10 Easy (and Not So Easy) Jack O'Lantern Decorating Ideas

Amazing Jack O'Lantern designs that don't require carving

Everyone loves a traditional carved Jack O'Lantern at Halloween. But there lots of other great ideas, too. Here are 10 suggestions for creating amazing Halloween pumpkins, none that require carving:

1. Sharpies

The design possibilities are endless, from a simple face to an intricate pattern—just remember Sharpies are permanent markers. You can use carving stencils by substituting marker for the carving areas.

2. Paint

While watercolors won't work, just about anything else will, such as acrylic or tempera paints. Another great option is to use metallic spray-paint or chalkboard paint.  And handprints on a pumpkin are cute and easy, too. You can even add a handprint spider or a handprint ghost to your pumpkin to create a Halloween scene.

3. Glitter

Add glitter to paint while it's still wet and have a sparkling glittered pumpkin in no time at all.

4. Airbrushing

For the truly ambitious, you can airbrush a pumpkin like this inspired Candy Corn one made from a cone shaped pumpkin.

5. Glue

Hot glue makes it possible to use just about anything to fancy-up your pumpkin for Halloween. Found items can include ribbon, fabric scraps, construction paper, magazines, and newspapers, even wrapping paper. Other ideas include sequins, buttons, rhinestones, and candy. For smaller pieces like rhinestones, glue dots are a perfect, sturdy adhesive.

6. Decoupage

Similar to glue, just about anything can be decoupaged with Mod-Podge or a similar product, to turn a regular pumpkin into a Halloween masterpiece. Fall leaves are a beautiful option, and fun for the kids to collect for the project as well.

7. Thumbtacks

This genius design involves a bit of time and patience, but the results are worth it. You can just add initials or a house number to a pumpkin, or the entire pumpkin can be covered to create gilded masterpieces like these by Madigan Made.

8. Decorative tape

It is amazing what can be done with Duck Tape or Happy Tape, from fun (or scary) faces to beautiful patterns.

9. Store-bought masks

This option requires almost no effort, and yet it yields the spook-tacular results of masqueraded pumpkins.

10. Stickers

You can purchase Halloween-themed ones, Jack O'Lantern faces, or use shapes and other fall themes to create your own design. You can also find self-adhesive rhinestones to decorate a pumpkin with a little bling.

 Happy Pumpkin Decorating! Just remember that many of these materials—glue, markers, and paint especially—will permanently stain fabric, floors, and furniture. 

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Essex County Real Mom Anna Sandler lives happily ever after with her Jersey-raised husband and three NYC-born children in the land of jug handles and disco fries. She loves baking and crafting with her kids, even if everything they make doesn't turns out Pinterest-perfect. Anna has never met a holiday she doesn't want to celebrate, and enjoys sharing ideas for everyday fun (indoor beach party, anyone?), as well as how to commemorate bigger moments from birthdays to first days of school.

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