Fall is here, and with it come colorful leaves, pumpkins, and fun fall crafts. Carving pumpkins is a beloved tradition, but when you have small children, it is more difficult to complete a project that includes knives and lots of waiting. Thankfully, there are many ways to decorate a pumpkin that don’t include carving. Here are six no-carve ways to create pumpkin art.
Fall offers many natural materials to use for fall crafts. A nature walk will bring you colorful leaves, acorns, pinecones, seeds, and late-blooming flowers. To decorate your nature-inspired pumpkin, collect a wide variety of beautiful things from outside. Then, spend time with your child deciding how to use the materials. For instance, you could create a face like a traditional jack-o’-lantern, an animal face, or just an abstract display of the treasures you found. Attach the natural materials with school glue or carefully with straight pins.
Melted Crayon Pumpkins
Most of us have quite a few broken crayons lying around our houses. Why not use them to create a fun and interesting fall craft? To make a melted crayon pumpkin, make sure all of your crayons are completely free of their paper labels. Then line the crayons in whatever pattern you’d like around the stem of your pumpkin. The best way to attach the crayons is hot glue, but of course be careful if you are using a glue gun around your child. Once the crayons are all around the stem of your pumpkin, use a hair dryer to blow warm air down over the crayons. Over time, the crayons will begin to melt, and the wax will drip down your pumpkin creating fun patterns. Your children can take turns holding the hair dryer as you create a lovely pumpkin to display.
Yarn, Ribbons, or Rubber Bands
Using the yarn, ribbons, and rubber bands you have around your house, try wrapping your pumpkin as decoration. This is a great option if you need to use materials you have on hand. Additionally, this is a method that your child can do herself with minimal supervision.
Paint of All Sorts
Painting pumpkins is a great alternative to carving, and thanks to the many types of paint available, you can create a wide variety of looks. Use glow-in-the-dark paint for secret messages or something a little more spooky. Puff paint can be used for texture. Glitter paint is so much fun to use without the mess of loose glitter. One fun technique for thinner paints is to “drip paint” your pumpkin. For this technique, hold a saturated paintbrush above your pumpkin, just to one side of the stem. Allow the paint to drip off your brush and onto the pumpkin. Repeat this step, moving around the pumpkin and switching colors. Gravity will pull the paint down the pumpkin and create a lovely, colorful effect.
Trash as Treasure
Sometimes lovingly called “junk-o’-lanterns,” this style of pumpkin is decorated with the odds and ends you would normally throw away. Use bottle caps, labels, nuts and bolts, cheap jewelry, and anything else that strikes your fancy. Your child will love repurposing those throwaway items to make a face on your new pumpkin friend.
Resist painting is a technique in which the painter puts down paper or tape on the canvas and then paints over it. After all the painting is complete, the tape or paper is removed, leaving an unpainted section in its shape in the middle of all the paint. This is a fun way to allow children to paint more complicated silhouettes or shapes on their pumpkins. Just apply tape in your desired shape and then let your child paint the pumpkin however they wish. Once they are done painting, allow the paint to dry a bit so that it doesn’t drip, and then remove the tape. Just like that, you have a fun, colorful pumpkin displaying your child’s name, favorite character, or another special symbol.
Fall crafts are a wonderful family activity this time of year. Supermarkets and farmers markets have pumpkins for sale, and they make a lovely porch or door front decor. Take time this weekend to decorate a pumpkin together, without the mess and risk of carving. Looking for a school where your child can celebrate the seasons with crafts, songs, and more? Consider Legacy Academy, with twelve locations across the south and enthusiastic teachers ready to engage your child.