Classy Decorating Using Pumpkins

Studio 5 Party, Holiday and Idea Contributor Alisa Bangerter puts a creative twist on a popular Halloween tradition.

Pumpkins are wonderful items to decorate with. You can use them in many beautiful and classy ways to add décor inside or out. Use pumpkins as they are naturally or alter them in ways that can be stunning.

The following ideas can be used on real pumpkins or foam craft pumpkins found at craft stores. Also pumpkins (and gourds) come in many varieties, shapes, sizes and colors that will all create different looks – so be creative!

• Spray paint pumpkins:
Metallic spray paint is gorgeous and looks lovely when several pumpkins with various metallic colors are grouped together. Adding wired bows to the stems adds extra elegance. Makes a stunning porch or table display. Try copper, gold, silver or bronze color. (Make sure to tape stem before spraying and then remove tape to keep stem natural color if desired.) Other colors such as black, green, white, tan, purple, etc. can be fun.

• Unique spray paint:
Use a unique or texture paint to spray pumpkins. Spray pumpkins with webbing spray (looks like a spider web), glitter spray, chalkboard or marble spray. Krylon makes a fun variety of paint, check out your local craft store for unique options.

• Spray a masked image:
Place small die cuts, letter stickers, pressed leaves, doilies, net, or any type of stencil or mask on a pumpkin. Lightly spray paint over item and then remove. This will create a masked image. Use several types of paint for a cool effect.

• Etched pumpkins:
Spray a pumpkin with paint. Black works well with this technique. Let dry. Use a sharp knife or skewer or linoleum cutter to scrape patterns in the flesh removing the paint and revealing the pumpkin underneath. This looks beautiful with swirl shapes.

• Glue texture:
Create a unique pumpkin by drizzling the top of the pumpkin with hot glue. Let dry and then spray paint. An option would be to glue any type of item (silk flowers, scrunched paper, yarns, etc.) to a pumpkin and then completely spray the pumpkin with paint.

• Glitter pumpkins:
One of the easiest of most stunning ways to decorate pumpkins is to glitter them. Brush pumpkin with glue or Mod Podge or spray with spray adhesive. Sprinkle glitter over entire pumpkin and shake off excess. Mix several colors of glitter for a cool effect. If you only want to add a small amount of accent glitter, paint the pumpkin first.

• Mod Podge pumpkin:
Mod Podge onto pumpkin torn pieces of scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, paper napkins, pressed leaves, photos, etc.

• Embellish pumpkin:
Glue jewels, sequins, buttons, rhinestone swirls, appliqués, yarn, fibers, ribbons, etc. Beautiful push pins, upholstery tacks or brads can be inserted into a pumpkin as well.
Scrapbooking or craft stores have a huge assortment of items that would be lovely on pumpkins.

• Add metal leaves:
Cut metal leaves and add to a pumpkin. Sheets of copper, and other thin metals are available at craft store as well as metal working tools. Ten Seconds Studio has great metal working tools and tutorials:

• Stamped pumpkins:
Stamp designs on pumpkins using permanent ink (such as StazOn by Tsukineko). Swirls, damask, etc. look cool.

• Add a bow and bling:
Tie a bow around the stem of a pumpkin and add a rhinestone or antique jewelry pin to the center of the bow. Wide wired ribbon is beautiful. A tassel is beautiful draped around a pumpkin as well.

• Add letters or numbers:
Use rub-on or vinyl letters or shapes on pumpkins. Carve beautiful script initials or a monogram representing your family in a pumpkin and place on your porch. Another option would be to carve your house number on a pumpkin(s) and place stacked on your porch or in a planter.

• Lighted pumpkin:
Carve a pumpkin from bottom and hollow it out. Use a drill to drill small (or large) holes in a pumpkin in design desired. Insert a strand of Christmas lights in the pumpkin and poke each individual bulb through a hole in the pumpkin. This creates a beautiful lighted pumpkin. An option would be to place clear glass marbles in each hole and place a light inside so the marbles glow when the pumpkin is lit. This looks neat when the pumpkin is sprayed with metallic paint.

• Simple elevated displays:
Place pumpkins on candle sticks, vases, urns, pedestal plates, etc. Sometimes simply turning items over or upside down can create beautiful holders for pumpkins. Remember that old candlesticks, urns, pots etc. can be spray painted to coordinate with your décor. (Look around your home and you might be amazed at all the items that could be used.) A beautiful option is to simply place a variety of pumpkins on several stacked pedestal plates. This is simple but beautiful and makes a dramatic piece in an entryway or on a table.

• Pumpkin candle holders:
Simply cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin and insert candle. Use a variety of pumpkin sizes, shapes and colors and a variety of colors. These looks great on a mantle or as a table centerpiece. Another option would be to place small pumpkin(s) in the bottom of a large glass vase. Place candy, small stones, etc. around pumpkin if desired. Insert candles. Group together.

• Hanging candle holders:
Cut the top off small or tiny pumpkins and hollow out a place large enough to place a votive or small candle. Use a skewer to poke three holes spaced evenly around the top. Thread wire through the holes and twist. Hang these outside on a porch or trees or from a lighting fixture inside. Use battery operated candles for safety.

• Pumpkin serving tray:
Use pumpkins as part of a tiered serving tray. Cut the top off a pumpkin so it is flat. Place a large platter or serving tray on it. Cut and stack more pumpkins and trays as long as they are stable. Use to serve light foods or snacks.

• Floral pumpkin:
Use a power drill to drill holes around a pumpkin. Place a piece of wet floral foam inside the pumpkin. In each hole insert a flower mum head, covering the entire pumpkin. Add some berries, leaves or bow at the top. Set on a pedestal plate for a stunning presentation.

• Pumpkin vase or basket:
Hollow out a pumpkin and fill with water. Insert a flower arrangement. Pumpkin can also be carved into a basket by leaving a handle. Another option to this would be to not add water but a piece of foam. Insert long swirled candy lollipops, candy sticks, old silverware or any other cool item(s) you want coming out of a pumpkin.

• Stacked pumpkins:
Cut the top off a pumpkin and hollow out. Nestle a whole smaller pumpkin in the top of the larger pumpkin. Insert leaves, berries, etc. where the pumpkins meet. To make a pumpkin topiary, insert a strong dowel in a large pumpkin and place a smaller one on top of the dowel. Decorate with flowers, leaves, ribbons, etc.

• Simple centerpiece:
Set a pumpkin in the middle of a grapevine or foam wreath. Decorate the wreath with flowers, leaves, etc. Use the pumpkin as is or hollow out for a serving piece for soup or as a punchbowl or use as a vase.

• Outdoor décor:
When using pumpkins as décor in the outdoors, place them in old wheelbarrows, baskets, planters, bird cages, bird baths, wood boxes, on old chairs, etc. Just a pile of pumpkins on a porch looks lovely. (A pile of pumpkins spilling out of an unused fireplace is stunning as décor inside.) A beautiful and simple way to decorate with pumpkins outdoors is to simply line a walkway, fence line, driveway, etc. with pumpkins.

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