If you don't want to carve pumpkins this year, you're gonna love these pumpkin decorating ideas for kids!
Carving jack-o-lanterns is a tradition that's been around for a long time. But if you're anything like me, the idea of having your kids around carving utensils is a little scary!
Thankfully, there are fun and clever ways to decorate pumpkins without carving them – and I'm bringing you some of my very favorite ideas.
Halloween is a prime holiday for crafting of all types. It's just ripe with ideas for kids to participate in, no wonder it's such a fun holiday!
Related post: 25+ Halloween Arts and Crafts for Preschoolers
No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas For Kids
The days of Halloween pumpkins all being carved with generally similar results are long gone. Current pumpkin decorating techniques can involve carving, painting, stickers, drilling, poking, gluing, crayons, electrical wire and so much more.
We've all been amazed at the elaborately carved and etched Jack-O-Lanterns on Pinterest or at Halloween festivals. But don't look for that here.
We've done the pumpkin carving thing…and honestly, it's not my favorite. It's messy, ridden with dangers with 3 boys handling carving blades, and the pumpkins rot faster once they're carved.
No thank you! This year, I wanted an alternative to traditional jack-o-lantern carving.
On my way to a Halloween pumpkin decorating post this week, I had a total “why didn't I think of that?!” morning. I'm reminded again of just how creative people can be with so little.
Happily, with a little inspiration from these ideas, that means you and I can be creative too! Expect to be amazed and inspired!
I've limited my list to projects that don't require an art school degree or the natural artistic ability of a DaVinci.
All the pumpkin decorating ideas for kids on this list are things I can do, which means they have to be pretty easy. What's more – they're things kids can do (or help with).
Check them out…along with these other easy Halloween decoration ideas
Dig Out Your Hand-Held Drill to Do the Carving | The Garden Glove
It's easy to make pre-marked designs, but even randomly drilled holes look great. Cut a hole in the bottom (yes, bottom works very well), scoop out the gunk and add a tea light, battery-powered candle, or even a string of mini lights and you're done.
Peek-A-Boo Pumpkins | Better Homes & Gardens
I know I said no-carve ideas…cutting the top off isn't really carving, is it? This idea is so easy and so unexpected. A sassy peek-a-boo guy will draw plenty of smiles from everyone who sees it. Why didn't I think of that?
Or try this inside variation to add a real smile-getter to your kitchen counter. Your kids will go crazy over these fun googly-eyed pumpkins!
Pumpkin Painting Ideas For Kids
If you or your kids like painting, you can easily turn a real or faux pumpkin into any number of fun creations. Check out these ideas.
Chic Studded Pumpkins | Erica Brechtel
DIY Chic – these pumpkins make beautiful decor for your home. If you want a more kid-centric version, add colorful stickers, thumbtacks, map pins, small pom poms…really anything at all!
Black Cat Pumpkins | HGTV
These painted black cat pumpkins manage to seem both fresh and traditional at the same time while also being deceptively easy to make.
Fingerprint-Painted Pumpkins | Handmade Charlotte
Painted fingerprint ghosts take only minutes and look fun and unique!
Black Bat Pumpkin | Scrap Lifters
Love bats? Make these easy black bat pumpkins – they hardly take any time at all. Oh, and a few pumpkin painting tips might come in handy.
Try Different Paint Patterns | Vandifair
Check out all the different paint patterns you can try! Get some simple but fun painting ideas from this display.
Watercolor Pumpkins | Lines Across
This idea is so cute! With just a few supplies, you can use this technique on real or faux pumpkins. Kids love using watercolors – and you'll get some very unique finished products!
Drip Painting Pumpkins | Momdot
This just might be my favorite idea on this list! I love the creativity, the ease, and the colorful options! Plus, show me a kid who doesn't love playing with paint – or dripping it on things. 😉
Candy Corn Pumpkin Painting | A Thrifty Mom
Do you love candy corn? Then you may love this easy pumpkin painting idea for kids. All you need is a little white and yellow paint!
Caterpillar Pumpkin | Midwest Living
Who could resist this guy? Paint several pumpkins and join them together in a curvy line to create an adorable caterpillar. Use paint, adhesive dots, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners. Easy peasy!
