18 No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas to Spark Fall Creativity

If you're looking for a way to decorate pumpkins without getting guts everywhere, you'll fall for these no-carve pumpkin ideas.

Published September 12, 2023

We love a cute or spooky pumpkin decoration, but we don’t always love the mess carving them makes. If you want a pumpkin decorating project that doesn't leave behind a pile of pumpkin guts, these no-carve pumpkin ideas are the way to go.

Whether you want a kid-friendly pumpkin project for Halloween or a simple pumpkin decoration for fall, these no-carve pumpkins get the job done with minimal cleanup. 

Letter Stencils Are Spookily Simple


Beautiful script painted on your pumpkins makes a lovely decoration from early fall up until Thanksgiving. This one is also easy, so kids can join in.


  • Pumpkins
  • Your paint of choice (acyrlic paint or other art paints work well)
  • Paint brushes
  • Letter or word stencils
  • Push pins or tacks


  1. Clean your pumpkins from any dirt or debris.
  2. Secure your stencil with push pins or tacks.
  3. Paint along the stencil, allowing the paint to dry between coats.
  4. Remove the pins and stencil to reveal stylish script on your pumpkins.

Markers Make Decorating Pumpkins Easy


This might be the easiest and least messy way to decorate a pumpkin. Kids of almost any age can join in, because all you need are markers and an imagination.

If you have artistic abilities, this pumpkin project will be extra-simple for you. Even if you aren't a skilled sketch artist, you can still get creative and draw cute or spooky pictures on your fall pumpkins.

Bedazzled Pumpkins Bring the Glamour


Does your Halloween aesthetic lean more toward glamour than ghouls? This easy pumpkin decoration is for you! All you really need are a few rhinestone stickers and your own personal style, but we love this blingy pumpkin tutorial from Setting for Four. 

Quick Tip

For extra style points, you can also paint the pumpkins before you plan your rhinestone layout. 

Spray Paint Your Pumpkins


So this pumpkin decorating idea might make a bit of a mess, but it's still better than all that carving work. Spray painting your pumpkins from top to bottom in a bold, glossy paint helps them pop from your porch all season long. You'll definitely want to do this little project outside, but the result will look so sleek. 

Layer Paint for Eye-Catching Pumpkins


If you're looking for the spooky face of a typical jack-o'-lantern without the mess, you'll want to try this pumpkin paint layering technique. 


  • Pumpkins
  • Spray paint
  • Acrylic art paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint brushes


  1. Lay out and paint the face of your pumpkin first. Do this with the acrylic art paint. 
  2. Allow it to dry completely before taping over the face.
  3. Spray paint your pumpkin in a contrasting color. You may need two coats depending on the color.
  4. Once your pumpkin is dry, remove the painter’s tape to reveal your no-carve jack-o’-lantern.

Stick to Stickers for Easy Pumpkin Decorating


Here's a single-supply pumpkin decorating idea that's as simple as it is mess-free. Stickers! There are countless directions you can go when decorating your pumpkin with stickers.

  • Make faces with puffy facial feature stickers.
  • Let your kids make a pumpkin inspired by their favorite show.
  • Cover your pumpkin in polka dots, flowers, or Halloween icons.
  • Use letter stickers to create an easy script on your pumpkin.

Make Your Own Heirloom Pumpkins


The rustic aesthetic of the heirloom pumpkin is still trending, and we are so here for it. What we aren't here for is how tough these little beauties are to come by. Not to mention how costly they can be.

We think a DIY heirloom pumpkin makes much more sense, and this helpful heirloom pumpkin guide from So Much Better With Age is a lovely no-carve pumpkin craft. 

Glue Tiny Detail on Your Pumpkins


If you're decorating pumpkins with friends, you might need a method that allows for personalization. This easy pumpkin project does just that. Round up some crafty little odds and ends, break out the craft glue or glue guns, and start decorating your pumpkins with little details to make them your own. 

If you need some ideas about what to include on your pumpkin craft table, give these a try:

  • Colorful pompoms
  • Plastic Halloween items like spiders, pumpkins, and bats
  • Large confetti pieces
  • Feathers
  • Candies
  • Beads
  • Ribbon
  • Felt cutouts
  • Gold leaf
  • Sea shells
  • Rhinestones or sequins
  • Leaves or flowers
  • Small photographs or magazine clippings

Paint Spooky Pumpkin Monsters


Traditional jack-o'-lanterns are Halloween classics, but witches and vampires deserve their time in the spotlight as well. Halloween monsters, like zombies and werewolves, bring spooky creativity to your seasonal decor. It's actually a lot easier to paint these ghastly ghouls than it is to carve them. We love this no-carve pumpkin painting idea from Aubree's Originals.  

When in Doubt, Grab the Glitter


Some of us find the motto "everything is better with glitter" inspirational in every aspect of our lives, pumpkin decorating included. If plain old paint sounds boring and monsters just aren't your thing, glitter pumpkins are the way to go. All you really need is glue, glitter, and a love of all things sparkly (and instructions for how to remove glitter from places where you don't intend for it to go) to make this pumpkin decoration work for you.


