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Pumpkin Decor - Decorating Pumpkins For Halloween

Updated on May 9, 2011

If you're looking for pumpkin décor ideas for Halloween, you've come to the right place! Many people like to decorate pumpkins for the famous October festival, and there is no shortage of ways in which you can do it. In fact, pumpkin decorating is something of a tradition in countries which celebrate Halloween, particularly in the US. The tradition of the Halloween pumpkin, often known as the Jack-O-Lantern, is believed to have originated in Europe, where people in England, Scotland and Ireland would carve lanterns from turnips and other vegetables, in order to scare away the spirits that were believed to surface on Halloween night. Immigrants to the US brought the practice with them, transferring it to the native pumpkins (pumpkins, incidentally, are much easier to carve than turnips and other hard gourd vegetables). It is only over the previous century that the carved and decorated pumpkin has become strongly associated with Halloween, but it's certainly difficult to imagine what Halloween celebrations might be like without it!

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

So, you're looking for ideas on how to decorate your Halloween pumpkin. There are three main ways in which pumpkins tend to be decorated: carving; painting and applying decorative items to the surface of the pumpkin. Let's take a look at each of these in turn.

Pumpkin Carving

Decorating a pumpkin by carving it is perhaps the most common form of Halloween pumpkin décor. If you choose this method, you can opt for a scary face – this is very effective when the pumpkin is lit from inside on a dark night – or you could go for other motifs, such as Halloween bats, cats, spiders etc. In order to carve a pumpkin effectively, you'll need a small, sharp knife, so if you have children, this is something that they should only do under supervision. You can design your own pumpkin, or if you're not feeling too artistic, check out the huge numbers of pumpkin carving designs that are available online – you can print these out and use them as a template for drawing your design onto the pumpkin. Remember to gut the interior of the pumpkin before starting, and you might also find the carving process easier if you cut back the flesh just behind the area you'll be decorating.

Pumpkin Painting

Decorating your pumpkin with paint is a child-friendly alternative to carving, and it's possible to produce some really stunning designs – or if you're not too handy with a paintbrush, you can keep it simple but still effective. You can create more intricate designs with paint than by carving – and if it all goes horribly wrong, you can just paint over it and start again! Try painting ghoulish faces onto your pumpkin, or Halloween motifs, or even an abstract design in spooky colours. You could also paint the surface in a solid colour, and then scrape some of the paint away with a special scraper (or just a spoon or blunt knife) to create a design. As an alternative to using paint, you can create equally attractive pumpkin art with marker pens and felt tips – or basically any medium that will stick to the surface of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Embellishment

There are other ways to decorate pumpkins in addition to painting and carving. You can make any pumpkin into a beautiful Halloween centrepiece by embellishing it with decorative items such as sequins, beads, glitter, ribbons, streamers, pieces of fabric… you get the idea! Embellishments of this type can also be used to further decorate a pumpkin that has already been carved or painted.

Whatever method you use to decorate your pumpkin, you're sure to end up with some beautiful Halloween pumpkins to be proud of!

Buying Pumpkin Decorating Supplies

You can find many of the supplies you'll need for pumpkin decoration in your local craft shops, although if you shop online, there'll be a wider range, and probably cheaper prices too. Remember to shop around, as craft supplies are one type of goods that are often very overpriced – and you'll often find that you can save more by buying in bulk, and then storing your supplies for next Halloween's pumpkin decorating activities (or making a joint purchase with friends).


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      jimmyfds 8 years ago

      Was searching for pumpkin decorating ideas, saw your pumpkin decorating hubpage. Great info on pumpkin decorating!