No-carve pumpkin ideas – 18 easy, stylish gourd designs for Halloween and fall

1. Fill A Tall Lantern With Mini Gourds And Dried Stems

Not all no-carve pumpkin ideas have to be for outdoor Halloween decor; they work wonderfully indoors, too.

2. Make Your Own Pumpkin Patch

'Give your fall decorations a pretty feel with this fabulous no carve pumpkin idea. No messiness, just pure sewing fun, with multiple fall-colored fabrics and a touch of creativity – and the best bit is you get to keep your fabric pumpkins for life!' says Melanie Griffiths, editor, Period Living.

3. Ditch The Orange And Go For Painterly Blues

Whether you are growing pumpkins yourself, buying them from the grocery or farm shop, or have faux pumpkins to paint, consider an alternative color scheme this year.

4. Opt For Simple Textures And Elegant Tones

'There are many different varieties of pumpkins that span colorways too, so firstly, if the traditional orange shade isn't for you then consider one of these beautiful options instead. And secondly, choose a pumpkin that's got its own decorative qualities, it will be eye-catching enough in its entirety so you won't need to carve any designs,' says Jennifer

5. Feeling Artistic? Give A Faux Pumpkin A Mosaic Makeover

Why not go multi-colored with your Halloween decorating ideas this year? 'These happy (faux) pumpkins are hand painted using acrylic paints in a variety of colors. When finished, each pumpkin has anywhere between 10 to 15 layers of paint and is sealed with a high gloss protective coat to make them last and able to pull back out to decorate year after year,' says Emily Nichols of Emily Nichols Art.

6. If Real Pumpkins Simply Aren't Your Thing...

'A good reason to invest in long term pumpkins, aside from the no carve element, is that you can keep on using them, or gift them to family and friends during the fall seasons. We love this clever and sustainable idea of decorating your home with pumpkins made from straw, wool and felt in various shades of fall tones,' says Melanie

7. Give Your Pumpkin A Crown Of Leaves

For Halloween porch decor especially, taking inspiration from the changing natural world is a great way to keep things feeling in touch with the wider season.

8. Use Stickers To Create A No-Carve Jack O’Lantern

The classic Jack O’Lantern, with its angered eyes and grizzling mouth, will always be a favorite design – but it’s also possible to achieve this ghoulish look without picking up a knife. Look online for vinyl sticker sheets that include black cut-out shapes of eyes and mouths – these can easily be applied to any pumpkin, even by little hands. Alternatively, get creative with a plain sticker sheet (in black, or any other color that takes your fancy) and have a go at drawing your own unique facial expressions or ghostly designs. We think it makes for the perfect Halloween window decor because it'll be visibly scary if uplit.

9. Paint Pumpkins With Spooky Designs

While there is technically no limit to the remit of your no-carve pumpkin ideas, keeping it spooky at this time of year is always a good way to go. Not needing to carve a pumpkin means you can create more complex patterns on your painted pumpkin, as well as incorporating color.

10. Decoupage The Patterns Of Fall With Colored Paper

Decoupage – the practice of layering thin pieces of paper or material onto a surface and using glue to secure them – is an excellent way to jazz up a pumpkin. In this example by Sylvie Mulcahey, owner of decor company Faerien, images of fall leaves from a white paper napkin have been cut out and decoupaged onto a white pumpkin.

11. Get The Kids Involved – And Let Their Imaginations Run Wild

If the children of your household are a little too young to learn how to carve a pumpkin, get them involved with painting instead. ‘Imagine all the fun you could have, creating painted pumpkins with your little ones,’ says Vicki Thompson, Design Consultant at So Lets Party.

12. Straddle The Seasons With Pressed Summer Flowers

When putting together your fall decor ideas, it’s often pleasant to incorporate a nod to the departing summer. Little Pine Learners blogger Tara Rondinelli used the pressed flowers she collected over the summer to decoupage a fall pumpkin.

13. Get Sculptural And Stack Them Up

Making the most of your pumpkins isn’t always about how you decorate them – it’s about how you arrange them too. If you want to embrace your pumpkins’ natural patina but are looking to add a quirky take to your display, get sculptural and stack them up. In this example, pumpkins of different colors are stacked up in descending size order to create a column. This can work really well among your Halloween door decor ideas, with columns placed either side of the entrance to your home.

14. Go Faux With Pretend Pumpkins

‘If you do not like pumpkin pie, or do not have the time to carve out the pumpkin yourself, faux pumpkins can be purchased and used again and again,’ says Thompson, who suggests investing in fake gourds for reusable Halloween porch decor. ‘Why not buy a collection of ornamental squashes, add some candles of varying heights and voila – Halloween on your doorstep.’

15. Decoupage Real Fall Leaves – With A Twist

If you’ve collected more than enough leaves for your fall wreath ideas, consider using the surplus to decorate your no-carve Halloween pumpkin. In this example by Instagrammer Cicely Jackson used large fallen leaves as the material for her decoupage, but gave their shapes a fun twist. ‘To make these pumpkins, I collected some leaves, soaked them in water to make them less brittle, cut out star shapes and used watered-down PVA glue to paste them on,’ she says. ‘Really quick and easy!’

16. Paint Pumpkins To Help Them Fit Into Your Color Scheme

If you’re looking to take a subtler approach to Halloween this year, make your pumpkins work for you. Instead of using paint to cover them in spooky patterns, reimagine your bright orange pumpkins with a lick of paint in a hue that fits in with your home’s existing color scheme. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box – these pastel-painted pumpkins would make a great addition to Halloween table decor schemes that reflect a light and bright living or dining room.

17. Create Precise Line Designs With A Permanent Marker

If getting messy really isn’t your scene, keep it clean with your no-carve pumpkin decorating – not just in terms of your creative process, but in the design too. ‘Everyone has a permanent marker kicking around, and if you like doodling, consider pumpkins an empty canvas!’ says Instagrammer Holly Featherstone.

18. Arrange Pumpkins In A Seasonal Flower Display

For a true celebration of your pumpkin’s natural – rather than spooky – connotations, pair it with other seasonal flora. Miniature pumpkins work really well in and among fall planter ideas, adding pops of solid color either at the base of plants or around the outside of a planter. If you’re thinking about how to make a Halloween wreath, consider tying miniature pumpkins into an arrangement of autumn leaves, branches and berries.

Follow us on Social Media