  • Newspaper or a small tarp
  • Glue 
  • Medium to large foam paint brush
  • Tons of craft glitter


  1. Lay down your paper or tarp to catch all the excess glitter.
  2. Use the foam brush to brush a thin layer of glue all over your pumpkin. Avoid adding glue to the bottom at this stage.
  3. Sprinkle your glitter on the pumpkin. Be generous. 
  4. Let your pumpkin dry for at least an hour, then shake off the excess glitter.
  5. Roll your pumpkin on its side and apply glue to the bottom.
  6. Add glitter to the glued portion and allow the pumpkin to dry for another hour.
  7. Shake off the excess glitter and find the perfect spot to display your new sparkling pumpkin.

Make Dia de los Muertos Pumpkins


Sugar skulls are used during the Mexican celebration called Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). You can make your own representation with your pumpkins this year. These colorful cultural symbols are beautiful and fairly simple to make. Before you dive into making your Day of the Dead pumpkins, catch up on what the holiday means and how it affects Mexican culture.

Pressed Flower Pumpkins Are Elegant


When your personal style is elegant and feminine, bright orange pumpkins or spooky monster faces look out of place. But there truly is a no-carve pumpkin craft for every aesthetic. Pressed flower pumpkins are a relaxed and soothing craft for your fall home decor needs.


  • White pumpkins
  • Pressed flowers
  • Mod podge
  • Foam brushes
  • Small paint brushes


  1. After gathering your flowers, iron them (without steam) for about 15 seconds, or until they are dry and flat.
  2. Use the foam brush to put Mod Podge onto the space on your pumpkin where you want to add a flower.
  3. Quickly add the flower before the Mod Podge dries.
  4. Use a smaller brush, dipped in Mod Podge, to brush a light layer over the flower and secure any loose edges.
  5. Continue the process until your pumpkin is covered and let the flowers completely dry before placing your pumpkin outside.

Try a Cute Pumpkin Vase


If you prefer flowers inside your pumpkin rather than on your pumpkin, this little pumpkin DIY is a must. This one does involve some pumpkin-gut-handling, but the carving is minimal. A beautiful pumpkin vase is a lot easier to make than it sounds. 


  • Pumpkin
  • Sharp knife for carving
  • Large spoon
  • A small vase


  1. Carefully slice off the top of your pumpkin and discard.
  2. Use the spoon the scoop out the insides of your pumpkin and use one of our creative ideas for using pumpkin guts
  3. Place your vase inside the pumpkin.
  4. Add water to your vase and start arranging your florals for an autumnal display.
Helpful Hack

You can also decorate your pumpkin with paint, glitter, or other items before transforming it into a vase.

Embrace the Creepy Season With a Spider Pumpkin


It's the season of celebrating creepy crawly creatures, and this no-carve pumpkin idea will leave you shivering — in a fun Halloween way, of course. Dream a Little Bigger is giving us all the spooky tips with this no-carve spider pumpkin guide

Create a Fall Pumpkin Palette With Tiny Painted Pumpkins


No-carve pumpkins embrace the "less is more" motto, and we love the simplicity of painting small pumpkins. Make your own fall color palette with your mini pumpkins to help complement the decor you've chosen this autumn. Smaller pumpkins mean you spend less time painting and more time finding all the spaces they can fit into. 

Make your fall pumpkin color palette by selecting a base neutral (like white, cream, or gray) and mix it with one or two colors that fit in your home's aesthetic. This simple decorating approach is elegant and makes for an easy pumpkin craft your kids can help with.

Use Fall Leaves as Your Stencils


Skip the paint brushes, sponges, and stencils. You have everything you need to paint a pumpkin waiting for you in the backyard. 

You can use a collection of fall leaves to create beautiful patterns with paint on your pumpkins. Try using leaves in these ways for a clever no-carve pumpkin activity.

  • Press leaves into paint or ink and use them as stamps on your pumpkin.
  • Pin leaves to your pumpkin and paint around them like stencils.
  • Use Mod Podge or glue to attach fall leaves to your pumpkin.
  • Use the back of leaves to create intricate patterns on your pumpkin by dipping them in paint and pressing them against the pumpkin skin.

Chalk Paint Pumpkins Are Easy & Adorable


Chalk paint started as a trendy finish for furniture, but it has countless uses for your home decor. You can even use the specialty paint on your pumpkins. These DIY chalk painted pumpkins from Her Happy Home are a sweet fall project. They add subtle rustic vibes to your home. 

Play Pumpkin Dress Up


We're officially naming this the cutest pumpkin decoration ever. It's also so easy to do! Dress your pumpkins up with googly eyes, small hats, and any other small costume items you might have. Make characters, create little families, and give your kids a chance to make a pumpkin that looks just like them.

Helpful Hack

Small pieces of felt work perfectly for making mouths, noses, and clothing for your tiny pumpkins.

No-Carve Pumpkins Are Still Creative


You don't need to get covered in pumpkin guts to have fun this Halloween. You can decorate pumpkins, keep the mess to a minimum, and still have a wonderful time. Try one of these pumpkin decorating ideas, and you might start a new no-carve pumpkin tradition for your family.

18 No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas to Spark Fall Creativity