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How to make a no-carve pumpkin for Halloween — DIY tips and tricks

Decorated pumpkin for Halloween
Decorated pumpkin for Halloween (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Halloween is upon us, and if you haven’t had time to beautifully carve your spooky pumpkin, no-carve pumpkins will do the trick. Learning how to make a no-carve pumpkin for Halloween is a creative, cost-effective way to enjoy the season. What’s more, it’s fun and safe to do with children, without all the mess that comes with carving a pumpkin. 

More importantly, no-carve pumpkins will last a lot longer than just Halloween, and will spruce up your festive porch. So, whether it’s showing off your Sharpie pen skills or getting out the paintbrush, here are some easy DIY tips to make your no-carve Halloween pumpkin dazzle.

No-carve pumpkin ideas

Painted faces on Halloween pumpkins

Painted faces on Halloween pumpkins (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Spooky bat pumpkin — Halloween isn't quite the same without bats and ghouls, so why not decorate your pumpkin with them? Simply paint sections of your pumpkin with black paint to create a spooky backdrop. Then, paint the bats in the orange sections. If you don't have an artistic flair, you can always find bat or ghost templates to cut out and stick on with craft glue.

Pumpkin people — Personalize your pumpkins with faces!  Brush up on your Sharpie skills as you draw funny faces that will add much character. A great chance to get creative, and entertain the kids.

Spider web decorated pumpkins for Halloween

Spider web decorated pumpkins for Halloween (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Spider web pumpkins — Create spider webs to adorn your Halloween pumpkins. Once you've painted your pumpkin in a solid color, simply use a white paint or some other contrasting color to design your spooky cobwebs, using the pumpkin's ridges as guides.

White pumpkins for Halloween

White pumpkins for Halloween (Image credit: Shutterstock)

White pumpkins — Painting your pumpkins with white paint first makes a good solid backdrop to make your design stand out. You can either paint on your Halloween ghouls, use temporary tattoos, transfers or any other colorful decorations.  

Map tack pumpkins — If you have any office supplies, map tacks can brighten up a pumpkin design. Simply paint your pumpkin in a solid color, and when it's dry, pin tacks all around the surface. 

Metallic spray-painted pumpkins

Metallic spray-painted pumpkins (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Metallic spray-painted pumpkins — If you want to add a bit of glamor to your pumpkin, metallic spray paints will do the trick. Simply lay down some paper towels or an old sheet on a table before you start. Then, spray the pumpkin completely with the metallic paint before leaving in a cool place to dry. You may need to repeat  if necessary, if your pumpkin has patches. But the end results are dazzling!

Colorful tissue paper pumpkins — Craft tissue paper is also an easy way to decorate your pumpkin. Simply cut out shapes or designs, and stick onto the surface with glue. 

Day of the dead Halloween pumpkins

Day of the dead Halloween pumpkins (Image credit: Shutterstock)

'The day of the dead' pumpkins — If you really want to get creative, the Mexican tradition of 'the day of the dead' can make a really eye-catching pumpkin.  Simply paint on the ghoulish faces, and complete with fake roses to stick at the top of the pumpkin. 

Glitter stem pumpkins — Another easy trick to spruce up your pumpkin. Paint your  pumpkin in a solid color of your choice. Then, simply add craft glue onto the stem and dip into a pot of glitter. 

Ribbon pumpkin for Halloween

Ribbon pumpkin for Halloween (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Ribbon pumpkins — Customize your pumpkin with ribbons or trim that will add character to your pumpkins. Simply gather up some vibrant ribbons, cut to length to fit the width of your pumpkin, then attach with a few drops of craft glue. 

Fall foliage pumpkin — Give your pumpkin a fall makeover by using leaves, dried flowers or foliage to stick around it.  What's more, these are easy to gather from your backyard or porch. 

Felt designed faces on Halloween pumpkins

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Felt pumpkins — You can use black felt to decorate your Halloween pumpkins. Simply cut out the shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth, then stick onto your pumpkins to create those spooky faces.

Stencilled pumpkins — If you're not overly artistic, you can always cheat with stencils. Simply find some stencils to draw on your spooky designs onto your Halloween pumpkin. 

What materials do I need to make a no-carve pumpkin for Halloween?

You don’t need to spend a fortune on materials. Most craft or thrift stores will have all the supplies you need. These include permanent markers, glue sticks, beads, sequins, colored tissue paper, glitter tubes and more. You can also easily paint your pumpkins with chalk or craft paint.  

Cynthia Lawrence

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 


Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.


With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!