Faux Pumpkin Carving

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Acrylic paint
Paint brushes
Foam brushes
Spray paint
Chalkboard paint
Craft supplies (button, sequins, ribbons, etc.)
Hot glue gun and glue
Spoon or scraping tool
Router or Dremel tool

Carving pumpkins is be a traditional Halloween activity, but there are other ways you can display your autumn artistry – without having to wield a sharp knife or dig out pulp and seeds. Faux pumpkin carving will give you the same festive look as a traditional jack-o-lantern, but there’s less to worry about in terms of safety and cleanup. If using a knife and removing pumpkin guts aren’t a concern, you can also try scraping, an alternative to carving that results in a very similar look.


Scraping away part of the outer layer of a pumpkin is another alternative to traditional carving, but you will have to remove the top, seeds and pulp to create the look. Start by cutting away the top and scraping out the pumpkin’s insides. Use a stencil or draw freehand the pattern you want for your pumpkin. With a router or Dremel tool, follow the pattern to scrape away the outer skin of the pumpkin to reveal the lighter flesh underneath. Be careful not to go through the rind. Once complete, light a candle inside the pumpkin; the light will show through the thinned parts of the rind.

Acrylic Paint

On a clean, dry pumpkin, use regular acrylic paint and a brush to create an appropriate jack-o-lantern face. You can also paint other Halloween-inspired pictures, like black cats or spider webs if you want something besides the traditional face. If you need to, draw your design first with a pen or marker.

Spray Paint

Spray paint can also be used and works especially well to coat the entire pumpkin in a particular color. After the spray paint dries, you can paint a face or picture over it with another color.


To use (and reuse) chalk on your pumpkin, give it a coat of chalkboard paint. After this dries, you can use chalk to create designs or write messages on the pumpkin. If you mess up, just erase it and try again!


Practically anything can be glued onto a pumpkin to give it the look you want. Try buttons, sequins, ribbons or faux gems. Use the glue-ons to create faces or other designs. Start with a clean pumpkin, and then use a hot glue gun to attach your craft pieces.


Make your pumpkins go glam this year with a sparkling coat of glitter. Clean and dry your pumpkin, and then brush a coat of white glue or sealant over the surface. While the glue is still tacky, liberally sprinkle glitter over the pumpkin. Allow to dry before displaying.


Take the autumn look even further by adding a layer of colorful leaves. Collect an array of leaves that aren’t completely dry and are still somewhat flexible. Use a brush to apply a thin layer of white glue or a sealant to the pumpkin. Add another thin layer to the back of a leaf, then press the leaf onto the pumpkin. Add as many leaves as you like, and then brush on another layer of glue or sealant and allow to dry.