Last year we found 6 impressive no-carve pumpkin ideas for the seriously crafty and I still look at them longingly, knowing I will probably never make them. As awesome as they are. So this year I’m looking for something a little more easy. A little more DIY-able. As in, no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas that I know we could actually do. Because geez, internets — some of you bloggers call something an “easy” craft but if it requires a zillion special supplies and advanced crafting skills, I’m going to call you out on your definition of easy.

Now you can always just take a Sharpie to a pumpkin (don’t underestimate how much kids love that), but I like ideas that look cool, but don’t require much more than some basic crafts and basic skills. Some would even be great craft activities for kids at Halloween parties.

While the web is filled with zillions of 100 GREAT PUMPKIN DECORATING IDEAS YOU MUST DO NOW, when I click over, I find that most of them are…well, more meh than “great.” So, I’ve spent a lot of time really searching for ones I really love, and pared them down to the 13 I thought were worth sharing.

Hm, maybe that’s why I actually have so little time left for pumpkin decorating?

Related: 21 of the coolest free Halloween printables for kids. Because we’re all for fun that costs zero dollars.


Easy no-carve confetti pumpkin ideas: Use office supplies like colorful brads or thumbtacks | A Subtle Revelry

No-Carve Confetti Pumpkin
Bless you, Victoria at A Subtle Revelry; she put together lots of ideas for no-carve pumpkins using mere office supplies. I’m in love with these colorful no-carve confetti pumpkins that are only made with cork board pins, or paper brads with pointy tips. My kids would looooove doing this, but be sure to supervise little ones. Also, check out some of her other cool easy pumpkin decorating ideas on her blog which are really fun. (h/t Girl Named PJ)


Easy no-carve pumpkin ideas: Sally's patchwork pumpkin from Nightmare Before Christmas. Pretty simple!
Sally’s Patchwork Pumpkin
Sally’s Patchwork Pumpkin inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas is pretty genius. This movie is one of my kids’ Halloween favorites, and they’d totally dig this idea. The Disney Family site has some basic instructions, but think gray paint, fabric scraps, and a hot glue gun. Oh, and a Sharpie. All craft roads lead to Sharpies.


No-carve pumpkin ideas: Colorful painted pumpkins using folk stencils on Handmade Charlotte

Colorful Painted Pumpkins
Leave it to Handmade Charlotte to impress us with these fantastic no-carve painted Halloween pumpkins. I really like her idea to use mini pumpkins (our favorites anyway), and her own folk art stencils sold at Plaid online. Her tips are really amazing, but I bet any stencils at all would do. And frankly, letting my kids go crazy with a paintbrush, some stencils, and no instructions whatsoever would make them just as happy, even if their pumpkins don’t come out as magazine cover-ready as Rachel’s.


Easy no-carve pumpkin ideas: Spiderweb ombre pumpkins via Martha Stewart

Ombre Spiderweb Pumpkins
Okay, so these are a little crafting 201 but if you’re patient enough to lay down all that tape, I think these ombre spiderweb pumpkins at Martha Stewart are totally gorgeous and not really that hard. Of course my kids would want to glue little plastic or pipe-cleaner spiders all over them and that would be cool too.


No-carve pumpkin ideas: Easy mummy pumpkin | A Little Bit of This or That

N0-Carve Mummy Pumpkin
A while back we found lots of seriously easy DIY pumpkin decorating ideas you can do with Washi tape, paint, or Sharpies. (Again with the Sharpies!) But my favorite is still this mummified pumpkin craft from A Little Bit of This or That. And if Pinterest is any indicator, you all love it too. Because…easy. And…googly eyes.

Related: 9 easy Halloween crafts for preschoolers with just the right amount of spookiness

No-carve pumpkin decorating idea using paper bats. Fun! via No Biggie

No-Carve Bat Pumpkin
I am so into this idea! From Kami at No Biggie, you can simply cut out silhouettes, use stickers, or use ready-made paper bat craft doodads (I’m so not crafty, I don’t even know what they’re called) to make this no-carve flying bat Halloween pumpkin. Don’t you think your kids would love this?


Easy no-carve pumpkin ideas: Make creatures like cats and spiders with an easy template or your own cut-outs | A Small Snippet

No-Carve Pumpkin Creatures
As long as your kids are picking out costumes, I bet they’d really like to put costumes on their pumpkins, too. That’s what these no-carve creature pumpkins from A Small Snippet remind me of. The ideas are super cute, very doable for kids, and they even offer templates for making eyes and ears and you know, bones.


Easy no-carve pumpkin ideas: Cool washi tape plaid effect via Good Housekeeping

Washi Tape Pumpkins
There’s no shortage of inspiring washi tape pumpkin designs on the web, like these from Good Housekeeping. You can show them the image so they have a crafty roadmap to follow, or just let your kids just go to town, whether you pick out lots of crazy patterned tapes, all neons, or stick with these pretty fall tones.


Easy no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas: let kids paint with watercolors then glitter the stem. DIY via Nest of Posies

DIY Glitter Stem Pumpkins
I admit I tend to like pumpkins in pumpkin-y colors, but there’s something sweet about letting your kids have at it with paints or water colors, like in this glitter stem pumpkin craft at Nest of Posies. The crowning touch: A glittery stem. Like your kids won’t be all GLITTER, THERE’S GLITTER! Check out her son’s final creation too; it’s adorable.


Tattly tattooed Halloween pumpkin how-to: Easy way to decorate a no-carve pumpkin

DIY Tattooed Halloween Pumpkins
Leave it to our friends at Tattly to put together a tutorial on making tattooed Halloween pumpkins using their fun temporary tattoo designs. To make them more sophisticated, try using their metallic tattoos. Just know this is a gateway craft, and next thing you know, your kids will ask to pierce their pumpkin, too.


Easy no-carve tissue polka dot pumpkins | tutorial at Young House Love

No-Carve Tissue Dot Pumpkins
At Young House Love, Sherry demonstrates how fun and easy it was for her toddler to Modge Podge sheer tissue dots to make a no-carve polka dot pumpkin. I am so impressed with the result, but more so, how much fun her daughter is having. Take a look at her great tips.


Easy no-carve pumpkin ideas: Mr. Potato Head pumpkins! | Via Jac o' lyn Murphy

Mr. Potato Head Pumpkins
Duh. Why didn’t I think of this? Dig into your box full of random toy parts (I know you have one) and make fun Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head Pumpkins like this one from Jac o’ lyn Murphy. Super easy. In fact, they’ll be done so fast, you’ll need to find more activities to keep the kids busy.


Monster Pumpkin Decorating idea: Let your kids go wild with googly eyes, feathers, sequins....whatever | Hands On As We Grow

Imagination Monster Pumpkins
Because I think perfection is way overrated when it comes to kids’ crafts in general, I am so happy finding this idea for monster pumpkin decorating from Hands on as we Grow. So simple and wonderful for toddlers and even teens. Googly eyes are definitely key, and the rest is up to your child’s own imagination. You do have to share this joke with them while they work, though:

Q: What does a ten-foot tall monster eat for Halloween?
A: Anything he wants.