Steal These 3 No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas!

These 3 no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas are inexpensive and easy for any age!

hand holding tacks in front of pumpkins

Pump-can’t with the messy carving this year? 🎃 Try these no-carve methods instead!

As cute as the classic tradition of carving a jack-o-lantern is, sometimes the mess isn’t worth the reward – not to mention the few days the pumpkin lasts before it rots, compared to the painstaking time you put into it. 😪

This Halloween, skip the mess and try these no-carve methods instead. Even better, some of the ideas below require just ONE material that you may already have at home, making these ideas totally inexpensive! And they’re safe for kids too!

Check out these three creative pumpkin decorating ideas:

1. Fingerprint ghosts (or pumpkins) are a cute option for littles. 

white fingerprint on orange pumpkin

hand painting black eyes on ghosts on pumpkin

two fingerprint painted pumpkins side by side

Have some acrylic paint lying around? You (or the kiddos) can do this no-carve pumpkin decorating idea in just a few minutes!

And how sweet is it to use their cute little fingerprints?

2. A thumbtack pumpkin can look so fancy with minimal effort!

orange marker in white pumpkin

gold thumbtack going into white pumpkin

I thought I was sold on the fingerprint idea from previous years, but this thumbtack no-carve decorating idea was actually my favorite this year (& my kids’ too)! There was something so oddly satisfying about pushing the tacks into the pumpkins and I think they turned out SO pretty.

multiple hands pressing tacks into pumpkin

This spiral design was so easy and great for multiple hands to work on at once!

two pumpkins with gold thumbtack designs

3. It doesn’t get any easier than turning your pumpkin sideways. 😆

pumpkin turned sideways

two pumpkins with stem as nose

Who would’ve thought simply turning a pumpkin sideways would make for some pretty good laughs? If you have a witch hat stashed in your Halloween decor box, some googly eyes, or whatever random fall-themed items you have in the garage, plus some paint, you can make these hilarious pumpkins for next to nothing! 💵

Here are some ideas for creating a pumpkin nose using the stem:

  •  Use popsicle sticks or toothpicks for teeth.
  • Place decorative pebbles for the eyes.
  • Paint the outside to give it a different color.
  • Use construction paper for the facial features.
  • Use an old Halloween wig or silly headband for hair.



Supplies Needed

  • pumpkin(s)

  • thumbtacks

  • acrylic paint
  • miscellaneous Halloween items (witch hat, straw, googly eyes, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, whatever you have around the house)



Fingerprint ghosts (or pumpkins)

  1. Use your finger or have the kiddos join in to make several fingerprints all over the pumpkin.
  2. Let dry and add eyes for ghosts or stems and faces for jack-o-lanterns.


Thumbtack pumpkin

  1. Sketch a simple design onto the pumpkin using a marker or go totally freehand!
  2. Push thumbtacks into the pumpkin along your design.
  3. Optional: Add a ribbon!


Stem-as-the-nose pumpkin

  1. Turn the pumpkin sideways.
  2. Decorate with leftover Halloween decor or use paint to add eyes, a mouth, and more!

Here’s a bonus tip if you want to keep your no carve pumpkins…

faux pumpkin with fingerprint pumpkins on it

Use a faux pumpkin to create a keepsake you can display over the years!

I made this one two years ago using an Ashland faux pumpkin from Michaels, and it’s my favorite thing to display during Halloween. 🧡

kids holding faux pumpkin

These no-carve ideas were so easy & safe to create with my kids!

I cannot believe how quick, easy, and non-messy these decorating ideas were. Plus, there was no cutting required as a potential risk for little fingers. My kids asked to do the thumbtack idea again (with their own designs this time 😉) so I think we might be scooping up some faux ones to display in the future.

pumpkins displayed at ALDI with its price on the box

Looking for REAL pumpkins in your area?

Many of my local grocery stores had not released pumpkins yet, but I found these inexpensive real pumpkins at ALDI! If you have an ALDI nearby, check there first for the best price!

feet standing on porch entrway with pumpkins

There are hundreds of no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas out there, but many of them require tons of gluing, glitter, craft supplies, etc!

If you’re looking for minimal effort no-carve ideas, but with a CUTE result, these can be done in minutes! 🧡 We’d love to see what you create!

Don’t miss out on the trend! –> Try the DIY ghost painting with thrift store finds!

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