Dazzling & Different No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Halloween 2019

Coulson Macleod's 'Something Different' challenges continue. Inspired by our best-selling 'Wise Words' cards and gifts that feature quotes relating to all sorts of interests; our chosen activity this time was 'crafting'.

Seeing as Halloween is fast approaching, there was clearly only one direction for this to go. Hannah excitedly popped to the local supermarket to source a quirky selection of mini pumpkins and squashes which were then divvied out to the CM team by random selection.

The brief: something entirely different to the usual 'jack-o-lantern'.

As fantastic as carved pumpkins look, you can avoid getting completely plastered in seeds and soggy pumpkin innards by going down the 'no-carve' route. Much easier to produce (especially for those that are not master sculptors) and, if Pinterest or Instagram is anything to go by, this super crafty trend is definitely taking off.

Scroll down to be inspired by the team's creations.

Of course, it's possible to 'spook' them up more if you wish or amend the colours of the designs to match your own home decor.


You can never go wrong with a touch of sparkle. Plus black and gold is always a winning combination. Kasia simply dipped the top and bottom of the pumpkin in glitter whilst the black paint was still wet for a dazzling ombré effect. Simplistic yet gorgeous.

Add a subtle hint of gothic glamour to your front doorstep or fireplace hearth. We can certainly imagine a whole host of these stacked together as a table centrepiece. It's also probably the spookiest one of the CM pumpkins so top marks to Kasia for getting into the true spirit of Halloween.

Items used:

  • Black paint

  • Gold glitter

TIP: Put something disposable down on your work surface such as tin foil to help control the spread of glitter.*

*Who are we kidding? It will still end up in every nook & cranny of your house anyway. But it looks AMAZING.


Whilst searching for design inspiration, Hannah came across an eye-catching monochrome pumpkin decorated with paper bats. She then realised that individually cutting lots of detailed shapes out of paper might be very time-consuming so settled on this incredibly fun and effective marble design instead.

Hannah's teenage daughter has about 300 bottles of nail varnish so she thought this would be a perfect opportunity to use some of them up. The finished product is a bright and colourful creation. Perfect if the usual gloomy colour palettes of All Hallow's Eve are not really your thing.

The tutorial video for marble pumpkins can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB7sWkmGWOY

Items used:

  • Nail varnishes (white, yellow, pink, teal and orange)

  • Plastic bowl filled with water

  • Toothpick (to swirl the colours together)

TIP: To get a soft marble-effect with even coverage, don't use your teenager's old, gloopy nail varnish.


Bring your pumpkin to life with Mark's bold and graphic cartoon design. Featuring an inventive use of the stem as a nose. Fun, quirky and cool. Complete with hand-drawn little details such as the claws.

Hand-crafted entirely from paper and cardboard, this design is also completely recyclable. The pumpkin can then be composted after, of course. Make your very own mini swamp monster or you could add pointy teeth for a vampire, a hat and broomstick for a witch (the stem nose would be perfect) or wings for a bat. The possibilities are endless.

Items used:

  • Printer

  • Paper

  • Cardboard

  • Scissors

  • Black slimline marker

TIP: Be sure to use extra-strong glue to attach the pumpkin to its base.


Natalie's floral pumpkin has a mix of bright purple and pink flowers, alongside some luscious red berries and delicate green foliage. All perfectly complementing the vibrant orange of the pumpkin itself.

The flowers were hand-picked from her Nan's garden which we think is really lovely. Not spooky at all. But elegant & pretty. She also used wood varnish to give it a super shiny finish which apparently took a painfully long time to dry. Wood varnish was never intended for pumpkins after all.

Still, we think this is an absolutely gorgeous piece of foraged decoration that celebrates not Halloween, but the whole season of Autumn.

Items used:

  • Fresh flowers & berries

  • Green foliage

  • Glue gun

  • Wood varnish

TIP: Make this design no more than 1-2 days in advance to keep the floral arrangement looking fresh.


Shell was initially unhappy when presented with this 'ugly' pumpkin.

It's certainly a rather awkward shape to decorate. Amusingly, Shell thought it looked like bum cheeks. Yet, armed with some metallic rose gold spray paint and a selection of sharpie pens, Shell certainly turned her 'bumpkin' into a work of art with this beautifully intricate design.

The way it catches the light along with the use of dots and swirls in such a symmetrical pattern makes us think that it has a nod to another rather special October occasion; Diwali. A four to five day long 'festival of lights' celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists.

Items used:

  • Metallic spray paint

  • Masking tape (to cover the stem)

  • Navy blue sharpie pen

  • Fuchsia pink sharpie pen

TIP: Use spray paint outdoors, in a well-ventilated area to protect from fumes.


Danielle also went for the nail varnish marbling technique. This is what happens when two people end up searching for 'no-carve pumpkin' on Pinterest. She ended up absolutely covered in nail varnish. Hannah used gloves. A wise move.

However, Danielle did decide that it would be more sensible to do this crafting malarkey in the shed outdoors. But, on a rather chilly British morning, the paint and nail varnish weren't setting very quickly. So, she used a heater to speed up the drying process. Consequently, she may have inadvertently cooked her pumpkin on the inside, too.

Items used:

  • White paint

  • Nail varnish (black, neon green and metallic green)

  • Plastic bowl filled with water

  • Toothpick (to swirl the colours together)

TIP: Be quick when dipping your pumpkin in the nail varnish/water mix otherwise it will all instantly stick to the bottom.

Which design would you most like to try?

This Halloween, join us on our mission to try something different & send us your no-carve pumpkin creations using the hashtag: #somethingdifferentcm

Whether you're a novice or pro, it's all about having fun. We'll share our favourites on our social media channels & pop a free sample card* in the post to you to say thank you!

Have you ever made any no-carve pumpkins yourself?

If you or someone you know is a crafting whiz, then our 'Wise Words' design featuring lots of quotes about creative folk was made just for you! Available as an art print to hang on your wall, a mug for your favourite hot beverage, a greeting card or a ceramic storage pot for all of your small tools and materials. Click here to take a closer look.

*Free sample card may not be the design shown in this post. The greeting card will be chosen at our discretion. A random design suitable for any occasion.


#Halloween #somethingdifferent #trynewthings #crafting #getcrafty #craft #papercraft #homedecor #Autumn #October #pumpkindecorating #nocarvepumpkins #AllHallowsEve #WiseWords #handmade

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Coulson Macleod Limited, Catesby Street, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN16 8XN 

01536 419944 hello@coulsonmacleod.com