7 D.I.Y. Ways To Scary-Cute Pumpkins This Halloween

Think outside the jack-o-lantern and ditch the carving knife.


Pumpkin pies? Yes, please. Pumpkin cheesecake?  Oh, yeah. Pumpkin spice lattes? GIMME.

Usually, you’re more head-over-heels for pumpkin than Ichabod Crane. So why does the thought of a jack-o-lantern on your doorstep make you want to squash your face in?


Probably because that black and orange look is so gloomy, not to mention the mess that carving out all those seeds creates on your back porch. Plus, your Jack’s face always looks like Quasimodo’s … even when you’re going for Brad Pitt.

Think beyond the carving knife and go for these fun D.I.Y. décor options that include some of our favorite, on-trend, Pinterest-approved tools, including neon paint and glitter. Bonus points if you pile them up into one super-cute bundle of crafty goodness.

Talk about a gourd idea.

Neon Dreams

Nothing adds a trendy, cheerful pop to a window display like neon. We went for a gloss enamel paint in highlighter-hot pink, but a bright blue or giddy green will also do the trick. First, spray-paint your pumpkin with a matte white to really let the neon shade shine through. Let it dry, then dab the colorful pigment onto the surface. A dry brush will give it that rustic, unfinished look we love. We tried layering it on thicker on the bottom, then blending it out up top for a slight ombre effect. Finally, paint your stem a shiny metallic to tie it all together!

Heart of Gold

Metallic décor never goes out of style. Go nuts with the gold spray paint and cover the entire shebang, or go for a jaunty, half-covered, geometric look (gold goes great with pumpkins’ natural orange shade!). We used duct tape to wrap up the half of the pumpkin we wanted to stay untouched, then let loose with a marbleizing gold spray paint for texture.  

Chevron Top of It

Pinterest-approved chevrons are less spooky and more cutie-patootie—basically right up our alley. We drew our own handmade-looking ones with a metallic paint pen. The options are endless with paint pens! Go for a geometric route, with triangles and octagons, draw some squiggles—you can even draw in a shiny jack-o-lantern face.

In Your Lace

Black lace can really up the drama in your pumpkin. Wrap wide ribbons of black lace around the belly of the pumpkin, or crisscross it (like a Christmas present). You can even cover the whole thing in a sleeve (cut from a sheet). The orange pumpkin color will shine through, giving you and Halloween-y—but still pretty—effect.

Dot Commodity

Pretty-as-a-picture polka dots deserve a place in your Halloween arrangement. We took regular gloss enamel and acrylic paints in a punky hot-pink-and-black color scheme, dipped our fingers in it, and added polka dots to a white squash. No spray paint required.

The Glitter End

Less into ghoulish witches’ pumpkins, and more into pumpkins of the Cinderella sort? This easy one’s for you. Cover your pumpkin with spray adhesive, then roll it in a fun, colored glitter. We went with a snowy, sugar-esque white, but gold or even black would be great choices. Try spraying only half (the ol’ duct-tape-the-other-half-of-the-pumpkin trick will come in handy for this) to play with effects.

On Tape

Washi tape is the lazy crafter’s best friend. You can pick up pretty patterns from the craft store for less than five bucks, then experiment by wrapping your pumpkin in it to create makeshift stripes or belly bands. To highlight the designs and colors even more, spray-paint your pumpkin a matte white first.