7 Fun Things to Do with a Pumpkin

7 Fun Things to Do with a Pumpkin

Not everyone is born with the Martha Stewart gene. You know, the one that’s responsible for crafting, baking, decorating and generally being the envy of the Pinterest world? Autumn is a particular jackpot for people who excel in these departments, but for those of us who need a little inspiration, here are 7 things to do with a pumpkin this season.

1) Carve it.

The easiest and most traditional choice is to carve it. Whether you keep it simple with a basic smiley face or break out the power tools to transform your gourd into a lighting fixture, there is no shortage of carving ideas available online. The paradox is that you’ll put in a lot of effort for something that will rot away, but if you’re OK with just enjoying the experience, dig in!

2) Paint it.

An option that’s been growing in popularity is to break out the paints and use a gourd as your canvas! This is a great idea for kids because it’s actually less messy than carving and allows for individual creativity (no adult needed). But don’t write this off as a kids’ craft alone. Adults are creating some real masterpieces (think Day of the Dead art, creepy clowns, Disney characters, murals of all types, and even splatter paint). Painting is also smart for artificial pumpkins because you can keep your artwork instead of watching it melt away.

3) Glue stuff on it.

From jewels, to puff paint, to glitter, to fabric, to decoupage…if you can create it on any other surface, you can create it on a pumpkin! If you’d rather your pumpkin have more of a crafty home décor vibe and less of a kooky Halloween look, explore this route.

4) Hollow it out and use it as a candy dish on Halloween.

If you want an obligatory pumpkin around for the season, but don’t really want to do anything special to it, cut the top off of one, hallow it out, and use it as a candy dish on the big night. If you use a real one, wait until the day before to carve it or it will get too funky to use as a bowl.

5) Hollow it out and use it as a planter.

As with the above suggestion, you can hallow out a few pumpkins to put your plants in for the season. These look beautiful when filled with mums and set near the front door to greet visitors. Or go with trendy succulents if keeping the planters indoors. Bonus: they don’t have to come down after Halloween!

6) Bake it.

Often people bake pumpkin seeds to snack on or use in salads. While it’s more time consuming to bake the actual pumpkin itself, it’s definitely one way to enjoy gourds this time of year! Click here for an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to prepare pumpkin puree for soups and pie filling.

7) Leave it alone and it will last as a decoration throughout the season.

Pumpkins automatically conjure warm thoughts of fall traditions. Think about it. When you saw images of them in the classroom as a kid, you knew fun festivities were on the way. When you see them in stores as an adult, you’re reminded of family gatherings and sipping cider fireside, or whatever your traditions are. Bring a pumpkin into your home even if you don’t have the time, energy or desire to do a thing to it!


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  1. These are great ideas!! I plan to paint ours this year!

  2. Hi Dennise,

    Awesome ideas, my favorite is the last one: leave it as it is as an decoration! Zero effort, great effect. I love it!!!

  3. Love the ideas! Last year I had the kids carve them, take out their insides, baked the seeds. I also got a few small ones and placed them on the porch. A few others we painted chalkboard paint on them and let my little one go to town on them.

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