Crafts for Kids It's fall! And that means Halloween is coming! And that means it's time for pumpkin decorating ideas!

Published on September 27th, 2016 | by Becky Striepe

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8 Pumpkin Decorating Ideas that Let You Compost Your Pumpkin

It’s fall! And that means Halloween is coming! And that means it’s time for pumpkin decorating ideas!

It's fall! And that means Halloween is coming! And that means it's time for pumpkin decorating ideas!

Pumpkin decorating is fun, but as a green crafter, I always feel a little nagging guilt about some of the pumpkin decorating ideas I’ve chosen in the past, especially ones where I paint my pumpkin. When you paint on a pumpkin, you’re taking a natural material that you could have composted when it outlived its usefulness and turning it into trash.

Paint doesn’t come off easily, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want paint in my compost bucket. Keeping compostability in mind when you’re looking for pumpkin decorating ideas might sound a little bit nitpicky, but when you think about how many people are painting and carving pumpkins this time of year, it really adds up to a lot of organic matter headed to the landfill in November.

8 No-Paint Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

These paint-free ideas let you compost your pumpkin when Halloween is over.

1. Pumpkin Pounding – This is a great activity, and the full-of-holes pumpkin looks great with a candle in it, when your kid is done.

2. Embroidered Pumpkin – This one’s a little bit labor-intensive, but the results are so awesome!

3. Etched Pumpkins – This is a cool way to get a multi-dimensional effect without paint. Some of her ideas do use paint, so just skip those. You do draw your design onto the pumpkin, but that part gets scraped away.

4. Pumpkin Candle Holders – Turn your pumpkins into votive holders. It’s so easy, no paint required.

5. Terrifying Pumpkin – Toothpick teeth really take this scary pumpkin to the next level. You can use nails or tacks to attach everything else to the pumpkin, so you can reclaim your supplies and compost that pumpkin at the end of the holiday.

6. Drilled Pumpkins – You can create some truly magical effects with a drill! Also, I am in love with her idea to cut the bottom out of the pumpkin instead of the top. That makes your cut invisible and this woman a total pumpkin carving genius.

7. Crazy Hair Pumpkin – If you’re going to cut the top off of your pumpkin, why not make the cut look intentional?

8. Mouse Motel – When Halloween is over, you can put the toy mice back into your decorations stash to use again next year.

Image Credits: Pumpkin Pounding image by Julie Finn. Other images screenshots from videos.

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



2 Responses to 8 Pumpkin Decorating Ideas that Let You Compost Your Pumpkin

  1. OKC Painters says:

    These are such great ideas! I love the polka dot one! I will have to give it a try myself.

  2. I will have to keep these in mind for my kids to do! Thank you for sharing!

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