Exterior Curb Appeal

13 Other Things You Can Do with a Pumpkin

A few pumpkins and a jack-o-lantern on the porch are all well and good, but why not stretch your imagination a little further? We rounded up our favorite—and most creative—uses for pumpkins.

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Move Over Jack-O-Lanterns…


Autumn’s arrival brings with it an atmosphere of abundance. There’s plenty of family, food, and fun, a mountain of freshly fallen leaves, and more pumpkins than there are ways to use them—or so you thought. Before you go out of your gourd carving yet another traditional jack-o’-lantern, try instead to transform pumpkins into fantastical decor and functional home accents. Get inspired with 13 of our favorite fall pumpkin creations.

Bright Idea


Pass on the phony-scented pumpkin spice candles when you can make your own real versions. Hello Glow shares her tutorial for making wax candles in a pumpkin. Carve a pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Then, add a wick and melted wax to create your own rustic candle. For an even easier version, cut a hole in the pumpkin just big enough for a tea light that will lend a warm and cozy ambience to a crisp, autumn night.

Related: Beyond Pumpkin Spice: 10 Scents of the Season You Can Buy Online

Soup’s On


Most pumpkins become an empty shell of their former selves once the pulp is removed—but not this pumpkin serving bowl! Slice off the top of a pumpkin, scoop out the flesh and seeds, and fill the shells with your favorite soup (get a tempting recipe from Pizzazzerie). Your dinner guests will be tricked into a treat when they lift the lids on these unconventional tureens.

Chilling Out

rusticwhite.com; Design: waitingonmartha.com

This DIY pumpkin cooler from Waiting on Martha will give your festive drinks the chills. Carve out the seeds and pulp of a pumpkin to make room for a large glass bowl filled with ice cubes, soda cans, or wine bottles. Alternatively, use the pumpkin as a punch bowl that’s sure to be the star of your next party.

Mum-kin Patch


Mum’s the word on this pro tip for a beautiful and low-maintenance fall planter from Four Generations One Roof. Place a mum or other plant, still in its plastic nursery pot, into a dry, hollowed-out pumpkin. (Keeping the plant in its plastic container will prevent the inside of the pumpkin from rotting as a result of direct soil exposure.) For an extra-special touch, adorn the planter with raffia, moss, or a vivid satin ribbon.

Dressed-Up Address


A spare moment and a pumpkin are all you need to provoke the envy of your neighbors with this house number pumpkin from A Beautiful Mess. Print out your address in a font of your choice before stenciling it onto a large pumpkin. Color in the numbers with a Sharpie or paint to make a bold statement on your front porch. To prevent ink runoff, ensure that the pumpkin is free of moisture before you get to work.

Name Calling


What’s in a name? In the case of these pretty place card holders by Oh My! Creative, the name is celebrated by miniature pumpkins and a charming, personal touch. Make your kith and kin feel right at home with their own customized pumpkins, embellished with glittering stems. 

Flock Party


The birds in your neighborhood will go cuckoo for this pumpkin bird feeder. Kitchen Counter Chronicle shares the complete steps for crafting this fall treat for the birds (and squirrels too!).

Fabled Table


If you thought decorative gourds couldn’t get any better, take a look at this pumpkin vase and accent pumpkins. These gold-dipped pumpkins can lend glamour to dining tables or end tables. Homey Oh My shares the steps for creating a magical tableau that you’ll be proud to display at family dinners.

Too Gourd to Drink


Hosting your own fright fest this year? Ditch that passé punch bowl for this downright delicious seasonal drink dispenser. Carve a pumpkin and scoop out the seeds, cut a small hole in the side with a fine serrated knife, and then insert a spigot (like this one from Amazon) into the hole. Fill the gourd with your beverage of choice, be it cider or homemade punch, et voilà—drinks on the house!

Related: Genius! DIY Pumpkin Keg

Orange You Glad to Be Home


Lanterns offer a simple solution for adding warmth to a cold entryway—and with the clever use of pumpkins, you don’t have to light them up. Fill a few one- to two-foot-tall metal lanterns with vivid miniature pumpkins, colorful mums or gourds in varied hues, and leftover pinecones on the lawn. Hang the lanterns on the wall or park them on the floor or on a side table to add a punch of color and personality to the porch.

Oh-So-Pretty Panes

Flickr via Lori L. Stalteri

“Grow” a veritable pumpkin patch in your front yard—without sewing a single pumpkin seed—with this seasonal window dressing. To recreate, mount prefabricated window boxes below the windowsills of exterior windows, fill the boxes with real or faux non-flowering plants or blooms, and then top with pumpkins! 

Festive Flame


Whether you’re gathering friends around the coffee table or family at the dining table, these pumpkin votive candles are bound to ignite the conversation. Using a small knife, create a hole as wide and tall as a tea light into the top of miniature pumpkins, then drop in a candle and light up! To maximize the sweet aroma, opt for pumpkin-scented tea lights (available on Amazon).

Buckets of Beauty


One is a lonely number when it comes to pumpkins on the porch! Why not give company to the jack-o-lantern—and give visitors a welcome to remember—by stationing this no-carve rustic pumpkin planter in the entryway? To nab it for your own home, buy a large metal bucket like an olive bucket, fill the rim with a grapevine wreath, and then use florist wire to weave sprigs of bittersweet or other berry branches into the wreath. Float a large pumpkin on top of the wreath and stash the ornament anywhere on your porch in need of fall flair. Visit On Sutton Place for the complete tutorial. 

Pumpkin Projects


Pumpkins aren’t just for jack-o-lanterns anymore. Try your hands at one—or more—of these festive DIYs.