Decorating Pumpkins 101

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Let’s be real—the best part about Halloween is decorating pumpkins. It’s something we did as kids with our friends and family, and something we still enjoy doing today—minus the messy carving. In cramped dorm rooms and small apartments, there isn’t much practicality in covering your floors in garbage bags and carving a ten-pound pumpkin, only for it to go bad in a few days. As crafty college students on a budget, there are much better ways to decorate a pumpkin.


You may be wondering how creative you can get with paint, but I assure you there are plenty of possibilities. You could use pastel colors, create a chevron pattern, try your hand at ombré, decorate with glitter, or for a fun surprise—use glow-in-the-dark paint! For an even fancier pumpkin, paint it using metallic gold or silver.

Candy Wasson, owner of the Wasson Farm Market in State College, gave Valley a helpful tip.

 “If we paint pumpkins, or use glitter as decoration, we spray them with a clear coat to preserve for longevity because of the warm indoor temperatures,” she says.

Fabric, paper, and tape

They may not be your typical pumpkin decorating supplies, but you’d be surprised. Try taking strips of fabric, whether solid or patterned, and place them on your pumpkin. You can get the same effect using strips of colored or metallic tape. Or, for an even cooler look, take white paper doilies, paint them black, and use them on your pumpkin to craft a design all your own!


If you want your pumpkin to sparkle and shimmer, try using rhinestones, sequins, confetti, or silver tacks. You can create a pattern, mix and match, or cover your whole pumpkin! We recommend using a white pumpkin for best results. 

Melted crayons

We promise that all of your friends will be jealous of this idea, plus, they’ll never know how easy it was to make! Start with a white pumpkin, unwrap a box of crayons, cut them in half, and glue about 16 crayon pieces to the pumpkin using tacky glue. After the glue has dried, use a hair dryer to melt the crayons—and voilà!


Yes, fishnets. Weird? Yes. You’ve probably never heard of such a thing, but we guarantee it’s the trendiest way you’ll ever decorate a pumpkin. You can use any type of patterned fishnet or stocking, but lace is the best. Pull the fabric over the pumpkin, poke the stem through the top, tie a knot at the bottom, and snip off the extra cloth. Finish off your pumpkin by painting the stem black!

Whichever way you choose to decorate your pumpkin, there are endless possibilities to creating something stylish, chic, and on a budget! What’s your favorite way to decorate a pumpkin? Tell us in the comments!


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