5 Simple DIY Pumpkins You Can Enjoy Year After Year!

halloween pumpkins

Once in awhile Michaels (the craft store) will send me a “craft challenge” of some sort. I don’t always take them up on it, but I always appreciate the opportunity because it pushes me to try new things I normally wouldn’t. You see, while crafting isn’t really my forté, I actually really enjoy it!

The challenge this time was to take some of their craft pumpkins and decorate them for Halloween. When the 3 pumpkins arrived I was stumped as to what to DO with them! So I reached out to all of YOU on Facebook and asked for your ideas. You guys are ROCKSTARS!  There were so many great ideas I had to run to Michaels to buy a few more pumpkins because I couldn’t settle on just three!

I honestly can’t say which one I like the best! There are things about all of them that not only do I like from an aesthetic point of view…but from an execution standpoint as well. Working with a “hot knife” was something new for me, but once I got the hang of it (after burning a hole in one of my favorite shirts!) I was hooked! I felt like Michelangelo sculpting the statue of David by the time I was done. :-)

Here are the fruits of our labors!  OK, MY labor, your brain power!



halloween pumpkins


Tape off your pumpkin using masking tape.  I didn’t use any measuring device, I just eyeballed the spacing of the tape and then trimmed the ends with scissors to make clean corners.


halloween pumpkins


Spray your taped pumpkin with white, flat paint. I used Krylon brand.


halloween pumpkins

You’ll want to do 3 or 4 light coats (letting it dry for a few minutes in between each coat) in order to get complete coverage without drips.


halloween pumpkins 5


After the last coat, let dry for approximately 30 minutes. (It dries really fast!), and then carefully peel the tape off. (Tip: when peeling the tape, don’t rip it off too fast or you will end up taking some of the pumpkin surface off with it! Trust me.)


halloween pumpkins

This pumpkins turned out WAY better than I thought it would. The taping was the most time-consuming part of this, but worth the final product. :-)



halloween pumpkins


For the glitter pumpkin you will need some glitter glue (or mod podge) and glitter.   No, this is not an advertisement for Martha Stewart’s line of craft projects, I just find them easy to work with. I actually looked at a bunch of different glitter colors and this “fire opal” was my favorite.


halloween pumpkins 9

The nice thing about this glue was that it came with a little brush attached to the inside of the lid. But, of course, you can use your own brush.


halloween pumpkins


Brush the glue (or mod podge) onto the pumpkin in sections and sprinkle liberally with the glitter.


halloween pumpkins


After your pumpkin is covered with glitter, spray with a clear, protective spray finish. This will keep the glitter from getting all over everything! LOVE the sparkle!



halloween pumpkins


Spray paint your pumpkin all over with a black chalkboard paint. Once again, I used Krylon brand. The directions on the can said to use two coats, letting it dry for approximately 15 minutes between coats.


halloween pumpkins 11

After 3 hours the paint is fully dry.


halloween pumpkins


I printed off a cute chalkboard art design I found on Pinterest to use as a guide, and attempted to do a “free-hand” version of it using a liquid chalk pen.


halloween pumpkins

Mine definitely isn’t as “artistic”….but I think it turned out OK. :-)  The fun thing about this pumpkin is that when Halloween is over you can “erase” it and draw a different phrase on it for Thanksgiving! :-)



halloween pumpkins


I knew I wanted to try my hand at “carving” a couple of these craft pumpkins with the hot knife that Michaels provided, but wasn’t confident in my ability to do it without some sort of guide. These sticker stencils (that you can reposition) were perfect! Just stick them on where you want the design to be……..


halloween pumpkins


…..and start cutting. Be very careful with the hot knife! It is very HOT and very SHARP.


halloween pumpkins
And don’t worry if your cut-outs are perfect….they are very forgiving when you put a light inside them!



halloween pumpkins


That darn Martha Stewart has so many cute Halloween products! :-)  This package of 48 different paper Halloween stencils was just the ticket for my second carved pumpkin. All you need to do is choose a stencil design and tape it to your pumpkin in the desired position.


halloween pumpkins


Outline (inline?) the stencil using a pen or pencil and cut out with the hot knife.


halloween pumpkins


Cut a circle opening in the top (just like you would a real pumpkin) and place a battery-operated tealight inside.


halloween pumpkins

I just love the simplicity of this one. :-)

(FYI…if you don’t feel comfortable doing your own carving…see your local Michaels store and order a personalized pumpkin. You pick the design, they do the rest!)


halloween pumpkins

I really, REALLY enjoyed working on this “challenge!”  Thank you Michaels, for once again getting me outside my crafting comfort zone!

