7 Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

For many families pumpkin carving is an annual fall tradition. However, the mess and use of sharp cutting tools can be a deterrent for parents of young ones. Skip the hassle of carving with these alternative ideas for decorating pumpkins with your kids.

Before decorating your pumpkin, make sure you give it a good cleaning! Grab a baby wipe or damp paper towel and thoroughly wipe it down and let it dry before getting started.

1. Stickers

The easiest, cleanest option for pumpkin decorating comes in the form of stickers. Nowadays you can find a wide variety of fun, Halloween themed stickers in a myriad of textures, shapes, and sizes. You can even buy stickers made specifically for decorating pumpkins like these foam face stickers. We recommend foam stickers because they are easy for little hands to peel off and conform nicely to the round shape of a pumpkin.

2. Paint

When it comes to using paint on your pumpkin, the options are endless. One idea is to use painter’s tape to tape off stripes, a special design or a word and then let your child go crazy with the paint. Once it dries, carefully peel off the tape. You can also use black paint to design a jack-o-lantern face. Another fun option for kids is puffy paint! Grab an assortment of bright colors (like this set of 11 colors by Darice) and let their imagination run wild.  Don’t forget to grab some glow-in-the-dark paint, too!

While it’s not necessary, you may want to consider using a clear sealant (like Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating Spray) on your pumpkin before painting. It will help the paint adhere better. Once your pumpkin is completely finished, you can add another coat on top to seal in the color.

3. Pumpkin Potato Head

If you have a classic Mr. Potato Head in your home, you can go ahead and stick his parts right in to a pumpkin! Or, believe it or not, there are body parts made specifically for pumpkin decorating! Check out these options that your kids are guaranteed to get a kick out of:

4. Decorative Tape

With decorative tape all the rage these days, it’s easy to find wherever you go. Grab some fun fall colors or patterns (we love the variety of fall washi tape by Doodlebug) and add some pizazz to your pumpkin! You can help your child write “BOO!” in tape or create a chevron or plaid pattern on their pumpkin. Electrical tape (which comes in several colors) is also a great option for decorating pumpkins since it has a little bit of stretch to it.

5. Glitter

Maybe the thought of giving your child glitter gives you anxiety, but it sure makes for a pretty pumpkin! Glitter can be added to wet paint or to glue. Just make sure you lay out a lot of newspaper and have the vacuum handy. One Idea: Print off some pumpkin carving stencils (Pumpkin Masters has lots of free printables!), but instead of cutting out the shapes in your pumpkin paint on some glue and add glitter!

6. Buttons, Cotton Balls, Sequins, Oh My!

Take a trip to your local craft store and stock up on jewels, buttons, colorful cotton balls, and sequins. Using a low heat glue gun, encourage your child to decorate their pumpkin any way they choose. You are guaranteed to end up with a one-of-a-kind pumpkin that your child will be proud of. Of course, these items can easily be incorporated with any of the above ideas as well.

7. Decoupage

If you don’t know what decoupage is, it is the art of layering paper, fabric, or other like items on a surface and sealing it with a clear varnish. In terms of decoupaging a pumpkin, we recommend using matte Mod Podge and a foam brush to glue down your object of choice and then once dry, covering the entire pumpkin in 1-2 coats of the Mod Podge. Here are some pumpkin decoupage ideas:

  • Pieces of brightly colored tissue paper to create a stained glass effect
  • Fallen leaves from outside
  • Halloween printed fabric cut in shapes to create a jack-o-lantern face
Now that you’ve got some creative pumpkins to decorate with, check out our other tips on Decorating for Fall.

Photo Credit: Dreams To Do

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Ariel

Ariel is a recently turned stay-at-home momma of three little ones to her high school sweetheart. When she isn’t busy playing with her young kiddos (or running around frantically), you can find her writing on her personal blog, Dreams To Do. Ariel is a lover of inspirational words, photography, coffee, reality TV, and of course, her family. You can connect with Ariel on Twitter and Facebook.

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