I love creating unique jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, but the southern weather isn’t always on board with my plans. An unexpected bout of sunny, warm weather usually comes along and reduces my masterpiece to a mushy monstrosity. I want to celebrate fall without inviting gnats and mold to my doorstep.
Replacing the traditional jack-o-lantern with no-carved pumpkins is a beautiful solution that happens to be eco-friendly. After Halloween, you can strip off the embellishments and wash off any adhesive residue to start fresh. Redecorate the pumpkin for Thanksgiving, use it as an autumnal recipe ingredient, or send it to the compost pile.
1. Pumpkin Masquerade
Secure a simple eye mask a la Mardi Gras, Batman, or The Lone Ranger around the uncarved pumpkin. If you don’t have a spare mask handy, use a cereal box to make one. The thin cardboard is flexible and easy to manipulate.
2. Haunted Hose
Martha Stewart Crafts offers three dark, lacey pumpkin sleeves for about $15. You can replicate the design with a pair of fishnet or Halloween stockings. Slip the pumpkin into the hose, pinch it closed around the top, and cut the excess. Use a piece of string to cinch it closed around the stem. Tie a knot in the cut end of the hose, slip another pumpkin in, and repeat the process. This works best on tall, narrow pumpkins or minis. Save the homemade sleeves for next Halloween.
3. Ribbon and Bows
Check your gift wrap stash for spare supplies. Tie a fluffy bow on the pumpkin stem for a simple, sophisticated design. Salvaged stick-on bows made of curling ribbon make cute toppers that resemble hair.
4. The Spider Web
The plastic spider ring is one of those ubiquitous Halloween favors that begs for a crafty reinvention. Tie bits of twine or black yarn around the pumpkin to resemble a spider web. Attach the spider rings for a creepy flourish.
5. Magazine Clip Art
Scour old magazines for cool pictures to decorate your pumpkin. Spooky scenery, trees, owls, and bold patterns make interesting decorations. You can also look for facial features to make a weird face inspired by Annoying Orange. Cut out images and use a non-toxic, washable glue stick or double-sided tape to attach them.
6. Cut and Paste Face
Little ones bring plenty of coloring sheets and drawings home from school or daycare. Repurpose those masterpieces by cutting out facial features for the pumpkin. Use a non-toxic, washable glue stick or double-sided tape to attach them.
7. Set the Scene
Create an eco-friendly vignette for the yard or porch. Combine natural elements such as autumn leaves, straw, and acorns with assorted pumpkins and gourds. Use burlap or raffia to tie a rustic bow on the pumpkin stems.
8. Decorative Tape
Duck Tape and Scotch Expressions both offer an amazing variety of printed tapes, including an eerie glowing design and Halloween prints. Use the printed tape to make colorful stripes along the pumpkins natural vertical creases. The glowing duct tape is perfect for creating facial features, a fun bowtie, and strands of hair.
9. Leave It Natural
Use a non-toxic, washable glue stick to adhere fallen leaves to the sides of the pumpkin. Embellish the stem with a raffia bow.
10. Mixed Media
Mix and match these decorating techniques to make a clever creation of your own. Try combining the fishnet sleeve with the spider rings. Use the glow tape to make eyes for the mask.