Lazy Jack-O'-Lanterns: 11 Creative Ways to Decorate a Halloween Pumpkin Without Carving

11 Creative Ways to Decorate a Halloween Pumpkin Without Carving

A well-executed jack-o'-lantern can be pretty damn impressive, but some of us lack the carving skills necessary to pull it off and end up disappointed. Sometimes you just don't want to put in all the time required to cut open a pumpkin, gut it, and chisel an elaborate face or cool design into it.

Whatever your reason, here are 11 ways to decorate a pumpkin for Halloween, no carving necessary.

#1. Make It Glow in the Dark

Cut out faces or patterns, stick them onto the side of your pumpkin, and spray around them to create a design. You can use any colors, but black with some glow-in-the-dark paint adds a creepy vibe.

Image via Sick Science!

If you don't want to do faces, you can make custom designs using printed templates or painter's tape.

Image via Brit + Co

Check out the full tutorial for more details.

#2. Turn It into a Chalkboard

Chalkboard paint is a great way to decorate a pumpkin because it allows for infinite customization (and screw-ups). Don't like your design? Just wipe it off and start again. You can get really creative with it and use stickers or other add-ons, like this word search pumpkin.

Image by Thistlewood/Hometalk

Or write a message for guests and trick-or-treaters.

Image by Lesley Unruh/Every Day with Rachel Ray

Head over to Hometalk to find out how to make your own.

#3. Lace It Up

Okay, so it's not technically lace, but if you've got an old pair of fishnets or textured stockings lying around, they make excellent last-minute pumpkin decorations. These are perfect if you're looking for something a little more sexy or elegant than traditional Halloween looks.

Image by Gina Provenzano/Homesessive

If you don't have any stockings, you can grab some actual lace from a craft store instead. Just cut a hole for the stem and secure the lace at the bottom.

Image via BHG

#4. Steampunk It

To transport your jack-'o-lantern to the Victorian Era, all you need is a can of silver spray paint and a bunch of cogs and other little metal bits and bobs.

Image by Dawn Pritchard/The Inked Stamper

Or, you can buy one of those foam pumpkins that are already carved, paint it silver, and add your own flair.

Image by IsherCreations/Etsy

For more ideas and inspiration, check out Austin Sirkin's guide to steampunking your Halloween.

#5. Disguise It as Candy Corn

Halloween is all about dressing up, so who says your pumpkin has to look like a pumpkin? Grab some yellow, white, and orange spray paint and give it a candy corn costume.

Image via BHG

#6. Serve Beer or Punch Out of It

If you don't feel like doing any decorating at all, remove all the seeds from your pumpkin, drill a hole for a tap, and fill it up with booze.

Image via Celebrations

Check out the full guide for instructions.

#7. Give It a Yarn Face

With some black yarn and a few pins, you can give your pumpkin a face without all the mess and hassle of carving it. Create your design freehand or print out a template if you want a guide.

Image via BHG

For instructions and more photos, take a look at the guide by Chelsey Andrews over on Better Homes & Gardens.

#8. "Carve" It with Cookie Cutters

If you want the look of carving without all the work, cookie cutters are a quick and easy shortcut. Just use a mallet or hammer to tap the cookie cutter into the pumpkin, then finish cutting out the shape with a knife.

Image via Modern Parents, Messy Kids

You can use any metal cookie cutters you already have lying around, or get some special ones in Halloween shapes. It's a great way to personalize your jack-'o-lantern even if you have zero artistic skills.

Image via One Good Thing

Check out the tutorial over on One Good Thing for more details.

#9. Mummify It

All it takes to turn your pumpkin into a spooky mummy is some cheesecloth, fabric stiffener, and a googly eyes. Cut the cloth into strips, coat it in fabric stiffener, and wrap it around the pumpkin. Once it dries, glue on the eyes and you're all set.

Image via BHG

For a guide on how to make your own, head over to Better Homes & Gardens.

#10. Make It a Vampire Pumpkin

In keeping with the scary spirit of Halloween, why not turn your jack-o'-lantern into a vampire? Just use red 3D puff paint to make drips of blood, and if you want to add fang marks, dig into the pumpkin with a nail to look like punctures.

Image via Curbly

Check out the post on Curbly for more details.

#11. Make It a Pincushion

Possibly the simplest one on the list, you can make these pushpin pumpkins with leftover office supplies in your desk. Just grab some pins and stick 'em in, it's that simple.

Image via A Subtle Revelry

Use random colors for a confetti look, or make your own shapes and designs.

Image via A Subtle Revelry

Head over to A Subtle Revelry for more photos and inspiration.

What's Your Favorite?

What's your favorite no-carve pumpkin design? Show us your handiwork by uploading photos of your own jack-o'-lanterns in the comments.

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Cover images via Yum Food & Fun for Kids, Shutterstock

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