Need some no carve pumpkin decorating ideas? This is the easiest (and dare I say cutest) method ever. We full-on carve one pumpkin for each of us each year, for the tradition and experience of it, but honestly I’m sort of over the mess it causes and effort it takes — after which the results only last a week (or less!) before collapsing into a slimy heap. I’m much happier coming up with a few cute faces that are done in 10 minutes with no mess and that will last all season — even through Thanksgiving sometimes! No-carve pumpkins are where it’s at if you ask me.
This project is from last fall actually (originally posted on my Instagram) and yes, I’m just now getting around to writing a post about it a year later! Welcome to mom life, ha. Never enough time for anything! But better late than never, and thankfully these pudgy little punkins are doable no matter how crazy and hectic your fall season is.
So, down to the nitty gritty of making something like this for yourself (and yes, super kid-friendly! Even for toddlers and preschoolers).
What you’ll need
For this exact design I used four things:
- An assortment of pumpkins and gourds
- An assortment of googly eyes in different sizes
- A sharpie marker
- Elmer’s glue
Glue on the googly eyes and draw on the mouths = Done!
I said it was quick, ha. And I don’t want to hear any complaints about “I’m not an artist” or “I can’t draw” or anything else of that nature. Kids can do this! Little kids, and they will still look awesome. Much like traditional pumpkin carving it’s not about being exact. Look at the faces in my photo up top. Really look at them. The mouths are simple and kinda scribbly even, there are no other features (save eyebrows on the big one), and it still works. If you have toddler or preschool-age kids let them glue the eyes on all crazy and make big scribble balls for the mouth if they want — a group like that will look hilarious! Especially with one or two serious ones as parents — it will be a good representation of your life managing their wild little personalities, ha.
Details about design
These are pumpkins with faces — no matter how they turn out, what’s not to love? But a few design notes never hurt either.
- Pumpkin choice matters. Solid orange pumpkins will look more traditional (and specific to Halloween), all-white pumpkins will look more contemporary (and spooky, potentially), and a mix of unusual patterns and colors (like I have above) will be more rustic and generalized to the entire autumn season. The key for any combination is to mix up sizes and shapes as much as possible — choose pumpkins and gourds that have “personality” even before they get their faces.
- Keep it simple. The googly eyes are the star of the show in this pumpkin craft, so for best results keep mouths and other features as simple as possible. Also drawing on pumpkins with markers doesn’t leave a lot of room for error so consider practicing on paper first if you’re worried.
- Variety makes the mix. Big eyes, little mouth. Little eyes, wide mouth. Eyes super close together or really far apart — I even threw in one with sleepy eyes and no googles. No two pumpkins should have the exact same combination of features. Search for faces online to get ideas or see the image below, focusing on mouths and eyebrows (since you’ll already have eyes).
- Big eyes make a big impression. If possible at least one pumpkin should have really huge eyes. It will act as a focal point and anchor the whole group. Mine above includes a pair of 3″ googly eyes similar to these, but without the outer plastic (because my kid stepped on one and cracked it, ha). Take it as proof that you can also just make a set of large eyes with construction paper or cardstock, if that’s easier.
More no-carve pumpkin ideas
I’m planning to do this again this year and am considering some fun additions like colorful googly eyes, hats and/or hair, paper accents like ears, bat wings, or arms, and even glasses or a monacle maybe. Also possible to do this with artificial pumpkins (this one and this one would be the start of a good mix) if you don’t want real, and then you can save your creations year after year.
Other alternatives to this googly eye approach include buying a no-carve Halloween pumpkin kit, painting your pumpkins in abstract colors and patterns (let the kids go crazy!), or writing seasonal messages and/quotes on your pumpkins with markers, or plastic or foam letters. It also might be fun to draw faces like the above on black construction paper or cardstock, cut them out and glue them on.
And that’s it! Easy peasy. What’s your favorite way to create pumpkins for fall and Halloween?