I realize I’m rushing the Halloween holiday just a wee bit by posting this on September 2nd, but I had so much fun working on these this past weekend I couldn’t help myself.  So I hope you will forgive me and that you will be inspired to do some pumpkin creating and “carving” of your own!



michaels winners



To help you get started….Michaels is giving away (2) $50 gift cards!




Leave a comment below sharing your best pumpkin-carving memory!




Follow @JillsGoodThings on Instagram and leave a comment saying you did so.

Like One Good Thing By Jillee on Facebook and leave a comment saying you did so.

Follow @JillsGoodThings on Twitter and leave a comment saying you did so.

Follow One Good Thing By Jillee on Pinterest and leave a comment saying you did so.


Winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 4th!




Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Jillee's FREE email newsletter and receive more great tips and ideas!



  1. Julie says

    Oh no question – the first time I used one of the stencils. I went from the “triangle eyes/nose & big grin” to Michealangelo. Awesome.

    Love your ideas – for sure making myself some glitter pumpkins this year!

  2. Karyn Craw says

    My favorite pumpkin carving memory was with my grandparents. All four of us kids and my parents and grandparents. Essential one adult per child at the time. We got to choose and decorate our pumpkins. Now that both of grandparents are deceased now. Hopefully so day I can relive that memory with my parents and my children. :)

  3. Carrie Hood says

    Every year my kids and I carve pumpkins. We are lucky to have a pumpkin patch right around the corner from our house, so we go take a hay ride and pick out a few! We always try to get ambitious and print crazy stencils, but they normally just end up a jackolantern face. We have a great time no matter the end result!

  4. Marie says

    My best pumpkin carving memories are each year going to my adopted mothers house for their annual pumpkin carving party. Each year we would try and outdo each other with designs. My favorite pumpkin I ever carved was of a carousel horse. This year will be hard because she passed away last month. We will be making new memories with the kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren this yr.

    I really love the idea of the glitter and the chalkboard pumpkins. I think I may need to try those this year.

  5. Deborah J. says

    It would have to be when I was around 5 and my Grandad and I planted pumpkins in his backyard. I went to his house every other day and watered and checked on my pumpkins. As Halloween grew closer I was upset because none of my tiny pumpkins were going to be big enough to carve. The day before Halloween, I came over as usual to water my little pumpkins… hoping against hope that one had miraciously grew huge overnight and when I looked, there was a giant pumpkin almost as big as me in the middle of the patch. I was sooo excited! Of course, years later I realized my Grandad had bought it just for me.

  6. Monica Wilson says

    Favorite memories are going to the pumpkin patch with my kids (now grown) and making an ooey gooey slimy mess carving pumpkins…baking the pumpkin seeds & just spending the time with one another. Looking forward to making new memories with my granddaughter…she’s only 5 months, so I have a couple more falls before this happens. I love fall! It’s my favorite time of the year. :)

  7. Shelly Quintana says

    My favorite pumpkin carving memory was a few years ago when our girls were 6 and 9. We were living in the Boise, ID and made a day of it. We started off doing a corn maze, then a tractor ride out to pick the pumpkins then topped the evening off carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds. It was one of those rare days where the entire day was perfect from sunup to sundown with no hiccups in the day. Not one whining mommmmmmm or sibling rivalry, just a day filled with laughter and love.

  8. Tamara says

    My favorite pumpkin carving memory is with my daughter. She was about 7 or 8 and my husband had lost his job. Money was very tight, so we weren’t planning on buying pumpkins to carve and do the normal decorating for Halloween. My daughter insisted that we did it every year and that we absolutely must do it. I literally took coins from my change stash to buy pumpkins from the 4-Her’s. We all had a great time decorating and carving the pumpkins. I realized she just wanted some time with us.

  9. says

    Growing up my family always got together with a couple other families for a huge pumpkin carving evening. We would have lots of good, Fall food and carve pumpkins together. It was always a great evening of laughter and fun.

