Easy No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Kids

Put down the carving knife! Get into the spooky Halloween spirit with these no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas, just right for little helping hands.

no carve peaking eyes with glasses pumpkin
Photo: Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh
01 of 26

Mr. Peepers

no carve peaking eyes with glasses pumpkin
Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

What You Need:

  • 1 large orange pumpkin (at least 25-in. diameter)
  • Small paintbrush
  • Black acrylic paint
  • 2 Ping-Pong balls
  • Patterned scrapbook paper (easier option: kid-size sunglasses)
  • Hot-glue gun
  • 1 6-in. white pumpkin
  • Newspaper
  • 4 wooden skewers

How to Make It: Slice 2 to 3 in. off top of large pumpkin and set aside. Scoop out inside of pumpkin. Paint a dot of black paint onto Ping-Pong balls to make eyes. Draw an outline of glasses frames on scrapbook paper and cut out, then hot-glue eyes to cut-out and glue to smaller pumpkin. (Or pop out sunglasses' lenses, hot-glue eyes to glasses, and hot-glue frames to smaller pumpkin.) Place smaller pumpkin, supported by balled-up newspaper, inside larger one. Insert skewers into rind of larger pumpkin to prop up its top.

02 of 26

Creepy Crawlies

no carve little bug pumpkins with warts
Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

What You Need:

  • Black ball-head pins
  • White 1/2-in. pom-poms
  • Screwdriver
  • Miniature gourds
  • Chenille stems
  • Small black beads
  • Paper straws

How to Make It: Stick ball-head pins into pom-poms to make eyes. With screwdriver, poke small holes into gourds and insert chenille stems for legs (and/or wings). Slip beads over the ends of the legs to make feet. For a different look for the legs (as shown at far left), slip paper straws over the chenille stems.

03 of 26

Cyclops Twins

no carve painted cyclops holding eyeball pumpkin
Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

What You Need:

  • Small paintbrush
  • Acrylic paint
  • 1 6-in.-diameter pumpkin
  • White balloon
  • 2 3-in. spools
  • 2 wooden ice-cream spoons
  • 2 small cardboard triangles
  • Wooden skewer
  • Screwdriver
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Glue Dots

How to Make It: Paint a giant eyeball on the pumpkin and the white balloon inflated to about 4-in. diameter. Paint spools, spoons, cardboard triangles, and skewer with black paint. With screwdriver, dig two shallow holes in bottom of pumpkin to fit spools as legs. Hot-glue spoons on the sides for arms and cardboard triangles to the top for ears. Attach the end of the skewer to the balloon knot using Glue Dots and hot-glue the other end to one arm.

04 of 26

Beak-a-Boo

no carve birds with feathers pumpkins
Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

What You Need:

  • 4 disposable wineglasses with detachable stems
  • Small paintbrush
  • Black and yellow acrylic paint
  • 2 miniature pumpkins
  • Screwdriver
  • 6 cupcake liners in black and/or white
  • Glue Dots
  • Black and/or white feathers
  • 4 black 1/2-in. pom-poms

How to Make It: Pop stems off glasses. Paint stems black for legs and add yellow claws on bases. Position pumpkins so stems form beaks. With screwdriver, dig two small holes in each pumpkin and insert legs. Fold cupcake liners into quarters; using Glue Dots, glue to tops and sides of pumpkins. Glue feathers between liner layers. Glue on pom-poms for eyes.

05 of 26

The Odd Couple

no carve crazy yarn hair couple pumpkins
Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh

What You Need:

  • Small paintbrush
  • Acrylic paint
  • 2 medium pumpkins
  • T-pins
  • 3 skeins of yarn
  • Wooden skewers
  • Thin wire

How to Make It: Paint faces on pumpkins. To make the messy hair (left), use T-pins to attach an unwound skein of yarn onto the top of a pumpkin. Tug and pull 8 to 10 strands at random to make it look unruly. To make the stand-up hair (right), cut 6 looped bundles of yarn, about 8 in. long, and hide a skewer in the middle of each bundle. Spiral-wrap thin wire around each bundle, securing wire at the bottom. Insert the hair-bundle skewers into the top of the pumpkin.

06 of 26

Sugar Skull

No Carve Pumpkin Sugar Skull
Dane Tashima

For the next few designs, we used small pumpkins measuring about 6 to 8 inches tall. At the store and in the pumpkin patch, the orange ones are often labeled "sugar" and the white ones "snowball."

How to Make It: For the eyes, nose, and mouth, stick black duct tape onto wax paper, cut out shapes, and peel off the wax paper to stick on. Use round ½-inch and 1-inch office stickers to make flower shapes and decorative borders.

07 of 26

Dracula

No Carve Pumpkin Dracula
Dane Tashima

How to Make It: First, paint the pumpkin green with acrylic paint; let dry overnight. Stick pieces of black, red, white and green duct tape onto wax paper, and then cut out facial features. Remove wax paper and stick on.

08 of 26

Superhero

No Carve Pumpkin Superhero
Dane Tashima

How to Make It: Cut features from craft foam; attach with glue. Stick googly eyes inside the eyeholes of the mask. Make two small holes on either side of a foam mask and thread elastic cord through, knotting the ends.

09 of 26

Goldfish

No Carve Pumpkin Goldfish
Dane Tashima

How to Make It: To make fins, fold full-size orange cupcake liners in half. Stick giant wiggle eyes ($8.00 for four) inside mini cupcake liners for fun fish eyes, and attach these and all other features with Glue Dots. Pinch edges of a mini cupcake liner on either side to form lips.

