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Cool Pumpkins without Carving

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Here in North Carolina the weather is FINALLY starting to feel a little like fall. And just in time too, because Halloween is on its way! To get ready, I got to join Colleen and Eugene on Charlotte Today and talk about cool ways to decorate pumpkins without carving them. Any of these would be perfect to do with your kids who might be too young to use the knife, or too grossed out by the pumpkin guts to stick with it.

Check out the video to see the pumpkins I created. I’ll share some DIY details below.


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As I explain in the video, I decided to start by spray painting all my pumpkins. This had a dramatic effect right off the bat and was super easy to do. Each pumpkin really only needs a couple of coats because you’re not looking for perfect, long-lasting results. You just need these to look good for a couple of weeks. Have fun with color! Experiment with tape, doilies, stickers, leaves, you name it.

Here are a couple other notes:

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The tissue-paper pumpkin was really as easy as I explained. Figure out ahead of time what kind of pattern or design you want to create and cut out all your tissue paper. Once you start Mod-Podging, you don’t want to have to stop and cut more out because your fingers will be all sticky!

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The sticker pumpkin was a lot of fun to create. I order stickers from In Stock Labels. They have thousands of different stickers in different colors, shapes, and sizes. And they offer bulk discounts, which I take advantage of. The great thing about stickers is there’s really no wrong way to do it. This project works for even the youngest kids. As long as they can put a sticker on the pumpkin, they’ll enjoy this project. But it’s fun for adults too.

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When I talked about the speckled pumpkin in the video, the word I was looking for was pottery or enamel. Not porcelain. Sometimes my brain lags behind my mouth when I’m live on the air. Anyway, when I began this pumpkin I didn’t know how it would turn out. You would probably get lots of different results depending on the type of paint you use for the base coat. I used flat spray paint, but it repelled the watercolor anyway. Still, I loved the result and just left it to dry overnight. As soon as it got a glossy top coat, it looked like something that was made from clay. I would love to experiment more with this method and try different paints for the base coat to see how the results vary.

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The big dipper pumpkin was super easy considering how amazing it looks. First I cut out the top of the pumpkin and scooped out the seeds and guts. I printed out a simple picture of the big dipper at the right size for my pumpkin face and used that as a template for drilling the big holes. Then I drilled tiny holes all over. After that I cleaned it off and spray painted it black. I would love to see a whole bunch of constellation pumpkins lined up on a wall. I think it would look amazing!

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To create the tiny pumpkins, I spray painted some black and some silver. Then using the opposite color Sharpie, I drew lines following the grooves of the pumpkin and then connected them with zig-zags.

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Last but not least, the emoji pumpkins, which we didn’t get to discuss in the segment. I bought 3 foam pumpkins at the dollar store and painted them yellow. Then I printed out enlarged emoji faces and cut them out of paper (I actually tweaked them in Adobe Illustrator, but you don’t have to do that). I glued the faces on using spray mount. They’re so cute, I want to make more!

And that’s it!

My street gets thousands of trick-or-treaters each year, and we put a lot of effort into decorating our house, so I’m excited to already have my pumpkins created. Now we can focus on the rest of the house! Do you get a lot of trick-or-treaters where you live? If you decided to step away from the screen and create pumpkins (carved or otherwise), I hope you’ll share them with us! Tag them with #stepawayfromthescreen on Instagram, or post them to our Facebook page!