Pumpkins are a classic element of fun fall decorations, and there are plenty of ways to use them besides the classic carved jack-o-lanterns. Plus, leaving pumpkins intact helps them last longer so you can leave your decorations out from early October through Thanksgiving. Decorate with pumpkins indoors or outdoors to make your home feel warm and inviting.
Although the classic orange color of pumpkins is what most people think of, you can make pumpkins fit into any decoration scheme by painting them. Use acrylic paints to coat each pumpkin and paint them with stripes, designs or images. If you would like to use a row of pumpkins to spell a word, like fall or harvest, either paint the pumpkins and then paint a large letter on each one or stick a cutout of the letter onto each pumpkin, paint around it and peel off the cutouts to reveal the unpainted portions in the shapes of the letters.
Cut a hole in the top of a pumpkin and scoop out the insides, but instead of carving the pumpkin, just use it as a decorative vessel for something else. To decorate outside or create a centerpiece, place a potted plant or bouquet of flowers inside the pumpkin. To include the pumpkin on your buffet table, just nestle a serving bowl inside it and fill it with a salad, a pasta dish or, for smaller pumpkins, a dip for chips or bread. Use miniature pumpkins as candle holders for tall taper candles by affixing each candle with a bit of modeling clay or by carefully cutting the hole to just the size of the candle.
Polka dots are a fun way to liven up a pumpkin. For indoor decorations, paint a pumpkin with white polka dots or glue on metallic circles for a shiny pumpkin. Create a fun design by painting polka dots in the shape of a spiral or the outline of a ghost. For outdoor use, put a 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch drill bit on your electric drill and make holes all over for a polka-dotted jack-o-lantern.
Seek out unusual types of pumpkins to liven up your decorations. Look for white pumpkins, striped pumpkins or interesting gourds to display alongside your classic orange pumpkins. Look for pumpkins with unusual shapes, such as turban pumpkins that look like a cross between two pumpkins, often of two different sizes. Create a multi-level display on your front porch with hay bales, benches, unused planters or other items to set your pumpkins on.
Use your pumpkins to create people on your porch or in your yard. Set up a scarecrow with a pumpkin for a head or paint a pumpkin green and use it as the head for a witch to sit on your porch for Halloween. If you want to make it feel like Christmas is coming early, stack a large, medium and small pumpkin and decorate them like a snowman. For an even stronger effect, paint them white before you begin.