10 of 26

Clown

No Carve Pumpkin Clown
Dane Tashima

How to Make It: Use Glue Dots to attach all features, including pom-pom hair and nose. Place pink circle stickers for cheeks. Cut a paper party hat down to pumpkin size and stick on pom-poms with Glue Dots. Fold a paper napkin accordion style and wrap with a strip of napkin for the bow tie. To create the collar, open a 6-inch white paper party fan and set the pumpkin on top.

11 of 26

Pineapple

No Carve Pumpkin Pineapple
Dane Tashima

How to Make It: Stick two sheets of green glitter adhesive foam together. Cut pointed leaf-like shapes from the doubled-up foam; then roll around stem and glue into place. First, paint pumpkin yellow with acrylic paint; let dry. Cut pink circle stickers in half for the mouth and stick on googly eyes. Draw upside-down V's with the gold paint pen all over pumpkin.

12 of 26

Tinsel Monster

No Carve Pumpkin Tinsel Monster
Dane Tashima

How to Make It: Cut a hole in the center of a tinsel wig ($4) for the stem to fit through. With wig in place, give your monster a haircut. Make Ping-Pong balls into eyes by adding cut-in-half cupcake liners for eyelids and round stickers for pupils. Stick on with Glue Dots. For teeth, cut out and stick on white craft foam.

13 of 26

Lion

No Carve Pumpkin Lion
Dane Tashima

How to Make It: Cut the lion's facial features out of colored felt, and stick them and all other features on with Glue Dots. For the mane, wrap orange fringed paper festooning (Beistle Packaged Tissue Festooning, $7 for 25 feet) three times around the pumpkin. Use a 1-inch foam pouncer to paint two pink circles for cheeks. Paint white stripes on a red cardboard bowl to make a circus podium.

14 of 26

Pom-Pom Pumpkin

Pom-Pom No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas
Dane Tashima 

How to Make It: Attach ¼- to ½-inch pom-poms to pumpkins using tacky glue (like Aileen's Original). For a surprise, slice off the top fifth of a pumpkin, scoop out the insides, and prop it open with toothpicks in the back. Glue small black pom-poms to large white ones for eyes. For a moon or a ghost, first paint your design with acrylic paint. Let dry, then glue on the pom-poms in a tight configuration.

15 of 26

Pumpkin Peepers

Girl on porch holding pumpkin with eyes
Tara Donne

How to Make It: Have your child cut her desired shape out of craft foam using scissors or circle punches in assorted sizes. Then assemble them on the pumpkins using glue dots. Just be warned: Those eyes will be watching you!

16 of 26

Tightly Wound

Mummy Pumpkin
Jonny Valiant

How to Make It: Turn pumpkins into mummies by wrapping them in white crepe-paper streamers and then gluing on pom-pom eyes.

17 of 26

Kooky Caterpillar

Pumpkin caterpillar craft
Tara Donne

How to Make It: Start with a variety of mini pumpkins and break off the stems. Use toothpicks to connect them and paint on eyes and a sly smile.

18 of 26

Lashes and 'Staches

Pumpkins with cardstock
Photograph by Ronald Andren

How to Make It: Use double-sided tape to attach cutout card stock eyelashes and a mustache. You might try eyebrows, sideburns, or a goatee instead. Use craft foam instead of paper if your pumpkins will be displayed in an uncovered area.

19 of 26

Freaky Streaks

Streaked Pumpkins
Jonny Valiant

Kids will adore dripping a few coats of brightly colored paint over round pumpkins.

20 of 26

Masked Cat and Puppy Pumpkins

Masked Pumpkins
Alexandra Grablewski

Adorn your tabletop with one of our pet projects: a pair of trick-or-treating pumpkins. Trace a mask shape (templates available for download, below) onto a sheet of stiff felt and trace the accompanying elements onto adhesive-backed felt; cut out and assemble the pieces. To ensure the mask stays in place, adhere two adhesive-backed Velcro coins to the back of the mask, by the eyes. Place the corresponding coins on top and remove the backing. Press the mask onto the pumpkin. Use glue dots to attach googly eyes. For the dog, add a pom-pom nose; for the cat, attach embroidery-thread whiskers.

21 of 26

Goodnight Moon

Pumpkin with moon face
Tara Donne

A large white pumpkin plays the part of la lune. Recreate the classic man-in-the-moon look with a simple line drawing.

22 of 26

Disco Fever

Disco Fever
Laura Moss

Get groovy with a mirror-ball pumpkin. Lay strips of metallic silver duct tape onto parchment paper, then cut the tape into squares. Peel off the parchment paper backing, and stick the metallic tape squares directly onto your pumpkin.

23 of 26

Spiderweb Pumpkin

Spider Web Pumpkin
Jonny Valiant

Make a well-spun web out of black brads and yarn. Press brads into the side of your pumpkin to make a spiral design. Then tie a piece of yarn around the center brad and wrap around outer brad; knot and cut excess. Repeat for each brad on the outer ring of the spiral to create pie chart-shape. Complete the web by tying yarn around the center brad and weaving it around the spiral design; knot to secure. Attach a plastic spider on top with glue for the finishing touch.

24 of 26

Brad New

Brad New
Laura Moss

This design couldn't be easier: just press a pattern of scrapbooking brads onto your pumpkins

25 of 26

Polka-Dot Pumpkin

Polka-Dot Pumpkin
Jim Franco

This polka-dot pumpkin requires no clean-up. All you need for this craft are colorful gems and some craft glue or glue dots. Place the glue in a random pattern on the pumpkin and then stick the gems on for an instant pumpkin makeover.

26 of 26

Tricked Out

Candy Pumpkin Faces
Jonny Valiant

Treat a family of pumpkins to these seriously sweet faces. Use hot glue to attach classic candies, like licorice swirls, candy corn, and jelly beans, in the shape of facial features.

Additional reporting by Amanda Kingloff
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