers

Carve out small pumpkins and serve a pumpkin or squash puree soup in them for festive-themed soup tureens. Or, carve out a larger pumpkin and serve the soup from it to individual bowls.

 

Pumpkin Soup Bowl

 

9. Tack It

Write out a message with a wax pencil, then trace it with thumbtacks. The end result is the message looks like it’s studded! Tip: the shorter the word, the easier it is to read.

10. Dress Them Up

Looking for a more sophisticated take on pumpkin decorating? Grab your glue gun and dress your pumpkins in ribbons and dried potpourri.

Pumpkin and Ribbons

 

11. Chalk It Up

Paint a pumpkin with chalkboard spray paint, then use a  white chalkmarker to draw a design, write a word or a greeting for a party

12. Votive Candle Holders

More versatile than a traditional jack-o-lantern, hollow out mini pumpkins to make enough room for a votive candle to fit inside. Group them on a mantle or strew them the length of a table for a centerpiece.

Pumpkin Votive Candle

 

13. Decoupage

Print out black and white copies of photos and mod podge them onto a pumpkin for a keepsake. Use pressed leaves from your yard to add a natural touch of foliage, or go for a Victorian touch and decoupage white doilies onto pumpkins for a more refined look.

 

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