8 Other Things You Can Do with a Pumpkin

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 8 of our favorite fall pumpkin creations.

  1. Bright Idea

    Pumpkin Candles

    Traditional votives don’t hold a candle to these ambient pumpkin lights. Carve a miniature 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: 10 Easy DIY Candles for a Festive Season


  2. Soup’s On

    Pumpkin Bowl

    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 here). Your dinner guests will be tricked into a treat when they lift the lids on these unconventional tureens. 

    Related: 8 Brilliant DIY Ways to Reinvent Your Dinnerware


  3. Chilling Out

    Pumpkin Cooler

    A DIY pumpkin cooler 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.

    Related: Genius! DIY Pumpkin Keg

    Design: waitingonmartha.com; Photo: rusticwhite.com

  4. Fabled Table

    Painted Pumpkins

    If you thought decorative gourds couldn't get any better, take a look at these gold-dipped pumpkins that can lend glamour to dining tables or end tables. White mini pumpkins dipped in a pan of gold acrylic paint (or taped and spray painted) create a magical tableau that you'll be proud to display at family dinners.

    Related: 9 Inventive Ways to Decorate with Tree Trunks, Branches, and Twigs


  5. Mum-kin Patch

    Pumpkin Planter

    Mum’s the word on this pro tip for a beautiful and low-maintenance fall planter. 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.

    Related: 10 Inspired DIY Planters to Dress Up Your Garden


  6. Dressed-Up Address

    Fall Porch Pumpkin

    A spare moment and a pumpkin are all you need to provoke the envy of your neighbors with this house number pumpkin. Print out your address in a whimsical font before stenciling it onto a large, painted pumpkin. Color in the numbers with a Sharpie 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.

    Related: Celebrate Fall with 11 Thrifty DIY Ideas for the Home


  7. Name Calling

    Pumpkin Name Card

    What’s in a name? In the case of these pretty place card holders, 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 gold leaf. Around each pumpkin's stem, tie a satin ribbon that has been thoughtfully emblazoned with a guest's name in metallic paint pen. 


  8. Flock Party

    Pumpkin Bird Feeder

    The birds in your neighborhood will go cuckoo for this pumpkin bird feeder, made from a leftover holiday pumpkin.
    Use a sharp tool to pierce holes around the exterior of a hollowed-out pumpkin, then insert aromatic cloves. Braid together lengths of twine, and attach to the bottom of the pumpkin using a nail. Then, fill the bowl with birdseed to give your feathered friends a special fall feast.

    Related: The 10 Best Bird Feeders for Your Winter Yard


  9. Pumpkin Projects

    Pumpkin Projects

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


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