Pumpkin Decorating Made Easy

Make a “mummykin.” Disguise your pumpkin as a mummy by wrapping the gourd in cheesecloth, leaving the stem exposed. Add sticker eyes (or carefully draw them on with a permanent marker). Then cut a small slit in the fabric to create a mouth. Voilà!

Go gold! Using metallic gold spray paint, cover eight to 12 miniature pumpkins (stems included) with a few coats of paint and let dry completely. Display the pumpkins along  your mantel, or arrange them in a row across your dining room table. You can also corral the baby gourds in a large glass vase or a bowl to create a seasonal centerpiece.

Think polka dots. With a hot glue gun, affix black buttons in a range of sizes and styles to a pumpkin to create your very own Halloween masterpiece. A mix of colored buttons will work, too!

Skip the expected. Once you and the kids have scooped out the pumpkin, forgo the usual eyes, nose, and mouth. Instead use a cylindrical apple corer to create small circular cutouts all over the gourd. Insert a votive for a twinkly, celestial display. Have you got pumpkin everywhere? No worries. Toss messy clothes and dish towels in the washer with a hardworking liquid laundry detergent.

Try stencils. Pick up a Halloween stencil—perhaps a witch on a broom or a black cat—at your local crafts store or favorite online vendor, then tape it to your pumpkin and use black spray paint to create a spooky silhouette.

Create a web. Let the kids wrap their pumpkins in string or yarn, then affix a family of plastic spiders (available wherever Halloween supplies are sold) to the gourds. Display as a group for maximum effect.