22 new and creative ways to DIY your Pumpkins

DIY is in my blood. You can take the girl out of the church but you can’t take the mormon out of the girl. I’m not particularily good at them because i have no patience so i do the first part all great, but then i get frustrated because i just want to see it pretty and styled and instead i have gold leaf all over my face, mod-podge riddling my jeans and Bearcat is just looking at me with utter embarassment.  She gets particularily cocky in October since she’s a black cat and she knows she is important.  Punk. 

But it’s different with holiday because there often isn’t a TON of really amazing decorations out there to purchase, plus you can be kinda sloppy because its temporary and you can be more creative because if you mess it up it’s just for fun – it’s not like trying to refinish your own dining table, spending 3 days on it before you hire a professional. It’s just a pumpkin.  

So here are 22 creative pumpkin ideas that made me want to get my DIY on…..Or at least pay Bonnie to DIFM. (Do It For Me….and i’m kidding…although I once knew someone that got a ‘how to learn to knit’ kit as a gift and she made her assistant do it so she could take credit for it and pretend she learned).  

1. Drink Bowl,  For your kids party – that pumpkin’s not gonna hold much, but it is clever. 

2. Black and White, Totally grown up but still feels creepy, a la John Derian.

3.Decoupage, Not sure if you’ve heard my decopauge stories but one year, i decopauged my life – EVERYTHING was collaged on top of EVERYTHING.  I would kill at this DIY. 

4. Placeholder,  So pretty. Let’s have a fall party.  

5. Leaves  For the traditionalist – totally lovely.  

6. Lace, Lace is trending and your pumpkin can’t be without it this season. It’s Halloween suicide. 

7. Choir Boys, Meet the goofy and friendly pumpkins. The Glee trend continues. 

8. Mercury Glass, i’m actually not sure if this is DIY or not, but she is pretty.  

9. Tourine Topper, So smart. Although measure your tourine before you go to the pumpkin patch – that picture is the result of 4 stylists and editors trying to find the perfect pumpkin.  It looks amazing, but probably not as easy for a normal person without 4 days prep time and two styling assistants.  

10. Planter or vase.  One of my favorites, naturally.  It’s not as playful as a lot of people like to be on halloween, but it’s just so pretty. 

11. Painted.  Not sure if you know, but chevron and dip-dying are trending. Don’t let your pumpkin be caught without them.  

12. Decoupage,  Another decopauge, but different.  

13. Crayons, Probably the best DIY i’ve seen on a pumpkin in a while.  It’s playing on the 80’s saturated splatter paint trend and i’m 100% on board.  I want to try this on walls real bad. 

4. Branches, This one i like, but not a fan of how its styled.  It’s creepy so it needs a more stark creepy environment.  

15. Porcupine Anything that reminds me of a hedgehog is in.  So cute.  

16. Chevron Again, with the chevs – but its the perfect place to do them; non-committal and temporary. 

17. Gold Leaf, Hello, beautiful.  Amazing. Love. 

18. Moth Decoupage  No better time and place for the insectarium trend to continue.  Creepy, but sophisticated. Kinda like Steve Buscemi. 

19. Black Out, Chalkboard paint – so easy, matte and apropos.  I love how they painted the stem, too. 

20. Modern Painted, Apply your painters tape skills to your pumpkins.  

21. Chalk Paint Not to be confused with chalkboard paint.  Chalk paint is milky and extremely matte, giving a really sophisticated finish.  

22. Neon Ah, man. Did you just paint that pumpkin hot pink with a gold stem? I’m 100% all over that.  

So which ones will you guys do? Vote for your favorite and may the best pumpkin win.  

  1. LOVE the black matte pumpkin and the choir boys. Whimsical and simple and lovely. Reminds me of Veggie Tales! (Speaking of taking the church out of the girl…)

  2. I vote for #10. I think it's cool when other people decorate for Halloween, but I've never really gotten into it. Pumpkin-as-vase isn't too over-the-top themey for me; it's very pretty; and it's a level of DIY I could actually handle. Triple win!

    Runners up go to 3, 6, 7, 18 and 19.

  3. Cathy

    #15 the porcupine – really creative & different than anything else I've seen!

  4. Oooooh I'm loving 20 with the dipped looked. And the neon. Going to have to try some of these this year!

  5. Bean Wager

    I'm totally into 14, 17 & 19, all together–with some plain oranges too. I did #2 last year (bug and spiderweb), so I probably won't repeat it. Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays (probably for the usually-great fall weather), and I get really giddy with all the Halloween things starts going up!

  6. Kelly

    I love love LOVE these suggestions! Especially all the decoupage, the crayon pumpkin, and the vase. I've always struggled with liking Halloween simply because I don't like the traditional black and orange combo, and I hate that icky dirty decaying things (like cobwebs, spiders, and gooey gore-y things) are supposed to be used as decor. No thanks, that's just too depressing for me, and makes me feel like the house is dirty.

    These ideas are fresh and pretty; I can finally get on board with decorating for Halloween! Thanks!

  7. sue donaldson

    The pink with gold stem, for sure! Since Bonnie told me tangerine tango is THE color of the season, this is close enoughI Great post. PS Our pumpkins on the porch last til Christmas…could we do a little red and green later on?? Chevron? Or The 3 Magi decked in gold and purple??

  8. Julia R

    Bearcat's a girl? I'm loving chalk paint, thanks for learnin' me about it!

  9. Marisa

    Wow, you had time to do all this but you didn't have time to respond to the people who followed through on your Im a Giant Challenge…must be nice living in your selfish world

  10. Gwendolyn

    You are so good at this blogging thing. Im always entertained and inspired. I really enjoy reading, thanks Emily!

  11. Anon

    Emily, all the dollhouse challenge entrants did it because you inspired them; it was based on your creativity and your genius. Please say you are sorry, I know it's hard, but these are very nice, forgiving people, who will start loving you again.

  12. Blech. I'm probably in the minority amongst the Styly McStylersons, but I just find 99% of these massively depressing. I mean, Halloween = Cutting open a pumpkin and scooping out the guts and carving a personality into it. Not painting it with butterflies and chevron stripes. I do dig the ice bucket idea though. Just need to find a bigger one, to accommodate some serious booze.

    (I'd be interested to know whatever happened to the dollhouse challenge too.)

  13. Mindy

    Porcupine Pumpkin. I still have the super old Martha Stewart Magazine with the owl pumpkins on the front. I am prob going to buy some fake pumpkins to paint and decoupage so I can reuse them year after year.

  14. Those are some great ideas…may i share this on my blog…i promise i will give credit! : )

  15. Sara

    I really love so many of these! I'm kindof a Halloween grinch, but I LOVE fall, so I always do lots of pumkins, gourds, mums, etc. and leave them displayed until Thanksgiving. I love so many of these ideas because they fit right in with that. I haven't indulged in the chevron trend, so I'm definitely going for it with this temporary idea, for sure am doing the vase and gold stems…also reeeeeeallly want to try the crayon drip one.


  16. Juliet

    I LOVE #15. what a great use of Christmas lights for non-Christmas decorating. Exterior light on Halloween is usually so tacky, but imagine how nice your yard would look for Trick-or-Treaters with those happy little guys lighting it up.

    In college friends and I would spend hours dripping crayons onto cheap pillar candles and down the necks of wine bottles, which we used as candle holders for tapers. You can hold the candle higher for a spatter, lower for long, gentle drips, lay it on its side for stripes, or heat the end a little at a time to do dot painting around the sides. (Imagine Starry Night wrapping its way around a pillar.)
    So much fun, very little skill required.

    p.s. "Love means never having to say you're sorry to someone who posts anonymously."