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No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas

Updated on October 13, 2013

No-Carve Pumpkins Last Longer And Are Easy for Kids to Create

Carving pumpkins is a fun Halloween tradition, but it takes a bit of time and skill to create a great-looking jack-o-lantern. These no-carve pumpkin ideas are quick, fun and easy. If you have young kids who aren't old enough to carve (or don't like the goopy pumpkin guts), these ideas will allow them to participate in the fun of making jack-o-lanterns without requiring fine motor skills they haven't yet developed. As an added bonus, these pumpkin creations will last longer than carved pumpkins because you're cutting out large sections of the pumpkin and exposing it to the elements. Have fun!

(Image of Mr. Potato Head vampire provided by BuyCostumes)

Make a Pumpkin Skeleton - Add a pumpkin head for a fun no-carve idea

Here's one of the easiest projects possible for little kids. Simply let them use marker pens or paints to create a face on your pumpkin. If possible, choose a white pumpkin instead of an orange one to give it even more of a "skeleton" look.

Then stick your child's creation on top a stand made to look like a skeleton. You can buy one like the stand shown here, or you can make your own stand with materials around the house. A cardboard box painted black or covered with black paper will work great. Then paint a white skeleton on it or attach a skeleton cutout from the store.

You'll have a great no-carve pumpkin decoration for Halloween in minutes. It's quick, easy and kids will love it!

no-carve pumpkin bats
no-carve pumpkin bats

Create Pumpkin Bats

Simple project with paint and foam board

Kids will love these spooky pumpkin bats. CafeMom shared this project back in 2009, and it's easy enough for most kids, although they'll need some help with the wings.

To make bats like the ones shown here, get some black spray paint and coat the entire pumpkin. You can use black foam board or regular cardboard for the wings. If you're using cardboard, spray with black paint and allow it to dry. Then cut a slit in the side of the pumpkin and insert the wings.

Finally, use some silver or white paint to create eyes and a mouth. Or for even more fun, use glow-in-the-dark paints to give your bats an eerie look!

(Photo by Lisa Howard)

Make a Mr Potato Head Pumpkin - Just push in the pieces to create great no-carve pumpkins

This is another super simple one for kids. After all, what could be easier than creating a great-looking no-carve pumpkin with Mr. Potato Head pieces? These sets come with pieces that push into your pumpkin, making it easy for small kids to create their own jack-o-lantern if they're not old enough yet to draw a picture or carve a pumpkin. Choose a set to create a no-carve pumpkin vampire, pirate, skeleton or witch for Halloween.

Kids Love No-Carve Projects!

(photo by Lisa Howard)
(photo by Lisa Howard)

How to Make a Glow-in-the-Dark Pumpkin - Easy no-carve pumpkin glows in the dark

This video explains how to make an easy glow-in-the-dark pumpkin using a powder you sprinkle on. Very simple! You could also use glow-in-the-dark paint.

Paint Your Pumpkin - Create a jack-o-lantern that lasts longer

For kids, painting or drawing on a pumpkin is often easier, safer and quicker than carving. These creations will also last longer since they're not carved. An easy way to make no-carve jack-o-lanterns is to use marker pens or non-toxic paints to create your own designs. (Don't use water colors or your paint will run in the rain!) To make fancy designs, cut out the carved areas of a printed pumpkin carving template and use it as a mask for painting your jack-o-lantern.

Glow-in-the-Dark Pumpkin Powder - Available in several colors

This works great for creating a glow-in-the-dark pumpkin.

Make an Elmo Vampire - Great fun for little kids

Preschoolers will love this kit that will turn any pumpkin into a silly Elmo vampire. Simply push the pieces into the pumpkin to create a Halloween version of this beloved Sesame Street character.

Paper Magic Group Spooky Home Decor, Pumpkin Push-In, Sesame Street Elmo
Paper Magic Group Spooky Home Decor, Pumpkin Push-In, Sesame Street Elmo
Product description: * Dress your pumpkin up like Sesame Street's Elmo * Set of 4 parts * Officially licensed Sesame Street accessory

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More No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas - Examples with photos of other projects to create

These pages have examples of no-carve pumpkins you can create at home and provide photos and instructions.

Which Do You Prefer - Carved or No-Carve Pumpkins?

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    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I thought I recognized Elmo's cute little face peeking out of this Halloween pumpkin lens. He's one of my favorite little characters so you have my heart. Carve-less pumpkin it is.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I prefer carved pumpkins, mostly because I love to eat the fresh pumpkin I find inside! However, I really like this idea of a no-carve pumpkin too!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      8 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I like carved ones but these are great too! Love the Mr. Potato Head idea. Fun stuff!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      8 years ago from Texas

      What great ideas! I like to carve pumpkins, although I'm not very good at it! This is probably what I need to have a good looking jack-o-lantern! Thanks for the tips!


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