Glow in the Dark Painted Pumpkins | I Love to Create
Have you tried glow in the dark paint for extra Halloween spark? It's easy to do, fun to make a huge variety of patterns, and looks amazing both day and night. Don't forget to charge the paint so the kids will go crazy for them at night!
Marbled Pumpkins | Artsy Fartsy Momma
Marbled pumpkins are just plain pretty!
An Explosion of Color | Color Made Happy
Here's a different marbled look. I LOVE all the colors used on these pumpkins. They are just amazing.
Add Some Paint & Stickers | A Kailo Chic Life
Nothing says that Halloween pumpkins have to be orange, black or white – or scary! Have fun playing with other colors then add Cricut vinyl stickers you make. Or just add foam stickers for a very kid-friendly project!
Mummy Pumpkins | Mother's Niche
Quick. Easy. Cheap. Does pumpkin decorating get any better than that? My kids love mummies, so we'll probably make this one – how about you? What a fun pumpkin decorating idea for kids!
Melted Crayon Pumpkin | Mom Spark
This may not be a pumpkin painting idea per se, but it's definitely “painting” in my book. And it's so fun and easy, that this method is one of my favorite pumpkin decorating ideas for kids that we're trying this year!
Here's a great use for all those broken crayons you keep running into. And I love that it uses a fake pumpkin, so you can make it once and pull it back out year after year!
Pumpkin Polka Dot Stickers | Etsy
How fun is this idea? Another perfect for little kids idea that is super easy and fast – and affordable too. Just grab some stickers, let the kids decorate to their hearts content and done! It's one of the easiest pumpkin decorating ideas for kids.
Toothpick Hedgehog | Parents
The toothpicks on this hedgehog take a little longer, but isn't he cute and different from anything else you've seen?
Pom Pom Pumpkin | Parents
You can make this design with a melon baller or you could achieve the same idea in a less messy way with crafting pom poms and some hot glue. Either way, you can end up with a fun and colorful finished product!
How about a spiderweb pumpkin? You can do this simple craft project on a real or fake pumpkin, and all you need is a tube of chalk!
Add A Witch Hat | Wildly Charmed
Make this simple witches hat design with common crafting tools instead of power tools or carving tools.
And you don't need to make a witch you can use any kind of hat! Favorite sports team? Fishing hat? Southern belle? Sunbonnet? Anything goes.
Add Some Glitter | No Time For Flashcards
Maybe you'd like a little glam and want to add some shine. Glitter goes a long way and may just be the answer. It's easy to do and perfect for toddlers who want to help!
Write it Out | Jennifer Allwood Home
Or…you could paint your pumpkin with chalkboard paint and write a message with chalk. The message could change every day (like a count down to Halloween) or it could say something spooky or simple such as “Happy Halloween”.
Pumpkin Decorating Kits To Just Get It Done and Still Look Good
Sometimes we just want to get something done with minimal effort or time commitment. Have a look at these kits to make pumpkin decorating practically effortless.
Here's the secret to making fun jack-o-lanterns without carving your pumpkins. Let the kids choose the stickers they like and keep the mess down to almost nothing.
Etsy has some fun ones too.
I've personally used this idea for years. They're fast, make no mess at all, and offer really cute kid-friendly choices!
I love some of the more unique options that Etsy has 🙂
If you want to go slightly more creepy and less cute, these pumpkin people kids have you covered. Talk about easy!
No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas For Kids – Final Thoughts
There ya go! What do you think of these 25 different ideas? Fun, right? Did you see any pumpkin decorating ideas for kids that looked right for you and your family?
I really hope you saw several things you'd like to try or that made you think of something even cooler.
Pumpkin decorating with kids is a fun tradition to do every year – and I love even more now that I'm thinking beyond just carving pumpkins!
Whatever you do with your pumpkins this year, please stay safe, help keep others safe, and have a Spooky Happy Halloween!
There's More Halloween Fun to be Had in addition to Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Kids!
- Is Trick or Treating Canceled for 2020? Safe Halloween Alternatives
- 25+ Halloween Arts and Crafts for Preschoolers
- Quick & Easy Mommy and Me Halloween Costume Ideas
- The Best Helpful Halloween Safety Tips for Parents
- Watch Over 100 of the Best Family Halloween Movies