  10. Lori Robinson says

    I think my favorite pumpkin carving memory is from three years ago when my daughter decided she wanted to do a sick pumpkin (in addition to the two or three other pumpkins we were doing). It was a lot of fun choosing the right facial expression and setting up the pumpkin on a small table with the insides in a pile below (we learned to use a bowl the years after, otherwise it leaves a mess on the porch), then watching the expressions of the trick-or-treaters that came to our door.

  11. Linda I says

    I already follow you on Pinterest but now I “like” you on Facebook.

    My favorite pumpkin carving was about 20 years ago. Friends of mine had a big pumpkin carving party with aboout 30 people and tons of pumpkins, all the power tools you could think of, huge bins to dump the insides and butcher paper everywhere. As we carved some people saved their seeds and we baked those with different seasonings in every batch. The whole house smelled amazing. There were tons of great artsy fartsy folks and the pumpkins were stunning! Additionally, my hands were the softest EVER. Apparently an hour of sifting through pumpkin guts to get the seeds out was the best moisturizer a girl needed!

  12. Mary says

    My favorite pumpkin carving was when my children were elementary age and we’d go to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins, lay newspaper out on the table and carve away! Afterward we’d roast the pumpkin seeds…yum!

  13. Jill Schwieger says

    Yearly trips to the “Pick Your Own” farm, then pumpkin carving and pumpkin seed baking with our three daughters, and then with our 5 grandchildren……so many wonderful memories! Last year we didn’t carve, (our youngest grandchild is now 15) just lined up some pretty pumpkins on our front steps. It was sort of sad at the time. And as winter set in, I just carried the pumpkins to the small grassy area in our back yard and enjoyed them a while longer, until they finally froze and just sort of shriveled in on themselves.

    Hmmm. Fast forward to early summer, when I noticed some new interesting plants, which quickly sent out vines, produced blossoms, then blooms and eventually small bulbous things! Those bulbous things have grown into pumpkins……I have my own patch with more still coming on!!! I have no idea what to expect of them in the next weeks, but I can’t wait to see, and can’t wait for the family to “pick your own” right in the backyard!!! I LOVE God’s fun surprises! NEW favorite memories in the near future….HA!

  14. Misty says

    My favorite pumpkin carving memory is my 3 girls(8, 6 and 2 at the time), my husband and I all around our kitchen table taking turns scooping out the ‘pumpkin guts’ as my girls call them. Then my oldest talked us into roasting the seeds. Our carving is mediocre at best but they got so excited about our handy work you would have thought it was headed to a gallery:). I cherish those times of all of us around the table laughing and just enjoying each other.

  15. Lauren says

    When my daughter was 3 she really wanted a ‘Shrek’ pumpkin, so we searched online for a template we might be able to carve. She settled on a neat one of ‘Puss n boots’… But it looked complicated. My husband spent hours with the dremmel to carve the pattern! But it turned out phenomenal in the end, fanciest pumpkin we’ve ever had!

  16. Carolyn says

    I love choosing just the right pumpkin, his features are important in making
    the design. Also enjoy the process of scooping out seeds, baking them always, but never really eating those seeds. Guess it’s the idea of healthy pumpkin seeds?

  17. Natalie Otten says

    We enjoy the whole experience if spending a fall day in the car driving along the river and stopping at small towns along the way. Sipping apple cider to picking out the perfect pumpkin while enjoying the trees change color. Once home, decorating to our prized pumpkin and displaying our “masterpiece” on our front porch.

  18. Beth Ross says

    I remember trying to carve out words before understanding why the stencil’s alphabet wasn’t completely connected. I ended up with huge holes where the letters were supposed to be readable! I smashed it myself!!!!

    Beautiful pumpkins, Jill!

  19. Torri Bertarelli says

    My favorite pumpkins that we did with our children was: We took out the craft kit and let them deocorate their pumpkins any way they wanted
    Feathers, rocks and long pieces of ribbon were glued on one. And square wood cut outs and jewels on the other.

    Sweet Sweet Memories!
    Now that my son and daughter are 13 and 14 it would be fun to try our touch at a more up scale project.
    Thanks for the give a way.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *