Put Down the Knife: Last-Minute, No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas for Halloween

Put Down the Knife: Last-Minute, No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas for Halloween

Tess Wilson
Oct 24, 2017
(Image credit: Homey Oh My!)

I will always indulge the children in my life if they want to stick their hands in a goopy, seed-filled pumpkin and make a mess that takes over my entire home. However, my adult self deals with enough goopy, seedy butternut squashes every year whilst cooking, thank you very much, that I see no need for extra mess just for Halloween decor. These (unlucky) 13 DIYs for painted pumpkins will keep the festivity levels high, no scooping or scraping required. And therefore, not much time required to get your home ready for trick-or-treaters.

DIY Mud Cloth Pumpkins by Homey Oh My!

If beautiful mud cloth (learn all about it here) is indeed The New "It" Home Accessory, you'll want to incorporate it into your holiday decor. Besides, the black and white iteration of it works perfectly with the Halloween palette.

(Image credit: PMQ For Two)

Painted Floral Pumpkins from PMQ For Two

Ariel calls this style the Rifle Paper Co.-inspired School of Painting and I think she's nailed it with brushstroke flowers, calligraphy writing, and even a squirrel.

(Image credit: Lovely Indeed)

DIY Painted Mini Pumpkins by Lovely Indeed

This is a great way to use up random bits of leftover paint and scatter delightful bits of color around your home.

(Image credit: For the Makers)

DIY Gold and Neon No-Carve Pumpkins by For the Makers

This tutorial has, Stefon-like, everything: neon colors, gold spray paint, ombre, and that thing where you use up all the other metallic spray paints you bought that turned out to be not quite what you needed at the time.

Abstract Painted Pumpkins by A Subtle Revelry

Orange, black, and witch-ay green don't go with your decor? No need to limit yourself so! Pick your favorite hues and dab them on in charmingly random patterns.

(Image credit: Brit + Co)

No-Carve DIY Cosmic Painted Pumpkins by Brit + Co

I am so into these, and not just because I spent last weekend at Chicago's Adler Planetarium and my seeing friend's Pegasus constellation-inspired art piece at the Chicago Poetry Foundation. Visit both of those fine institutions, and then hit this tutorial—and don't forget the glow-in-the-dark paint!

Birthday Cake Pumpkins by A Subtle Revelry

This project would be especially perfect if you have a loved one whose late October/early November birthday often gets lost in the Halloween festivities.

(Image credit: Aww, Sam)

DIY Ice Cream Cone Pumpkins by Aww, Sam

Paint a few extra sprinkle-festooned pumpkins and use them to make whimsical ice cream cones!

(Image credit: A Joyful Riot)

Pool Float Pumpkins by A Joyful Riot

Perhaps this one pushes the limits of painted pumpkins, as it also involves printing, cutting, and gluing, but I thought you could handle it. We might have moved onto completely new pool floats by next year, so jump on this one now.

(Image credit: Aww, Sam)

DIY Cactus Pumpkins by Aww, Sam

There's no printing required for this one, just painting, cutting, and gluing—and the results are so cute! I'm a sucker for pumpkins in disguise.

(Image credit: Melodrama)

DIY Día de los Muertos Sugar Skull Pumpkin by Melodrama

If you celebrate Día de los Muertos and don't mind a bit of gluing, this gorgeous project is for you. Find a snow-white pumpkin—or paint a less-than-perfect one—and adorn it with an intricate calavera and festive but inexpensive faux flowers.

(Image credit: Lovely Indeed)

DIY Paint Pen Pattern No-Carve Pumpkins by Lovely Indeed

For the ultimate no-mess pumpkin decorating, go for paint pens—no rinsing brushes or mixing colors required! This is also a great way to personalize pumpkins for use as place markers on a Halloween table.

(Image credit: For the Makers)

DIY Splatter Paint Pumpkins by For the Makers

These are actually faux splatter paint pumpkins, created using marble effect spray paint. If you've got a large cardboard box on hand, this project is basically mess-free.

(Image credit: Homey Oh My!)

DIY Paint Splattered Pumpkins by Homey Oh My!

Finally, if you believe no Halloween is complete without at least a bit of pumpkin decorating mess, go for the splatter method. What's the point of paying rent and taxes and all that grownup stuff if you can't fling paint around your home whilst sipping whatever Halloween-adjacent-named wine Trader Joe's is selling for $5.99?

Re-edited from a post originally published 10.5.16 - AL

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