No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Succulent Vase
Photo: Alison Miksch

There is no doubt that in the South, as soon as the first leaf hits the ground, we all rush to the closest garden center to buy pumpkins for our home. They are the quintessential fall decoration, perfect for displays inside and outside the home. While carving pumpkins is always on our fall bucket list, it is not practical for a carved pumpkin to last throughout the season. With these no-carve pumpkin ideas, you can add a personal touch to your gourds without carving every pumpkin into a classic jack-o-lantern.

01 of 14

Paint It Like Porcelain

Ginger Jar Painted Pumpkin
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Produced by Katie Jacobs

Entertaining expert Katie Jacobs knows blue and white is always on trend. Pick up a faux pumpkin and paint a design inspired by ginger jar patterns to add to your table or covered porch. The great thing about this pumpkin is that it will never go out of style.

02 of 14

Reimagined Botanicals

Dried Leaves and Floral Pumpkins
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Produced by Katie Jacobs

Make the most of heirloom pumpkins with layers of dry-pressed flowers and leaves. "When you carve a pumpkin, you'll get a week out of it, tops," says entertaining expert Katie Jacobs. "But an uncarved one will give you a month for sure, maybe two. Plus, applying Mod Podge glue over the entirety will seal it and help it last even longer."

Wash and dry the pumpkin well. Then use Mod Podge to adhere dry-pressed leaves and flowers in the pattern you pick, starting at the stem and working your way out. (Jacobs chose ginkgo leaves, Apache plumes, and bleached ferns found on She says you can also incorporate leaves from your yard, but you will have to wash them and let them dry out for a few weeks before applying.

03 of 14

Succulent Vase

Succulent Vase
Alison Miksch

For this all-natural look, SL craft guru Buffy Hargett Miller started with a gray-green pumpkin. Pick one with an indented top because the first step will be adding potting soil to fill the hollow around the pumpkin's stem. First, moisten the soil. Then plant various succulents, starting with larger ones like echeverias. Create a lush look and round out the arrangement by filling bare spots with smaller succulents. Remember to moisten the soil before planting.

04 of 14

Dazzling Design

Sequin Pumpkin
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Add some glitter to your pumpkins with an explosion of sequins. Attach your favorite sequins to your pumpkins with glue, and they will catch the light even without a candle. Make a series of pumpkins with different colored sequins or keep a monochromatic look.

05 of 14

Painted Patterns

Painted Pumpkins
Helen Norman

Create elegant indoor pumpkin displays with a bit of gold and black paint. Choose a few pumpkins of different sizes and shapes. Create a different pattern for each pumpkin, but keep the same color scheme to create a cohesive look.

06 of 14

Pumpkin Topiaries

Pumpkin Topiary with Moss
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Rebecca Bull Reed

Enjoy pumpkin topiaries inside and outside of your home. Keep the stack around two or three pumpkins and vary the colors. You can place them on an urn or stand alone. Once you're happy with your stack, fill the holes with moss.

07 of 14

Milk Glass Design

Milk Glass Pumpkins
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

If you're a fan of vintage milk glass, extend that love to your pumpkins. Use puffy paint and some white spray paint to get the look. These white pumpkins add sophistication to a design, which can incorporate into existing decor or be the base to build something new.

08 of 14

Fresh Flowers

Pretty Pumpkins
Helen Norman

If you have a festive celebration coming up, go for an impressive and unique centerpiece by covering pumpkins with mums. While this design does involve puncturing the pumpkin enough to stick in the stems, we think it is worth it. You can cover the pumpkin entirely with pretty mums or group them in bunches.

09 of 14

Golden Gourds

Golden Gourds
Alison Miksch

This luxe look begins with paint. Start by spray-painting a small pumpkin gold and a larger pumpkin a creamy shade of white. Apply gold leaves to the larger pumpkin for a more formal and dramatic effect. To create a seasonal arrangement for a sideboard, add nandina berries to the tops of both pumpkins and surround the duo with pinecones spray-painted gold.

10 of 14

Fall Leaves

No-Carve Leafy Pumpkin
Southern Living

If you're all about fall, glue some colorful leaves to your pumpkin. The contrast against a white pumpkin is impressive, but any shade would do. This decorating idea is an inexpensive option because as soon as trees start changing their leaves, you have a supply of colorful leaves at your disposal.

11 of 14

Etched Decor

Assemble a Personal Pumpkin Patch
Helen Norman

Etch your house number, monogram, or a simple pattern into your pumpkins to add a personal touch to your front porch display. Try using a stencil to guide your design.

12 of 14

Fancy Tape Fun

Cute No-Carve Pumpkins
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Craft stores have a large selection of different pattern tape designs. We used metallic washi tape for this elegant display. Using white pumpkins creates a neutral base to arrange a sparkling design.

13 of 14

Tack Design

Tack Pumpkins
Helen Norman

Upholstery tacks in different shapes and sizes instantly dress up a plain white pumpkin. Make sure to mark your pattern with a pen or marker before diving into your design. After planning, gently tap in your tacks. Vary the size and shape for even more interest.

14 of 14

Decoupage Pumpkin

Decoupage Pumpkins
Laurey W. Glenn; Stylist: Buffy Hargett Miller

This pumpkin decorating technique is the perfect weekend activity for little hands. Tear up paper in some of your favorite shades and decoupage a faux pumpkin in a design to your liking.

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