18 Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin Without Carving it

Watching the show Halloween Wars entices me to carve a pumpkin into a work of art. But not all of us have the time and many of us have children who do not have the coordination to handle sharp knives even for a regular pumpkin.

Don’t Just Give in to Normal

For parents, the easiest and safest idea for carving a pumpkin is having your child make the markings and you – the adult – do all the cutting. But how about going in a different direction?

Creating an Awesome Pumpkin Differently


If you’d still rather carve a pumpkin, here are a few free template sites to help you on your way:

78 Geeky Pumpkin Templates140 Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns
A 100+ Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils

Single Christmas Light Hack

Don't throw your light strand away if part of it is broken. Save some of the lights for single use. Image courtesy of Education.com

Don’t throw your light strand away if part of it is broken. Save some of the lights for single use. Image courtesy of Education.com

A quick and easy tip for those struggling to get every pumpkin lit. Education.com offers a tutorial on how to turn one light bulb from a broken strand into a battery-operated one for a prop. I’m gonna have to try this. If you do before I get the chance, shoot me an email and maybe a pic of how you used a single light. Thanks!

A Classy Halloween Party Idea

Fang place cards are a perfect touch for a Halloween Wedding. Image courtesy of Natalie from Doodlecraft.

Fang place cards are a perfect touch for a Halloween Wedding. Image courtesy of Natalie from Doodlecraft.

Although I am one of the biggest fans of gory foods and props, I cannot deny the love I have for Halloween weddings or parties that can be pulled off in a more subtle, classy manner.

The idea for these silver fang place cards comes from Doodlecraft, a blog that has a plethora of beautifully crafty ideas.You can find the tutorial to make them at Instructables. 

Along with this theme, I could see tables including homemade bell jar dioramas and other Victorian-themed Halloween props/food, such as:

A Dark Raven Wreath
Victorian Halloween Invitations
Spiderweb Eggs
Styrofoam Grandfather Clock

Not all of us are crafty or have the time to make some of these ideas. This is where the VictorianTradingCo.com. can help. They have some inspirational items that can give the final touch to a prop, costume, or event.

The Mayor of Nightmare Before Christmas Tutorial

It took over 50 PVC cuts to make the Mayor but it was so worth the effort. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, all rights reserved.

It took over 50 PVC cuts to make the Mayor but it was so worth the effort. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All rights reserved.

For those who have been waiting a year – I’m so sorry for being so tardy. If you’ve followed me in any way – you’ve seen I lost a huge part of my heart the day after Halloween – which has thrown me off kilter.

My loyal friends gently reminded me of my promise to post the tutorial – so here it is – the images are added first and then some explanation will follow with a specs sheet – that has all the measurements. Please read all before starting your project.



Don’t forget to write the word “Mayor” in Black permanent marker in white circle of ribbon. Putting Head and Hat Together: Cut a long piece of PVC pipe, slide the head on through the hole (make sure it can move so you can switch the head view when you feel like it).

Slide the black circle you cut earlier over top of head and place your PVC shish-ka-bob style piece into the “T” at the neck part of the “H” frame. Top the hat with a piece of pool noodle and cover with black fabric with a hot glue gun. Make a strip of grey trim fabric around hat and glue. * You’ll notice that the black rim of hat made out of foam board shows the white inside – use your black paint to touch that up all the way around.

The hands are made similar to my Sally, Jack, and Ring Girl. I added a stripe to a cheer horn to give it a “Tim Burton-ish” feel ( a word from the book of Deb).

Specs. Sheet:

Mayor Specs DIY Nightmare Christmas

If anyone has an issue opening the PDF specs. sheet, please feel free to shoot me an email so I can send you the word document. If anyone has a question, please don’t hesitate to email me too. Happy Prop Building!




A 5 Minute Pumpkin Project

Pumpkin Projects Everywhere

In less than 5 minutes, you can transform your toilet paper rolls into a pumpkin patch. Photo courtesy of Debbie Morrow.

I ran across this pumpkin DIY project at The Frugal Girls, Spoonful and a ton of blogs like Chocolate on my Cranium. With each of the sites I ran across, they used fabric to cover the toilet paper. But I thought: If I were a guest and needed some TP, would I be so willing to rip and pull apart a fabric-covered one? Well, if I were desperate, I guess the answer would be yes.

Yet, I thought it was the best to use something that could be ripped away like the tissue on those single toilet paper rolls. It would allow easy access without leaving any guilt for our in-need guests.

Better yet, I’ve brought the cost down to about 40 cents per pumpkin(minus the toilet paper).

My 5 Minute Pumpkin Toilet Paper Project

You’ll need:

Silk leaves, a few napkins and a piece of brown bag dress up toilet paper in harvest fashion.

A roll of toilet paper

2 orange paper napkins

1 brown paper lunch bag

A few silk leaves off a vine or floral arrangement


1)      Open the napkin up fully.  Push the corner of the napkin into the top hole of the toilet paper. Pull the napkin around(leaving creases for “pumpkin” lines) and tuck the rest of the top in and follow with the bottom. Adjust the creases if need be. The toilet paper roll should be halfway covered. Add a piece of tape inside the roll to secure the first napkin.

2)      Open the second napkin fully and repeat from where the first napkin stopped, tucking in the same around and tucking into the bottom. Adjust the creases and add a piece of tape to secure the napkin to the inside of the roll.

3)      Cut a 4 -5” x  5” piece from the brown bag. Roll it like a scroll. If it doesn’t stay rolled, add a small piece of tape to secure. Push it into the top hole and cut the top of the “stem” at an angle.

4)      Pull off a few leaves from a silk flower arrangement or vine (most of us crafty people have a dozen hanging around in the basement) and then push the stem into the top hole and position the leaves until it is aesthetically pleasing.

If you are having trouble visualizing my steps, please visit the other links that give step-by-step photos and replace the fabric in their directions with the napkins in mine.

Using Old Books for Seasonal Props

No Need for a Pumpkin Patch

Another cool project to make out of recycling books. Photo courtesy of Jean Knox at Instructables.

When I ran across a photo of a pumpkin made from a book at My Sublime Blog without a tutorial, I knew I had to take the time to track it down.

I found the directions at Creations by Kara and one even more in-depth at Crafting Mom. The photo which compelled me to begin the search can be found on the post Awesome DIY Projects I Can’t Wait to Try.

While searching, I also ran across some other great ideas for recycling books such as making a wreath out of old sheet music books or phone books.

At Studenthacks.org they show ten great ways to repurpose old books into things such as lampshades, iPod cases, and tell you where to trade them or give them away.

It is suggested that before you begin to cut up or give away that old book, you might want to check the value of it at Bookfinder.com.