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5 Ways to Decorate Pumpkins
Want the coolest jack-o-lantern on the block this Halloween? There are lots of ways to create an eye-catching pumpkin. Take a look at our guide to get tips on different ways to decorate your pumpkin so your final product will be the talk of the town this Halloween!

Carving is the traditional method of creating a jack-o-lantern: just carve a hole around the top of the pumpkin, scoop out the insides, and carve a face or other spooky image on the side! You don’t have to be an artist to end up with a great pumpkin; you can buy a book of patterns, or find one online and print it off to create your own stencil. It’s important to have the right tools for sawing and scooping--if you’re attempting a more complicated design look for tools that will help you shave, score, and pull out delicate pieces without breaking them.
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If you’re not excited about wielding knives or handling pumpkin guts, painting your pumpkin is the way to go. With spray paint and a stencil, painting a spooky scene onto your pumpkin is quick and easy. You can also use painting tape to create a pattern, like stripes or chevron, then paint over it and remove the tape so the pattern is left behind. Use watercolors over a white base coat for an impressionistic feel, or cover your pumpkin in chalkboard paint and do some fun lettering in chalk. You can also use puff paint to embellish your pumpkin, and use it to stick on sequins and rhinestones to add some sparkle. Just make sure to use waterproof paint if your finished product will be staying outdoors!
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Using Mod Podge, collage gel, or varnish, you can cover your pumpkin with festive fall fabric, scrapbook paper, ribbon, and more. Try collaging pressed leaves onto your pumpkin for a natural harvest look, or use doilies or lace for a fun gothic vibe. You can use old-timey newspapers, magazine clippings, or even spooky photos to create your own pumpkin collage. With this method, you might want to consider using an artificial pumpkin instead of a real one—that way, you can keep your creation for future Halloweens!
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Decals are a quick and mess-free decorating option. Most vinyl decals will stick on a pumpkin, so you can use anything from wall decals to window clings that come in fun fall patterns. You can also cut your own decals from adhesive vinyl, or use patterned washi tape to liven up those pumpkins sitting outside the door.
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If you've got a great idea for a pumpkin but you're not sure how to make it work on a sphere, try push-ins. You can find store-bought versions of popular characters, or create your own 3D adornments with wooden dowels and felt or paper to make eyes, ears, and more for your pumpkin. You can also push thumbtacks or even nails into your pumpkin to spell out words or create a pattern with lots of texture. For a fun lite-brite effect, try drilling holes into your pumpkin in a desired shape, then stick a strand of string lights inside and push the lights through the holes.
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